Welcome to the Israel Military Forum. You are currently viewing our Israel Forum as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, Image Forum and access our other features. By joining our Israel Military Forum you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so
|Register||FAQ||Pictures||Members List||Calendar||Search||Today's Posts||Mark Forums Read|
||Thread Tools||Display Modes|
Why Should the US Support Israel
Why Should the US Support Israel
by Norma Zager
19 August 10
“I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations…” John Adams
Why in the world should anyone care about Israel? Even many Jewish people are “over it.”
I mean what’s the point? Sure they invent great stuff there, but there are Jews everywhere so who needs Israel? It just causes more trouble for us all. Aren’t most people convinced without Israel the world would be one big party?
I can visualize the celebration. Ding-dong the Jews are dead. Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il dancing in the streets. Every disease would suddenly be eradicated. Everyone would be rich and no more children would be murdered in Darfur. No women would be stoned in Afghanistan.
Those darn Jews. All these problems, and if they would only go away, we could all be so happy.
Talking to someone the other day the subject of Israel was broached. My support for Israel is well known, but my reasons perhaps not, so I will explain.
Aside from the fact I feel compelled as a Jew to honor the hope that Israel represented to the survivors of the Holocaust, the real purpose I fight so vehemently to ensure its survival is not religious.
The existence of Israel is proof that even after the greatest evil man has known, for one brief fleeting moment, the world’s better nature glowed with compassion and gave the Jewish people back their homeland. This is the symbolic flame of goodness that burns inside man.
Israel is, and will remain, the last hope that evil can be stopped. If the people and country most reviled in the world can survive surrounded by such enemies, it will serve as proof of mankind’s better nature.
Israel is a light among nations and that light is goodness. It is concrete evidence that no matter how evil seeks to destroy its opposite, good will always overcome.
True and unfortunate that too many often suffer before evil is stopped, but the better nature of man always remains victorious and standing in the end.
It is interesting that most of the world’s religions identify the Jewish people as the lawgivers. The Torah is a basis for law among civilized cultures. The Ten Commandments are the core principals of humanity and human treatment toward one another. Yes, we were designated to deliver the laws. However, we were also designated to be the canary in the coalmine of civilization.
Why are the Jewish people so hated? It is because the Lord, or whatever divine spirit controls our world, selected them. Jews are the living proof of God’s protection and mercy on earth.
After all the serious attempts to wipe them off the earth, the fact they are still here despite all odds speaks volumes. Their existence has little to do with tenacity on the their part, but a purpose and design far greater.
If Israel is destroyed it will signal the victory of evil and the end of goodness.
From that moment on humankind will begin a slow but unstoppable deterioration into the depths of self-destruction.
Israel is not about religious shrines, not about the tiny piece of land on which it sits, or even the craziness and political everyday foibles that occur among its politicians.
It is a light, a beam and indisputable proof we are destined for good. That man’s better nature is dominant and must be so. That as we evolve, we evolve to a higher state that separates us further from the animals.
You don’t have to be religious to care if Israel survives. Christian, Muslim, Atheist, it matters not. Purpose transcends all spirituality.
The relationship between the US and Israel is symbiotic. The United States has always been a force for good. We are the protectors. We fight the playground bullies. We protect the hated, the outcast, the Israel.
We don’t always care as much about the law as the law’s effect on man.
We place kindness and human dignity above all else.
This is why America has thrived and became the greatest nation.
Why it grew so quickly to overcome all others.
And sadly, why it now is falling from Grace.
America needs to stand by Israel, because Americans want their country to do so. It is in the DNA and at their core.
Their feelings transcend religious differences and are based on the principals of our founding fathers. Their hopes for what this nation should, could and would become.
Israel can never be totally protected in the world. It is destined to play its role as the hated, the stepchild, the despised, as a reminder of our responsibility toward safeguarding goodness and human dignity.
Whether one is deeply religious, spiritual or believes in nothing at all, no one can ever deny evil’s existence.
To some it has a name, many names, but whatever its title, it is a power to be reckoned with forever.
As long as humankind exists, good and evil will battle for the souls of man and within him.
Israel is living proof our side is still winning.
I will give Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotsk the last word.
“Intolerance lies at the core of evil. Not the intolerance that results from any threat or danger. But intolerance of another being who dares to exist. Intolerance without cause. It is so deep within us, because every human being secretly desires the entire universe to himself. Our only way out is to learn compassion without cause. To care for each other simply because that 'other' exists.”
Israel and the West The Paradigm Shift in the World Order
Solway on Aug 20th, 2010 and filed under FrontPage Excellent and important piece by Mr. Solway. I want to thank frontpagemag.comIn his thought-provoking book The Lucifer Principle, Harold Bloom, relying on years of zoological research, points out how “a strange thing happens when humans and other animals are cornered by the uncontrollable. Their perceptions shut down, their thoughts grow more clouded, and they have a harder time generating new solutions to their problems.” This kind of syncope can manifest itself in a number of different ways: a feigned lack of interest when presented with a threat, as when a once-dominant ape pretends to focus on a banana peel rather than respond to the challenge mounted by a formidable claimant to his throne, or when a rat frustrated by its powerlessness before an intimidating rival will attack a lesser member of the pack.
These are useful concepts and insights that can help us get a bead on the crucial issues of the day. Nature is of a piece. What goes for the ape and the rat, solacing themselves with avoidance mechanisms or the fiction of authority, goes for the individual human being as it does for the nation as a whole, and, indeed, for the very framework of the civilization of which they form a part. When an organism or a “superorganism” senses that it is losing control, that its favored position atop the dominance hierarchy is no longer assured and that it is facing the prospect of imminent dispossession, as if by reflex it turns aside, practices the art of studied indifference or develops an array of subterfuges—what Bloom terms the “endorphin strategy” that makes us feel good while it dulls the senses and cripples the intellect. It almost invariably contents itself by blanking out the menace or mugging its weaker partners and cohabitants.
This description, then, of animal and primate behavior has profound implications for the trajectories of entire societies, cultures and civilizations, that is, “superorganisms.” As they rise to the top of the international or global “pecking order,” they experience a “testosterone surge” of power, confidence and exploratory vitality, which impacts the very psychology of its constituent “cells” or members—individual human beings. They do not feel the need to apologize for their triumphs, expanding economies and higher standards of living. They move into the future with flexed assurance and a proud conviction of their civilizing mission and justified ascendance.
However, when these larger groupings intuit that they are slipping from their privileged position above the common ruck and are beginning to slide inexorably down the scale of power and preference, they proceed to espouse various delusionary measures to evade the shock of recognition. Rather than struggle to preserve or regain their pre-eminence, they concentrate on the banana peel, as it were, pretending that no challenge is being posed to their fading hegemony. Or they turn upon their own, whether individuals, groups or nations, whom they blame for their evident discomfiture and, indeed, for their unadmitted but darkly sensed weakness. They may even begin shilling for the enemy, whom they profess to see as an equal, a potential benefactor, a friend in the making or a collaborator in some noble cultural initiative. As Bloom reminds us, “In a world where some cultures elevate violence to a virtue, the dream of peace can be fatal.” Moreover, so ignominious a surrender tends, ironically, to strut under the banner of “peace, freedom and justice.”
And this, I fear, is precisely what is happening in the contemporary West. “Peace” means that we are no longer willing to fight for the principles and traditions that have raised us to the top of the dominance hierarchy and that we are ready or eager to submit to a clear ideological foe. “Freedom” means that we have accepted the growing likelihood of defeat and comparative servitude. And “justice” means the acknowledgment of the “rights” of our adversaries to game the social, political and legal systems of their host countries to their advantage, in other words, to insinuate their norms of conduct and cultural presuppositions into a way of life we have long taken for granted and are now prepared to surrender piecemeal to the claims of the “other.”
The symptoms of capitulation are unmistakable, not only with regard to the increasingly muscular, secular autocracies, like China and Russia and their allies, which we try desperately to pretend away as they ascend the scale of power and control at our expense. The signs of cultural enervation are also evident in our yielding bit by bit to the relentless march of militant Islam from country to country and into the very entrails of the democratic body politic. As Bat Ye’or has shown, the dhimmification of Europe is well under way and is probably irreversible. And now the pathology of appeasement and submission has begun to infect the collective psyche of America itself, especially its current leadership, the left-liberal media, the majority of public intellectuals who have come to act like cheerleaders for the other team, and far too many of our academics who inhabit the dank mausoleum of the modern university. The moribund walk to their second extinction. As James Lewis remarks, “American liberals and European socialists…happily collude in their own subjection and degradation.” A recent book by Wells Earl Draughon, While America Sleeps, meticulously corroborates the peril we face and reads like a death sentence we have little time to repeal. Its message might awaken us from our dogmatic slumber, alerting us to the avoidance syndrome that guarantees our eventual eclipse.
This is where a wide-awake Israel comes into the geopolitical equation. It is no secret that Israel is the only legitimate democracy in the Middle East, that it is a loyal compatriot of the United States, that its structural roots are planted in European soil, that it is a vigorous, advanced and technological and scientific leader among the nations, and that it is surrounded by bellicose and regressive Islamic states that wish to erase it from “” to cite Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These are the same Islamic states that have embarked on a virulent offensive against the democratic West through the exercise of terror or the prosecution of “stealth jihad,” or both.
And yet, unable or unwilling to grasp that Israel is perched on the frontier of a world-historical conflict, exemplifying the values and usages of the West and coming under almost daily attack from a common enemy, so-called “freedom loving” nations have turned against the Jewish state, defamed it in the corridors of power, vilified it in the media, acquiesced to the corrupt and slanderous assaults on its moral and physical integrity via the offices of the United Nations, pursued boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns, winked at Israel Apartheid Weeks suppurating on our campuses, imposed coercive measures to restrict building projects and the establishment of secure borders, and both subsidized and glorified the terror-sponsoring cartels that go by the name of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas-ruled Gaza. It is as if Western-oriented Israel and not extremist, Western-hating Islam has come aberrantly to be perceived as the West’s nemesis and scourge.
Many different reasons have been put forward to account for so strange a reversal of political sentiment, ranging from the inscrutable decisions of policy makers pursuing the phantom of realpolitik to the very sophisticated theory propounded by Yoram Hazony in his provocative essay, “Israel through European Eyes.” Hazony sees the abhorrence with which Israel is regarded as the result of a “paradigm shift,” an idea originally developed by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. According to Hazony, the nation-state paradigm originating in the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648 has now been jettisoned and replaced by the paradigm of transnational governance, as exemplified by the European Union. Israel is thus denounced as adhering to the old and discredited archetype of the nation state as the source of war, oppression and social disparities. From this distorted perspective, Zionism is duly condemned as a racist movement and Israel is viewed as the new Nazi Germany.
Interesting as Hazony’s analysis may be, it fails to explain the continued acceptance of the many nation-states apart from Israel that proliferate around the globe and that plainly have no intention of giving up their sovereignty and folding themselves into a larger transnational whole. No one appears to have lodged an objection to Canada or Iceland or Iraq or Australia or Switzerland or Saudi Arabia or Tanzania or Brazil or a hundred other countries affirming their independent statehood. Further, the new paradigmers have invested heavily, politically and fiscally, in the emergence of a Palestinian state, in complete violation of their basic doctrine, and would have no compunction against sinking Israel into a bi-national state with a Palestinian majority. Something doesn’t compute. Hazony’s thesis leaves out too many countervailing instances in its elucidation of Israel’s plight to be comprehensive and persuasive. And so the farce persists. The totalitarian Arab states, which seek to undermine the Western polities, are given carte blanche while democratic Israel remains the bête noir.
There is no sensible way to explain such counter-intuitive and destructive behavior unless a potent, subliminal motive is at work, which is not particularly hard to detect. Israel stands as a perpetual rebuke to the craven and obsequious West that strives to accommodate and even to ingratiate itself with the forces marshaled against it. (Of course, there is a fiscal component as well; Western nations have succumbed to what we might call a condition of petrofaction.) Israel, on the contrary, has stood its ground, defending itself with martial courage and refusing to concede to an alien imperium. As such, it represents a searing condemnation of Western compliance and servility before a determined assailant, a J’accuse which Europe in general and influential elements in the United States cannot honorably answer or evade.
Bloom refers, in the context of Western diffidence and inertia, to Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking-Glass. “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place,” the Red Queen lectures Alice. “If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.” But we have stopped running altogether and slumped into our ample easy chairs, which is why we cannot forgive Israel for not abandoning the race and for running twice as fast to maintain its edge. A deep resentment plies its mischief. We cannot accept being outpaced and having our mental lethargy and endemic defeatism brought home to us; therefore Israel must be punished for our own sins of omission.
The easy (and reprehensible) face-saving solution to the West’s dilemma is to tumble reality on its head and label the Jewish state as the aggressor in the Middle East, as a moral delinquent and the historical source of the ongoing conflict, effectively denying its right to exist. The treatment meted out to Israel is the most obvious specimen of standard biohistorical practice. The “superorganismic” West, sensing that it is canyoneering down the global “pecking order” and incapable of summoning the resources to reassert its erstwhile paramountcy, has fallen back on the classic maneuver of all faltering collectives, namely, abusing a smaller member of the parietal community as the ostensible cause of its embarrassment. France, for example, unable to do anything about its restive Muslim population rioting in the banlieues, has salvaged its amour propre by expelling seven hundred innocuous gypsies, an expedient that remedies nothing. In the case of Israel, however, the smaller constituent is not only a convenient target for social and political shame and frustration but, even more intolerably, it is at the same time the most resolute, meritorious and valiant part of the greater collective. The stigma of disgrace is thus compounded and results in even harsher treatment of the presumed but innocent malefactor.
In sum, the West, like the ape and the rat, has adopted its own “endorphin strategy” to meet the predicament that confronts it. It engages in “perceptual shutdown,” denying that it is under attack and directing its attention elsewhere, say, the banana peel of multicultural “outreach” and ethnic harmony with its more ominous immigrant communities. It revels in the warm feeling of moral enlightenment and lofty intentions, which are, be it said, merely the obverse of the real gradients governing its conduct, in short, moral decay and meanness of spirit. Simultaneously, it will apply itself to pummeling the most exposed and vulnerable member of the democratic company in an access of cowardice masking as self-righteousness and a concern for the greater good. In this way a false ecumenicism is consummated in an act of desecration and betrayal, as well as self-betrayal. Meanwhile, the gypsy among the nations must see to it that it does not waver before the international campaign of delegitimation waged against it. The choice facing the Jewish state is, for all its palpable difficulty, paradoxically a very simple one. It is, in fact, an inescapable binary. Israel can accede to near-universal opprobrium and to its own left-wing fifth column and go down with the West before a triumphant Islam. In so doing, it raises the white flag of “peace, freedom and justice,” which in Orwellian fashion translates for its bearers as persecution, bondage and iniquity. Or it can resist the declension along the slope of precedence and endowment toward the misery of life at the bottom. It can remain stalwart and impenitent, rejecting the condition of dhimmitude that the liberal West is “progressively” and feverishly embracing. In so doing, it raises not the rag of surrender but the torch of both dignity and survival.
Standing for Israel in the Streets »
Standing for Israel in the Streets
Supporters gather in NYC to condemn Hamas's cold-blooded murder of four Jewish civilians
by Fern Sidman
On the evening of September 2, dozens of Jewish supporters of Israel gathered across the street from the Israeli Consulate in New York City. They called upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “just say no to demands for more concessions from Israel that will continue to endanger the lives of Jews throughout Israel.” Organized by Helen Freedman of Americans For A Safe Israel, the demonstration came at the end of the first round of direct peace talks between Prime Minister Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House.
U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, along with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, met with Abbas and Netanyahu for 90 minutes, and the two leaders pledged to work together to maintain security and to reiterate their goal of a two-state solution. The three-way meeting was “long and productive,” Mr. Mitchell said, adding that the leaders pledged to work in “good faith” and with “seriousness of purpose.” He said Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas then went off on their own for a one-on-one meeting, which may have been designed to build trust between the two leaders. There were no notetakers or translators in either of the meetings.
The U.S. sponsored peace talks come on the heels of the heinous murder of four Jews in the Hebron region on August 31st. Talya and Yitzchok Imas, Kochava Even-Chaim, and Avishai Shindler were gunned down in cold blood by Hamas terrorists at the Bani Naim junction just south of Hebron. This was followed by yet another drive-by shooting on Route 60 between the Rimonim Junction and the Jewish community of Kochav HaShachar in the Binyamin region of Samaria, which left Rabbi Moshe Moreno and his wife Shira moderately wounded. A Fatah cell calling itself the “Al-Namir” cell of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack, as did Hamas.
AFSI coordinator Helen Freedman stated: ”It’s all very well for the ‘Quartet’ led by President Obama to decide that ‘peace’ must come to the Israeli-Arab situation within the next year, but what are the Arabs saying? And what are they doing? Where is the control of anti-Israel terror and incitement?” Holding aloft Israeli flags and signs saying, “No Negotiations With Terrorists: Just Say No,” “Bibi: Trust in Hashem, Not Them,” and “No Palestinian State,” the demonstrators braved the oppressive 97 degree New York City heat as they chanted, “Jewish blood is not cheap” and “They kill and we build.”
“We need a president that understands the ideology of radical Islam,” declared Madeline Brooks, the Manhattan chapter head of ACT for America, as she addressed the demonstrators.
These four innocent Jews were tragically murdered because there were no security checkpoints and that was ordered at the behest of President Obama. We need to seize the moment to educate our fellow citizens about the pernicious nature of jihad.Also addressing the gathering was New York radio personality and longtime Jewish activist, Charlie Bernhaut who said:
If you want to see a real terrorist up close, just look at Mahmoud Abbas. His links with Palestinain terrorist organizations are numerous and legendary. He is a Holocaust denier and rabid Jew hater. Clearly, the creation of a Palestinian state will represent an existential threat to Israel’s survival because it will become a terrorist state under the leadership of Hamas.Susan Kone, a GOP candidate for the congressional seat in New York’s 8th district said:
There is never a justification for the intentional murder of innocents and my deepest sympathies go to the families of the four Jews who were murdered by Hamas terrorists. These purported peace talks in Washington should not be taking place at this juncture because Israel cannot make peace with those whose ideology is predicated on wanton murder.“Why can’t we have a prime minister of Israel who is proud of being a Jew and who has a sense of honor?” asked Rabbi David Algaze of Forest Hills, Queens. “Who even entertains the notion of proposing territorial compromise and the division of the holy city of Jerusalem when four precious Jewish lives have been snuffed out?” he continued. Concluding on a sober note, he intoned, “No appeasements, no negotiations, no peace with those who seek our destruction and no to charades orchestrated by Washington.”
The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism »
The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism
Reclaiming the lost voices of thousands who were killed because they were Jews
by Jamie Glazov
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist and author. His columns have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Commentary.
He graduated with a degree in philosophy at the University of Florence. He is the author of the new book, A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism.
FP: Giulio Meotti, welcome to Frontpage Interview. Let’s begin with what inspired you to write A New Shoah.
Meotti: Thanks Jamie for your special hospitality.
As a non-Jew, I feel the cause of Israel as inseparable from the fate of the Western civilization. Israel is in the Middle East, but its existence is not just in the Middle East per se. In that tiny land currently live the sons and daughters of the European civilization that was brutally annihilated during the Holocaust. Israel is on the border, we are behind the front lines, but we are in the same fatal conditions. We, Europeans and Americans, should feel the Israelis as our brothers.
The current Jihadi terror flare up in the world after 9/11 is, on several realms, grounded on anti-Semitism – which is the real cause of the Middle East conflict. Anti-Semitism not only explains the war on Israel but also on the invisibility of Jewish victims in the media. I decided to start the book in 2003. I was in Israel for a tv documentary about the Second Intifada. There was a terror attack in Haifa, in a restaurant that Yigal Allon, an Israeli general and politician, called a symbol of Arab-Jewish coexistence. A Palestinian woman blew herself up and twenty people were killed after their last meal. A broken stroller, of a baby who had just been just killed, gave me the physical dimension of Israel’s battle for survival. Hundreds and hundreds of people killed in Haifa, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Hadera and Sderot didn’t find a voice in the global media. So I started a research project that had cost me six years, working on families and survivors of terrorism.
The goal of the book is to epitomize the mere statistics of Israeli victims of terror with stories, ideals and faces. I consider this book like an incarnation of the disaster and of Israel’s humanity and heroism.
FP: Can you kindly explain the meaning of “Shoah” for those readers who might not know what it means?
Meotti: Shoah is a Hebrew word that means calamity, catastrophe, massive destruction. It’s a mysterious and marvelous word currently synonymous with the Holocaust of 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis. The suppression of the Jewish victim’s identity, of his name, of his face, the abolition of his humanity, were the motors of the Holocaust sixty years ago.
Likewise, in today’s Europe, the venom of anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel are accepted and propagated generously, paving the way for a second Shoah. Europe negates the history of Israel, its right of existence recognized by the United Nations, and the dignity of Israeli victims. Exactly ten years ago, Palestinian terrorist groups launched the Second Intifada, resulting in this Israeli “Ground Zero” with 1,500 civilian victims. Israel is a very tiny country, and this number would be proportionally equivalent to about 54,000 terror victims in the United States: 20 times the 11/9. The hundreds of attacks in Israel, day after day, amount to a sort of “new Shoah,” a mini Holocaust.
In the book, I move from the extermination camps that covered Europe to the massacres of innocents in Israel in a continual recount of family stories. I also decided to adopt the word Shoah because today in the Western democracies the Holocaust’s memory is a special weapon in the hands of Israel’s haters. Just a couple of examples: In Holland the president of the parliament and leader of the Socialist Party, Jan Marijnessen, compared Islamic terrorism in the Middle East to the European resistance against the Nazis. Shallow declarations about the evils of the Holocaust have become a tool against what anti-Semites paint as our modern fascists, the Israelis. Trine Lilleng, a Norwegian diplomat spelled it out more directly: “The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from World War II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany.” In the last fifteen years, hundreds and hundreds of Jews were killed because they were Jews, while the guardians of memory were busy in non-useful phony ceremonies. In Europe, they betrayed the memory of the Shoah.
FP: Expand a bit on why the story you are telling has been untold.
Meotti: This amount of Israeli suffering and pain was systematically neglected by the global public opinion. These stories of Israeli victims of terrorism had to be forgotten in order to promote the image of Israel as a colonialist, fascist, violent and arrogant state. These terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians should have been condemned by the United Nations as “crimes against humanity,” but they were always blamed on Israel’s very existence. Europe denied these victims’ existence because the Old Continent can’t pardon the Jews for the Holocaust. It’s a very deep way of “digesting” the Holocaust: we remember the Holocaust’s Jews so we can delegitimize the Israelis who are fighting for their own lives. Europe has a sense of guilt vis-à-vis the Jews because of the Holocaust. So by finding reasons to blame Israel, it believes it can assuage its guilt.
For ten years, Israel has been seeing rockets hitting its civilian population and nobody in Europe has said a word. The hatred toward Israel has emanated from the walls of the human rights conference halls. The Western universities have become fertile grounds for the cultivation of the genocidal reading proposed by Ahmadinejad. The Western media suppressed or minimized the suffering of the Israeli population under terrorism. The narrative has made Israel an international criminal, has attributed to the Jewish State all the characteristics that make it deserve the death penalty, from racism to apartheid. The journalists made themselves potential accomplices to genocide. They deny Israel’s victims dignity to delegitimize the Jewish historic right to Israel. The Jewish people were born there, lived there for centuries; it is there that they founded monotheism, a moral law that has generated democracy and prosperity. But for the Arabs, and not only for the Palestinians, for the Western appeasers, the Jewish presence in the area is deemed illegal and evil, forever. The world should be ashamed when it left the Israelis alone, during the Second Intifada, to be killed in cafes, buses, supermarkets and restaurants. The suicide bombers were always praised by the press as “victims.” This monstrous morality has been now poured all over Europe, where anti-Semitism has grown in all of its cities.
FP: Bring to life some of the human stories and tragedies told in your book.
Meotti: I wanted to recreate a chain of thousands of human beings, young and old, children, babies, women and men massacred at random in buses, cafeterias, shops and restaurants by those who believe that to kill is an act of faith. Terrorism destroyed an entire class of people just because of their identity, free Jews living in their land and state, Israeli Arabs in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The book is built on the testimonies of all kinds of Israeli victims of terrorism: “settlers” slaughtered in what they call “Judea and Samaria,” kibbutznikim killed in their beds, the doctors and psychiatrists, young students massacred in dancing places, Soviet dissidents killed after emigration to Israel, Americans massacred at the Israeli universities, orthodox women assassinated at pilgrim places, adolescents destroyed along with military reservists and Holocaust survivors.
These victims form the great family of Israel. There is a very important lesson in these stories: despite six decades of war and suffering, the majority of Israelis don’t feed hatred or pessimism. I always met optimism. It’s an amazing phenomenon that deals with the survival of the Jewish nation after 3.000 years of exile, killings, pogroms and Holocaust. It’s a great sign of vitality when Jewish women who lost parents and brothers help Arab women to give birth to their babies. The survivors were always able to rebuild after the attacks, they married again and had more babies.
Israel’s normality is its main victory. Israelis were able to live and progress at the base of the vulcan. In 1991, when Saddam Hussein rockets felt on the city of Tel Aviv, the Israeli Orchestra auditorium was full of people. The director Zubin Mehta, a non-Jew, was playing Bach when the siren started to sound. Mehta and the great Isaac Stern continued the concert wearing a gas mask. Or like the young people that continue to fall in love under the rockets in Sderot or Kiryat Shmona, two Israeli cities bombed by Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran’s president Ahmadinejad just visited the Lebanese border with Israel.
An exact copy of the Al Aksa mosque of Jerusalem was built by Hezbollah in front of the Israeli village of Avivim, home to 400 Israelis (half of them, women, children and old people, are evacuated when the fire occurs in the border). There is fresh air and flocks on the green of Avivim, full of cedars and pines. Imagine what it means to be an Israeli in Avivim. Waking up every morning with the apocalypse in your face. But they don’t leave their houses. I am also thinking of the families that created foundations in the name of their murdered relatives. These foundations help Jews and Arabs alike.
It’s not only a book about mourning, it tells the story of “the land of blood and honey.”
FP: Your thoughts on those in the West who support the monsters who have caused the pain to the Israeli people that you document in your book?
Meotti: Today Israel is a pariah state, boycotted and condemned to death. The process of depersonalization and dehumanization of these victims began at the United Nations. In 2004, during the Second Intifada, the United Nations chose to condemn the defense of Israelis civilians as “illegal.” I am referring to the UN’s decision against the security barrier built by Israel to stop the suicide bombings. Ahmadinejad now can announce the end of Israel in an international summit at the UN, and all the West does is shake his hand. And piece by piece, bit by bit, they are destroying the structure of universalism and natural justice that arose after World War II. A great responsibility is also upon the shoulders of the European Union, because its current policy against Israel and because they funded the Palestinian anti-Semitism with textbooks, television programs and cultural activities.
The journalists and the intellectuals also contributed their own part: they were decisive by formulating the image of the Jewish State as an alien and temporary presence in the Middle East. Look at the Freedom Flotilla recent episode in Gaza: all over the world, journalists immediately spread the idea that Israel wanted to attack and kill a group of “pacifists.” They always invent a cruelty, a racism, a persecution, a desire for conquest and a scorn for peace that never existed.
Europe is becoming again the realm of Jews hatred. A group of Israeli tennis players was only allowed to play behind closed doors in a Swedish stadium. In Hannover, an Israeli dance group was stoned by demonstrators shouting “Juden Raus.” A major Swedish newspaper wrote that Israeli soldiers kill young Palestinians to harvest their organs. It’s a new blood libel. European supermarkets have more than once decided to boycott Israeli goods. The Israeli movies are ousted from global festivals. Scientific discoveries, technological products are systematically boycotted. Israeli academics are expelled from European universities and conferences. Nobody raises an eyebrow to the fact that the socialist and pacifist Spain bars gay Israelis from participating in a gay pride parade in Madrid, when the Palestinian gays are now hiding in Israel. Also the Christian establishment has its own moral responsibility. Pope John Paul II during his visit to Israel in 2000 met President Bashar Assad in Quneitra on the Syrian border. I can’t forget how Assad told the Pope and the media that the Israelis were doing to the Palestinians what the Jews had done to Jesus in his day. And the Pope was silent.
FP: Tell us about whatJudaism teaches about the importance of “remembering” for survivors.
Meotti: I see Israel as the most relevant expression of Judaism. Israel is the miracle of a nearly three-thousand-year moral and intellectual capacity for survival amid the greatest tragedies. The sense of prodigy that Israel represents dominates the day of Hanukkah, which recalls the miracle of oil during the battle of the Maccabees; Pesach, with the flight from Egypt, evokes the contemporary feeling of a return to liberty after millenia of slavery in the Diaspora; Yom Kippur is the necessity of expiation before the suffering of humanity and one’s own. These three festivities explain this everlasting human misery that survived to Greek hegemony, to the Pagan Romans, to the Christian conversions, to the slavery under Islam, and later, to Nazi and Communist totalitarianism.
The secret of Jewish survival lies in its way to memory. We can easily see this phenomenon in Israel. Soldiers who have given their lives for Israel are remembered in ceremonies devoid of nationalist rhetoric and with familial warmth, with exaltations of love and of courage that lack militaristic connotations: no threats to the enemy as in Tehran or Damascus, no ferocious accusations, no racism. Instead, amid pain and tears, girlfriends and brothers remember the trips, sports, the passion for music and art of their lost loved ones, and also their ability to imbue confrontation with civil and moral values. Civil and military values are combined in the national day of remembrance for fallen soldiers, Yom ha-Zikkaron, in which, for twenty-four hours of ceremonies, of special television and radio programs, peace and not war is lauded without intermission. There is also always a pervasive feeling of optimism. Maybe it comes from Judaism’s belief in a happy conclusion to creation, represented by the coming of the Messiah. The Messiah is always around the corner.
FP: The effect writing the book had on you? It must have taken a lot of emotional and psychological strength, but also taken a toll.
Meotti: Entering into the world of sorrow of the terrorist’s victims was a very difficult task, generating often depression and intellectual solitude, but during these years of research and discussions with the victim’s families, I was rewarded by the warmth and empathy developed by these contacts. I also realized that, in spite of the gas chambers and terrorism, Israel represents the essence of liberty. In my job I fought against a lot of hostility because Europe is a paranoid place against Israel. But I always knew that I had to pay a price for bringing back the lost voices of thousands of people killed just because they were Jews. I don’t regret anything about this black adventure, because as said to me by a mother of two girls killed one June evening while they were dancing, “you have to bring the truth to the world.”
FP: What is this conflict about? Is there any sense or meaning that one can make out of all the evil and suffering that we see before our eyes?
Meotti: The conflict has political, economical, diplomatic, religious, human and ideological causes. The whole world is now a victim of a kind of malaise, hysteria, a collective fantasy that makes Israel, the collective Jew, the purveyor of all ills. We must never forget that Israel is on our side in the battle against terror. Israel stands on the front line of that fight as a bulwark of Judeo-Christian values. The belief that democracies can sacrifice the tiny Israel in order to placate Islamism is profoundly dangerous. Appeasement failed in the 1930s and it will fail today. We all have something to learn from the Israeli mothers who must face the disturbing fact that an eighteen-year-old is on the front lines in conditions of life-threatening danger.
FP: What do you hope your book will help achieve?
Meotti: Hostility to the Jews has been a stain on the Western world’s honor for centuries. It’s time to put it to an end. We have a lot to learn from the epic of a people that has suffered all of the worst injustices of the world, and above all is reborn time and again thanks to its moral strength. Many people I think would find my stories of victims of terror very important for their own conscience. All the Jews who care about Israel and want to know the stories forgotten by the mainstream media; All those Christians who love Israel and care about the fate of the Jewish people after the Holocaust. All the “neutral” readers that have never known what is going on in that far away land.
I hope these stories will open the eyes to the human rights organizations in the global forums: for the first time this book tell the crimes against humanity against the Jewish people. The memories of these victims, living monuments to life and hope, can help to fight impunity and hatred. During the Second Intifada, every day in Israel bus drivers, waiters, store owners, doctors, and students grabbed terrorists with their hands, threw them to the ground, and removed bags with explosives from their backs and saved the passengers of a bus, customers in a supermarket, patrons of a café. Are we today, we Europeans and Americans, just as ready to consider our citizens more important than ourselves or our families? The national rebirth in its original homeland of a people threatened with extinctions for three thousand years, should represent, especially in the eyes of our civilization a promise of redemption for all humanity. That’s the greatest message of the book. Israel is a lighthouse of life, when life is the most endangered value of our times. And therefore, the most envied while it flows in the veins of a people constantly under threat.
FP: Giulio Meotti, thank you for joining us and thank you for writing this book – one of the most vital books of our time.
Why should America support Israel? Why should I as an American favor alliance with Israel? Why shouldn't we stand with the aspirations of the Palestinians and their supporters instead?
I'm neither a Jew nor Palestinian, I'm an American! So I don't really have a dog in this fight.
Why does Israel deserve our support, as opposed to someone else? We share some elements of a common Judeo-Christian culture, of course. All I can say for sure is that Israelis just seem to be people like us, and their enemies are "the other."
I believe the US should support Israel because Israel is strong. Israel stands up for itself. We can know for sure that the IDF is formidable, it won't melt away like snow in spring, like the armies of some of our allies have done. My country admires military prowess, and so we respect Israel. We have plenty of allies that are completely defenseless, they require protection. Israel doesnt; it fights for itself! It's too bad we don't have more allies like Israel. (the peshmerga deserve mention).
One hears disgusting stories about terrorists in Iraq, Gaza, etc., who deliberately attack people who can't defend themselves, often being needlessly cruel, and running away from a battle dressed up in women's skirts. It's despicable. Everyone knows Israelis would never act in this way.
The Israelis have, for the most part, behaved honorably. Some of their enemies have really disgraced themselves. Or so it seems to me.
Israel has probably killed more terrorists than any other country in the world. Something to think about.
For all these reasons, I believe Israel, one of our primary allies, deserves absolute support. Most of my countrymen feel the same way.
African-Americans and Latinos are apparently less inclined to be supportive of Israel and tend to be more sympathetic to the Palestinians, in comparison to whites, according to polls (I won't go into the reasons) and as they comprise a large part of the electorate Israel should begin considering ways to propagandize among these populations to promote a more favorable viewpoint.
Last edited by vimana; 10-29-2010 at 05:48 AM..
Are you an Indian?
Your avatar looks like Indian Mi-26.
Don't try to run. You'll die tired!
With a name like Vimana, go figure! Actually I'm just another American. And my avatar? I build models, and this illustration (not mine) is my current project, an Egyptian Navy Sea King sub hunter. I'm doing the 1/48 SH-3 by Hasegawa. I even gave in and spent a few extra dollars on a resin radome for it, which is coming in the mail.
I'll post pics when it's finished, naturally.
My mistake, flag on the tail is pretty much like India with green in the bottom which I saw it was without glasses.. lol
Don't try to run. You'll die tired!
Canadian PM vows to stand for Israel regardless of the cost
Canadian PM vows to stand for Israel regardless of the cost
Would that in the U.S. we had a president like Stephen Harper. "Harper vows to stand up for Israel," by Jennifer Ditchburn for The Canadian Press, November 8 (thanks to all who sent this in):
OTTAWA - Stephen Harper says he'll take a forceful stand against anti-Israel rhetoric no matter the political cost to his government at international organizations such as the United Nations and the Francophonie.A fantasy, because of the jihad doctrine, which will not allow for the existence of Israel at all.
Nevertheless he added: "Let us also be very clear. A democratic state like Canada cannot be neutral as between a democratic state and a terrorist organization. There is no honest broker between those two."...Exactly. And indeed, those who call for such neutrality, such as the Islamic supremacist Iran shill Reza Aslan, thereby expose the hollowness of their Islamic "moderation."
Harper said Israel may be subjected to fair criticism, and noted that Israel subjects itself to such criticism as part of a healthy, democratic debate. But he spoke of a "solemn duty" to defend the vulnerable and challenge the aggressor at home and abroad.Yes, and that is because they are Islamic jihadists who hold to a belief-system that demands that they make war against and subjugate non-Muslims under the rule of Sharia.
Another US Campus is Home to Medieval Anti-Semitism
Another US Campus is Home to Medieval Anti-Semitism
by David Lev
It would take a lot to shock a guy like Noam Bedein, who runs the Sderot Media Center, which has effectively told the story of that shelled and shell-shocked story to lawmakers, diplomats, tourists, and even world leaders. Dealing as he does with the personal stories of Sderot residents, as well as the with the incitement by Gaza Arab terrorists against Negev residents, Bedein has seen first-hand the effects of Arab propaganda. And, as an articulate English speaker knowledgeable about events in the Middle East, he has gone on several tours of educational and community institutions in the U.S., seeking to educate people there on the real situation in the Middle East.
But on his most recent trip, even the normally unflappable Bedein was taken aback by how hatred of Israel – and medieval-style anti-Semitism, as well – has found a home on the most progressive college campuses. “I've been to hundreds of high schools and university campuses talking about Israel over the years, but the reception – and the aftermath – of my visit to the Austin campus of the University of Texas was the worst example of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic agitation I've ever seen,” Bedein told Israel National News.
Bedein, on a hasbara trip sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America and media watchdog CAMERA to present Israel's side of the story, said that for the first time, he returned home to Sderot “in shock” - such was the level of hatred against him as an Israeli, and as a Jew.
At the Austin campus, Bedein planned to run a workshop titled “Iran – In Israel's Backyard,” in which he presented the plight of Sderot residents who have been living under the threat of Iran-supplied Hamas terrorist missiles for the past dozen years.”
Before even entering the campus, Bedein was greeted at the gates of the school by a barrage of insulting signs and posters, as he has been before, with anti-Israel groups protesting his presence on campus. This,he says, has become par for the course at many campuses when a pro-Israel speaker is known to be arriving.
At his presentations. Bedein said that he usually gets a large group of anti-Israel protesters, whose questions he is able to use to make his points about Israel.
The same thing seemed to be happening in Austin, said Bedein, and although the protests against him seemed particularly sharp, he felt that he could handle it. “The shock came after they uploaded a video of my speech and the protests against me to Youtube,” says Bedein. “They edited the video to make me look like a demon. They put a mask on my face and made me look red around the eyes,” says Bedein, evoking blood. “As someone who grew up in Israel, served in the army, and works as a reporter and photographer, I can say that this is the first time I have ever experienced anti-Semitism,” he says – of a particularly nasty, medieval sort, in which Jews are identified with demons and Satan.
“I came away with a deep appreciation of my Jewish heritage from the exile. It elucidated for me the perception that hatred is alive and well, and that the line we mention in the Passover Hagaddah, 'In each generation they try to destroy us,' is a reality,” Bedein says.
Bedein has another poiint to emphasize “What's really shocking is how little even Jews and supporters of Israel know about what is going on in places like Sderot, so they can respond to attacks,” he says. “There are so many anti-Israel and even pro-Hamas activities and symbols on campus today that supporters of Israel are worn down, really afraid to present even the most basic humanitarian facts about our side of the story. A few years ago I was told on one campus that 'Sderot is too political,'” Bedein continues. “If discussing the suffering of thousands of Jews wihin pre 1967 Israel because of thousands of Hamas rockets after Israel left Gaza is too political, what can we discuss?”
Things have deteriorated so badly, Bedein tells Israel National News, that the greatest challenge today is to give our side the courage and confidence to fight back, so they don't believe the lies about Israel. In fact we have to “preach to the choir. We have to make sure our own people know our side of the story – to provide accurate information about what is really going on, so we don't lose our own people.”
Last edited by Paparock; 11-09-2010 at 05:33 PM..
Canadian PM Harper: A Threat to Jews Is a Threat to All of Us
Canadian PM Harper:
A Threat to Jews Is a Threat to All of Us
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Speaking at an Ottawa conference on fighting anti-Semitism that is part of Holocaust Education Week, the Conservative party leader implicitly agreed with a common analysis that the United Nations recently turned down its bid for a temporary seat on the Security Council because of its solid pro-Israel stand.
“History shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israel mob tells us all too well, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are in the longer term a threat to all of us,” Prime Minister Harper said to an appreciative audience.
"There are, after all, a lot more votes in being anti-Israeli than in taking a stand,” he added. “But as long as I am Prime Minister, whether it is at the United Nations, the Francophone or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost.
“Let us not forget that even now, there are those who choose evil, and would launch another Holocaust if left unchecked.”
Marco Rubio, “I’m going to Israel!”
EJ Press Rubio has called for the United States to move it’s embassy embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, a promise made by previous administrations, but never carried out.
“Senator-elect Rubio and his wife Jeanette will be making a private and personal visit to the Holy Land next week,” his spokespan Alex Burgos told AFP by email, stressing that details of the trip “will be kept private.”
“Senator-elect Rubio is also working with pro-Israel supporters to make an official trip back to Israel early next year after he is sworn into office,” said Burgos.
Rubio, 39, the son of Cuban exiles, cruised to easy victory in Tuesday’s elections over his Democratic and independent rivals and was immediately anointed one of the Republican party’s rising stars and potential vice presidential hopeful.
“He’s never been to Israel before, he’s always told us he wants to go,” Israel’s deputy consul general in Miami, Paul Hirschson, said.
Political pundits say that Rubio’s visit, so soon after the election win, is meant to show that the (pro-Israel) US Congress in its current form will continue where it left off — at least where Israel is concerned.
According to FloridaIndependent.com, in a speech Rubio gave on Israel in June to the Republican Jewish Coalition, he called on the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem and talked “about the need for the United States to stand with Israel without equivocation or hesitation.”
In that speech, according to the website, he also criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the U.S.-Israel relationship and said that the U.S. should not push Israel to a settlement freeze before negotiations. Like America, he said, Israel is an “exceptional” nation.
The elections saw five Jewish Democratic representatives lose their seats in the Senate but the Republican victory in the House of Representatives means that the only Jew in the party, Eric Cantor from Virginia, is set to become House Majority Leader.
Among the Jewish politicians whose terms came to an end were: Ron Klein and Alan Grayson from Florida, Steve Kagan from Wisconsin and John Adler from New Jersey.
Many of the strongest friends and supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship were reelected on Tuesday. These included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democratic representative from Nevada, and Republican John Boehner from Ohio, widely tipped to be named Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives, which his party seized from Democratic control.
Palin: Jerusalem is Israel’s Capital – not a Settlement
Palin: Jerusalem is Israel’s Capital – not a Settlement
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Sarah Palin, the unofficial Tea Party candidate for president, told 85 GOP freshmen Congressmen in an open letter, “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not a settlement.”
Writing on the Fox News website, the 2008 vice presidential candidate for the Republican party advised the new legislators, “You can stand with allies like Israel, not criticize them. You can let the President know what you believe… and stick to the principles that propelled your campaigns.”
He other comments on foreign policy regarded Iran and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. She urged the Republican newcomers to “stick to our principles: strong defense, free trade, nurturing allies, and steadfast opposition to America’s enemies. We are the most powerful country on earth and the world is better off because of it."
"Our president does not seem to understand this. If we withdraw from the world, the world will become a much more dangerous place.”
Palin, who visited Israel during her campaign with 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain, called on the new Republicans to “push President Obama to finish the job right in Iraq and get the job done in Afghanistan; otherwise we who are war-weary will forever question why America’s finest are sent overseas to make the ultimate sacrifice with no clear commitment to victory from those who send them.”
Without mentioning a military attack on Iran, she said everyone “should be prepared to stand with the president against Iran’s nuclear aspirations using whatever means necessary to ensure the mullahs in Tehran do not get their hands on nuclear weapons. And you can stand with the Iranian people who oppose the tyrannical rule of the clerics and concretely support their efforts to win their freedom – even if the president does not.”
The Tea Party, which has instilled an old-fashioned patriotic and anti-big government zeal into the Republican party, has called for cuts in foreign aid. Palin advised the new Congressmen not to cut the defense budget when it comes to facing “so many threats – from Islamic extremists to a nuclear Iran to a rising China. As Ronald Reagan said, ‘We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.’
Palin’s open letter focused on undoing the “damage that has been done in the last two years,” since the election of U.S. President Barack Obama. She reminded the legislators that the Republican party campaigned on promises to cut government spending and repeal the health care law that President Obama pushed through Congress.
She also warned them against praise from certain media elements. ”When the left in the media pat you on the back, quickly reassess where you are and readjust, for the liberals' praise is a warning bell you must heed,” Palin declared. “Trust me on that.”
Israel’s Fight is Our Fight »
Israel’s Fight is Our Fight
Pastor John C. Hagee delivers a stirring defense of Israel at David Horowitz's Restoration Weekend
[Editors' Note: Below is a speech given by Pastor John C. Hagee at the Restoration Weekend event hosted this past weekend by the David Horowitz Freedom Center in Palm Beach, Florida.]
Introduction by Dr. Bob: Thank you, Andrew, and good evening, everyone.
John C. Hagee is a remarkable man, with many talents. He is a pastor, a philanthropist, an author, and an inspirational speaker, as you will hear.
As a young pastor, he founded Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas — a nondenominational evangelical church which has grown under his leadership to more than 19,000 active members. But in addition to those 19,000 members, he reaches millions of people in 235 countries around the world, through his international television ministry.
As a philanthropist, his focus has been on helping the people of Israel. Over the years, John Hagee Ministries has raised more than $70 million to help humanitarian causes in Israel.
And to further his support for Israel in 2006, Dr. Hagee founded Christians United for Israel, or CUFI. CUFI is a grassroots international organization that has grown in four short years to over 500,000 members.
CUFI provides a platform through which every pro-Israel Christian in America can speak out and act in support of Israel. Each month, CUFI holds 40 pro-Israel events, including events such as Nights to Honor Israel, in cities across America. And in addition, it holds an annual summit in Washington, D.C., where CUFI delegates meet face-to-face with members of Congress to lobby and support [of] Israel, the promised land.
And with all that, he still finds time to write. He is the author of 28 books, including two that were on the New York Times Best Sellers List. His most recent book, “Can America Survive?” was published just a few months ago by Simon & Schuster.
I first heard Dr. Hagee in 2007 at the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C. Even there, among highly regarded public speakers, he stood out. He was without a doubt the most charismatic and dynamic speaker at the conference. He mesmerized the audience with both the content and the energy of his presentation and received thunderous applause and numerous standing ovations.
I am truly honored tonight to introduce to you this evening a very special man, a man with an important mission, which includes supporting our traditional American values, supporting the Constitution of the United States, and supporting the Jewish State of Israel. Ladies and gentlemen, Pastor John C. Hagee.
John C. Hagee: Thank you for the privilege and pleasure of speaking at this important gathering tonight.
I’d like to begin by thanking David Horowitz and the David Horowitz Freedom Center for all that they have done for the freedom of America, especially on our college campuses.
We all know how hard it is to stand up for truth on America’s college campuses these days, when pro-Israel speakers are being shouted down and pro-Israel students are being publicly ridiculed by professors, unbelievably. This is why I’m so very grateful to have friends like David Horowitz and the David Horowitz Freedom Center, providing invaluable information, training and support for those brave students who are willing to confront the lies and the religious hatred of radical Islam.
We meet tonight at a difficult and dangerous juncture for America and for the cause of freedom around the world. Like many of you here tonight, I have subscribed to the concept that the Jewish people are the West’s canary in the coalmine. History has repeatedly demonstrated that when the Jewish people are singled out for persecution, the freedom of all citizens is at risk.
Therefore, when the Jewish people are being attacked, all Americans should stand up and wake up, and express their outrage because we are next. As Americans, we must snap out of this politically correct fog and admit that we are at war with radical Islam.
This is a war of survival. This is a war of good versus evil. This is a war of light versus darkness. This is a war between those who love life and those who worship death. It’s an easy choice. But that’s the reality. And the reality is, like it or not, you and your children and your grandchildren are in this war. There will be a winner, and there will be a loser. And to the winner goes our children and our grandchildren.
And tonight, we must commit ourselves to absolute victory over radical Islam. No exception.
Today, the Jewish people are still our canary in the coalmine. It is the Jewish State in particular that serves as the West’s warning system. America must wake up to the understanding that Iran fully intends to destroy the United States of America. When someone threatens to kill you, you should take it seriously.
We must recognize those who threaten Israel have the United States in their sights. To anyone with eyes to see and ears that hear, it is clear that Israel is in the greatest danger it has faced since six Arab armies tried to strangle the Jewish State in the birth canal in 1948.
I know that during difficult days such as these, when it seems that the whole world is against Israel, many friends of Israel such as yourselves nervously scan the horizon for friends. You look toward the United Nations, which Dore Gold calls the Tower of Babel. And I agree. You look at Europe, where the ghost of Hitler is again walking across the stage of human history.
You open your newspapers and read about America’s universities, where Israel is being viciously vilified by students taught by American — taught by professors whose Middle Eastern chairs are sponsored by Saudi Arabia, whose fees are paid with petrol dollars that went through our gas tank. You look to America’s mainline churches and their initiatives to divest from Israel. You go to the bookstore, and you see slanderous titles from a former US President, and you feel very much alone.
I came here tonight to speak about Christians United for Israel, and the millions of evangelicals in America who have a deep, faith-based belief, to love Israel, to speak up for Israel, to stand up for Israel; to stand up enough to, once a year, annually, charge up Capitol Hill with 5,000-plus delegates from every state in the Union, visiting as much as 87 percent of the US Congress, saying, Stop pressuring Israel to give land to terrorists who will not recognize Israel’s right to exist.
I came here tonight to deliver a message from those 50 million of — for those 50 million evangelicals. And I want to say this very clearly. Tonight, Israel is not alone. Your fight is our fight; your enemies are our enemies. We’re in this together to the end.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new day in America. The sleeping giant of Christian Zionism has awakened. Christians are joining Jews in speaking out against militant Islam. As you know, Ahmadinejad poses a threat to the State of Israel that promises nothing less than a nuclear holocaust.
I have been saying on national television, in churches and auditoriums across America, it’s 1938 all over again. Iran is Germany, and Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler of the Middle East.
We must stop Iran’s nuclear threat. And candidly toothless, limp-wristed sanctions from Washington is simply not going to get it done.
The only way to win a nuclear war is to make certain it never starts. Iran’s president has not limited his maniacal threats to Israel; he’s also asked fellow Iranians to imagine a world without America. That’s pretty clear. It’s a clear threat to destroy the United States of America.
I have something to say to the president of Iran. Mr. Ahmadinejad, do not threaten the United States of America. Do not threaten the State of Israel. Do not threaten the State of Israel, saying, “They will pass in a sudden storm.” In the Bible, whenever Pharaoh threatened the Jews of Egypt, he became fish food in the Red Sea. Whenever Haman threatened the Jews in Persia, which is modern-day Iran, he and his sons hung on the very gallows he built for the Jewish people.
Our message, Mr. Ahmadinejad — that threats against Israel have a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may be well speaking about your own demise when you say, “Israel will pass away with a sudden storm.” But you are not talking about Israel’s demise. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is watching you. King David writes, “The God that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” Christians believe there’s a spy in the sky, and he’s Jewish.
Mr. Ahmadinejad, the Christians of America will not sit by in silence and watch you plan and plot a nuclear holocaust. There will never be another holocaust, not on our watch, not ever.
Beyond the threat from Iran, there’s another, more subtle threat that concerns me. I am concerned that in the coming months yet another attempt will be made to parcel out parts of Israel in a futile attempt to appease Israel’s enemies in the Middle East. I believe that the misguided souls in Europe, the political brothel that is the United Nations, and sadly our own administration will once again try to turn Israel into what Churchill called crocodile food. Winston Churchill, one of my favorite statesmen of all time, said — and I quote — “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile in the futile hope that it will eat him last.”
In 1938, Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland was turned into crocodile food for the Nazi German beast. The Nazi beast smelled the weakness in the appeasers, ate the food, and then marched on to devour most of Europe and systematically slaughter six million people. Six million Jewish people.
We are again hearing calls to appease the enemies of Israel. Once again, those who would appease seek to do so at the expense of Israel. Israel is always the one called upon to sacrifice. They tell us that if we want the Sunnis and the Shiites to stop massacring each other in Iraq, then Israel must give up land. And if we want the Syrians and Hezbollah to stop murdering the leaders of Lebanon, then Israel must give up land. And if we want the Saudis to permit women to drive or vote, the obvious answer is that Israel should give up more land.
And if we want the sun to rise in the east and set in the west, the obvious answer is Israel should give up some more land.
Let me be very clear about this — Israel is not the problem here. Scapegoating Israel is not going to solve the problem. The problem is Arab rejection of Israel’s right to exist.
The problem is Israel does not have a legitimate partner for peace. The problem is radical Islam’s bloodthirsty embrace of a theocratic dictatorship that believes they have a mandate from God to kill Christians and Jews. The problem is the failure of moderates in the Arab and Muslim world to stand up and rein in these Islamic terrorists.
If the moderate Arabs believe that murdering Christians and Jews is wrong, then stand up and speak up. Your silence is deafening.
Appeasement, my friends, is not the answer. To quote the great evangelical abolitionist [William] Wilberforce — he said, “Appeasement is nothing more than surrender on the installment plan.”
America should not pressure Israel to give up more land. And America must never pressure Israel to divide the city of Jerusalem.
What the Jewish people do with the city of Jerusalem is the business of the Jewish people, not the United States of America.
So I’m often asked this question — why do Christians support Israel? We support Israel because the Bible is a Zionist text, and we believe the Bible. There are only two ways to live — the Torah way, and the wrong way. And we choose the Torah way.
Genesis 12:3 says, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” You don’t need to be a rocket scientist in theology to figure that out. Good happens to those who bless Israel; bad things happen to people who attack the Jewish people. History proves that. Where are the nations that have persecuted the Jewish people? Where is Pharaoh and his army? Where are the Babylonians? Where are the Greeks? Where’s the Roman Empire? Where are the Romans? Where is that goose-stepping lunatic Adolph Hitler and his Nazi hordes? All are historic footnotes in the bone yard of human history.
Where is Israel? Where are the Jewish people? They are alive and well, they are thriving, they’re prospering, they’re growing. Even in adversity, they are advancing better than any nation in the world. Where is Israel? Where are those who were scattered throughout the Diaspora? The mighty right hand of God has gathered them from the nations of the world, and Israel was reborn May 1948.
Therefore, we can say Israel lives. We can shout it from the housetop that Israel lives. We can say it until every Islamic terrorist group hears it — Israel lives. Let every tinhorn dictator in the Middle East hear it — Israel lives. Let it be heard from the halls of the UN. Let it echo down the marble halls of the presidential palace in Iran — Israel lives. Let it ring in the terrorist camps of Osama bin Laden — Israel lives, Israel lives, Israel lives.
So why do we support Israel? Not only because of biblical fact, but because Christians owe a debt of gratitude to the Jewish people. Everything that we have, you gave us — the Torah of God, the patriarchs — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — the prophets — Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zachariah, Amos, Josiah, Joel — not a Baptist in the bunch — all of them Jewish.
The first family of Christianity, Mary, Joseph and Jesus; the apostles. That’s why a rabbi by the name of Jesus Christ said, Salvation is of the Jews. That’s not a text you hear very many Christians quote, but it’s very much in the New Testament.
The point is, if you take away the Jewish contribution to Christianity, there would be no Christianity. The point is, Judaism does not need Christianity to explain its existence, but Christianity cannot explain its existence without the Jewish experience.
Now, say that on national television, and that’ll get you more mail than a truck full.
The bottom line is this — I support Israel for the same reasons that most Jewish people do. The fact is that what we have in common as Christians and Jews is far greater than the things we’ve allowed to separate us over the centuries.
But now, in the United States of America, for the first time in our history, Christians are rallying to the cause of Israel in greater numbers, with greater rapidity, than ever in the history of the United States of America.
Let me give just a short history of the birth of Christians United for Israel in America. For many years, Christians went to Washington singing “Amazing Grace” out on the mall. I didn’t go because I told them it’s a waste of time. They said, “Why?” I said, “Because Congress could care less about your singing ‘Amazing Grace’ out on the grass. But when you walk into their office, 75, 80 of you, and say, ‘I live in your district, and I vote for you or against you based on your support of Israel,’ now you’re moving the ball down the field.”
That’s what we’ve begun doing for the first time ever in our history. As the Iranian threat began to loom ever larger, I decided that the time had come to unify America’s pro-Israel Christians in a massive, proactive, national movement. To accomplish this goal, I launched Christians United for Israel in February 2006 and invited 400 major Christian leaders from around the country. They were the pastors of the largest churches, owners of the radio, television networks; presidents of universities and owners of publishing companies. If you’d have dropped a bomb on that church that day, evangelical faith in America would’ve been backed up 100 years.
It was my wondrous privilege to ask them if they would join in this effort to assist the Jewish people — listen to what I’m about to say — without any conversionary attempt being made. And if they would, would they please raise their hand? And 400 strong immediately raised their hand and said, We will stand with Israel unconditionally.
In less than five years, we have grown to become the largest pro-Israel organization in the world. We currently have over 500,000 members, including thousands of America’s top spiritual leaders. Through these leaders, our message concerning Israel reaches millions of Christians in America and around the world. Not through the New York Times, but through Christians United for Israel.
I had dinner with, supper with Dore Gold this past Monday night. And I was talking to him that it would be good if the Israeli government would form a media war room, where they would release the stories they have first to 400,000 spiritual leaders in America, let us have it for 24 hours to send it to our people, and then send it to the New York Times and see what they could do with it to destroy it.
This year, we began two important initiatives — a Hispanic outreach to bring America’s rapidly growing Hispanic churches into the pro-Israel camp, and an African-American outreach to bring even more of America’s black churches into the pro-Israel camp.
We have formed an alliance with over 25,000 Hispanic churches in one year. Listen to that. Many of these new CUFI members are committed Democrats. And that’s important. We are a one-issue organization — Israel. Israel. Israel.
When I looked at those 400 leaders and said, We’re not going to Washington to discuss all of the hot-button issues we like to get hot under the collar about — we’re going to talk about one thing from the time we arrive and the time we leave — Israel. Then, we can recognize that as these new CUFI members are coming on — and many of them are Democrats — that they must confront those in their political party who would abandon the Jewish State in their time of need.
Our campus program, CUFI On Campus, has continued to grow and flourish, as we have currently a CUFI presence in over 350 college campuses, and our numbers are growing daily. We have sent two student groups on leadership missions to Israel. And next month, we will be hosting 70 student leaders in San Antonio for our first Winter Student Leadership session.
As has been stated tonight, CUFI conducts an average of 40 pro-Israel events in cities across America every month. Every month, 40 pro-Israel events.
In church after church, pastor after pastor — they’re telling their congregations for the first time in their history the truth about Israel. Our members are then leaving those churches and sharing that truth with their family members and their friends and their neighbors. That’s why today, just today, our membership has grown over 20,000 members. It is growing that rapidly. And every July, we gather in Washington to let Congress know that we as Christians are standing with Israel through thick-and-thin.
In conclusion, — almost 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy flew to the divided city of Berlin at the height of the Cold War. He flew there at a time when West Berlin was a tiny outpost of freedom surrounded by Communist tyranny. He flew there at a time when West Berlin was surrounded, hounded, boycotted and hungry. He flew there to send a strong message of solidarity and resolve to the brave people of West Berlin.
Here’s what John F. Kennedy said in that place, at that time — “Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum (I am a Roman citizen). Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’” I am a Berliner. “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’” We need to remember President Kennedy’s words and actions now more than ever.
Today, I stand in the greatest nation on the face of the earth, the United States of America. I’m here with people who cherish our nation, people who cherish our Judeo-Christian heritage and our ally, Israel. I stand here at a time when Israel is a tiny outpost of freedom and democracy in a sea of tyranny. I stand here as Israel is surrounded, hounded, boycotted and threatened. I stand here with a strong message of solidarity with my Jewish brethren, the apple of God’s eye, the people of covenant and the cherished people. And that covenant has not been broken.
At this difficult juncture in our history, permit me to say something straight from the heart — today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is, “I am an Israeli.” All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Israel. Therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, “I am an Israeli.”
When international bodies ignore the world’s genocides, massacres and racism to attach Israel, we must stand together and proclaim as one body, “I am an Israeli.” When college professors teach lies about Israel, and students loudly call for Israel’s destruction, we must proclaim, “I am an Israeli.” When flotillas filled with militants seek to turn Gaza into an Iranian port, we must stand together, saying, “I am an Israeli.” When the world condemns Israel for defending itself from thousands of missiles and mortar attacks, we must proclaim, “I am an Israeli.”
When terrorists threaten to kill Israeli men, women and children, we must proudly proclaim, “I am an Israeli.” When madmen threaten to destroy the Jewish State, we must proudly proclaim, “I am an Israeli.”
Israel and America share the same love of freedom. Israel and America share the same passion for democracy. Israel and America share the same Judeo-Christian values. Israel and America share the same love of life. Israel’s enemies are our enemies. Israel’s fight is our fight. If a line has to be drawn, draw the line around Christians and Jews. We are united, we are one, we are indivisible. We will not be discouraged. We will not be defeated.
In the end, when the last battle has been fought and the last bullet has been fired, the flag of Israel will still be flying over the ancient walls of the holy city of Jerusalem. The lion will lie down with the lamb. Men will beat their swords into plowshares and study war no more. And Israel will still be the praise of all the earth.
May God bless each of you, God bless Israel, and God bless the United States of America.
Last edited by Paparock; 11-24-2010 at 05:06 PM..
Hello all and I hope some of you had a happy "Hanukkah". An "Vimana" please post any scale model work in this section: Israel Military Hobby Link
An the QT is Why Should the US Support Israel? Why not?, we have the same foe. A bigger question is, is the nation of Israel, a friend or foe of America?
Now with that asked. Mini of you have seen things stated to the Israeli world on this fourm, that Obama is and will side with Islam against Israel. Now once again I feel that asking the question on rather is Israel, a friend or foe of America?
Mind you guys, I have three jewish frends here in the room with me. An what I get from them on the hole friend or foe issue, is that mini Israelis have low feelings about americans in general., especially so called african americans. Now that one is in office, those feelings are even lower with all that they hear from anglos' in this country.
You know I love that I'm apart of one of the hated groups of people in the world next to the so called "radical muslims". Unlike the radical muslims my people have and will always give our lives to protect those that my and do hate us. We have a strong love of the lord. An mini of us believe, that we must protect the people of the holy land no matter what.
It's just a sham that as histoy has shown us. That even when we are willing to support those that realy don't like us(Blacks that is) that we are still looked down apon. Not only be othere americans but across the world.
I tell you know! That if I where called apone to protect any Israeli or christian here in the US or in Israel. I would gladly give my life in service of the one and true god and savior to the Jews and Christians.
Even though Vimana isnt a believer in ETs, he is a great student of UFOlogy from what I hear
Shalom to everyone!
No extreme is good. Neither in religion, nor in science.
"If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence.. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel."
~ Golda Meir~
If Obama has seemed to be anti Israeli or anti America for that matter, its because he has done so many things to proove it to us all!
Snubbing Bibi Netanyahus visit, apologizing to muslims for the war on terror, stuff that seriously makes us question his loyalties!
I wonder why you feel you have to defend Jews, when you are accusing them of being racists?
Race card, race card, race card is that all you know in your vocab?
Maybe your welfare check didnt come in, and dont blame the whites or Jews for that!
Yeah Im playing the race game since you decided to play it
Shalom to everyone!
No extreme is good. Neither in religion, nor in science.
"If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence.. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel."
~ Golda Meir~
Canadian PM Steven Harper has amazed me many times recently, he had boycotted a conference, I dont remember if it was a UN conference or the non alliance one, where he said there is too much Israel bashing done, so he would not attend, that man makes the good Canadians proud! God bless him!
Shalom to everyone!
No extreme is good. Neither in religion, nor in science.
"If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence.. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel."
~ Golda Meir~
The Deep Superficiality of Western thinking about the Arab-Israeli conflict
Tom Friedman and the Deep Superficiality of Western thinking about the Arab-Israeli conflict
Tom Friedman’s latest effort to offer advice on the “peace negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority offers some in-depth insight into how superficial much of current Western thinking is on the matter. In it, he expresses some exasperation with Israel’s behavior – like a spoiled child – in refusing Obama’s request for an extension of the settlement freeze. In the process of laying out his case, Friedman reveals a curious tunnel vision which, I think, is symptomatic of many Westerners.
It’s not that Friedman’s approach, what I call the PCP1 (Politically Correct Paradigm) is necessarily wrong (which I think it is, at least right now). It’s that Friedman clearly doesn’t even consider that the other approach, the JHSP (Jihad Honor-Shame Paradigm) might be more accurate for analyzing the situation and devising successful strategies to deal with it (which I think it is, at least right now). And it’s not that these paradigms are “scientific” in the sense that one’s right and the other’s wrong. They’re about people and cultures, and therefore much less pre-determined.
But since, if the JHSP is the appropriate one for this case at this time, and you apply strategies based on the PCP, the consequences are far more than simple failure. When post-modern masochism (it’s our fault) comes together with pre-modern sadism (it’s your fault), the marriage is not a very pretty sight.
As a prelude to fisking Friedman, let’s just for a moment, review how differently PCP and JHSP analyze the key issue he treats in this op-ed piece – Israeli settlements on the West Bank. For the Politically-Correct Paradigm (PCP) – which Friedman and the overwhelming majority of the Mainstream News Media (MSNM) channel, as illustrated by Jim Clancy of CNN – they are the obstacle to peace. Settlements beyond the “Green Line” (’67 border) compromise the “land for peace” formula; they eat away at the land that Palestinians want to create their state side by side with Israel.
They are, from the PCP, illegal (or should be if they’re not); they create enormous friction with the local population; they’re troubling evidence of Israel’s expansive tendencies; they ruined the Oslo Peace Process; and it’s entirely understandable that Palestinians are deeply angered by them and demand their cessation. In order for the Peace negotiations to advance, it’s a minimal demand. Settlements have the power to drive “peace” advocates to call for murdering “every last man, woman and child“, to drive Wikipedia to its least impartial entry. Obama reflected this thinking when he announced his intention to “solve this problem in a year or two” at the beginning of his presidency by pressuring Israel to call a freeze.
Of course, the evidence systematically contradicts the PCP belief that the solution is through settlement dismantling and “land for peace.” Since Israel has already twice agreed to dismantle settlements in the territory it cedes to the Palestinians (Barak 2000, Olmert 2007), construction in 95-97% of the West Bank (i.e., beyond the Maale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel blocks adjacent to the Green line), far from being an obstacle to peace, just means that the Palestinians will get to enjoy the fruit of Israeli labor. As for work in areas that even the PA has (in principle) agreed will stay in Israel, they’re not an issue. So why do the Palestinians make such a fuss over them?
For the Jihad Honor-Shame Paradigm (JHSP), most (if not all) Palestinians view all of Israel as a settlement; they do not want (the West Bank) land for peace; their definition of peace is “from the river to the sea.” Some – like Abbas – say what we want to hear about compromise in English, but all, in Arabic agree, and teach their children, to expect and demand it all, an effort which has born fruit in the current generation of irredentist Palestinians, 78% of whom feel that Palestine from the river to the sea is an essential goal.
From this perspective, Palestinian objections to building in the West Bank settlements (including East Jerusalem) is ploy to sandbag negotiations, and insistence on no building on any section beyond the Green line is a sign of how little they hold by their agreement to make border adjustments. In short, it’s a sign of bad faith.
Thus, settlements illustrate just how wrong-headed Obama’s approach has been in this regard. Taking Palestinian complaints that the settlements were intolerable to them, and the major obstacle to peace, Obama pressured Israel to put a freeze on building in them as a sign to the Palestinians that they were willing to make concessions for peace. Rather than bring on reciprocal moves from the PA, it made them more intransigent. It literally created the current problem: for the first time in the history of the “peace process” since 1991, the PA refused to negotiate without a settlement freeze.
In other words, Obama’s strategy backfired. For those of us familiar with the dynamics of the JHSP, this was more than predictable. For those committed to the PCP – the vast majority of the policy makers and MSNM, this didn’t quite sink in. On the contrary, they continued to focus on the settlements as the problem, and demand a further extension of the freeze as a way to get the Palestinians to be more “reasonable.” No lesson learned.
But the problem goes much deeper, and its depth may explain the reluctance of the PCPers to register the failure of (civil) expectations. The very idea that the settlements need to be uprooted, every last one of them, clearly implies that the Palestinians plan a Judenrein state. This is hardly a good omen for Palestinian ability to establish a state that can recognize the human and civil rights of minorities, and presumably a violation of all those principles that progressive use to criticize Israel‘s lack of tolerance today. And yet the PCPers have no problem with this demand; indeed, it’s taken as axiomatic that Israel must accede. Apparently there’s not much appetite for facing the formidable obstacles to peace from the Palestinian side.
But this extremist demand that assumes no possibility of shared space under Palestinian sovereignty, and that excludes Jews from some of their most ancient holy places (among the oldest in human history), points towards a more serious problem: for many Palestinians, especially in their zero-sum political culture, it’s an occupation “from the river to the sea.” Indeed, Tel Aviv is occupied; all of it is to be “returned” or, better yet, seized violently. As the Arab proverb especially popular in the early Second Intifada holds: What was taken by force must be taken back by force!
So the settlement issue is indeed a central issue, but not the way PCP sees it. It’s not the cause of the hostility, but a symptom, and its importance to Palestinians reflects not their concern for getting a decent state, but rather their way to avoid negotiations that might lead to a decent state only on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is a perfect illustration of our cognitive egocentrism that the foundation of all our strategic thinking holds that the Palestinians will make peace if they get their own nation on the land Israel conquered in the ’67 war. And if, as so much evidence indicates, that’s the last thing they want?
As is so often the case with the Palestinians, moreover, what they don’t do is more important than what they do do. The real problem for the last two decades (since Oslo), has not been the plethora of Israeli settlements, but the dearth of Palestinian ones. Had Arafat and his fellows in the PA cared about their people, they would have been building settlements in Area A for Palestinian refugees who preferred living in dignity under Palestinian sovereignty rather than wait in a refugee camp till they can go back and be a minority in Israel.
Not every refugee would have chosen that path, but surely there were many who, given the option, would gladly have chosen to get out of the camps. I’m sure that Habitat for Humanity would have been delighted to help build those Palestinian settlements. Instead, the leadership assumed that the refugees should stay in the camps as a weapon against Israel, and the West looked the other way. Few things illustrate the Palestinian and Arab leadership’s irredentist mindset, and their contribution to the suffering of the Palestinian people, than how they treat their own refugees – what Gazan-born Nonie Darwish calls “an Arab-made misery.” If the Palestinian leadership really wanted peace, they’d be resettling refugees right and left in the land they control.
By reading the Israeli settlements the way they do, PCP not only overlooks all the evidence of Palestinian “bad faith” in negotiating a “secure peace,” it demands that Israel make both real and symbolic concessions to these bad faith demands. Consider such “peace gestures” from the point of view of the hard zero-sum players in the Palestinian camp (and others in the region), which views what Westerner’s consider acts of generosity – admissions of fault, concessions on the ground – as signs of weakness and opportunities for renewed aggression, and one begins to understand why there’s a good deal of hostility in Israel to the one-sided demands the US is putting on them. It’s a recipe not for peace, but for more violence. This strategy doesn’t just threaten Israel, it’s most likely outcome will be bad for anyone, like Friedman, who wants a “secure peace.”
Friedman’s PCP simple-mindedness fisked below.
NB: I’m not defending Netanyahu’s refusal to extend the settlement freeze; I’m criticizing the logic upon which the request – with its centrality and urgency – is based.
Just Knock It OffOf course, one might argue that Hizbullah and Hamas are spoiled by the West, by UNIFIL troops and by the EU, which seems determined to pour money into Gaza and the West Bank no matter what’s being done with it. As Romirowsky puts it, “Being Palestinian means never having to say you’re sorry.” As for Iran and Syria, Obama has spoiled them both by not punishing them for their direct participation in the war against NATO troops in Iraq. (A policy that Mearsheimer was only too happy to support with his assurances that “Iran [was] not at war with us… thankfully.”)
But the key statement in this paragraph is that Israel gave up land – as it did in the Oslo Process and the Lebanon withdrawal, and in every case, found that their concessions brought on not reciprocal concessions, but still more violence. This dynamic, understood, changes the way we should interpret the meaning of paths to peace, none of which will appear in the rest of this article.
And here’s another stubborn fact: Israel today really is behaving like a spoiled child.Fact? This isn’t even a pre-post-modern use of the term. This is a judgment, and a harsh one at that. Does Friedman really think this is a “fact.” Does he consider his judgments so “objective” (another pre-post-modern term) that they have the status of “fact”? We’ll discuss where the spoiled childishness lies below. For the moment, just note the rhetoric.
Please spare me the nonsense that President Obama is anti-Israel. At a time when the president has made it one of his top priorities to build a global coalition to stop Iran from making a nuclear weapon, he took the very logical view that if he could advance the peace process in the Middle East it would give him much greater leverage to get the Europeans and U.N. behind tougher sanctions on Iran. At the same time, Obama believed — what a majority of Israelis believe — that Israel can’t remain a Jewish democracy in the long run if it continues to control 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank.This is a good example of the way Friedman depends on conventional “wisdom” without question, assuming that the general consensus of the folks he spends his time with must be accurate. Not much room to dissent here: presumably anyone who disagrees is spouting “nonsense.”
But allow me to politely disagree with several of the arguments he adduces to make his point that Obama is not anti-Israel. First, the idea of linkage, that “solving the Arab-Israeli problem” would somehow influence the Europeans and the UN to fight Iranian nuclear ambitions strikes me as a) a pretty wild Rube-Goldberg machine; and b) an unbelievably risky gamble. No one’s been able to resolve this matter, not even Clinton with a two-term presidency and a great deal of good will all around. So to think that you can quickly resolve a century-old conflict as a prelude to dealing with an immediate problem with a very short fuse (Iran’s getting the bomb), strikes me as not “very logical” but “very silly.”
Rather, consider what happened to Clinton’s seven-year effort: it blew up in his (and everyone’s) face, and clearly made things worse all around. To think that Obama could actually rush through a “patch-up” job in this conflict and that would somehow convince the Europeans and the UN nations – whose self-interest has not yet gotten them to unite against an Iranian program which will destabilize the entire region, strikes me as folly. And yet, for Friedman, this piece of strategy strikes him as “very logical.” Whose logic? Our Western, positive-sum logic (which doesn’t even work that well with Europeans)? Or their zero-sum, remorseless logic whereby they cannot win if we (Israel, the US, the West) win?
And yet it is precisely this bizarre “logic” that permits Obama to feel that pressuring Israel into initiating and unilateral concessions will bring “peace.” And it’s precisely the failure to understand the players and their motivations, to understand the Palestinian “logic,” that produces the now-predictable response of Palestinian “negotiators” to Israeli concessions – more demands, if not violence. In this Obama pursues a foreign policy within a paradigm much closer to the view of Walt-Mearsheimer than any of his predecessors.
So whether or not Obama doesn’t like Israel – no one there feels the “love” – his foreign policy dealings with her have shown a degree of hostility that no American President since Eisenhower has ever expressed, including a policy of duplicity at the UN. Israel’s ambassador to the UN reported off the record that as soon as Obama became president, even friends moved away: It was open season. Indeed, when it comes to the key dimension of “honor” and “shame,” until he ran into the reality of broad-based American support for Israel, he systematically shamed Israeli and “respected” the Palestinian sensibilities. Which is why, when the Israelis began their settlement freeze on Obama’s demand, the Palestinians not only increased their demands – total settlement freeze along the ’67 borders, or no negotiations – but Obama let them get away with it.
“Nonsense” is a strange word to use in describing the substantive issues involved in assessing the proposition: “Is Obama anti-Israel?” Is he personally anti-Israel or just “objectively” so (as Marx might put it)? There’s obviously plenty of room to discuss here on both points, a case to be made on both sides. So why the summary dismissal? Friedman elaborates his argument:
On top of it all, while pressing Israel to stop expanding settlements for as little as 60 days, Obama ordered his vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. James E. “Hoss” Cartwright of the Marines, to lead a U.S. team to work with Israel’s military on an unprecedented package of security assistance to enable Israel to maintain its “qualitative edge” over its neighbors. And, for all this, Obama is decried as anti-Israel. What utter nonsense.One could just as easily explain Obama’s stepped-up technological cooperation between Israel and the US as an offer aimed at getting Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, so hardly clinching proof of his not being anti-Israel. And yet Friedman now feels he’s made a case to call the opposing position “utter nonsense.” Apparently we’re not dealing with reasoned argumentation here; more likely with rhetorical assertion designed to support a statement of faith, a dogma in which one’s opposition is [must be seen to be] at best, silly.
None of this, alas, deals with the real problems, the problems of attitude which have made this conflict so difficult. None of Friedman’s proof’s even begins to address the real question: Is Obama’s embrace of a “let’s all get together and make peace” approach appropriate in 2010? Or is it recklessly foolish, a disaster not only for Israel, but for Europe, for the USA, for the West. For those with an alternative paradigmatic view of this conflict, one with a great deal of empirical support, Obama’s approach to dealing with the Middle East is counter-indicated. It’s a prolongation of a gambit that suits our Western temperaments: “We’ll be nice (show respect, stand down, self-criticize, make concessions); and you’ll reciprocate.”
It’s a fine gambit, and works more often than not. But every once in a while, it runs up against a different logic: that of Arab/Muslim political culture. It’s the one Israel has run up against now three major times, during the Oslo Peace Process 1993-2000, leaving Lebanon in 2000, and leaving Gaza in 2005. At least in this conflict, concessions actually provoke violence. Israeli concessions, at this point, are guaranteed to produce the opposite result. Every time the US forces Israel into a concession, it’s a message to their enemies that Israel is getting weaker, and they have no incentive to make peace. The only way out of the impasse is acknowledge the failure of this approach, at least under current circumstances.
Of course, realizing the problem only creates a more painful one: there is no “peace now” via Israeli concessions. The bigger they are – back to ’67 borders (i.e., a divided Jerusalem including giving up the Jewish quarter in the Old City) – the more aggression they will invite. The notion that anyone from the outside can step in and discourage that dynamic with “boots on the ground” is seriously taxing the reality principle.
What Obama won’t do, the only move that serious thinking and the experience of the 10-month settlement freeze that brought on a ten-month negotiating freeze from the Palestinians, would recommend, is put the pressure on the Palestinians. After all, why should they demand the settlement freeze? They had it and blew it (by Friedman’s/Obama’s/J-Street’s very own logic). Why should Obama put up with such nonsense? They say, “we have to say no sometime.” Obama can say, “Now’s not the time to say no.”
But Friedman seems oblivious to these issues (despite his mention of the phenomenon in his opening paragraph). For him, Israel’s resistance is literally incomprehensible.
Given what Obama has done, and is trying to do, it is hardly an act of hostility for him to ask Israel to continue its now-expired 10-month partial moratorium on settlement-building in the West Bank in order to take away any excuse from the Palestinians to avoid peace talks.That’s the logic? Israel continues the settlement freeze to take away the excuses of the Palestinians to avoid peace talks? Why do the Palestinians want to avoid peace talks? Didn’t Obama claim – to widespread approval in the Arab and Muslim world – that their suffering was “intolerable“? Aren’t they looking for peace? And if they’re not, then what’s the meaning for them of this continued Israeli concession? Tell me there’s more to this than a way to “take away” an “excuse”.
First — I know this is a crazy, radical idea — when America asks Israel to do something that in no way touches on its vital security but would actually enhance it, there is only one right answer: “Yes.”It’s not a crazy radical idea (even if it is an assumption of client-patron state that may be inappropriate for an ally like Israel), but it is, from other perspectives, a silly and even dangerous idea.
Let’s rephrase it from a slightly less giddy and egocentric perspective: When America asks Israel to do something that may well touch on its vital security, and threatens to undermine it further, Israel has a right to say, “Is there anything in this but promises that your logic will work on the Palestinians? Why aren’t you calling the Palestinians on their phony excuses, which are many and thoroughly inconsistent? Why are the Palestinians asked to pay no price for having spent the first ten months of freeze refusing to negotiate? What concession have you asked from them (besides negotiating face to face)? And why should we believe that if we make this concession, and they don’t reciprocate, you will make them pay in any way for their recalcitrance?”
It is a measure of how spoiled Israel has become that after billions and billions of dollars in U.S. aid and 300,000 settlers already ensconced in the West Bank, Israel feels no compunction about spurning an American request for a longer settlement freeze — the only purpose of which is to help the United States help Israel reach a secure peace with the Palestinians.Now we get breathtakingly superficial. I won’t descend to Friedman’s rhetorical lows in characterizing this statement, but it is something of a jaw-dropper. Anyone who follows Palestinian culture, it’s state-encouraged death cults, its drumbeat of genocidal hatreds, it’s remorseless zero-sum logic in which the enemy, especially one so hated as the Israelis, must lose in order for them to win, understands that “a secure peace” with the Palestinians is not at all “just around the corner, if only the Israelis would cooperate.”
Indeed, if anything, this statement makes Friedman sound like the spoiled child here: “I want peace now! I know how to get it, really I do. So why won’t you just listen to me. I have the big toys and the charge cards, so step in line buddy. I’m in a hurry, can’t you see?”
Just one time you would like Israel to say, “You know, Mr. President, we’re dubious that a continued settlement freeze will have an impact. But you think it will, so, let’s test it. This one’s for you.”How about, “You know, Mr. President, we’re dubious that a continued settlement freeze will help things; on the contrary, we think they’ll make things worse. But if you think it will, so let’s test it. And if the Palestinians behave as we suspect – more temporizing, continued demonizing, behind the scenes maneuvering to get everything and give nothing – then can we count on you to blow the whistle on them? On those grounds, this one’s for you.”
Israel’s fundamental problem in all these matters is they can only lose these kinds of exchanges because of the West’s overwhelming reluctance to confront the Palestinians. On the contrary, as with Arafat’s turn to violence in late September 2000, they’d sooner blame Israel – Sharon provoked them by visiting the Temple Mount – than hold the Palestinians to minimal standards.
Yes, I know, Netanyahu says that if he did that then the far right-wingers in his cabinet would walk out. He knows he can’t make peace with some of the lunatics in his cabinet, but he tells the U.S. that he only wants to blow up his cabinet once — for a deal. But we will never get to that stage if he doesn’t blow it up now and construct a centrist coalition that can negotiate a deal.More breathtaking. Friedman’s supposed to know something about the Middle East and its dynamics: he coined the term “Hama Rules” to describe how ruthless dictators will kill tens of thousands of their own people to assure their control. Granted he’s been forgetting more lately than he ever knew, and under the influence of the very (dangerously outdated) intellectual fashions that he shares with Obama. But the idea that for this minor issue – extending the settlement freeze for two months – it’s worth blowing up the Israeli cabinet is nothing short of reckless, not only because it would create a crisis whose resolution is unpredictable (if anything likely to lead to a less cooperative cabinet, rather than Friedman’s “centrist coalition”), but it would immensely encourage the hardliners among the Palestinians who would view this crisis as proof that Israel has to pay for their arbitrary demands. How sloppy can you get in pursuit of “peace now“?
But there’s something deeply troubling in the superficiality of Friedman’s scenario here. I actually believe that he – and many people who find themselves sympathizing with J-Street – actually think that their sole and sincere purpose is to “reach a secure peace with the Palestinians.” It’s why they can, in all good conscience, make these demands, and why Israeli resistance doesn’t set of alarm bells about the wisdom of their policies, but rather elicits their exasperation. “Damn it man, can’t you see this is for your own good!”
And yet, let’s rewrite the proposition from the perspective of the JHSP, of a zero-sum Palestinian playbook: “But we will never get to that stage [real negotiations] if Netanyahu does blow up his cabinet now over something as minor as a settlement freeze, and signals to the Palestinians that they can bring down Israeli cabinets (through the American presidency) with their petulant demands.
Second, I have no idea whether the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, has the will and the guts to make peace with Israel. In fact, when you go back and look at what Ehud Olmert, Netanyahu’s predecessor, offered Abbas — a real two-state compromise, including a deal on Jerusalem — and you think that Abbas spurned that offer, and you think that Netanyahu already gave Abbas a 10-month settlement freeze and Abbas only entered serious talks in the ninth month, you have to wonder how committed he is.A breath of sanity. Precisely.
Now rather than offer this analysis as a toss-off at the end of the piece, another clearing of the throat before landing on the other side, Friedman would have done a great deal more for his readers if he had bothered to unpack why Abbas spurned Olmert’s offer.
The forces militating against a “secure peace with Israel” in Palestinian culture are overwhelming, and scarcely mentioned in the Western press, where settlements dominate the airwaves, while such minor matters as genocidal incitement to hatred, hard zero-sum politics, and irredentist public opinion go unmentioned.
Indeed, a NYT reporter can, with complete immunity, quote a Sheikh calling for genocide against the Jews (from the pulpit, on TV), and leave out the genocidal part… in an article on incitement. And this unconscionable piece of journalism right at the beginning of the Oslo War (October 2000), set the pattern until this day. Most Westerners, especially those with emotional commitments to PCP have no idea how vicious the public discourse in the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim public sphere is about Israel and the Jews. And if informed, like Jennie Tonge, Cherie Blair, and her sister Lauren Booth, they assume it must be Israel’s fault.
Of course, all these observations about the dominance of the war camp in Palestinian circles, amply demonstrated by the consistent, decades-long behavior of the Palestinians, whether “secular” (Fatah, PA) or “religious” (Hamas, Islamic Jihad), are profoundly upsetting to the good-willed Westerner. We don’t want to believe that this problem has no immediate solution, that being nice and making concessions and negotiating won’t lead to peace. Thus these anomalous “facts on the ground” disturb not only our cognitive “positive-sum” world, they bring with them emotionally taxing realizations as well. Not only might there be no “peace now,” but that single-minded pursuit of that “peace now” may actually (predictably) backfire.
But the fact is that the team of Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad have built a government that is the best the Palestinians have ever had, and, more importantly, a Palestinian security apparatus that the Israeli military respects and is acting as a real partner.This is truly remarkable writing. Again with “the fact” when it’s an opinion. From the Western point of view, Abbas and Fayyad have done good things. Of course, given the extremely low level of performance in this sense on the part of all previous Palestinian governments (from the “states-within-a-state in Jordan and Lebanon, to the PA in Area A), Fayyad and Abbas don’t have much competition in the “best Palestinian government ever” category.
But the real problem is how little that accomplishment seems to count with his own people and his ability to make peace. Palestinians – at least the ones who carry weight in the public sphere – judge Abbas not by our standards – namely he’s made the economic situation so much better for them that they’d support his efforts to secure such advantages through making peace – but by the standards of the “street,” where every concession he makes means that he’s weak, giving in to humiliating demands from the West, that he’s a puppet. Certainly not a man. It is precisely this “street” that Abbas had in mind when he turned Obama’s demand that Israel freeze settlements into a refusal to negotiate. That may have messed up Obama, but it made him (briefly) look like a man to his people.
As for the security apparatus that Friedman celebrates, it’s performed well from the Israeli point of view, even if it is brutal beyond any progressive’s wildest dreams. But it’s hardly a “sure thing.” Israel already had the experience of Palestinian colleagues in security turning on them. No honest person can guarantee that this security force will stand by its commitments and not, at the sight, for example of another Pallywood production like Muhammad al Durah, go ballistic and turn on the Israelis. This is a rather tenuous branch on which to put so much weight.
Given this, Israel has an overwhelming interest to really test — that is all we can ask — whether this Palestinian leadership is ready for a fair and mutually secure two-state solution.Okay, Friedman agrees that the Palestinian leadership should be tested in their commitment to a fair and mutually secure two-state solution. For those of us familiar with the workings of JHSP dynamics, this is clearly not the case. But let’s say it’s important to test. Surely there are many tests we could devise that wouldn’t involve further risk-taking and further signals of weakness if indeed Palestinians are not ready.
How about asking them to acknowledge the simple, and obvious, but according to the expectations of the JHSP unacceptable, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state? That would seem, by the standards of progressive values that the Palestinians themselves invoke – the right to national self-determination – a fairly straightforward recognition. After all, the Palestinians plan to be not only a Muslim state, but a Judenrein one at that. And of course, their reaction is so violently opposed to such a minor concession, that people have already started backing off the demand. No one draws the obvious conclusion: the Palestinians will never recognize an autonomous state run by dhimmi in Dar al Islam. That would mean dealing with the emotional anxieties that come with understanding the JHSP.
But let’s humor the Americans, with their Walts and Mearsheimers and Friedmans and Kristofs and J-Streets and Rabbis for Human Rights, and set up the test the way they want it set up. After all, it’s not the greatest risk the Israelis have been asked to make. What the hell. But…What happens if the Palestinians fail? What price do they pay?
Or do we, as we have for the past decade (!), continue to look the other way because we want to “keep the peace process alive”? In which case, I think it’s fair to say, the Israelis have a right to show reluctance.
That test is something the U.S. should not have to beg or bribe Israel to generate. This moment is not about Obama. He’s doing his job. It is about whether the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are up to theirs. Abbas is weak and acts weaker. Netanyahu is strong and acts weak. It is time for both to step it up. And it is time for all the outsiders who spoil them to find another hobby.What an interesting wrap up. One that, despite the overwhelming thrust of the article chiding the childish Israelis, reveals the pervasive flaws in the “very logical” argument. Abbas is weak because he’s caught between the world of Palestinian irredentist logic and that of Western positive-sum logic. If he actually behaves responsibly he’s the Palestinian equivalent of an “Oreo,” he can strengthen his Palestinian bona fides only by moves that will undermine the peace process.
The idea that the solution is to have Bibi use his alleged “strength” to make concessions to the weak Abbas (to “shore him up”), is dubious to say the least. For some of us, this is a really silly suggestion. But Friedman’s tone and history suggest that he’s not silly, and not ignorant, even if he misuses the very terms he’s coined to bridge the moral gap between Arab and Israeli politics. No, it looks like its a kind of un-self-critical arrogance that leads Friedman to his conclusions, his tone, and, alas, his deep, dangerous, superficiality.
Maybe spoiler outsiders who need to find another hobby might include Mr. Friedman.
Obama would be better served by someone who has something new to say, rather than yet another “yes man.”
Tom, maybe you can help Obama show more assertiveness with the spoiled children on the Palestinian side. How about a series of columns entitled, “Just Knock it off!” addressed to them. As an exercise, think in terms of the kinds of childish attitudes they have, attitudes that do much to spread violence and hatred in this flat, overcrowded, hot planet. What a refreshing use of your exceptional soapbox to promote a sane world in the 21st century.