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Rafi, as he sometimes does, missed the mark. Not by very much -- and his post is quite useful and informative.
Still, I think the question that needs answering is this:
Why should Israel permit the US to support Israel?
Because, while Obama and his ilk may disagree, the US needs the God of the Bible a whole lot more than Israel needs the US.
And, in case you haven't heard, God isn't committed to the US, but he's been in a long term love affair with the Jews for thousands of years.
And in the event of trouble, say a war next summer, does anyone really expect Obama to help Israel? Because, sure, he'll help, he'll help Israel's enemies.
National Survival for America and Israel in the Age of Bureaucracy and Terror
Read it & pass it on!
(The following is based on a talk and Q&A session that I gave this week in Encino, California at the home of Tammy. Thanks to her and to all the guests who helped make this a great event.)
Today we live in the age of terror. And we're reminded of that every time we turn on the news or go through the airport, as I did on the way here. And for millions of Jews and Non-Jews around the world, Israel has come to be seen as the canary in the coal mine, whose status testifies to our status, and whose health testifies to our own.
If Israel, small and isolated, populated by a widely hated and persecuted people, can survive the age of terror, so can America and Europe. If they can make it, so can we.
Israel's placement on the front line of terror has been a double edged sword. On the one hand, as the age of terror has moved across America and Europe, Israeli techniques and technologies, consultants and tactics have shown up here too. From using drones against insurgents to profiling potential terrorists in airports, Israeli techniques have become the gold standard in anti-terrorism.
But on the other hand, Israel has also taken much of the blame for the age of terror. As irrational as that may be. As much as blaming Israel for the spread of Islamic terrorism is as absurd as blaming the lead swimmer caught in the tsunami, for the tsunami itself. People in authority have a habit of shooting messengers who bring bad news. Because it's easier to shoot a messenger, than to cope with his message.
After September 11, the United States was forced to adapt to a different kind of war. A war without conventional armies clashing on the battlefield, deploying tanks, infantry and aircraft to overrun and crush each other. A war in which the terrorists use the freedom and infrastructure of a target country against it. But Israel has been fighting that war for some time already.
Terrorism in Israel originally existed as part of a conventional war fought by Egypt and Syria against Israel. Terrorists crossed the border from Egyptian Gaza before 1967, and murdered Israelis, and then retreated back across the border. Israeli forces sometimes covertly crossed the border and went after them. One such famous mission was led by Ariel Sharon who destroyed an entire village in Egypt that the terrorists were using as a base. This was part of life in a war zone.
Once Israel signed a treaty with Egypt though, terrorism was isolated from conventional warfare. Israel had to learn to focus on fighting terrorists, rather than entire armies.
In 2001, America was also forced to shift to fighting terrorists rather than armies. Weapons systems designed for large scale conventional wars, such as the Crusader Artillery System, had to be scrapped. The role of the special forces went up. Drones were ordered. The game changed. And we still haven't learned how to play it yet.
The problem is that the armed forces of first world countries are not designed for fighting terrorists.
Armies exist to fight other armies. When there is another army to fight, they can perform brilliantly and efficiently. But when there no army... they are out of their element.
The United States and the rest of the coalition neatly destroyed Saddam Hussein's armies twice, yet the actual occupation of Iraq took far longer and cost far more American lives.
When one army fights another, there are laws of war. Soldiers and commanders know what they can and can't do. Mutual agreements protect any prisoners on both sides. But what happens when an army has to fight terrorists. Do they get the benefit of an agreement such as the Geneva Convention that they don't abide by, or is everything on the table. The debate over that has been raging for nine years and it still hasn't been settled. And it won't be any time soon.
It's the Goldilocks problem. Goldilocks had to deal with three bowls. One that was too big. One that was too small. And one that was just right. We have the army, which is too big to deal with terrorists. We have the police, who are too small to deal with terrorists. And we still haven't found the bowl that's just right.
There's a reason for that. Terrorists exploit the weak spots and vulnerabilities in our armor. They know what we can and can't do. Sometimes they underestimate us. But they know the places they can slip through.
Throughout the 20th century, the United States Army has only lost when it had to deal with armed bands and guerrillas, whether it was Pancho Villa or the Viet Cong. Israel used to know how to deal with armed bands and terrorists, but as the generation that had founded the country died, it began to forget. The Israeli army's roots go back to small groups of volunteers, who watched over fruit orchards and waited for bandits to come. Even today many Israeli soldiers come from rural towns and villages, places that the media sometimes calls settlements. But the Israeli worldview has become too urban and detached from the life of the Kibbutz and the settlement.
That sense of being on the frontier, of standing watch at the edge of civilization, of looking beyond the campfires into the darkness and waiting to see what comes from there, not just during a period of army service, but as a way of life, has grown absent.
It's not that we have gotten too big. It's that we think big. We think in terms of gigantic solutions and global problems. Rather than seeing, than looking across the fence of that one fruit orchard at night, and waiting to see if raiders cross that fence.
The idea that we should be thinking of that orchard, rather than the world, seems silly. But America and Israel were both founded by men who saw that orchard, who worked and farmed, and knew that at any moment, they could find themselves under attack.
Why is this so important?
First of all, we are fighting men who live that way. The terrorists we see are mainly middle and upper class and Western educated, but once we set foot in a Muslim country, past that thin wedge of the terrorists who infiltrate our own countries, then we are dealing with raiders and bandits.
Al Queda in Iraq was built out of bandits and smugglers. In Afghanistan, we are fighting tribesmen paid with Iranian money. In other words once we bring out the troops, we find that we're fighting the same kind of enemies that those orchard watchmen who gave birth to the IDF were fighting.
Second of all, it's a matter of scale. The terrorists aren't launching another Pearl Harbor with hundreds of planes in the air. They operate on a small scale. Even 9/11 was carried out by a small group of men using box cutters. Since then terrorists have continued to slip through into the United States in order to stage new attacks. We've stopped most of them. But in many cases, such as the Times Square Bomber, it was because the terrorists were incompetent. Not because our security is tight.
Meanwhile in Afghanistan, we're bogged down fighting small unpredictable groups of attackers, who can come and go unexpectedly. In Israel, it's the same thing. A small group affiliated with Hamas or some subgroup of Fatah, can slip across and kill or kidnap Israelis, and then escape back. Unlike America, Israel is still better at tracking down and killing those responsible. But it's not nearly as good as it used to be.
It's a question of scale. When General Wingate was training many of the Israelis who would eventually become the core of the IDF, he taught them to know each square centimeter of the ground, and every village in between. To know everything about the territory they are going to be fighting on. To take the lead and be unpredictable. A great deal of the IDF's success can be credited to that culture in which officers lead and men fight on their own soil. In which the IDF acts confrontationally and unpredictably.
On the other hand when the IDF becomes predictable and entrenched, then it loses. The difference between the two is as great as the difference between the Six Day War, in which Israel struck first and unpredictably, and the Yom Kippur War, in which Israel allowed itself to become entrenched in a defensive position in the Bar Lev Line, in response to a war of attrition. We are seeing the same thing now as Israel takes the defensive position in response to attacks, or takes the bait by responding to a terrorist attack.
Today the IDF is expected to think globally. An exchange of fire with terrorists quickly becomes front page headlines. An Israeli soldier has to think about the media consequences of firing in self-defense. And so he freezes. And the IDF freezes. And we can see the consequences of that attitude over and over again. The flotilla disaster happened because Israel had become predictable and reluctant to use force. And it's a subset of the entire blockade of Gaza, in which Israel waits for Gazan Arabs to come to their senses, while Hamas makes propaganda and terror, and waits for Israel to give in.
That same attitude has come to the United States. American soldiers are dying in Afghanistan because of tight rules of engagement. Rules similar to those that Israeli soldiers operate under. And that's where the scale problem comes in. Armies are naturally big. They act in an organized fashion. They have a large support structure. Terrorists look small, because they stay out of sight, and pose as civilians. When armies feel obligated to play nice so that they don't look like bullies, they become vulnerable and predictable. And they can be defeated.
That is what happened to the United States. It's what happened to Israel.
Third, and most importantly, people will fight for their orchard, more than they will fight for the foreign policy of a government. Human beings are motivated to fight for their homes and families, more than for something abstract. As long as the government represents the orchard and everyone's orchards, then it will have motivated soldiers. When it stops representing that, then the soldiers are now just doing a job. And waiting to go home.
American troops in Afghanistan are fighting for someone else's orchards. The orchards of people who grow opium in them. People who will sometimes invite them in for coffee and sometimes tip off their location to the terrorists. How much motivation can they have fighting to protect someone's else opium harvest. How much motivation can they have fighting to protect people who will betray them in the blink of an eye?
The situation is even worse in Israel. The left wing denounces anyone who fights for land, as worshipping land. Peace Now files petitions to evict the widows of murdered heroes, such as Major Klein, from their homes. But if the soldiers aren't fighting for homes and land, than what are they fighting for? The institutions of the state? The flag? The chain of command?
The terrorists know what they are fighting for. They are fighting to seize the land. All of the land. Palestine, from the river to the sea, is their motto. Meanwhile the Israeli motto has become, creating Palestine, but not all the way from the river to the sea. How motivated will soldiers fighting for such a slogan be?
This is not just the situation in Israel or America. It is the situation throughout the free world. We have lost sight of that orchard. The enemy has not. The terrorists want the orchard. They want all the land around it. They want Israel. They want America. They want Europe. And if things keep going as they are, then they will have them.
And that is the ugly truth. So long as we keep retreating and accommodating, facilitating and appeasing-- then time is on their side.
The battle is easiest for those who know what they want and are prepared to do anything to get it. It is hardest for those who do not know what they want and will only act in self-defense. We thought that our best defense was the disparity in power between ourselves and the enemy, but that disparity is being used by the enemy to their advantage.
We have lost sight of the orchard. And we are paying the price for that.
But all this is only a small part of the picture. Terrorists are not small isolated groups with grievances, they are well funded and armed proxies of enemy countries. These countries use them to make war, without putting their own soldiers in harm's way.
We are not fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. We are fighting Iran in Afghanistan. We are fighting Iranian money and Iranian bombs. But we are not killing Iranians, because they never have to point a gun at an American soldier to kill an American soldier. All they have to do is provide the weapons and the money.
In the same way, Israel is fighting Iran and Saudi Arabia. And Europe is fighting Saudi Arabia at home. And America is fighting Pakistan and Saudi Arabia at home too.
Terrorism is not about a solution. It's about terrorist groups being used to sow chaos, fear and doubt. It's about using those groups to destroy their enemies economically and politically, bankrupting them, breaking their morale and isolating them internationally. That is what is being done to Israel. It is what is being done to America.
Every boycott, every protest and every ugly word of hate directed at Israel, will eventually be directed at America. It will be directed at every European country and at every European who stands up to terrorism. This is not an accident, it is a deliberate campaign.
Why did Guantanamo Bay become synonymous with evil? It became synonymous with evil because the Kuwaiti government hired a top American law firm to sell the idea that detaining terrorists there was horrible and cruel. They put up a website, developed media contacts and told the terrorist's stories. They sold the narrative, sold out their country and they got paid.
But that is only one example. Well-funded campaigns are being waged against America and Israel from all directions. Their goal is not just to prevent those countries from defending themselves, but to break them down, destroy their sense of rightness and isolate them.
It's easy to get lost in that narrative. To see only a few men in masks firing machine guns or throwing grenades. But they are only the tip of a spear that is being held hundreds and thousands of miles away.
The narrative exploits one of our greatest weaknesses. We want to be liked. We want to be well thought of. We want applause. We want to be loved.
Our enemies don't want to loved, they want to be feared. Because they know that in international affairs, only those who are feared, are loved.
Since 9/11, Islam has become surprisingly popular in America. The number of Americans converting to Islam has dramatically increased. The government is constantly worried about the threat of Islamophobia. NASA has jettisoned the space shuttle. Its new purpose is to make Muslims feel good about themselves. Is all this because America now loves Muslims, or because it fears them?
Is it really violence against Muslims that the authorities are worried about, or violence by Muslims?
When Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer justified a ban on burning the Koran by suggesting that it could incite violence, whose violence was he really worried about? That of the Koran burners or the same Muslims who had terrorized a cartoonist who proposed Draw Mohammed Day?
In Israel, a woman was sentenced to jail for drawing a cartoon of Mohammed as a pig. But cartoonists who draw Jews as pigs don't go to jail. Because even in Israel, there is fear over what the Muslims will think, but no fear over what the Jews will think.
Countries generally do not love each other. But they certainly do appease each other. And the free world is appeasing the Muslim world like mad. Is it doing so out of love, or out of fear? Or out of a poisonous blend of something in between?
This is about more than whether we still have free speech when it comes to the Koran, or whether there will be a mosque near Ground Zero. It is about what unites and divides us in the Age of Terror.
The Muslim world is united by a sense of manifest destiny, by a vision of Islam spreading across the world and ruling over it through Islamic law. They may and do differ on the details. Whether it will be Sunnis or Shiites, doctrine and interpretation, primacy and tactics. But they agree on the end result.
We have no such sense of destiny. We did once, but we no longer do. Once we regarded our nations as gifts from a merciful G-d, today we regard them as the products of colonization and conquest. We tear down the myths and write hostile and hateful history books. It is no wonder that we have lost not only that sense of destiny, but even the sense of justification for our presence here. We have lost that pride in a destiny realized, and in its place has come a creeping sense of guilt. Why are we here? Why do we have land and money? Why are we safe and secure? Why do we have clean drinking water?
You can see that guilt embodied in commercials and editorials. Millions of people being taught to say, "We are not worthy." And if we are not worthy, then our enemies must be. The worse they treat us, the worse we must be. If they kill us, then we must be even worse murderers. If they blow themselves up, then clearly we have made them feel so awful, that they have no choice but to kill both themselves and us at the same time.
We have become self-absorbed. Unable to see past ourselves. We think that it is all about us. We ignore the motives and beliefs of the terrorists themselves. Instead we assume that everything they do is only because of us.
Liberalism fosters this manner of grandiosity, the belief that a man is homeless because I earn a paycheck, that children in Africa don't have enough to eat because I stole all their food, that terrorists want to kill me because I have oppressed them. All this is unforgivably arrogant. It treats us as the center of the universe, around which everyone and everything revolves.
And so we ignore Islam, as a religion that has been doing this sort of thing for over a thousand years. Instead we point to our foreign policy. We point to Israel. As if Muslim violence was born 60 years ago, when it wasn't even born 600 years ago.
We take the blame for everything. And that allows us to feel good about our sense of responsibility. While they practice the martyrdom of murder. We practice the martyrdom of taking responsibility for their murders. The relationship is similar to that of the abusive husband, who feels upset because he has to beat his wife all the time, and the wife who feels upset because she thinks she can't get anything right, and that causes her husband to beat her. That sort of thinking is sick and it is victim thinking. But this kind of thinking has become commonplace in the free world.
Once again, does the free world really love Muslims or does it love them because it fears them, like the battered wife, or the victim of Stockholm Syndrome who feels empowered by siding with the hostage takers, so that she can pretend she isn't really a hostage anymore.
Muslims do not feel a need to be loved, respected and feared yes, but loved no. But we do. We want them to love America. To love Israel. To join hands and sing about how much we all have in common. And even though we know that is never going to happen, we want it anyway.
Why do we need to be loved? Because as countries we do not love ourselves anymore. America used to love itself. Israel used to love itself. The nations of Europe used to love themselves. Today they go around looking for someone else to love them. And if they find themselves in an abusive international relationship instead, then they are sure that they deserve it, because they are no good anyway.
And when terrorists kill us, we are afraid to fight back, because we might look like bullies. And then we wouldn't be lovable anymore. Sometimes when the offense is terrible enough, when the streets are covered in the blood of our dead, then we get angry. Really angry. We get so angry that we strike back and lash out. But our enemies know that with enough law firms and PR firms in their corner, we will go back to blaming ourselves. Because retaliation alone is not enough. Fighting back out of pain is not enough. That is how a cornered animal acts. That is how an abuse victim who has taken too much acts. But it's not long term. And that rush of moral adrenaline can't be sustained.
That's what happened in America after 9/11 and in Israel after the Passover Bombing. Some wonder if a big enough terrorist attack happens, if an entire city vanishes in atomic fire, whether we will wake up. The sad answer is that we will wake up, we will fight back, but unless we change the way the free world thinks, we will go back to sleep again.
We need to do more than lash out because we have been hurt. We need to regain that sense of destiny. That knowledge of exceptionalism, which says that, in Reagan's words, G-d is not indifferent to America, or to Israel or to any country we live in. We need to believe that we have a right to exist and a duty to exist. Without that, we will always wind up in the path of creeds and nations who believe in their own sense of manifest destiny. That happened with Nazism and Communism. It is happening again with Islam now.
The world is not a place of peace. There is a constant struggle between different cultures, religions and ideologies. When the Soviet Union fell, a power vacuum opened up. Islam stepped into that vacuum. If we defeat the Islamists, something or someone else will come along to take their place. There is no avoiding that. And there is no surviving that, unless we learn to believe in ourselves again. Not just in institutions, but in the land, the people and the culture.
A strong foe believes that they have something special to offer to the world. Our own academics and popular entertainment say that we have nothing to offer to the world. It says that we are the problem. That is the case all across the free world. And if we believe that we are the problem, how are we ever going to stand up to people who claim to be the solution?
During World War 2, Germans and Russians both believed that they had a special destiny to save the world. Back then we believed that we had a special destiny too. That was then. This is now.
Today Muslims claim to be the solution, and those who claim that America, Israel and Europe are the problem, are tripping over their own feet to roll over and roll out the red carpet for them.
And how can it be otherwise? If you think that you represent a worthless country, a worthless culture and a worthless people-- then why would you not surrender to Islam?
To stand up for something, you must believe in its worth. To stand up to something, you must believe that it is less worthy. If you don't believe that, then it is easier to sit down, to give in and let them do whatever they want.
And what happens to the rest of the world? The United States is selling out Israel for Saudi oil. The UK shipped the Lockerbie bomber home in exchange for Libyan oil. And that's not surprising. Anyone who will sell out their own country, will even more eagerly sell out their allies. And this makes it all too easy for the Muslim world to play divide and conquer, to promise, for example, that terrorism will end when Israel does.
When you throw history and culture overboard, you are left with no unifying bonds between nations. Nations that once shared a common history and culture. And then self-interest rules. The old game of feed your allies to the crocodile, so that you're the one last one it eats. Divide and conquer. We betray each other, and then one by one we fall.
The political leadership of the free world believes in a world without nations. And if we are all meant to live in a global community without borders or nations anyway, then why quibble over whether a Czechoslovakia or an Israel survive. Those are minor points. Irrelevant in the bigger picture of the EU and the UN. What matters are not nations, but institutions. And so the nations fall apart, the institutions degenerate into tyranny, and those who do believe in something other than an undifferentiated world overseen by bureaucrats... take over.
And that brings us back to the orchard. It's the orchard that people go out and fight for. Not for institutions. When a country represents that orchard, then people will willingly fight and die for it. When it only represents a bureaucracy, then they will not.
The orchard is ownership. It says this land is my land. It says that if you will it, it is no dream. It gives each and every person a stake in the country, rather than a chance to be managed by a vast bureaucracy, told what to eat and how much of it. The orchard is America. The orchard is Israel. As they should be. But increasingly not as they are.
All nations and creeds can in the end be reduced to a plot of land, a space that people can call their own. That sense of ownership is the orchard. America and Israel were both created by men and women, who left where they were in order to be free, to find their orchard, cultivate it and watch over it. And that orchard grew. It drew millions who wanted a space of their own, an orchard of their own. Take away that orchard and what is left cannot stand on its own.
I began by speaking about the threat of terrorism to Israel and America. For many though, the Iranian nuclear threat overshadows that of terrorism. And it is a serious threat, but also an inescapable one.
Israel can take out Iran's nuclear program if it makes the decision to. But that is only a matter of delaying the inevitable. It is possible to destroy Iran's nuclear program. But sooner or later, all those Muslim countries that want nuclear weapons, will have them.
We might have been able to break the chain of proliferation, but when the Clinton Administration failed to halt North Korea's nuclear program, resorting instead to appeasement and bribery, the writing was on the wall. North Korean nuclear technicians have shown up in Syria. Libya abandoned its nuclear program, or supposedly abandoned it, only because Khaddafi was briefly afraid of America. Egypt and Saudi Arabia, among others are already pursuing their own nuclear programs. In other words, even by the most conservative estimates, it's inevitable that much of the Muslim Middle East will have nuclear capability within a generation. Probably less.
There is a great deal of focus now on not allowing Iran to get nuclear weapons. As a result we're going through the same circus that we did in the 90's with North Korea. Despite all the aid and proposals and a signed basketball presented to Kim Jong Il, none of it worked. Diplomacy will not stop Iran from getting the bomb. A massive series of strikes might, but only temporarily. As long as Iran wants nuclear weapons and as long as there are countries willing to help them build a nuclear program, then they will have them sooner or later.
There's nothing wrong with making that later, rather than sooner. Later is a wise policy, particularly since Iran's nuclear program, has triggered an arms race among Sunni countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who are advancing their own nuclear programs. But later is not never. And it's very important to understand that.
Only one thing will prevent a nuclear weapon from being used on Tel Aviv or Haifa. And it's not diplomacy or viruses released into nuclear facilities. Those too delay the inevitable. The one thing that will stop it, is the same thing that stopped nuclear weapons from being used on New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
Deterrence. Mutually Assured Destruction.
The only way to check the threat of force by an opponent with no regard for your life, is by demonstrating equal or superior force. When it comes to nuclear weapons, that means an awareness that any nuclear attack will be met by nuclear attack.
Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD was denounced during the Cold War, but it may have well saved a billion lives. The motto of the Strategic Air Command was Peace is our Profession. And their profession did indeed insure peace. World War 3 was averted not because of peace rallies or people of goodwill meeting around tables and shaking hands, but because the Strategic Air Command was ready and able to put an end to the USSR in retaliation for any attack.
Let us turn back to Israel now. Why did the Camp David Accords really happen? Because Israelis and Egyptians reached out and took a courageous step for peace, as popular history would have it? The Camp David Accords happened because the Yom Kippur War demonstrated the futility of further egyptian attacks on Israel. That demonstration carried with it a heartbreaking cost, but it is what brought peace. Sadat was not a better man than Nasser, but unlike Nasser he was able to see a dead end when it was staring him in the face. And that dead end was the Israeli army.
If Israel is to prevent a nuclear attack, then it will only be able to do so by demonstrating that a nuclear attack will be suicide for the attacker. That doesn't just mean revealing its own nuclear capabilities. Capabilities are meaningless without the will to use them. Capability alone is not deterrence. Only capability and determination together equal deterrence.
For 17 years, Israel has negotiated with terrorists, appeased them and allowed them to operate inside its borders and kill its citizens. If Israel cannot even credibly deter Hamas, how much credibility does its deterrence have toward Hamas' Iranian masters? The answer is very little.
Slightly more than Mutually Assured Destruction does for the United States under Obama.
To protect itself from nuclear attack, Israel must reestablish its determination. Bombing Iran might help, but cleaning house and clearing out terrorist groups at home, would help far more. Right now Israel has demonstrated that it can be led around the nose by international opinion. And if it is afraid to kill terrorists inside its own borders, that gives Muslim countries reason to believe that it has become a paper tiger. If IDF soldiers are afraid to pull the trigger when under fire by terrorists only a few miles from Jerusalem, will Iran believe that Israel will push the button to launch nuclear missiles?
Even if Iran never launches a single nuclear missile at Tel Aviv, the chain of proliferation will not end there. Iran has become the world's most enthusiastic sponsor of terrorists, from Israel to Lebanon to Afghanistan.
Israel needs to demonstrate more than that it will respond to a nuclear missile with a nuclear missile, it needs to demonstrate that it will respond to a nuclear attack with a widescale nuclear response. It needs to create an environment in which Iran will not turn over nuclear materials to terrorist groups. These terrorist groups could then detonate suitcase nukes inside Israel. A scenario which would allow Iran to claim plausible deniability.
If Iran and the rest of the Muslim world are not made actively afraid of doing something like that, then Israel is doomed. And the clock is ticking. Israel has to reclaim its deterrence, or the clock will reach zero, and it will be all over. If Israel acts with its hands tied behind its back, then it shows that it is vulnerable, that it can be manipulated and destroyed through that vulnerability. If Israel allows its hands to be tied when it's only a family being murdered here or there, then its enemies will assume that it will act the same way when the lives of all its families are on the line.
That is the challenge which Israel has to overcome to truly avert a nuclear attack. That is what it has to do to protect the orchard. To protect the orchard, you have to claim the orchard and then demonstrate that you will shoot to defend your claim. Otherwise you'll be run off the land by anyone who has a gun and is willing to shoot in order to take it from you.
It's the same challenge that America has to overcome. 9/11 happened because we gave Muslim terrorists the impression that their terrorist attacks against us would be tolerated. That you could bomb US embassies in Africa or US ships in Yemen, and that we would just sit back and take it. That you could bomb the World Trade Center, and we would write some news stories about it, and then go on about our business. We made ourselves a target, because we didn't stand up for ourselves.
The left likes to say that we act like bullies. On the contrary, we attract bullies. We attract bullies by letting ourselves be bullied.
We let terrorist attack after terrorist attack happen, and we didn't do much about it. Then we wondered how could 9/11 happen? It happened because we treated those terrorist attacks like a criminal problem, no different than any other. Buildings were blown up, bombs were planted and an American vessel bombed. And the United States Government went on with business as usual. Until 9/11 when business as usual was suspended.
Had we demonstrated from the first that we would respond ruthlessly to any attack, the probability of 9/11 would have been significantly decreased. It might have happened anyway, but the odds against the Taliban or Bin Laden's backers in the Gulf funding or tolerating such an action would have been far less. And had we hit him hard from the first, Al Queda's network would be a mess, the way it is today, and much less capable of launching an organized attack.
The situation is not so different in Europe, where appeasement leads to greater aggression and uglier demands. This is how the game is played. If you tolerate intimidation, the intimidation increases. If you respond to violent threats over a cartoon with appeasement, the threats will be acted on. The more you retreat, the more they advance. You cannot be polite in the face of terror, unless you want to be terrorized. You cannot compromise with violent threats, unless you want to turn over power to those who are making them. And then violent threats, not the ballot box or the rule of law, become the new form of power.
I said before that you can only check the use of force through superior or equal force. But whether you need to use that force and how much of it you need to use, depends on timing. If you check the use of force early, then you can do it with minimal harm. Mutually Assured Destruction is one example. On the other hand if you allow yourself to be slapped around, then the amount of force you will need to use goes up by a whole lot.
England found that out the hard way during World War 2. Hitler tentatively sent German troops into the Rhineland. ready to retreat if France took a stand. France did not take a stand. By the time it took a stand, German troops were in Poland. Soon afterward they were in France. And so it goes. If you won't take a stand when it's easy, you'll have to do it when it's hard. If you won't rattle sabers when the enemy is still afraid of you, you'll have to use them when they're not afraid of you anymore.
Of course that's not easy to do. It's much easier to compromise. To give away Czechoslovakia and Israel. To pretend that if you get rid of the victims, you'll also eliminate the motive for the violence against them.
Bill Clinton visited Egypt and announced that terrorism all over the world will go away, if Israel makes enough concessions to create a Palestinian state. Let's put aside the fact that it would be easier to create a Palestinian state made of cards, than an actual working one. Let's put aside the fact that half the proposed state is run by Hamas which refuses to sign any permanent peace accords, and which actually won the election. Let's also ignore the fact that Israel is negotiating with terrorists who are continuing to kill Israelis, have already said that they will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and refuse to hold elections, because they know they'll lose.
Let's ignore all that, and instead point out the absurdity of believing that Islamic violence will go away, if some sort of deal is struck.
First of all, any such deal would not be recognized by Hamas and numerous other terrorist groups backed by Iran. It would certainly not be recognized by Al Queda. In short it would never be recognized by the actual active terrorist groups who are carrying out the attacks. Those groups would call the deal a sellout and a betrayal, and carry out another round of terrorist attacks. This has already happened before. Indeed Hamas ramped up its terrorist attacks in time for the latest negotiations.
So why would a final status agreement change anything? The Palestinian Authority has its own flag and observer status at the UN. If they get full membership at the UN, will Hamas and Al Queda decide to call it a day? It's utter nonsense.
Israeli attempts to negotiate with terrorists have caused far more terrorism, than anything else. Fatah and Hamas killed more Israelis competing to prove who was more dedicated to terrorism, than they did before the Oslo Accords.
And there's plenty of precedent for that. The Camp David Accords helped cause Sadat's death. In the days of the Mandate, Arab leaders who were willing to come to terms with the Jews, were routinely assassinated.
So not only would a Final Status Agreement not end terrorism around the world, it wouldn't even end terrorism in Israel.
Secondly, Clinton is pretending that Islamic terrorism worldwide is caused by Israel. This is an obscene lie. Are Buddhist teachers being beheaded in Thailand because of Israel? Are there bombings in Kashmir because of Israel? Did 9/11 happen because of Israel? Did 7/7? What about Somalia or the Al Queda presence in Yemen? Do any of those have anything to do with Israel.
To answer this, all we need to do is look at the motivations of Islamic terrorists. That motivation is to impose Islamic rule and Islamic law. That is the reason for the terrorism against Israel, India, America and Thailand and everywhere else.
If you believe that the only moral government is a Communist government, then you will naturally work to impose Communist governments on the rest of the world. If you believe that Islamic law is the only moral law in the world, then you will impose Islamic law on the rest of the world. Particularly on countries with Muslim majorities or sizable minorities. That is what is at work here.
But that is a scary idea, because it requires admitting that we are under siege, not just by a few acts of terrorism, but by a war of ideas. That this is not just about foreign policy differences, but by huge numbers of people around the world and in our own countries who sincerely believe that there is only one right way to live, and that they have the right to impose that way on others by any means necessary.
It's easier to reduce the problem, to say that it's not about Islam, but about us. It's not about Islam, it's about Israel. It's not about Islam, it's about Islamophobia. But those are all coping mechanisms for people who want to deny the truth.
If you're a politician, you naturally want to minimize and manage the problem. If the problem is Islam, then you have a huge unmanageable problem. On the other hand if the problem is Israel, then all you need to do is pull the foreign aid strings, send a few diplomats, have a few angry phone conversations and browbeat those damn Jews into giving those crazy Muslims whatever they want, so the violence stops.
If the problem is Islam, then what do you do? But if the problem is us, then we can change. We'll tour some mosques, talk about how much all the major religions have in common and praise the Koran. We'll also promise to crack down on anyone who offends Muslims. And boycott Israel. There, problem solved.
And so our leaders pretend that the problem is manageable, by making it into something that we can control. By promising that if we just make Israel give up some land and create a Palestinian state, terrorism all over the world will magically vanish down the drain. The terrorists will throw away their weapons into the sea and open up organic bakeries. And everyone will be happy again.
It's easier to think that way. It's certainly a lot more cheerful and a lot less depressing. At least until the truth becomes impossible to deny.
But the victim of this behavior isn't just Israel. Like the canary in the coal mine, Israel is only the first victim. But certainly not the last.
When you ignore the real problem, it doesn't go away. It gets worse. If you agree to play divide and conquer, then not only will there be fewer allies to stand with you when the day comes, but you will have become an accomplice to the worst crimes of your enemies.
In Bethlehem the graffiti already reads, "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people." In the West it could easily be rephrased as, "First they came for the Saturday people and we said nothing. Then they came for the Sunday people, and who was left to speak up for them?"
The answer is no one. No one will be left.
It is easier to look away. It is easier to say nothing. Even easier still, to join with the attackers. To wave the Palestinian flag and scream, Boycott Israel. End the War. Open Immigration. It is always easier to join the mob, than run from their stones. Always easier to try and be the hammer, rather than the anvil. And if not, then at least to stand on the sidelines.
And if you're hit, then you take it. You absorb it. Because if you fight back, then you're only feeding the cycle of violence.
Obama has said that America can absorb another 9/11. It can. Just as most people can absorb numerous beatings. If the beatings are far enough apart, then you can heal from them and recover in time for the next beating.
As the canary in the coal mine, Israel shows what happens when you absorb beatings. Israel has been absorbing beatings for a long time now. Once it was famous for hitting back, and hitting harder than it was hit. But for the last 17 years of the peace process, Israel has been absorbing the beatings. Or rather its citizens have been absorbing them. Not just soldiers on patrol, but couples sitting down for a meal in a cafe, families driving home from Jerusalem, children sitting in school and waiting for the siren to go off.
What absorbing terrorist attacks does is it allows the terrorists to set the terms of the battle. Then it allows the mediators to discuss the terms of the peace. And since the terrorists have already set the terms of the battle, they go on to set the terms of the peace.
Once you negotiate with terrorists, then you reward terrorism. And when you do, there is no end to it.
Absorbing terrorism is not the same as defeating terrorism. Absorbing terrorism changes you. In Israel, living with terrorism has dramatically changed the country and its people. Parents give children cellphones so they can check in after the next suicide bombing. Families who travel in dangerous areas split up into different cars so if there is a drive by attack, the entire family won't be wiped out. And there will be someone left to care for the children.
We have seen the first beginnings of that here already. We see it when we are told to throw out liquids and walk through scanners. We're told to get used to a lack of privacy and autonomy. To have an escape plan in the event of a terrorist attack. As terrorism continues to be a threat, we will also change. Just as Israel changed. We will come to terms with a life in which we, or any member of our families, could be killed at any moment by terrorists. And that will change us. It will change who we are. It will change how we approach life.
That is what absorbing terrorism does to you. And why are we absorbing terrorism, in order to avert a full scale war. To avoid, what the media charges, was an overreaction to the attacks of September 11. We absorb terrorism, for the same reason that Israel does, in the name of peace.
Peace is indeed a beautiful thing. The Sages of Judaism teach that when G-d wished to bless Israel, he found no better vessel for blessing, than the blessing of peace. That is why the blessing of the priests in the Temple of Jerusalem was the blessing of peace. But while you can be blessed with peace, you cannot buy peace. You certainly cannot buy it from those who claim that there will no peace unless you pay them for it first. Peace that has to be paid for is never worth the price. It is surrender by another name, without the dignity of fighting a war first.
Peace is priceless unless you pay for it, and then there is a price, and that price is everything you have.
The free world has been trying to buy peace for a long time now. It tried to buy peace from Hitler. Now it is trying to buy peace from Islam. Those who once said, "We created Czechoslovakia in 1918, so why not give it to Hitler in order to bring peace", now say, "We created Israel in 1948, why not give some or all of it to the Muslims in order to bring peace." A little compromise here. A little compromise there. And soon there will be peace. The peace of the slave and the silence of the grave.
During the second World War, the song on the lips of every British sailor was, "There'll Always Be an England". But now many are asking, whether there will indeed always be an England. And the answer is often skeptical.
The second to last paragraph of Israel's Declaration of Independence concludes with the words, LeGeulat Yisrael, proclaiming that the founding of the modern State of Israel represents the realization of the age-old dream - the redemption of Israel. But has Israel really been redeemed at last? Or is it only another exile. Have the Jews come home, or are they still strangers in someone else's land.
Questions like these are being asked by the concerned citizens of every nation, about their own nations, their own covenants and their own laws. Europe is in the thick of that fight, as it drifts toward the dark shores of Eurabia. The EU celebrated the breakdown of nation states, but now Europe needs those nation states more than ever. But instead of nations, it has bureaucracies that cheer on not merely the end of nation states, but the end of Europe itself.
The orchards are burning now. Others have grown wild and tangled. The rest are touched by the winter frost.
Today East Jerusalem is on the table. Before the 1967 war liberated Jerusalem, Jordanian snipers from illegally annexed East Jerusalem used nearby Jewish buildings for target practice. Residents had to keep their curtains closed and the lights dim in rooms with a view of East Jerusalem, because if they didn't, they might be killed in their own living rooms.
Only when Israel liberated East Jerusalem, only then could the shades be pulled back and the lights be lit brightly again. But with missiles raining down today, if East Jerusalem is turned over to the terrorists, then those shades will have to be drawn shut again, and the light will die out.
That light will die out not only in Jerusalem, but all around the world. Everywhere that terrorists are and everywhere that they dream of being. Everywhere. If we don't keep the light lit, then the darkness will grow and the light will be lost.
Thursday 01 September 2011
US Palestinian aid could be cut if it continues to seek statehood
A movement to cut US aid to the Palestinian Authority if it pursues its application for recognition at the United Nations has gained ground with a bill seeking to block funding to any United Nations agency that supports the Palestinian bid.
There is a Palestinian campaign to secure full UN membership Photo: EPA
By Phoebe Greenwood in Tel Aviv
11:20PM BST 31 Aug 2011
Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the bill to Congress with 57 co-sponsors. The proposed legislation would also stop US funds to the UN Human Rights Council and an anti-racism conference, which she claims is a platform for anti-Israel rhetoric.
Ghassan Khatib, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority said that this is the latest in a series of financial threats made by powerful lobbies in both the United States and Israel designed to deter the Palestinians from appealing to the United Nations on September 20.
Israel's Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz this week refused a request to deliver tax revenue owed to the Palestinian Authority two days early so that it could pay salaries before the start of week-long holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, Israel retains control of Palestinian borders and the collection of Palestinian tax revenue, which comprises around two thirds of the authority's annual budget. Israel withheld this revenue for two weeks In May following the Fatah/ Hamas reconciliation.
Sizeable injections of foreign investment into the Palestinian Authority in 2010, including $470 million from the US, saw nine per cent economic growth. But the economy is fragile and relies on foreign aid. The UN estimates that 25 per cent of Palestinians live below the poverty line.
Last edited by WABA; 08-31-2011 at 11:36 PM..
Washington Post: Abbas Not Serious for PA State
Washington Post: Abbas Not Serious for PA State
The influential Washington Post accuses Abbas of not being serious about wanting to establish the Palestinian Authority as a country.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Proposed two-state solution map
Israel news photo
The influential Washington Post has accused Mahmoud Abbas of not being serious about wanting to establish the Palestinian Authority as a country.
In a lead editorial Tuesday morning, the liberal newspaper joined a growing number of mainstream media outlets – with the notable exception of The New York Times – throwing up their hands at Abbas’ constant rebuffs to the “peace process.”
The editorial noted that Abbas on Monday admitted that Palestinian Authority Arabs face hard times because of his tactic of asking the United Nations for unilateral recognition instead of returning to negotiations with Israel.
“Congress may terminate U.S. aid, causing an instant economic crisis,” the newspaper’s editors wrote. "Israel is hinting at retaliation, ranging from the withholding of tax funds to the annexation of its West Bank settlements. At worst, demonstrations being orchestrated by Mr. Abbas to support the statehood initiative will get out of hand, producing a violent confrontation with Israel.”
The Washington Post stated that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has accepted President Barack Obama’s policy, which basically mirrors that of Abbas, to reach an agreement based on the temporary 1949 Armistice Lines, commonly known as the “1967 borders” but also called the ”Auschwitz borders” by critics.
“Were he serious about achieving statehood, Mr. Abbas would seize on that point — which he defined as critical just months ago — and proceed with negotiations about drawing a border,” the editorial concluded. “Instead, he appears likely to stick with his grand gesture — and to let Palestinians pay the price.”
Other newspapers also have strongly editorialized against Abbas for burying the American-sponsored diplomatic process, which began in Madrid in 1991.
“The U.S. should honor its promise to veto any effort in the U.N. to unilaterally recognize an independent Palestinian state and thereby short-circuit a negotiated peace, which is the only path to long-term stability in the region,” an editorial in the Baltimore Sun stated Tuesday morning.
The Tuscaloosa Alabama News called the Abbas’ move to the United Nations “a foolhardy gambit” that “may be a short-lived diplomatic coup, but the result will be more hardship for Palestinians and more retrenchment along the hard lines of negotiation.”
Another negative editorial on Abbas was printed in the Boston Phoenix, which wrote, "The Palestinian Authority is in the midst of staging a hollow piece of political theater that will boomerang. By unrealistically raising the hopes of the people it purports to represent, the Authority will not fail only to change any facts on the ground, but sadly move the possibility of a workable peace beyond any visible horizon.”
The New York Times has taken an increasingly anti-Israel stand, blaming Israel and President Barack Obama for not accepting Abbas’ conditions for establishing the Palestinian Authority as a country within Israel’s borders.
Israel is Isolated, Needs Sane and Steadfast Friends
Israel is Isolated, Needs Sane and Steadfast Friends
by Richard Landes
This post just went up at the Telegraph, where they gave it a sensationalist title to attract readers. As the editor said, “Now let the s*** storm begin.”
Israel has rarely been so isolated.
Of course, in so doing, Israel would be playing the role of sacrificial offering on the altar of Jihadi warfare. Contrary to the exceptionally naïve expectations of the proponents of such a conciliatory stance, a reasonable, apologetic, concessionary Israel will not appease Muslim hatred, nor calm the roiling waters of Arab anger. On the contrary, it will play directly into the hands of the Jihadis who aim at the, to us, ludicrous, goal of world domination.
And any Western country that thinks sacrificing Israel in this manner will improve the situation, rather than weakening itself profoundly in a global battle it should be winning hands down, is deluding itself. Instead of pouring water on the fires of religious war – something virtually every thoughtful Westerner considers the most dangerous and destructive of forces – they would be pouring oil on the Jihadi apocalyptic forest fire that grows with every passing year. If you’re worried about global climate warming, shouldn’t you also be worried about global Jihad warming?
Drawing by Ellen Horowitz, 2006
Israel, paradoxically, is also in a particularly strong position. Few alliances last long in this part of the world, and no sooner are reconciliations announced than they begin to fray. The very countries that, in their move to Islamism, have turned against her, have, at the same time, gutted their armies of their military professionals. Even as they strut on the international stage, making threats and demanding abject apologies, their military ability to confront Israel wanes. And of course, the Israel he’d meet would not be the wounded, defensive one with which he shadow-boxes daily. Israelis have always had more heart for fighting real wars than for constant low-grade battles with terrorists who hide behind civilians in order to gain a propaganda victory.
Indeed, the situation of the Turks is so perilous, that one (typical) conspiracy theory circulating in among them now is that Obama has been encouraging Erdogan’s intransigence so that Turkey will enter into a disastrous war with Israel and end up losing not only to them, but to their troublesome neighbors, the Kurds. Have Egyptians really believed their fantastic narrative about defeating Israel in 1973, a victory snatched from them (rather than from the Israelis) by meddlesome Westerners? Is the mob mentality in the street and in the media, so much in evidence in 1967, still capable of driving them to a war with Israel?
Behind the military weakness lies economic weaknesses. High wheat prices from drought-stricken China played a major role in both sparking the “Arab Spring” and the weakness of Arab economies (with and without oil) pose major threats to the largely dispossessed people. With problems like this, only fools and tyrants would resort to scapegoating one of the most economically successful and productive nations in the neighborhood, as a way to move forward. If the Turks continue their belligerence, their Jewish population will leave Turkey, and the unemployment rate will, according to some estimates, almost double.
Israel should, if anything, hold fast and let the Arabs and Muslims vent their impotent furor; even to challenge them. Israel should call Turkey’s morally repugnant bluff about concern for Palestinians even as it crushes its own minorities. Western human rights activists would do everyone a favor by spotlighting Turkey’s troubling record, for more than just the purpose of keeping them out of the EU. I’m quite sure the Kurds and the Greek Cypriots would much prefer Israel as a neighbor than Turkey – indeed, honest Arab inhabitants of Jerusalem, like those who would say they would move out any parts of Jerusalem given to the PA, would admit the same.
Of course such pushback might lead to war. No one in Israel wishes for war. Every soldier’s death and every dead civilian on both sides, is experienced as a national tragedy. Unfortunately, even impotent venting can lead Muslim leaders down dark tunnels that they can’t escape. The extremist street can and has propelled them into following through on their rhetorical flourishes and drum rolls. Foolish Arab leaders, fueled by false pride, will lie to each other about their capabilities, as Nasser did to the Jordanians in 1967, forcing themselves into confrontations that will cost them, the West and Israel dearly.
Of course, Israel needs help. It will need sound and sane nations and peoples who, looking at the global situation, can distinguish between firemen and arsonists, between those who show concern for both their own citizens and those of their foes, and those who willingly sacrifice their own children in order to target those of their foes. It needs outsiders who can understand that turning on one’s friends and supporting one’s enemies, reveals to any many an observer not courage, but weakness. Israel needs outsiders who understand that they are the targets of Jihad just as much as the Israelis. It does not need ideologues who can’t learn from catastrophic past mistakes.
In other words, Israel needs allies who love life, freedom, and critical intelligence. It needs them the way the Dutch needed the English as they tried to survive 80 years of vicious warfare that went on around them, and the assaults of the imperial neighbor, Spain. It needs them as the Czechs needed the Western democracies to protect them from the Nazis’ insatiable appetite. Israel needs people with discernment and a lively instinct for self-preservation.
If the West had the courage of its democratic convictions, it would make it clear to the representatives of the “Arab Spring” that the barrel of the gun only makes it possible to build democracies, but that sustaining them demands far more. It would tell the Palestinians – not just the leaders, but the people – to start doing the kinds of things that will lead to peace rather than conduct a war of ethnic cleansing masquerading a peace. It would explain to the Egyptians that scapegoating a neighbor when your own government continues to fail its people only makes the problem worse. NATO would tell the Turks to keep their ships out of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Of course that would mean that we in the democratic West begin to understand our own political history, and appreciate that democracy is not merely giving the people the vote, that military alliances don’t give a free hand to hostile partners. Without a democratic culture of fairness, tolerance, ability to self-criticize, and respect for the “other,” and can, therefore, enter into positive-sum relations with the other… all attitudes for which there is little evidence (and much counter-evidence) in current Arab political culture, one can expect those newly empowered voters to fall prey to the first demagogue who sounds the right notes.
A Westerner can say to me, “Forget it. They’ll never change. And if we criticize them, we’ll just alienate them, even provoke them. Israel is lost.” Of course, that also means we Westerners are lost, that we just delay our place on the crocodiles menu.
We have the choice between genteel suicide and mental battle.
For the Soldier who fights for Truth, calls his enemy his brother:Do we have the resources for mental and moral strife, and the courage to think and act clearly?
U.S. Aid to Israel: Why It’s a Must
U.S. Aid to Israel: Why It’s a Must
The critical results the $3 billion a year achieves
by David Meir-Levi
Numerous American leaders over the decades have expressed their perception that Israel and the USA have a “special relationship,”  that Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies, and that American aid to Israel is money well spent. Most recently, these sentiments were articulated by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Harry Reid, Vice President Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama. They continue to be in favor of the continued American financial support for Israel, amounting to about $3,000,000,000 per year in recent years. 
Yet critics of Israel complain that the USA gives too much money to Israel and that the “special relationship” is a liability for the USA.  These critics support their assessments with wildly exaggerated claims regarding the size of US aid to Israel, with accusations that Israel is bankrupting the USA, and with the warning that US money encourages Israeli obduracy, stokes the Israel-Arab conflict and generates anti-American sentiment in Muslim countries. In short, they blame Israel for America’s difficulties abroad.
While it is undeniable that the enemies of both the USA and Israel exploit American support for Israel to foment anti-American sentiment, it is a grave strategic error to place credence in such anti-Israel propaganda. Yet that is what the critics do, with the apparent intent to undermine the “special relationship.”
Since US support is of vital importance to Israel’s security, an examination of these critics’ claims seems worthwhile.
There are five questions that arise in the context of US aid to Israel and these accusations:
1.) Why is there an Israel-USA “special relationship,” an alliance which includes generous American aid and political support at the UN and other international venues?
2.) What is the real number of US dollars in US aid to Israel?
3.) How do we know that the critics offer exaggerated assessments of the dollar amount and spurious claims regarding its political valence and liabilities?
4.) What is the value to the USA of its generous financial support to Israel, compared to the value of similar aid to those countries which are Israel’s avowed enemies?
5.) What is the real impact of the USA’s “special relationship” with Israel upon America’s position in the Middle East and in the broader Muslim world?The following article will address the first question. The remaining four will be answered in subsequent articles.
At the most obvious level, Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Democracies are an endangered species, so they can be expected to support one another and to have mutually beneficial relationships stronger than those between democracies and totalitarian states.
The U.S.–Israel “special relationship” grows in part from the resonance of a common Bible and a host of Judeo-Christian features. As western democracies, Israel and the USA have shared strategic interests, shared civic and political values, and the personal, cultural, and political bonds that exist naturally between free peoples. The supreme commander of NATO operations in Europe and head of the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), General John Craddock, speaking before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee in 2007, called Israel a “model state” and America’s closest ally in the Middle East. He noted that Israel consistently and directly supports U.S. interests and U.S. policy in the region.
In fact, Israel is among the few countries in the world, and the only Middle Eastern state, to consistently stand alongside the United States on strategic issues in the UN and in other venues for international cooperation. Israel votes with the USA in the UN about 94% of the time. No other nation holds that record.
But amicable support alone cannot justify tens of billions of taxpayer dollars in US aid to Israel. Happily, the USA has two very strong reasons to conclude that money to Israel is an investment for which the American people get a truly excellent return.
First, there is a financial reciprocity in this “special relationship” quite unlike any other that the USA has. Much, and in many years most, of the money that the USA gives Israel has been used by Israel to purchase goods and services, both military and civilian, from the USA, so that American aid money is recycled back into the American economy. Nearly 90% of US aid to Israel is military, and Israel spends about 75% of that buying U.S. goods. This aid has been described as an indirect American subsidy to U.S. arms manufacturers.
But, second, there is more to this issue than merely Israel’s using American money to help the US economy. Israel is a very powerful military ally as well. The security cooperation between Israel and the United States is vast, and Israel has consistently been a major security asset to the United States, an asset upon which America can rely, far more so than have been other state recipients of American largesse.
In the field of military intelligence Israel is arguably the world’s leading expert in collecting intelligence on terrorist groups and in counter-terrorism. It provides intelligence and know-how to the U.S. According to Maj. Gen. George J. Keegan Jr., former head of U.S. Air Force intelligence, America’s military defense capability “owes more to the Israeli intelligence input than it does to any single source of intelligence,” the worth of which input, he estimated, exceeds “five CIAs.” He further stated that between 1974 and 1990, Israel received $18.3 billion in U.S. military grants. During the same period Israel provided the U.S. with $50-$80 billion in intelligence, research and development savings, and Soviet weapons systems captured and transferred to the U.S.
Israeli and American intelligence agencies continuously exchange information, analyses, and operational experience in counterterrorism and counter-proliferation. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its Israeli counterpart share technical know-how in defending against terrorist attacks, countering unconventional weapons and cyber-threats, and combating the drug trade. On the battlefield, Israeli armaments protect Bradley and Stryker units from rocket-propelled grenades, while Israeli-made drones and reconnaissance devices allow for safe surveillance of hostile territory. U.S. fighter aircraft and helicopters incorporate Israeli concepts and components, as do modern-class U.S. warships. The IDF has furnished U.S. forces with its expertise in the detection and neutralization of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the largest cause of American casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Former Supreme Commander of NATO and U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Alexander Haig (deceased) described Israel as “the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require even one US soldier, cannot be sunk, is the most cost-effective and battle-tested, located in a region which is critical to vital US interests. If there would not be an Israel, the US would have to deploy real aircraft carriers, along with tens of thousands of US soldiers, which would cost tens of billions of dollars annually, dragging the US unnecessarily into local, regional and global conflicts.”
In short, support for Israel has been a very profitable investment for the USA. Israel is an ideal ally for America in the Middle East. Haifa is one of the safest and most hospitable ports for the 6th Fleet, a dependable base for pre-positioning emergency military stores for deployment in neighboring countries, and a base for close-by sophisticated medical services.
In contrast, the problems the United States faces in the Persian Gulf today stem from the fact that it does not have an Israel equivalent there. Absent a strong, loyal, and dependable ally in the region, the United States has had to deploy, redeploy, and redeploy again, at a cost that easily exceeds a trillion dollars. Repeated U.S. administrations came to power predisposed to associate with the Arab world and to disassociate from Israel; but in the end, most came to acknowledge the worth of Israel as a steadfast ally in a volatile region. From Lyndon Johnson on, most have come to see that US support for Israel has been the most cost-effective national security investment for America since World War II and the Marshal Plan.
In sum, Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies. Israel fights the same Islamo-fascist terrorism that brought down our World Trade Center, blew up a large chunk of the Pentagon, killed more than 3,000 innocent American civilians, and cost our economy as yet unascertained billions of dollars. Israeli-American strategic cooperation is not a given, it is not automatic, it is not a knee-jerk reaction to shared values, and it is not a panacea; but without it the world would be a much more dangerous place. Israel helps keep America safe.
At $3 billion a year, that’s an incredible bargain.
 See http://www.mythsandfacts.com/NOQ_Onl...tesisrael1.htm for a detailed history of the development of the “special relationship.”
 For these and others see http://www.aipac.org/~/media/Publica...icalQuotes.pdf.
 The most infamous of late being Walt and Mearsheimer, http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-me...e-israel-lobby (and see http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/S...PID=0&IID=1795 for a very thorough rebuttal); and Thomas Stauffer in The Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 9, 2002,
http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1209/p16s01-wmgn.html (and see http://honestreporting.com/u-s-aid-to-israel/?mobile=1 for a very thorough rebuttal); Stephen Zunes in The Jerusalem Fund, Feb., 2001, http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/www....10201ftr.html; Scott McConnel, “The Special Relationship with Israel: Is it worth the Cost?,” Middle East Policy Council Archive, http://www.mepc.org/journal/middle-e...onship-israel; and a variety of articles over the last few years condemning Israel and urging the USA to end its support, financial and political, for Israel in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), and especially the August, 2008 edition, http://www.highbeam.com/publications...70/august-2008.
 For a detailed analysis of the history of American aid to Israel, its substantial increase after 1970, and the role of our government’s hard-headed, logical, and fact-based analysis of the strategic value of the “special relationship” in the realms of military intelligence, ordnance and operations, see A. F. K. Organsi, “The $36 Billion Bargain: Strategy and Politics in U.S. Assistance to Israel,” New York, Columbia University Press, 1990. And for a review see http://www.danielpipes.org/604/the-3...politics-in-us.
 For a detailed analysis of decades of Israeli intelligence support to the USA, see Wolf Blitzer, “Between Washington and Jerusalem,” New York, Oxford University Press, 1986, and the New York Times review for a summary at http://www.nytimes.com/1986/03/09/bo...n-5-cia-s.html. For one example among many: In August 1966, the Mossad recruited an Iraqi pilot who defected and flew a Soviet MiG 21 to Israel. Israel shared this intelligence coup with the U.S. Israel furnished many whole Soviet weapons systems, like 122-mm and 130-mm artillery and a T-72 tank, to the U.S. For a detailed list of such coups see http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/S...PID=0&IID=1795
 And Secretary of State Hague was not exaggerating. According to one professional assessment from July, 1986:
“Washington has shown interest in Israeli help in possible air and sea battles with Soviet forces in the eastern Mediterranean. The growing strength of the Soviet Navy and declining political reliability of Premier Andreas Papandreou’s anti-American regime in Greece has increased the importance of Israeli cooperation in this vital area…. The Israeli Air Force has had extensive combat experience over the Mediterranean and could play a dominant role in the area south of Turkey and east of Crete. A U.S. Navy study [DML: not available to the public] reportedly has concluded that Israel’s Air Force alone could destroy the entire Soviet Fleet in the eastern Mediterranean. By one estimate, Israel could launch 20 times as many air attack sorties as an aircraft carrier air wing or 12 times as many air combat sorties. Even if only 10 percent of the Israeli Air Force were committed to sea control missions, Israel could project more air power than could a U.S. carrier in the eastern Mediterranean (author’s emphasis). …. The small Israeli Navy, meanwhile, is a modern force comprised of fast missile boats that pack considerable punch. .…
Even if Israel sits out a military conflict with the Soviet Union, Jerusalem could make a major difference in the outcome by permitting U.S. warplanes to use Israeli air bases.”
http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/...reams/9275.pdf and cf. also http://www.heritage.org/research/rep...take-in-israel.
Israel’s military capacity has only grown since then. For a broad over-view of Israel’s strategic value to the USA see: http://www.aipac.org/israel-and-the-us and http://www.aipac.org/israel-and-the-...ry-partnership.
Israel's Jewish Character Is Her Truth; the Rest Is Just Commentary
Israel's Jewish Character Is Her Truth; the Rest Is Just Commentary
Those who denigrate Israel's political system should pay attention to how she stacks up against the rest of the world
By Matthew M. Hausman
A bill was introduced in the Knesset last year to amend Israel's Oath of Allegiance to require all new immigrants to swear their loyalty to a "Jewish and democratic" state. The bill does not represent any great ideological shift, but rather is consistent with Israel's Declaration of Independence and Basic Laws, which refer to her as a Jewish state multiple times and have the force and effect of a constitutional mandate.
Nevertheless, the proposed amendment has been roundly condemned by the political left and liberal press in Israel and abroad, with many commentators opining that it is incompatible with democratic principles. This assertion is nonsense, however, and serves only to camouflage the post-Zionist, anti-Zionist, or anti-Israel sentiments of the proposal's critics. It also betrays an ignorance regarding the fundamentals of democratic governance. In no way does official acknowledgment of Israel's Jewish character compromise the individual rights and liberties of Israeli citizens, nor does it inhibit the electoral process or the workings of her representative government.
The real issue for Israel's critics is not the wording of the oath of allegiance. Any sovereign nation has the right to require new citizens to pledge allegiance to its national values. Indeed, naturalized immigrants in the United States are required to swear an oath to the Constitution as if it were holy writ. No, the real cause for progressive discomfort is Israel's perceived audacity in proclaiming her essence as a Jewish state premised on Jewish values. None of Israel's detractors would think to condemn Arab-Muslim countries that base their governments on Islamic law, or Jordan for enacting Nazi-like laws prohibiting Jews from citizenship (not that Jews would desire to be Jordanian citizens), or the Saudis for prohibiting Jews entry to the Arabian peninsula, or the Palestinian Authority for openly inciting anti-Semitic hatred and supporting terrorism, calling for Israel's destruction, and seeking to create a state through ethnic cleansing.
On the contrary, liberal commentators and pundits are conspicuously silent in the face of persistent Arab-Muslim rejectionism, racism, and anti-Semitism, and they compound the perfidy of their silence by engaging in a secular form of taqiyya in order to disparage Jewish historical claims, and thereby Israel's legitimacy. The pervasive anti-Israel bias of progressive political society is reflected in its disingenuous defense of sharia as a benign expression of Islamic faith, its tendency to minimize the risk of Islamist terrorism comparatively by claiming that Christian extremism actually poses a greater threat to democracy, and its assurances of Arab-Muslim moderation despite the Palestinians' stated goals of destroying Israel and exterminating her people.
Progressive criticism of the amendment to Israel's oath does not arise out of any genuine concern for democratic values. Rather, it is fueled by the desire to delegitimize Israel by impugning her historical foundations, particularly as they are expressed in traditional Jewish nationalism and modern political Zionism. The pathological urge to belittle Jewish historical rights is, after all, the true motivation for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement and coordinated international efforts to cast Israel as a pariah state. That is the crux of progressive displeasure with the proposed change to the citizenship oath, and this becomes painfully clear when the bogus threat to democracy is fully parsed and deconstructed.
The most obvious red herring is the claim that requiring citizens to acknowledge Israel's Jewish character and Zionist roots would be inconsistent with American democratic ideals. The comparison is inapposite because the American system is the product of convergent historical forces unique to the American experience. American-style democracy exists only in the United States and is distinct from political systems found anywhere else -- including Israel. However, to the extent that the United States is held up as the standard by which all other political systems and institutions are measured, it would be fair to question what really constitutes American democracy, and whether today's political reality reflects the original intent of the founding fathers.
The truth is that America's founders never set out to create a direct democracy, but instead sought to establish a republic based on constitutional principles. This intent was clearly articulated in Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which states: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government." Though the distinctions are blurred today, there is a world of difference between republican and democratic forms of government. A constitutional republic is a representative government based on constitutional principles, whether written or unwritten, in which federal power is limited and divided among executive, legislative, and judicial branches and wherein individual rights and liberties are held to be inviolate. This differs from a direct or pure democracy, wherein citizens have a direct hand in governmental decision-making, and in which individual rights and liberties give way to majority rule. It also differs from representative democracy in which electoral constituents choose leaders to govern and legislate in their interest, at least theoretically.
The founding fathers envisioned a system in which individual rights and liberties would be paramount, states' rights would be respected, and federal powers would be limited. Thus, they were very suspicious of pure democracy, in which personal freedoms could be sacrificed for the perceived common good and in which the determination of community standards could be influenced or dictated by mob rule. This distrust was best summed up by Benjamin Franklin who, when asked what form of government the Constitution established, replied: "A Republic, if you can keep it." Consistent with Franklin's reservations, James Madison in the Federalist Papers expressed the following view regarding democracy:
[D]emocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would at the same time be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions. (Federalist No. 10, November 22, 1787.)These sentiments were echoed consistently by many early American luminaries, including Alexander Hamilton and John Jay.
The American system has evolved since its early days into a constitutional democracy that juggles inalienable rights, personal liberties, and communal obligations, and which features an electoral system that combines direct elections and indirect representational voting. While citizens elect their local and federal representatives directly, they choose their president through an electoral college. The popular vote determines only the electors, who in turn formally select the president. Voter input is far more attenuated in the legislative arena, in which elected representatives write and enact legislation. Although those elected are supposed to represent the interests of their constituents, they often fail to do so. Thus, the American system is not a pure democracy, but rather a hybrid incorporating direct and indirect elections, representational legislation, and constitutionally protected rights and obligations.
Given that the American system combines democratic and republican elements but is neither a pure democracy nor a classic republic, it's not always clear what its advocates mean when they extol the virtues of American democracy over any other scheme of government. Is it the elevation of individual rights and liberties (which is actually a hallmark of the republican form of government), or is it the right to select leaders and legislators through free and fair elections? And if certain rights are held to be inalienable regardless of the common good, are the self-appointed guardians of Western democracy really advancing democratic ideals at all, or instead the idealized trappings of those ideals, or perhaps purely republican principles?
These nagging questions come into sharper focus when other kinds of democracies are considered. England, for example, has a constitutional monarchy that incorporates many democratic elements, yet it differs fundamentally from the American system. Its constitution is not written, but instead is derived from various laws, principles, and documents said to form the basis of its political society. This "unwritten constitution" includes the Magna Carta, which is premised upon, among other things, the institution of the monarchy and the presumption of its divine agency. Such foundations, however, seem inherently inconsistent with democratic government.
Although England has a parliamentary legislative system, its Parliament was not always an entirely democratic institution. Whereas the House of Commons is selected through an electoral process, the House of Lords is a purely hereditary body immune to the vicissitudes of electoral politics. Though the power of the House of Lords has been diminished nearly to irrelevance, its continued existence as an institutional symbol is as inconsistent with democratic and constitutional ideals as is the concept of a divinely ordained monarchy. And yet, despite the incorporation of such imperious elements in its governmental structure, England's democratic credentials are rarely impugned, and certainly not with the same venom often reserved for Israel.
And what of democracy in the Muslim world? Some Muslim countries, such as Malaysia, are hailed as democratic simply because they have nominal constitutions and parliamentary bodies. However, individual rights and freedoms are generally subservient to Islamic law as applied by Sharia courts, and there is no separation between religion and state. Although Malaysia's national constitution ostensibly guarantees religious freedom, for example, it also proclaims Islam to be the national religion, and requires citizens to be Muslim in order to be considered ethnic Malaysians. Moreover, those who no longer consider themselves "believers" are not permitted simply to leave Islam. Only one Malaysian state officially permits conversion out of Islam, and only then after an exhausting application process that requires a year of counseling with a mufti followed by court approval, which is usually denied. Other states consider apostasy a crime that is punishable under sharia.
Clearly, governmental restrictions on matters of faith are inconsistent with either constitutional republics or democracies, but instead are more characteristic of totalitarian or theocratic regimes. Despite the severe restrictions they impose on individual rights and freedoms, so-called Islamic democracies do not rouse the ire of those liberal watchdogs who feel compelled to criticize every perceived Israeli assault on democratic principles. Ironically, the political left tends to empathize with Islamic states despite their lack of respect for the rights, liberties, and institutions that are the touchstones of liberal democracy.
In evaluating whether expressions of Zionism or official acknowledgments of Jewish values are compatible with democracy, it is first necessary to determine which political ideals provide the yardstick for measurement. Clearly, pure democracy is unattainable because it is predicated upon direct majority rule, which is subject to no checks and balances and can lead to the suppression of minority rights by a dictatorial majority. The United States is not a pure democracy, but rather seems to define itself by its emphasis on constitutional rights and liberties, although it has in the past restricted the same in order to protect national security or to preserve the public order.
Nevertheless, if individual rights and liberties are considered the cornerstones of the American system, then Israel measures up well. Israel has an open electoral system in which Arabs and Jews vote, run for office, and participate in government; and in certain ways, her system is perhaps even more open than that in the United States. Indeed, the Knesset has Arab members who voice anti-government and anti-Jewish rhetoric, openly sympathize with Israel's enemies, and engage in seditious conduct that would likely constitute treason in the United States. It is difficult to imagine U.S. congressmen advocating the destruction of the United Sates from the floors of the Senate or House of Representatives, particularly in light of the oath of office obligating them to uphold and defend the Constitution. Absurdly, however, such conduct by Arab MKs seems to be tolerated in Israel.
In addition, Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel generally live where they want and derive benefit from the same government policies and programs regarding public health, welfare, and infrastructure. Because Israeli Arabs are exempt from military service, however, they actually receive for free the same benefits for which Israeli Jews must pay with their national service. Thus, they receive identical benefits without shouldering any national responsibility. Although Arab advocates claim that they are second-class citizens in Israeli society, there is no dispute that Israeli Arabs enjoy the highest standard of living, the lowest infant mortality rates, the longest life expectancy, and the highest literacy rates of any Arab population in the Mideast.
There is likewise no dispute that Israel guarantees free speech, freedom of religion, and equal rights for women even though she has been in a constant state of war since 1948. It would certainly be easier for Israel -- and perhaps wiser -- to curtail those rights that compromise her national security. Certainly, other countries have done so, including the United States, where restrictions have been imposed on the right to speak, protest, and assemble in order to preserve national security during wartime. The U.S. government has also enacted seemingly draconian anti-sedition statutes, such as the Alien Enemies Act, which permits the government -- with little or no due process -- to deport resident aliens whose native countries are at war with the United States. From the days of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to those of Abraham Lincoln and later Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, far more people have been arrested and jailed for seditious speech and suspected enemy allegiances in the United States than have ever been detained in Israel.
Judged against this historical backdrop, those gadflies who claim that adding a few simple words to Israel's oath of citizenship will somehow bring down democracy are disingenuous and hypocritical. One wonders how they can be so consumed with Israel's alleged indiscretions and yet ignore the totalitarian and theocratic tendencies of the nations comprising the Arab-Muslim world.
Lost in all the biased discourse is the simple truth meant to be conveyed by the proposed change to the oath, which is that Israel's existence is justified precisely because she is a Jewish nation in the ancient homeland. No other sovereign nation existed in this land from the time of the Dispersion to the reestablishment of the modern state. Accordingly, Israel's existence is not predicated on whether she is democratic or republican, liberal or conservative. Rather, Israel exists as the homeland of an ancient people that maintained its national identity, religious integrity and connection to its land throughout the millennia. This connection is corporeal as well as spiritual and remains unbroken to the present day.
Regardless of the technical form of her government, Israel is first and foremost a Jewish nation. She is not a melting pot, but rather a patchwork where individual and minority rights are respected as long as they do not threaten her security and continuity as a Jewish state. No other country is expected to court national suicide by sacrificing its needs and ideals to placate hostile critics and enemies who are opposed to its very existence. Therefore, Israel must not indulge those who denigrate her existence and call for her destruction. Instead, she should rejoice in her history as the homeland of the Jewish People and her mission as their national refuge. When all is said and done, Israel's Jewish character is her truth, and the rest is just commentary.
The macabre prepossession of the international community with the “problem” of Israel is now so widespread that it has become like a cultural neurosis or even a fact of nature, that is, something that is habitual, taken for granted and rarely questioned. One drinks it in with the morning coffee, if not with one’s mother’s milk. It is treated as the central issue in the geopolitical world beside which every other consideration fades into comparative insignificance.
The People’s Republic of China has overrun Tibet, resettled it with its own citizens and imposed autocratic rule? Not on the radar. Zimbabwe has forcefully dispossessed its white farmers and mercilessly persecuted its own people? Of no account. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian Copts are fleeing the country to avoid killings, rapes, church burnings and forced conversions? A mere bagatelle. Islamist and Salafist factions are emerging in Egypt in the wake of the much-touted “Arab Spring,” promising renewed violence whether in Helwan, Imbaba, Tahrir Square or Alexandria? A tepid reproof by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and so on to other things, mainly Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood is making inroads into the Islamic world and promulgating Sharia law in the West? Of little interest. Iran is brutally suppressing its own population and Syria is indiscriminately slaughtering its people? No flotillas. Russia is systematically murdering and imprisoning investigative journalists? It’s an internal Russian matter. Reports indicate that Venezuela and Cuba may construct missile emplacements targeting the U.S.? Forget about it. Libyan rebels are massacring black Africans? Nothing to worry about. Sudan is conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign in Darfur? It doesn’t register. Somalia is imploding owing to the bombings and depredations of the al-Shabaab terrorist network? Not our problem. Pakistan-sponsored terrorists wreak havoc in India? It merits a passing headline and is then dismissed. The Taliban is again turning Afghanistan into a killing field? Unfortunate, but there it is. Turkey refuses to acknowledge and apologize for the Armenian genocide it carried out? Well, that was long ago.
But when it comes to the Israeli/Palestinian nexus, the focus is unswerving. The UN debates the issue endlessly and propagates one denunciation of the Jewish state after another. The EU and the U.S. are fixated on a resolution to what they appear to consider a planetary imbroglio. Something called the “Quartet,” which has been aptly called a “chorus of jackals,” has been concocted to deal with the matter to the exclusion of far more pressing concerns. The media are pitching in with obscene insistence. NGOs, churches and labor unions have exceeded their mandates and competencies in engaging with a Levantine quarrel. And public opinion, especially in Europe, has been galvanized by what is in essence a parochial dispute and really none of its business.The media and the political class are especially culpable. As James Fallows argues in Breaking the News, the media are busy practicing what is called predictive journalism and engaging in professional spin, disguising editorial opinion as impartial news coverage and thus adding political prejudice to the ostensibly neutral transmission of facts. The political class is given to what Michael Freund has dubbed “selective provocation syndrome,” that is, “when one deems Israel’s actions to be provocative while ignoring similar moves by the Palestinians.” The Palestinians, he points out, are building thirteen times the number of dwellings in Samaria and Judea as are being built by Jews, in order to establish facts on the ground in the disputed territories. “So why,” he asks, “is this too not regarded as a ‘provocation’ that undermines peace efforts?” And replies: “I guess not all ‘provocations’ are considered equal.”
Clearly, the debate is intensively weighted on the side of the Palestinians, which means that the Israelis are regularly condemned for defending themselves, for acting in accordance with historical and legal principles, and for their reluctance to sign away legitimate territory and, in effect, to jeopardize their very survival. There is little recognition of the fact that Israel has constantly signaled its willingness to embark upon realistic negotiations. As Barry Rubin writes, “So if the world isn’t going to listen to Israel’s proposals, won’t credit its eagerness to negotiate and won’t accept plans that also include Israel getting something for its troubles, there is no way Israel is ever going to satisfy it.”
The situation is frankly preposterous and provokes two salient questions: why such an unrelenting convergence of interest on this tiny slice of the world’s geography, so scarce in natural resources and constantly threatened with destruction, called Israel?; and in the context of consensual advocacy, why Palestine?
The world remains focused on Israel because Israel is a Jewish state, the Jewish family on the international block, a distinctive presence which activates the latent—as well as the manifest—content of a malingering and inexcisable anti-Semitism. For this is anti-Semitism pure and simple and it would be disingenuous to try and mitigate the truth by seeking for nuanced and textured evasions intended to downplay mankind’s longest hatred. Jews, the feeling goes, do not deserve their own state. They presumably form a collection of wandering tribes and disruptive social interlopers, justly scattered among the nations and deserving of marginalization, a historical “fossil” according to the celebrated historian Arnold Toynbee and, according to the anti-Zionist delator Tony Judt, an “anachronism.” But such pronouncements and convictions are merely an attempt to launder one’s irrational bigotries or dissemble one’s innate aversions. The current situation makes this blatantly evident. The name of the game is Judeophobia.
For the disproportion between the world’s response to a healthy, robust, legitimate and embattled democratic state the size of New Jersey and the vast cesspools of tyranny, oppression, insurgence, violence and depredation that litter the globe is incommensurable. With only occasional exceptions, the world trains its gaze almost exclusively on Israel. “One wonders,” writes Matthew Hausman, “how they can be so consumed with Israel’s alleged indiscretions and yet ignore the totalitarian and theocratic tendencies of the nations comprising the Arab-Muslim world.” Good question.
World leaders inveigh against every defensive operation that Israel undertakes to protect its sovereignty and safeguard its people. They condemn normal domestic projects, like building apartments in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem, a city which also happens to be the capital of the country. The blame for stalled “negotiations” is inevitably laid at Israel’s door, in defiance of Palestinian intransigence, bellicose chauvinism and unilateral actions. Material concessions are demanded of Israel: little is required of the other side, except for a few paper agreements of approximately the same value as UN assurances—that is to say, they are worth nothing. The historicity of the Jewish sanction to the Jewish homeland is ignored. The legal instruments that have validated the Jewish state are vacated or deliberately misinterpreted. The laws of war which entitle Israel to the territories it has conquered in a defensive struggle—and that are in any case part of its ancestral allodium—are brushed aside, though recognized in every other historical instance.
At the same time, the revisionist Palestinian narrative of indigenous rights and immemorial nationhood, which has no basis in reality and is demonstrably woven out of whole cloth, is vetted by the international community and accepted without question. The Palestinian program should be perfectly transparent. As Zahir Muhsein of the Palestinian National Council told the Dutch newspaper Trouw as far back as 1977, “The Palestinian people does not exist…Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people…to oppose Zionism.”
With regard to the Israelis and the Palestinians, the maxim is: to the losers go the spoils. The anti-Israel bias explains the spurious preoccupation, indeed the pathological obsession, with the Palestinian cause, the acceptance of the Palestinian fable of dispossession (the so-called Nakba), and the winking at the Palestinian terror franchises, the anti-Jewish incitement industry and the genocidal charters of both Fatah and Hamas. The declared goal of Hamas is the annihilation of Israel. Its mission statement reads in part: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.” The cardinal purpose of the Fatah movement, according to its constitution, is the “complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence,” to be effected by “armed struggle [which] will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished.” Further, Article 19 of the PLO Covenant rejects the 1947 UN partition of Palestine and Article 20 denies the Jewish historical relationship to the Holy Land.The most effective way, then, to shrink the Jewish state and render it increasingly vulnerable to successful attack by the surrounding Muslim nations is to support the claims, strategies and demands of the Palestinian leadership. Western leaders, the liberal political elite, Third World parasites and various autocratic regimes are not genuinely interested in the confection of a Palestinian state. A loose collection of mendicant clans calling themselves a “people” or a “nation,” with neither historical grounding nor political warrant and that offers nothing of value to the world at large, is, or should be, by any reasonable estimation of peripheral significance.
The agenda in play is something quite different, in part an effort to curry favor with the Islamic umma and, allied with this concern, the intent to siphon the lifeblood of the troublesome Zionist upstart. Israel represents the collective Jew who must be put in his place, not treated as an equal, but, at best, superciliously tolerated and, at worst, deprived of status or erased from the book of the living. This is where Palestine comes in. As others have remarked, Palestine is the Trojan Horse the councils of the nations wheel up to the gates of Jerusalem; “their forces join/To invade the town,” as Virgil writes in The Aeneid. Troy must fall to the ruses of its enemies. The invention of Palestine has no other purpose, whether for the Arabs, “progressive” political society or the rabble of confrontation states and rogue regimes, than the reduction of the Jewish state, on which the world’s baleful attention has fastened since at least the 1967 war.
Why Palestine? The answer is obvious. The answer is: Israel.
America: Strengthened by Its Support of Israel
America: Strengthened by Its Support of Israel
In the first in the series of articles analyzing US foreign aid to Israel, the present writer posed five questions:
1.) Why is there an Israel-USA “special relationship,” an alliance which includes generous American aid and political support at the UN and other international venues?The first article addressed question #1 and the first half of question #4 (Israel’s value to the USA). The second article addressed the second half of question #4 (USA aid to Israel’s enemies hurts the USA). The third article addressed questions #2 and #3.
This article, last in the series, will address question #5.
In order to assess accurately and objectively the real impact of the US-Israel “special relationship” upon America’s position in the Middle East and in the broader Muslim world, one must consider three principles which may be alien to the thinking of some western analysts and commentators regarding Israel and the Middle East.
The first involves adherence to the belief system that requires utmost fidelity to the data.
In his ground-breaking book Thinking Fast and Slow, reviewed recently in the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Kahneman examines why otherwise clear minded and intelligent people sometimes make drastically wrong decisions. He shows that even when analysts have all the information needed to arrive at correct decisions, and even when the logic is simple, they still all too often arrive at incorrect or even disastrously erroneous conclusions. The problem, according to Kahneman, seems to be related to “belief systems.” It seems that humans tend to be of two minds—one deliberative and rational, the other quick and intuitive. The quick and intuitive one, influenced by emotion and ideology, is all too often too willing to abandon, disregard, or even manipulate data in order to achieve conclusions that are consistent with the emotion or the ideology. Such conclusions, inconsistent with, or contradictory to, the data, may be erroneous at best and mendaciously misleading at worst. Kahneman warns that
“All scientists, not least social scientists, should be wary of adhering to any belief system in their professional lives other than the one that requires fidelity to their data.”If the analyst or commentator has a cause, then there could be a conflict of interest between the cause and the data. Analysts who, due to an ideological pre-disposition, belief system, or emotional commitment to a cause, fall prey to such a conflict of interest, may offer conclusions about whatever issue is under discussion that are grossly divergent from the data, and hence from reality.
In light of Kahneman’s insights, and given the enormous divergence between the reality of the amounts of US foreign aid to Israel and the astronomically exaggerated numbers proffered by those using the “kitchen sink” methodology, it seems logical to conclude that the latter are possessed of a predisposition motivated by some belief system, some emotional commitment to a cause, which drives them to inflate, distort, decontextualize, cherry pick, misrepresent and even falsify data in order to arrive at conclusions that are congruent with the predisposition. This being the case, with fidelity to the data utterly abandoned, their conclusions are worthless at best.
The second is the principle of the “strong horse.”
Osama bin Laden stated this principle several times in his public speeches: “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.” The role of this “strong horse” principle in Arab society and politics has been explored and analyzed by author Lee Smith in his book The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations (Anchor Books, January 2011). Smith concludes that in Arab politics from at least the onset of the era of the Caliphs following Mohammed’s death, political transfer of power has always been either through violence or dynasty. Thus violence and the struggle between “strong horses” (the dynastic inheritor vs. his competitors for the throne) has predominated. Mohammed himself and the Caliphs after him all ruled by violence and coercion, and most were assassinated. In short, “…the strong horse is the person, tribe, country, or nation that is best able to impose its will upon others, the weaker horses, through the use of force.” This rather dark view of Arab political history was promulgated first by none other than the famous Arab historian and philosopher, ibn-Khaldun in the 14th century.
This “strong horse” principle, active for more than a millennium in Arab politics, plays out today in the international arena as well. The strong horse on the international scene is a deterrent to aggression; and, conversely, a weak horse invites attack: hence the stronger the horse, the greater the deterrence.
The significance of this principle for the US-Israel “special relationship” is immediately obvious. As long as America is perceived as a global “strong horse” by the leaders in the Arab world, and the American strong horse is closely aligned with its proxy strong horse in the Middle East, Israel, then there is a strong deterrent to Arab leadership initiating war. If a strong America abdicates its role as the strong horse, then its proxy, Israel, is weakened; and this weakness is likely to invite aggression. Conversely, a strong Israel is a stabilizing force in the Middle East, and a strong relationship with the global strong horse, America, strengthens Israel.
Moreover, American leadership that abandons Israel is likely to be seen as an untrustworthy ally, or a weak horse unable to uphold its side of the alliance.
Those who argue, therefore, that America should distance itself from Israel are actually encouraging the de-stabilization of the Middle East. This is a dynamic that is not in the interests of the USA, nor of Israel, nor of the Middle East. It serves the interests only of those Arab and other Muslim leaders who seek the destruction of Israel and the genocide of its Jews. Those who argue that America should distance itself from Israel are supporting, knowingly or not, the next great holocaust of Jews.
The third principle derives from the second, and was first enunciated by Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, a 3rd century roman military historian: si vis pacem, para bellum (if you want peace, prepare for war). This principle is rather self-evident; if you are not the “strong horse” you invite aggression; but it seems to have fallen out of favor in our post-Cold-War national consciousness.
It is important to understand that the Muslim forces with which we are currently at war (our misleadingly named “war against terror”) do not hate us for what we do, or have done. They hate us for what we are: successful, powerful, rich, democratic, a magnet to their own people who flock to our shores by the tens of thousands, and not Muslim. Their animus cannot be bought off with largesse or kindly gestures. If we want peace, we must either defeat our enemies utterly, or be so strong, so well prepared to defeat aggression, so committed to our ideals and so stalwart with our allies that we are the unmistakably strongest horse on the global scene.
Far from being a liability, America’s alliance with Israel is a major asset in the current war. This alliance, the “special relationship,” contributes enormously to American power, and assists us in projecting an image of strength and impregnability to those who seek our fall.
It is with this in mind that fifty American generals publicly proclaimed the following on April 2, 2010:
We, the undersigned, have traveled to Israel over the years with The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). We brought with us our decades of military experience and, following unrestricted access to Israel’s civilian and military leaders, came away with the unswerving belief that the security of the State of Israel is a matter of great importance to the United States and its policy in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. A strong, secure Israel is an asset upon which American military planners and political leaders can rely. Israel is a democracy – a rare and precious commodity in the region – and Israel shares our commitment to freedom, personal liberty and rule of law.Those who argue for an end to the special relationship not only aid and abet in Israel’s destruction, they undermine American power and deterrence as well.
Muslim Brotherhood leads Friday Mosque rally with chant "One day we'll kill all Jews"
Muslim Brotherhood leads Friday Mosque rally with chant "One day we'll kill all Jews"
NEVER AGAIN!!! Paparock
The Righteous Israeli
The Righteous Israeli
The poignant thoughts of an Israeli citizen-soldier who must battle the physical toll of incessant war, as well as the ongoing assault by an indifferent world that cries crocodile tears, all the while ignoring genuine humanitarian problems.
By Eileen F. Toplansky
Since beginning to write for the American Thinker, I have "met" some incredible people via e-mail. I was recently sent this letter that reflects the poignant thoughts of an Israeli citizen-soldier who must battle the physical toll of incessant war, as well as the ongoing assault by an indifferent world that cries crocodile tears, all the while ignoring genuine humanitarian problems. Marilyn and Josh Adler shared this letter from their son Aron and asked that it be passed on "for the world to see."
My name is Aron Adler.
I am 25 years old, was born in Brooklyn NY, and raised in Efrat, Israel. Though very busy, I don't view my life as unusual. Most of the time, I am just another Israeli citizen. During the day I work as a paramedic in Magen David Adom, Israel's national EMS service. At night, I'm in my first year of law school. I got married this October and am starting a new chapter of life together with my wonderful wife Shulamit.
Fifteen to twenty days out of every year, I'm called up to the Israeli army to do my reserve duty. I serve as a paramedic in an IDF paratrooper unit. My squad is made up of others like me; people living normal lives who step up to serve whenever responsibility calls. The oldest in my squad is 58, a father of four girls and grandfather of two; there are two bankers, one engineer, a holistic healer, and my 24 year old commander who is still trying to figure out what to do with his life. Most of the year we are just normal people living our lives, but for 15-20 days each year we are soldiers on the front lines preparing for a war that we hope we never have to fight.
This year, our reserve unit was stationed on the border between Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip in an area called "Kerem Shalom." Above and beyond the "typical" things for which we train - war, terrorism, border infiltration, etc., - this year we were confronted by a new challenge. Several years ago, a trend started of African refugees crossing the Egyptian border from Sinai into Israel to seek asylum from the atrocities in Darfur.
What started out as a small number of men, women and children fleeing from the machetes of the Janjaweed and violent fundamentalists to seek a better life elsewhere, turned into an organized industry of human trafficking. In return for huge sums of money, sometimes entire life savings paid to Bedouin "guides," these refugees are promised to be transported from Sudan, Eritrea, and other African countries through Egypt and the Sinai desert, into the safe haven of Israel.
We increasingly hear horror stories of the atrocities these refugees suffer on their way to freedom. They are subject to, and victims of extortion, rape, murder, and even organ theft, their bodies left to rot in the desert. Then, if lucky, after surviving this gruesome experience whose prize is freedom, when only a barbed wire fence separates them from Israel and their goal, they must go through the final death run and try to evade the bullets of the Egyptian soldiers stationed along the border. Egypt's soldiers are ordered to shoot to kill anyone trying to cross the border OUT of Egypt and into Israel. It's an almost nightly event.
For those who finally get across the border, the first people they encounter are Israeli soldiers, people like me and those in my unit, who are tasked with a primary mission of defending the lives of the Israeli people. On one side of the border soldiers shoot to kill. On the other side, they know they will be treated with more respect than in any of the countries they crossed to get to this point.
The region where it all happens is highly sensitive and risky from a security point of view, an area stricken with terror at every turn. It's just a few miles south of the place where Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. And yet the Israeli soldiers who are confronted with these refugees do it not with rifles aimed at them, but with a helping hand and an open heart. The refugees are taken to a nearby IDF base, given clean clothes, a hot drink, food and medical attention. They are finally safe.
Even though I live in Israel and am aware through media reports of the events that take place on the Egyptian border, I never understood the intensity and complexity of the scenario until I experienced it myself.
In the course of the past few nights, I have witnessed much. At 9:00 p.m. last night, the first reports came in of gunfire heard from the Egyptian border. Minutes later, IDF scouts spotted small groups of people trying to get across the fence. In the period of about one hour, we picked up 13 men - cold, barefoot, dehydrated - some wearing nothing except underpants. Their bodies were covered with lacerations and other wounds. We gathered them in a room, gave them blankets, tea and treated their wounds. I don't speak a word of their language, but the look on their faces said it all and reminded me once again why I am so proud to be a Jew and an Israeli. Sadly, it was later determined that the gunshots we heard were deadly, killing three others fleeing for their lives.
During the 350 days a year when I am not on active duty, when I am just another man trying to get by, the people tasked with doing this amazing job, this amazing deed, the people witnessing these events, are mostly young Israeli soldiers just out of high school, serving their compulsory time in the IDF, some only 18 years old.
The refugees flooding into Israel are a heavy burden on our small country. More than 100,000 refugees have fled this way, and hundreds more cross the border every month. The social, economic, and humanitarian issues created by this influx of refugees are immense.
There are serious security consequences for Israel as well. This influx of African refugees poses a crisis for Israel. Israel has yet to come up with the solutions required to deal with this crisis effectively, balancing its' sensitive social, economic, and security issues, at the same time striving to care for the refugees.
I don't have the answers to these complex problems which desperately need to be resolved. I'm not writing these words with the intention of taking a political position or a tactical stand on the issue.
I am writing to tell you and the entire world what's really happening down here on the Egyptian/Israeli border. And to tell you that despite all the serious problems created by this national crisis, these refugees have no reason to fear us. Because they know, as the entire world needs to know, that Israel has not shut its eyes to their suffering and pain. Israel has not looked the other way. The State of Israel has put politics aside to take the ethical and humane path as it has so often done before, in every instance of human suffering and natural disasters around the globe. We Jews know only too well about suffering and pain. The Jewish people have been there. We have been the refugees and the persecuted so many times, over thousands of years, all over the world.
Today, when African refugees flood our borders in search of freedom and better lives, and some for fear of their lives, it is particularly noteworthy how Israel deals with them, despite the enormous strain it puts on our country on so many levels. Our young and thriving Jewish people and country, built from the ashes of the Holocaust, do not turn their backs on humanity. Though I already knew that, this week I once again experienced it firsthand. I am overwhelmed with emotion and immensely proud to be a member of this nation.
With love of Israel,
Aron Adler writing from the Israel/Gaza/Egyptian border.
Looming Destruction: Will Jews Ever Learn?
Looming Destruction: Will Jews Ever Learn?
By Victor Sharpe
On the eve of the Second World War, Chaim Weizmann, who was to become Israel's first president, wrote the following about the persecutions taking place in Nazi Germany:
It would require the eloquence of a Jeremiah to picture the horrors, the human anguish, of this new Destruction and of a new book of Lamentations to depict the present plight of Israel among the nations.Several decades earlier, Max Nordau, one of the most noted European philosophers of the 19th century, and supporter of Theodore Herzl, once told the great Zionist leader and Jewish patriot, Vladimir Jabotinsky, that "the Jew learns not by way of reason, but from catastrophes. He won't buy an umbrella merely because he sees clouds in the sky. He waits until he is drenched and catches pneumonia."
This prescient observation foreshadowed the many anti-Jewish pogroms that followed in the bloodiest of all centuries: the twentieth. It also led, inexorably, to the swallowing up of the Jews of Europe by the calamitous German Nazi juggernaut, complete with enforced ghettoes, roving killing squads (the einsatzgruppen), the death camps, the gas chambers,and the starvation and horrors that forever will darken the face of Europe.
Before the Second World War broke out on September 3, 1939, Jabotinsky repeatedly warned the leaders of the Jewish communities what lay in store for them. He begged them to defend themselves and endeavor to send as many people as possible to safety amongst their fellow Jews in British Mandatory Palestine. This was before the British government slammed shut the gates of Mandatory Palestine to the desperate Jews fleeing Nazi genocide.
Both Max Nordau and Theodore Herzl had, many years earlier, warned the Jews that their future lay not in Europe, but in a reborn Jewish state, hopefully arising in the ancestral and biblical homeland, then known as Palestine and suffering under a 400-year-old Turkish Ottoman occupation.
In his book on the life of Jabotinsky, Shmuel Katz quoted from the great man's article, "Rattling off the Doloys," in which Jabotinsky condemned the leaders of the Jewish communities and the assimilationists who refused to consider leaving Europe even as the ground was beginning to burn under their feet. He pleaded with them thus in July 1939:
And I tell you, my dear colleagues, that this means going forward to destruction. D-E-S-T-R-U-C-T-I-O-N. Learn the word by heart; and God grant that I am mistaken. If such words as treachery are being flung around, I regard every one as a traitor who helps to obscure the urgency of the most urgent of all the problems besetting the Jews in Eastern Europe.And he referred to latent anti-Semitism as the sleeping "beast" which soon will again awaken and show itself among the Jews with redoubled appetite. He added, "May God protect His people from a thousandth part of the pleasures the beast is promising himself in his brief sleep."
Jabotinsky's appeals fell on mostly deaf ears, and he was accused of being an alarmist. After all, these leaders countered, how could a civilized nation like Germany do such terrible things? It was unthinkable. And the result -- the Holocaust -- was unthinkable, with the almost total destruction of European Jewry.
But decades before, the same Jabotinsky saw his dreams of a secure Jewish State in the lands both west and east of the Jordan River eroded by many of his fellow Jewish leaders in the Zionist movement. They preferred to ignore or shrug off the steady betrayal of the Balfour Declaration by successive British politicians.
These Jewish leaders preferred passivity and a reluctance to confront His Majesty's government even as it diluted its obligations to the League of Nations' mandate for Palestine, which instructed Great Britain as the mandatory power to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish National Home on both sides of the Jordan River.
Jabotinsky died from a massive heart attack -- but also from a broken heart -- at a Betar youth camp near the town of Hunter in New York State in 1940. It is no wonder that his profound disappointment at the way Britain reneged on its promises to the Jewish people, and the way many of his own colleagues let him down over many years, led him to sum it all up in the Latin phrase "homo homini lupus -- man to his fellow man is a wolf."
Jabotinsky is buried next to Theodore Herzl on Jerusalem's Mount Zion. But his life's work on behalf of the ever-persecuted Jewish masses was undone by far too many of his Jewish and Zionist contemporaries.
Jabotinsky, who almost singlehandedly created the Jewish Legion -- which fought heroically and helped liberate the geographical territory of Palestine from the Turkish yoke -- forever was forced to fight those of his colleagues who were faint of heart or obscurantist.
Elias Gilner, the author of War and Hope, The history of the Jewish Legion, described Jabotinsky's Herculean efforts as follows:
He had reached the soul of his people; he had overcome the stolidity and short-sightedness of small men in high places; he had defeated the myopic Zionist "friends" and prevaricating assimilationist foes. He had triumphed.But, as the above shows, his triumph was fleeting.
Now fast-forward one hundred and seven years to 2012 and to what Jabotinsky would see if he were able to miraculously return to life. The State of Israel, despite often suffering from the same "shortsightedness of small men in high places," has nevertheless managed wondrous achievements since its rebirth in 1948 in its ancestral and biblical homeland.
But acts so antithetical to all that Jabotinsky stood for continue unabated. Successive Israeli governments expel Jewish villagers and townsfolk from ancestral territory. They have done it both in Gaza and throughout Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank). In Gaza, their homes, farms, and schools -- and even their cemeteries, where many victims of Arab terror had been buried -- were given away to the ever-hostile Muslim Arabs -- the same ones who call themselves Palestinians but who are a fraudulent and invented people.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who now lies in a coma, created this plan, which he called "disengagement." He felt that by arbitrarily retreating from areas of the Land of Israel he would reduce or even end international pressure for further withdrawals. But the United States administration under George Bush and now under Barack Hussein Obama, as well as the international community, jumped upon this concept of retreat and predictably demanded further withdrawals without end.
President Bush, despite claims by Prime Minister Sharon that the president recognized Israel's communities across the green line, such as Ma'aleh Adumim and Ariel, expected Israel to make additional withdrawals. Under President Obama, the demand is for Israel to return to the 1949 armistice lines -- described by former Foreign Minister Abba Eban as the Auschwitz borders. This threat still hangs over Israel.
Sharon thus opened a monstrous can of worms and set in motion an unholy precedent. The discredited idea of "land for peace," whereby Israel always gives away land but never receives peace, was bad enough, but then "disengagement" became a euphemism for all that Jabotinsky fought against in his lifetime.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader and Holocaust-denier, embraced by Presidents Bush and Obama as a "man of peace," has no intention of ending the appalling anti-Jewish incitement broadcast by his Palestinian Authority-controlled media -- in itself a broken Palestinian obligation under the Oslo Accords.
Abbas will continue to press for the U.N.'s acceptance of a state called Palestine with its capital in Jerusalem. If he succeeds, with the willing connivance of an ever more anti-Israel United Nations, the city will be divided again, and -- for the first time in history -- Arabs and the Islamic world may yet celebrate Jerusalem as the capital of an Arab state. Abbas will still call for Israel to be flooded with the millions of descendants of those Arabs who were urged to leave by their corrupt leadership in the 1948 Arab-Israel war. This, the entire world knows, will mark the end of the one and only sovereign Jewish state -- what the fifty-seven Muslim states and so many other nations in the world relish.
Endless concessions to the late Yasser Arafat were greeted by him and by all Arabs as signs of Israeli weakness. Doing the same with Abbas is no different -- the practice merely reveals the absence of logic by far too many Israeli politicians and follows the dreary and myopic tradition exemplified by the "short-sightedness of small men in high places."
In a depressing way, Max Nordau was right about many of his fellow Jews. The present Israeli government, like the leaders of European Jewry before them who spurned and derided the impassioned and desperate pleas of Jabotinsky, the "Jewish Garibaldi," is in danger of again ignoring the heavy rain clouds above.
But I fear that the world today, especially with Barack Hussein Obama as president and commander in chief of the United States, will repeat what happened to the isolated Jews during the Holocaust: it will look away.
The world, which is still so foolishly dependent on its oil supplies from hate-filled Middle Eastern mullahs, sheikhs, kings, dictators, and tyrants, may for economic reasons -- and, sadly, thanks to endemic anti-Jewish prejudices -- again do nothing or actively embrace and assist yet another holocaust, this time enveloping the six million Jews of the reconstituted and embattled State of Israel.
Let us hope that, empty White House assurances aside, the Jewish state will finally learn from history and act before it suffers not pneumonia, but an Iranian nuclear winter.
Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of the trilogy Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.
The Media and the Palestinians’ Big Lie
The Media and the Palestinians’ Big Lie
How bad journalism covered up the Palestinian Authority's history of hate
by Yedidya Atlas
In mid-December, Palestinian Media Watch brought a troubling fact to the the attention of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. One of the recipients of UNESCO’s largesse, the Palestinian Authority-funded youth magazine Zayzafuna, had glorified Adolf Hitler in an essay appearing in its recent issue.
In the essay, Hitler tells a young girl in her dream that he killed the Jews “so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world. And what I ask of you is to be resilient and patient, concerning the suffering that Palestine is experiencing at their hands.” In her dream, the girl then thanks Hitler for his advice.
PMW’s expose prompted the American Ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion, to issue his own condemnation of the piece on December 22: ”UNESCO must let the Palestinian Authority know that this double-speak, using a message of peace for the international community, and another message for domestic consumption that teaches hatred, is unacceptable.” He then called on Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, to investigate whether UNESCO funding was still being used to sponsor this Palestinian magazine — and, if so, to end the international community’s financing of such hatred. The next day UNESCO announced that they were pulling their funding of the magazine.
Up until this point, it seems a fairly straightforward story. But then the plot thickens. Caught in a crystal-clear PR disaster, the Palestinian Authority’s spokesman claimed that the PA did not approve of such anti-Semitic messages. As the most basic survey would reveal, this was a bald-faced lie. But apparently, no matter how obvious and easily checkable a Palestinian lie is, one can rely on the mainstream media to publish it without scrutiny.
It began with Associated Press. The AP put out its story on December 23 on UNESCO’s “strong condemnation” and its canceling of the funding. But, following standard journalistic procedures, it received a response from the other side, in this case the Palestinian Authority, which sponsors the youth magazine. What was not following standard journalistic procedures was reporting the official PA statement without either checking its validity.Thus the AP reported that “a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, Ghassan Khatib, said the article was ‘not acceptable.’” Not only did the AP fail to check the accuracy of this statement, but it went on to faithfully report Khatib’s absurd claim that the Palestinian Authority goes out of its way to “educate young people in our textbooks about the Holocaust and the massacres of Hitler against Jews and against others, and we refer to these massacres as crimes against humanity.”
This would have been the place to for the AP reporter to mention that Khatib was either delusional or lying. Even a cursory review of the subject would reveal that the Palestinians not only routinely engage in Holocaust denial, PA sponsored media is replete with the worst anti-Semitic propaganda. But for the AP, having gotten its quote, its accuracy was irrelevant. What is important is only perceived balance in the story, not actual truth.
But one cannot blame AP alone. Mainstream media vehicles world over went with the AP story without a blink. From Telegraph in the UK to the Washington Post and CBS News, to name just a few, the AP story with PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib’s succeeded in having his lie be the “Lie Heard Around the World.”
Even a basic internet search would have brought up numerous and well-documented examples over the period of more a decade of
In other words: There was no Holocaust against the Jews, concentration camps did not exist, it was all made up by the Jews to gather international support for the Jews to steal the land of the Palestinian Arabs and then carry out a Holocaust against the Palestinians. Denial, then role reversal.
Then there is the PA-sponsored Voice of Palestine Radio which conducted a quiz contest broadcast on November 27, 2007. The question:
“His golden year was 1940, when his armies invaded Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Holland, and Belgium and defeated France … By mid-1942, his country controlled the largest land area in Europe… He refused to surrender and continued to fight for two more years, but, his bitter end came in the spring of 1945 when he took his own life…. Who is he?”While obviously the answer is Hitler, what makes this such a blasé question in Palestinian Arab society is the sick fact that “Hitler” is so admired that “Hitler” is not an uncommon choice for a first name for more than a few Palestinian babies.
Or consider PA TV from July 17, 2009, when Abd Al-Rahman Abbad, Secretary General of the [Palestinian] Organization of Clerics and Disseminators of Islam, had this to say: “[Jews] exaggerate every action that other [nations] do against any Jew in the world. In this context is the Holocaust issue, which the whole world still [deals with]. There is a place [in Israel] called “Memorial for Holocaust and Heroism,” which tells of the killing of 6 million Jews, but it is known that in all of Europe there weren’t 6 million Jews.”
A quick glance at the PMW website for April 27th would have given any interested journalist the following report from the PA sponsored daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, whose Apr. 14, 2011 headline proclaimed: “The [UNRWA workers] Union emphasized its opposition to teaching the Holocaust of the Jews as part of the curriculum in the [UNRWA] Agency’s schools…”
The story below the headlines reads: “The [UNRWA] Workers’ Union emphasized its adamant opposition to teaching the Holocaust of the Jews within the educational curriculum of UNRWA schools, as part of the topic of human rights. The union said, ‘We emphasize our adamant opposition to confusing the thinking of our students’ by means of Holocaust studies in the human rights study curriculum, and emphasize study of the history of Palestine and the acts of massacre which have been carried out againstPalestinians, the most recent of which was the war against Gaza.”While there are literally dozens of such easily seen and accessible examples, no mainstream media outlets appear to have noticed, let alone published, anything about it.
Palestinian Arab Holocaust denial is not just official PA policy. It starts at the top. PA President Mahmoud Abbas wrote a book entitled: “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism”, published in Jordan in 1984. It was based on Abbas’ doctoral dissertation completed in 1982 at the Soviet Patrice Lumumba University and defended at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, also in Moscow.
In his book Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas maintains that the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews was exaggerated, the murder of six million Jews was a Zionist “myth” – a “fantastic lie” in his words, and those actually murdered was a result of a Zionist-Nazi plot. While not saying much for Soviet scholarship since they awarded him a PhD based on said hogwash, it is clear that Holocaust denial indeed starts at the top in the PA and no self-respecting journalist should accept Palestinian pronouncements to the contrary without some minimal fact checking.
Such checking might have picked up a story on Abbas in the New York Times on March 11, 2003: “ Abbas wrote a book…which claims that the number of Jewish Holocaust victims was not six million, but was less than one million. According to the Anti-Defamation League,” wrote the Times reporter, “ Abbas was asked about the book when he rose to prominence in the mid-1990′s. ‘When I wrote “The Other Side,” we were at war with Israel,” Abbas told Maariv [the Israeli daily newspaper].
“Today I [Mahmoud Abbas] would not have made such remarks,” reported the New York Times.
Interestingly, the Times reporter didn’t find this last sentence noteworthy. Does Abbas mean that maligning Jewish Holocaust victims and deliberately denying the Holocaust is acceptable if you are at war with the Jewish State, but now in the post-Oslo period it’s not acceptable?
Clearly, given the current reality in the Palestinian Authority’s official media – for young and old alike, and in the PA/UNRWA educational system – Abbas and his cohorts are continuing the “war with Israel.” But he needn’t worry. Apparently the western mainstream media won’t work too hard to call him out on it.
Israel’s Strategic Importance Reaches New Level
Israel’s Strategic Importance Reaches New Level
US to deploy a record level of troops to Israel -- will their stay be permanent?
by Kerry Patton
On January 19th 1991, during the first Gulf War, the United States sent Patriot Missiles and a contingent of U.S. service members into Israel on temporary assignment. This was the least we could have done for Israel as they vowed not to respond to Saddam’s SCUD attacks which reached deep inside Tel Aviv. Never have U.S. forces found a permanent home inside the Holy Land—until today.Twenty years later, the United States committed to a permanent presence in Israel. According to Defense News, as of September 21st 2011, the United States deployed a high-powered, high-frequency, transportable X-band radar system to Israel along with a small contingent of support personnel. Designed to detect and track ballistic missiles soon after launch, the AN/TPY-2 Transportable Radar Surveillance/Forward Based X-band Transportable (FBX-T), its ancillary components, and some 120 EUCOM personnel are prepared to defeat any Iranian missile attack. Today, these service members make home at Israel’s Nevatim Air Base.
In an attempt to comfort those who may feel alarmed by this news, rest assured that a U.S. military presence in Israel has been planned for some time now. In fact, since 2007, the U.S. Army solicited contractual opportunities for Israel’s Nevatim Air Base. Solicitation number W912GB-07-R-0013 was released in April 2007 specifically designed for the new construction of two aircraft hangars, hazardous material storage buildings, hangar annex buildings, a dining facility, a utility building, a boom treatment station, part washing and storage facilities, a laboratory and workshop building, as well as site development to include roads, parking, taxiways and landscaping.
In mid-December, Lt.Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of the U.S.’s Third Air Force, based in Germany, visited Israel to finalize plans for the world’s largest missile defense exercise, expected to see the deployment of several thousand American soldiers in Israel. Normally, after an exercise, everyone goes home. That is unlikely for our U.S. forces considering today’s Middle East crisis.
In the coming weeks, thousands of U.S. troops are expected to deploy to Israel, possibly putting Nevatim AFB to the test. They are reportedly bringing with them the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD) and a fleet of naval components, which will include ship-based Aegis ballistic missile systems. The cost of this exercise would be in the billions.With Iran beefing up its military might bolstering its defense in the Strait of Hormuz and recently threatening the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, not only are U.S. forces headed to Israel, some Israeli forces are forecast to take permanent residence in Stuttgart, Germany—home of United States European Command (EUCOM).
President Obama recently announced that a closure of the Strait of Hormuz was unacceptable and vowed to take whatever measures are necessary to keep the vital shipping lane open. While U.S. forces are expected to deploy to Israel for an “exercise,” could this deployment turn into something much more? Time will tell but considering President Obama’s harsh vow it’s not looking good.
Muslim Anti-Semitism, Israel, and the Dynamics of Self-Destructive Scapegoating
Muslim Anti-Semitism, Israel, and the Dynamics of Self-Destructive Scapegoating
By Richard Landes
One of my daughters recently wrote me: “I was speaking to a friend of mine who had been dating a very, very, anti Israel activist for about a year. We don’t usually breech the topic but she asked me if most of the Muslim antisemitism in Europe wasn’t based on their dislike of what is going on in Israel and not so much on religion.”
This is a widely held belief among not only anti-Zionists, but among liberals in general. It takes a number of forms, all of which serve to explain the explosive and virulent hatreds of the Muslim world for Israel and the Jews (who support it), as a function of the evil that Israel has done to the Palestinians. It includes the widely held assumption that suicide bombings were a response to the despair that Palestinians felt because Israel denied them independence and dignity. It is also directly related to the problem of “Islamophobia is the new Anti-Semitism,” in which speaking of Muslim anti-Semitism becomes a new form of anti-Semitism.
I won’t so much argue against this approach – it has some data points to deploy – as I will argue an alternative approach to the problem, then discuss the consequences of (mis)reading the situation by either approach, and let readers decide for themselves which makes more sense.
From my point of view (medievalist familiar with Christian anti-Semitic words and deeds, and a student of the current scene), the argument works exactly in the opposite direction: Palestinian anti-Semites have produced the images – icons of hatred – that, through modern media, have spread the virus throughout the Muslim world. The violence that Israel does against the Palestinians – a fraction of the violence that Arab leaders do towards their own people with far less provocation – responds to Palestinian attacks inspired by anti-Semitc propaganda.
Because the Western mainstream news media (MSNM) has mainstreamed some of this propaganda (inexcusably but pervasively), many people, including my daughter’s friend – whose only data points are the TV images of terrible violence Israelis do to Palestinians, and TV images of Palestinian hatred – assume that the hatreds are at least in part justified. The number is legion of French Jews in the early “aughts,” under assault from a wave of hostility, who heard some variant of “no wonder French Muslims hate you, look at what your brethren in Israel do to their cousins in Palestine.”
Of course, let’s grant the news media everything they claim – that Israelis “massacred” hundreds of Palestinians in Jenin (2002), that they devastated Lebanon in 2006, that they killed over 1400 Gazans mostly civilians in Operation Cast Lead. This is nothing in comparison with what toxic Arab dictators do to their own people, the over million Muslims that Saddam Hussein killed in his career, the tens of thousands that Hafez al Assad killed a matter of weeks in the city of Hama (1982), even the brutal behavior that marks the current authorities in the Arab world, despite the watchful gaze of the world. And yet we have nothing resembling the thorough “critique” of Zionism in the Arab world that tackles the far older and more widespread problem of authoritarianism in Arab political culture. In a sense, anyone who “grants” the Palestinians and other Muslims “permission” to hate the Jews “given what Israel does to them,” just reveals their unthinking racism: “I don’t really expect anything remotely rational or balanced from these folks. If you **** them off, you deserve their rage.”
But to return to the main issue, the silence of the MSNM about the pervasiveness of a grotesque hatred: it is guilty in two senses here. In addition to reporting Palestinian lethal narratives bordering on blood libels as news, they did not report the hatreds that lay behind such narratives. In the summer of 2000, before the collapse of the Oslo Peace talks at Camp David, months before the intifada, the PA was blasting hatred of Israel and calls to war on its media. Perhaps the MSNM, like Clinton and Barak, were surprised by Arafat’s “no” at Camp David because they did not listen to – or heed – what he and his friends were saying in Arabic.
On the contrary, driven by a (soft millennial) belief that peace was around the corner, they felt that dwelling on such bad news would queer the peace process. I still remember someone in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem telling me they would not allow Itamar Markus to present his material (what Palestinians say in Arabic), to the foreign media, “because Israel is officially in favor of the peace process.” As if denying the problem were somehow going to bring peace.
Nor did this change once war broke out. On October 12, 2000, Palestinians shouting “Revenge for the blood of Muhammad al Durah!” tore two Israeli reservists apart with their bare hands and paraded them through the streets. The next day, Sheikh Halabiya gave a sermon calling on Muslims to slaughter the Jews (NB Jews, not Israelis) wherever they see them. Two weeks later, NYT veteran reporter William Orme wrote a piece assessing the Israeli claim that the horrendous violence of the intifada – the attacks on Israelis on both sides of the Green Line – came from the incitement of the Palestinian media. In it he never discussed the al Durah case (which he had specifically covered, and which was the most explosive component in the campaign of incitement, and which his Palestinian informant alluded to when he claimed (dishonestly) claimed that “we have no fabricated pictures, and no fabricated stories”); and when it came time to quote a passage to illustrate incitement, he quoted the genocidal Halabiya as saying, “Labor, Likud, they’re all Jews.” How could a consumer of the MSNM – much less the anti-Zionist media – know any of this?
As a result, the ferocious strain of anti-Semitism in Palestinian irredentism, from the Mufti – who visited Hitler in Berlin 70 years ago today, discussed his contribution to the “final solution,” and pumped the Arab world with Nazi propaganda – to the escaped Nazis who fled to Egypt and Syria to continue their work, to Arafat and his pseudo-secular patter of “national liberation,” to Hamas’ apocalyptic paranoia, has gone largely undocumented and unknown to the average observer of what’s quaintly known as the “Middle East conflict.” Nor is this merely a quirk of journalism, but a widespread practice of the “post-colonial” field of Middle East studies in the wake of Edward Said’s masterpiece of cognitive warfare forbidding Westerners from “othering” Muslims.
Why the Arab/Muslim anti-Semitism? In a book published in the 1986, Bernard Lewis noted that by and large, even though Arabs adopted anti-Semitic material from the worst European sources as part of an anti-Zionist campaign, they remained friendly to Jews personally: 9-5 anti-semitism of the workplace.
No longer. Jews have been driven from places like Egypt, and now “democracy” crowds rallied by the Obama-administration-designated “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood chant, “One day we will kill all Jews.” (As Barry Rubin noted, does that make them “moderate” because they don’t want to do it this week?) Since 2000, Arab and Muslim news media have been awash with gory video depictions of the Elders of Zion carrying out their blood sacrifices of innocent Muslim youth. Specialists disagree over whether this is primarily an import from the worst of European hate-mongering, especially the Nazis, or an indigenous growth with roots in the Qur’an.
From a the point of view of a medievalist who studies millennialism, both these sources share a single genealogy, that of supersessionist, invidious identity formation activated by honor-shame insecurity. Both Islam and Christianity arise as apocalyptic offshoots of Judaism – Jesus and Muhammad were both “roosters” announcing in the former case, the imminent arrival of the kingdom of heaven, in the latter, the imminent Last Judgment. In both cases, early on, the founding prophets included Jews in their scope of those to whom they preached in the hopes of winning them over into apocalyptic time. In both cases their effort to win over the Jews and their prophecies failed: still today, neither kingdom of heaven, nor the Last Judgment have occurred. In both cases, one strain of belief blamed the Jews for the apocalyptic failure.
In both cases, the newer religions developed a replacement theology whereby they did not just become a new and additional chosen people, but had to replace the previous claimant(s). I make myself look bigger by making others (in this case, people I have been directly inspired by) look smaller. I can only be chosen of God if He has rejected you.
In the honor-shame, zero-sum variant of monotheism, one proves the superiority of one’s beliefs by subjecting those who do not share it to humiliations. Christianity took this attitude towards the Jewish minority in their midst (centuries before shariah law of dhimmis, Theodosius forbade Jews to build new synagogues or to have any synagogue higher than the Christian churches); and Muslims took the same honor-shame attitude towards both Christians and Jews under their power. And, not surprisingly, Christians and Muslims fought it out as only imperialist monotheists can do for well over a millennium.
As Gavin Langmuir pointed out decades ago, virulent anti-Semitism (which he distinguished from garden-variety anti-Judaism or dislike of Jews, but rather a demonization of the supernaturally evil Jews) arises when the supersessionist religion has a crisis of faith and becomes radically insecure. This can be provoked by a variety of circumstances – in the case Langmuir studied, it was a theological crises around the high medieval doctrine of transubstantiation (i.e., the wine and the wafer actually become the blood and body of Christ in the course of the mass). In any case, insecurity denied and weaponized can lead to apocalyptic paranoia and its genocidal hatreds.
In the current case of Islam, the realization that the West has far outstripped the Muslim world in technology and power, that Islam stands humiliated in the world scene, that modernity threatens to castrate Islam, and the belief that the Jews stand at the heart of modernity, has led to a virulent strain of not just anti-Zionism – itself the ultimate insult of modernity, a tiny bunch of should-be dhimmi who defeat Arab armies ten times their size – but of anti-Semitism.
Thus the Jewish slap on the faces of the Christians continues, who apparently enjoy and allow this sort of humiliation and attack, and give them their other cheek so that the Jew can continue to slap the Christians—just as we see—ruling them in Europe through the Masons who dig the grave of Western civilization through corruption and promiscuity. The Crusader West continues like a whore who is screwed sadistically, and does not derive any pleasure from the act until after she is struck and humiliated, even by her pimps—the Jews in Christian Europe. Soon they will be under the rubble as a result of the Jewish conspiracy. (Arif, Nihayat al-Yahud , 85, cited in Cook, Contemporary Muslim Apocalyptic, 220; discussed in Landes, Heaven on Earth, pp. 455-57).
European anti-Zionist may like their fantasy that their attitude is not anti-Semitic, but in the case of the Arab and Muslim world, the slide from opposing Israel to ranting about “al Yahud” everywhere is effortless.
Given the power of genocidal anti-Semitic sentiments in the Arab and Muslim world – press and TV, mosques, public officials – one might wonder why the Western silence on the subject. Indeed it is so deafening, so understudied and underreported, that a less-well informed person might think that it doesn’t exist and my complaint is really just paranoia. It’s not enough to point to the degree of intimidation that pervades journalism in the Palestinian territories (and other places where state terrorists dominate the scene), an intimidation that came through loud and clear in the aftermath of the Ramallah lynch affair. Although that explains much of the behavior of journalists on the scene, like NYT reporter Steven Erlanger who waited until he left the region before – at long last – mentioning the problem in an article.
It’s also related to a particularly dangerous form of political correctness, in which speaking badly of Muslims is the new form of Anti-Semitism. As a colleague said to me in Paris, “The experience of the Muslims in Europe today is exactly the same as the Jews a century ago.” Of course, that’s not the case at all: both in terms of the wildly different behavior of the two minorities, and in terms of how the European elites behaved and behave towards them. By that (completely erroneous historical) logic, however, any attack on Islam is immediately comparable to a 19th century attack on Jews. To claim that Muslims want to take over Europe is the same as believeing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion; to accuse them of planning terror attacks, is the same as believing in the blood libel. Little matter that Islamists themselves say they want to take over Europe, and they want to bring a holocaust on the European infidel, that they actually do carry out terror attacks. The triumph of the will over reality.
Demonstrations outside Danish Embassy in London over Muhammad Cartoons (February 2006). Police tried to prevent observers from photographing a protestor wearing a mock suicide vest, this 6 months after the 7-7 London suicide attacks.
This problem is everywhere. Even Jewish organizations designed to protect Jews from anti-Semitism spend much more of their time sponsoring inter-religious dialogues, opposing Islamism, and applauding human rights initiatives, than even discussing, much less mobilizing against Muslim Anti-Semitism. In the USA, the once legendary ADL has become a 20th century relic in the 21st century, still pursuing the nice, liberal policy of protecting everyone’s rights in the (dashed) hopes that others will come to their defense when they need it. A recent study shows that only 1.3% of the ADL’s 4269 press releases (1995-present) focused on Islamic extremism and another 1.3% on Arab anti-Semitism. Of the 57 press releases devoted to Islamic extremism, only 13, about .005 were issued in the ten years since September 11, 2001, precisely when the threat to Jews from Islamic extremism dramatically increased. (That’s almost as small as the percentage of Jews in the world, or the percentage of the Arab world “occupied” by Israel – .002.)
In Germany, the Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung in Berlin actually held a conference whose main theme was the close identity of Islamophobia and Judeophobia. Challenged, they replied indignantly that the mafioso tactics of their opponents (public criticism) were intolerable. A German colleague was surprised when I told him that Hamas is much closer to the Nazi attitude towards Jews than the neo-Nazis. These latter are closer to violent but garden variety xenophobes, and Jews barely register on their list of concerns, while Hamas shares the same fevered (apocalyptic) paranoia and genocidal loathing of Jews that the Nazis did.
Which brings us to the dilemma that faces the Western observer, especially the one who believes that moral behavior matters, and wants to support those who behave well and oppose those who behave badly. We are faced with two opposing narratives: one in which the Muslims (especially the Palestinians) are victims who might be forgiven their hatred of the imperialist Israelis, one in which the Israelis are victims, who might be forgiven their violent resistance to Palestinian and Muslim anti-Semitic assaults.
Why not toss a coin?
Because (aside from the fact that in so doing one would greatly increase support for the imperialist Zionists to 50%), there are serious consequences to misreading this situation. If I am wrong, and Palestinian hatred is merely a result of the “occupation”, then concessions from the Israelis should lead to a lessening of Palestinian hatred, and the road to peace. As Stephen Bronner, prominent scholar of Anti-Semitism noted in an article on the Protocols,
Nevertheless, it makes sense to believe that an anti-Semitism that has only grown with the success of Israeli imperialist policy will diminish with a change in that policy.
This is the prevailing paradigm that currently dominates thinking about the Arab-Israeli conflict. It projects a kind of positive-sum rationality on Arab political culture, and assumes that if something’s wrong, it is the fault of the stronger party unwilling to compromise (Israel). It’s the same mentality that gives us the universal and universally wrong excitement of the MSNM about the “Arab Spring” – get rid of a dictator… get democracy. No? No.
Of course, if the Palestinians really are rational, really want their own state (rather than to destroy Israel), then they should, in principle, be amenable to making some important moves towards reconciliation, like, say, cutting off the hate incitement on TV, and building settlements in the land they control (Area A of the West Bank and all of Gaza) to resettle their refugees. No? No.
But if I’m right, if it’s a profoundly rooted anti-Semitism among Arabs today, one that has been “cooking” for over a century, got jacked up on steroids during the Nazi period, and hit a rolling boil in 2000 with the al Durah blood libel, then it’s another story entirely. If I’m right, then “solving the refugee problem” by allowing these poor victims of war to have a real home is not on the Palestinian agenda – even if they got their state. On the contrary, these “refugees” are designated victim-weapons in a war of annihilation.
If I’m right, then every time Israel makes concessions, it encourages further aggressions. Thus, despite what the politically correct paradigm, based on projecting our own liberal mentality on others, anticipated, every time Israel engaged in anti-imperialist activities – like withdrawing from most of the West Bank (1994-2000), all of southern Lebanon (2000) and all of Gaza (including uprooting 8000 settlers) – the result was more and more vicious aggression.
Nor is this merely a problem faced by Israel. (I know there are many anti-Zionists out there who treasure the thought that if only they throw Israel into the maw of the beast, that they’ll be spared, but that too is a piece of cognitive egocentrism in which their imagined distinction between the West (us) and despised Israel (them) is shared by the Jihadis.) Israel is to Europe dealing with Jihadi Islam what the Sudetenland was to the French and English in dealing with the Nazis. The difference is that, thankfully for the West, Israel is armed and refuses to commit suicide – even though that infuriates those who would prefer they do so quietly.
For ultimately, the problem of anti-Semitism is not a Jewish but a gentile problem. Granted the Jews suffer from anti-Semitism, indeed they’re often the first to suffer. But the ultimate price is paid by those foolish enough to either get sucked into the world of hatred and paranoia that anti-Semites peddle, or ignore its presence as a sad but inevitable part of life. As any historian of World War II can tell you, if six million Jews were murdered, more than ten (!) times as many non-Jews died in that madness.
The Arab world in the latter half of the 20th century offers a striking parallel to Spain in the 16th century. Both worlds had expelled their Jews (Spain in 1492, Arabs in 1948); both experienced a flood of wealth (Spain got New World gold and the Arabs got Petrodollars); and both were failed societies unable to parlay that wealth into a thriving culture that made life better for all its people. As Ruth Wisse put it recently: “Arab leaders do not yet acknowledge that they sealed the doom of their societies in 1948 when they organized their politics against the Jewish state rather than toward the improvement of their countries.” And they’re doing it again, this time not from the top down, but from the bottom up.
In a recent article, Jeffrey Goldberg tried to acknowledge the problem of anti-Semitic sentiments pervading the “Arab Spring” all the while preserving the belief that “The people of the Middle East are finally awakening to the promise of liberty.” But the two are intimately related. The Judeophobia of these alleged “liberty-seekers” isn’t some deplorable but ultimately separate issue. The Judeophobia is not the problem, but the symptom. It’s the conspiracy thinking that blames every problem on the “other”: Muslims attack Copts? It’s the Jews. Police turn violently on the crowds? It’s the Jews. Arab Spring turning into Islamist Winter? It’s the Jews (or, if you’re on the BBC, “outside forces”). How can one possibly inaugurate, foster, and sustain a democratic culture of freedom, one that, the in words of Isaiah Berlin, considers it “shameful not to grant to others the freedom one wants to exercise oneself,” without an ability to self-criticize?
Anti-Semitism is everyone’s problem, especially the Muslims. And the sooner the “progressives” who want to help them, stop feeding their anti-Semitic vulnerabilities by joining them in demonizing Israel, and help them deal with the problem of self-criticism (a virtue to which the “left” could well afford to renew its commitments), the sooner we are likely to see a real Arab Spring, one that benevolent people the world over can sincerely cheer. Of course that would mean that anti-Zionists would have to overcome their own scapegoating fantasies.
Last edited by Paparock; 01-10-2012 at 03:57 PM..
Israel and the Future of the West »
Israel and the Future of the West
Why the Jewish State is the canary in the coal mine
by Daniel Greenfield
Israel’s Jewish population is approaching six million. If current birth rates hold steady that significant milestone will be reached in time for next year’s Independence Day. If there is to be one.
In the sixty-four years that the revived country has existed, there has been a dramatic population shift. Western and Eastern Europe and Russia, where the majority of Western Jews once lived, now hold a fraction of the Jewish population. The Muslim world, former location of the majority of Eastern Jews, is barely worth mentioning.
Globally the Jewish population is divided between Israel and the United States. Israel is the home of the majority of the world’s Jews, but the combined Jewish Anglosphere is still larger, not so much because of the United Kingdom, but because of North America, which holds the largest number of Jews. In a development that would have been all but incomprehensible a century ago, the majority of Jews in the world speak English or Hebrew. Smaller numbers speak French and Spanish, but in a generation hardly any will speak Russian or Arabic.
The majority of Jews live in the American Hemisphere. If we subtract Israel, the Eastern Hemisphere would barely muster up ten percent of the Jewish population because its Jews have for the most part either moved to the Western Hemisphere or to Israel.
Israel is the last Jewish outpost in the Eastern Hemisphere. The last significant Jewish populations there are either in the far west, in the United Kingdom and France or legacy populations in Russia and the Ukraine. The latter have no future and the former are dwindling under pressure from the growing Muslim population in Europe.
Over the last century, Jews have been moving West, though not quickly enough to outpace the Nazis and the Communists. The migration has gathered up Middle East Jews and Eastern European Jews, leaving a handful scattered on the Western shores of Europe, while the majority have either rebuilt in Israel or moved on to America, Canada or Latin America.
Jews have often been referred to as the “canary in the coal mine” and accordingly Jewish migrations may foreshadow Christian migrations from the Eastern Hemisphere.
The Christian populations of the Middle East appear to be going the way of the Jewish population. In thrall to Muslim propaganda, the media blames Israel for the vanishing Christians of Bethlehem, but how does one explain a comprehensive regional Christian decline and exodus?
The fall of Egypt into the hands of the Brotherhood, Turkey into the hands of the AKP Islamists and the strong likelihood that the Brotherhood will take Syria and Hezbollah will take Lebanon, along with Muslim control over Gaza and the West Bank represent the end of the remaining centers of Christianity in the Middle East. It is not difficult to foresee a near future where Israel is the last remaining safe place in the region for Christians.
What is happening to Middle Eastern Christians is what has already happened to Middle Eastern Jews. Unlike the Jews, the Christians have no regional state of their own. The closest thing to it is Lebanon, which serves as an ugly example of what the binational Jewish-Muslim state that some called for and are still calling for would truly look like.
Had Christians turned Lebanon into a Christian Israel, then they would have been able to survive in the region. Middle Eastern Christians are on average better educated and more successful than the cult of a mass murderer that has colonized the region. A Christian Middle Eastern state would have stood head and shoulders above its Muslim neighbors, in every sense of the word. But instead coexistence was tried and it failed. Just as it is failing in Europe.
The migration of European Christians is happening at a slower rate, but it is happening as well. A Times poll found that 42 percent in the UK would like to leave. It is a safe assumption that the 42 percent does not come from the ranks of the bearded asylum seekers and the dole-hounds in the East End. The UK is seeing the largest emigration numbers in recent history, as many as three a minute leaving the country, the majority heading out to more distant corners of the Anglosphere.
Not all Europeans have the same linguistic support system of former colonies making emigration more difficult to contemplate. Emigration from the Netherlands has hit an all time high, headed to most of the same places, either outside the hemisphere or to distant Australia and New Zealand. The Portuguese are heading to Brazil, and the Spanish, Greeks and Italians are also hitting the exit doors. While the process doesn’t seem all that drastic now, it is the opening round of a migration that will drastically accelerate as the Muslim colonization of Europe, with its accompanying violence goes on.
European Christians are following the path of European Jews, just as Middle Eastern Christians are following the path of Middle Eastern Jews, seeking stability, safety and opportunity outside countries that are on the path to becoming unlivable. Most are not leaving because they are aware of the problem, but because they are aware of the consequences.
Israel is a non-Muslim country in a region where after centuries of conquests there aren’t supposed to be any non-Muslim countries. It is an indigenous minority trying to fly the flag in an Arabized region and it can only survive by succeeding at everything it does. It has managed to defy the odds. Like the Armenians, it has proven that it is possible for an indigenous minority to build a successful state out of a diaspora and defend it against Muslim aggression. Those ignorant of history might call it colonialism, but it actually represent indigenous peoples rolling back Muslim colonialism.
If worst comes to worst for Europe, perhaps one day Americans and Australians will resettle England and Scotland, the way that Jews resettled Israel. But the larger question may be who will resettle Australia and America? Retreating across the ocean to another continent is no real solution. Not in the age of the jet plane that can just as easily carry thousands of Muslim settlers, as be hijacked by its Muslim passengers and rammed into major landmarks and centers of government.
Israel may be civilization’s last stand. Even if it fails, it was a nobler effort than pretending that nothing was wrong while heading out the door to other continents where it would take longer for the Jihad to reach their grandchildren.
Clinton to Israel at 64: You are a beacon of hope
US secretary of state sends message on occasion of Israel's Independence Day, reiterating deep, unbreakable bonds between J'lem, Washington.
US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton released a message Thursday saying that "for many around the world, Israel remains a beacon of hope and an inspiring example." Clinton's congratulatory remarks came as Israel was celebrating its 64th year of independence.
Clinton added that the Israel and the United States "are united by a deep and unbreakable bond based on mutual interests and respect. Our relationship grows stronger every day as we work to promote regional security, create new economic partnerships, increase two-way trade and broaden our energy cooperation."
The US secretary of state continued, "We are steadfast in our commitment to Israel’s security, which is a cornerstone of our foreign policy in the Middle East."
Clinton also sought to reassure Jerusalem that with all of the change in the region following the Arab Spring, the US "will continue to work with you and your neighbors to achieve the shared goal of a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East."
Earlier in the week, US President Barack Obama emphasized the shared values of the United States and Israel and Washington's steadfast commitment to the Jewish state in a letter sent to President Shimon Peres on the occasion of Independence Day.
The US president sent his "warmest regards and congratulations on behalf of the American people" ahead of the 64th anniversary of Israel's independence.
Obama wrote that "based on shared values and interests, the bonds between our two countries are deep and strong."
"In a time of momentous change," he continued," the United States remains steadfast in its commitment to Israel's security and a comprehensive peace in the region."
Noting cooperative work to pursue common goals and meet shared challenges, the US president added, "I wish the State of Israel continued prosperity and a peaceful future.
Those who can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben Franklin
The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. It is the freedom to refrain, withdraw and abstain which makes a totalitarian regime impossible. - Eric Hoffer
Today its a new beginning!
Israel: Stand United, Stand Strong
Israel: Stand United, Stand Strong
The Jerusalem Post, Israel's right-of-center news outlet, held its first conference on Sunday, April 29, in New York City. Though things did get heated, the conference provided a much-needed honest debate on Israel's and the United States' foreign policy.
By JanSuzanne Krasner
The Jerusalem Post, Israel's right-of-center news outlet, held its first conference on Sunday, April 29, in New York City. As for the panelists, the animosity between the members of Israel's former left-of-center government and the present members of Netanyahu's right-of-center government was intense.
The day-long conference brought together a long list of impressive Israeli government and diplomatic officials and military officials and featured some of the newspaper's best editors and journalists, along with Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz. JPost's intentional mix of politically polarized opinions was obviously intended to balance the points of view in speeches and panel discussions and to make for energetic debates.
Instead, the audience of about 1,200 guests, who also represented polarized sides of American Jewish politics, were subject to opening remarks by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that set an early tone for the whole conference...the airing of some of Israel's internal political laundry before an American audience.
This was a huge distraction from the purpose of the conference: to have honest discussions on Israel-U.S. relations, the socio-economic issue of a new Jewish Diaspora, and the delegitimization of Israel by many in the global media.
"Securing Israel's place in the new Middle East: What can be done?" was the first panel topic, but it was overshadowed by Olmert's allegations that some ministers went about sabotaging his negotiations with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
The hostility continued as this panel was questioned about Iran and what Israel should do to stop Iran's nuclear ability to strike Israel. Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Gilad Erdan, today's environmental protection minister, got into a war of words that was highlighted by Dagan calling Erdan "a liar." Erdan, for his part, stated that "I prefer that heads of the Mossad and Shin Bet will not do damage to our efforts...and go out and say you should be doing this or that" -- apparently as a response to both Dagan's and former Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin's recent public critiques of their administrations' handling of the Iranian threat.
But it was JPost's senior contributing editor, Caroline Glick, a Chicagoan who made aliyah in 1991, who addressed the topic of U.S.-Israeli relations head-on. After sitting appearing totally uninterested in the political barbs being traded on stage, she spoke boldly when called upon. She talked about the huge disconnect that she hears on the streets of Israel between the Israeli Jewish citizens and the American Jewish community as it relates to President Obama's support for Israel. The majority of Jews in both countries are polarized in their trust in the Obama administration's words and deeds, but from opposite opinions: American Jews overwhelmingly seem to believe in this administration, while Israeli Jews do not.
Ms. Glick stated that it seems that this credibility gap began in Cairo with the president's speech to Arabs, followed by his demand for settlement freezes in the West Bank and his recently allowing Turkey to stop Israel from becoming part of NATO. This was then countered by Olmert, who pointed his finger at Glick the other "right-right-of-center" panelist, stating that "it is not in Israel's best interest to criticize any American president."
But one thing Glick and Olmert seemed to agree on is the fact that the world needs to be convinced that Iran's nuclear program is not just a threat to Israel, but truly a threat to the global community. And it was noted that the Palestinian statehood issue is not really the heart of the problem in the Middle East, although the Arabs would like the world to believe that. It is a myth to think that all it would take for peace in the ME is for the Israeli/Palestinian problem to be resolved.
With this in mind, Israel must be the master of its own destiny and maintain a strong Israeli approach that keeps the military option on the table. However, the majority also agreed that an American-led international coalition would be a more persuasive line of attack that might convince Iran of standing down.
During the Q&A that followed the morning's discussion, one question seemed to stand out and take the panel off-guard. A gentleman from the audience asked for a yes-or-no answer to the following question: "If Israel were to give the Palestinian Arabs all that they desire, including all of Jerusalem and other Israeli cities, historical and religious sites, removal of the settlements under dispute -- hand Arabs the natural resources of the land; supply them with medical, technological, military, and nuclear capabilities; and the 'right of return' -- would the Jewish people be able to live there in peace?"
Well, this moment reminded me of Caroline Glick's recent commentary, titled "Elephant in the Room: Jewish Hatred." The panel actually refused to answer the question and quickly dismissed the man in favor of the next person on line. Surely this question, as unrealistic as it may be, truly hits at the heart of the Israeli/Palestinian/Arab dispute --that the hatred of the Jewish People is so strong, so generational, so passionate, that there may never be enough that Jews of Israel can do to bring security and a right to live and prosper in the place they call their homeland.
The other two discussions that took place in the afternoon were also quite passionate; panelists spoke about the international Jewish community that is presently facing a new Diaspora as Jews try to escape growing global anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism. Also mentioned was the battle to counter the media's public relations war to delegitimize Israel. But the tenor created by Olmert had been set, and it remained as a shadow over the conference.
It must be said that as a first-of-its-kind conference, the Jerusalem Post's event was successful in that it brought together so many illustrious leaders and other great voices in support of Israel who expressed their views on the most important issues facing Israel today. However, there was one important lesson to be learned from this conference -- one not to be repeated if this is to become an annual event.
When it comes to the international stage, like a conference in NYC, it is wise to keep internal politics away from the podium so as to present a strong, united Israel to the world. This admonition was best summed up by Professor Dershowitz in his morning presentation, "Come united," and reiterated by Isi Leibler, former leader of the Australian Jewry and presently a JP columnist, when he chastised Olmert during his panel talk. "A former prime minister of Israel took everything in the book to criticize the present government."
Leibler's advice that "There's a lot we have to learn about a certain amount of restraint and dignity" is advice we here in America should also be taking as our internal politics has taken such an ugly turn between our "left" and "right," staining the dignity of our country. We Americans are in grave need of civil discourse in our political arena. The verbal darts sent across the stage at the JPost's conference served as a reminder of the damage a divisive nation does to itself.
Terror Victim's Family "Resolved to Fight Injustice"
Terror Victim's Family "Resolved to Fight Injustice"
June 6, 2012
Just before the explosion, Yekutiel Wultz saw the man flash "an evil smile." Wultz, known as "Tuly," was eating with his son Daniel outside a food stand at Tel Aviv's Central bus station in April, 2006.
The smiling man, Sami Salim Khamad, was sent by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and blew himself up an instant later. Eleven people would be killed, including Daniel Wultz. The South Florida resident died four weeks later after enduring respiratory problems, gangrene, infections, shock and other injuries caused by shrapnel. He went through 200 units of blood.
He was 16 years old.
Tuly Wultz was severely injured, but survived. He remains hampered physically and emotionally. There's a constant ringing in his ears. His mobility is limited. And his mind repeatedly flashes back to his son's murder.
"I suffer nightmares, also what I call 'daymares,'" he said in an interview. "I can be in a traffic light and all of a sudden everything flashes back. I can't move … It's constant. It's something I have to live with."
Some people might wilt, unable to overcome their grief. The Wultz family chose a different path. A federal judge awarded the family more than $330 million in damages May 17 in a lawsuit they brought against the governments of Iran and Syria for their responsibility in financing, training and otherwise supporting the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
Similar claims against Iran have resulted in billions of dollars in damages. This is the first judgment of its kind against the Syrian government.
The two nations, both vulnerable to litigation as State Department-designated state sponsors of terrorism, "funneled money through the Syrian Defendants to the PIJ in order for the PIJ to carry out terrorist attacks," wrote Royce Lamberth, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., in his ruling. "The evidence also establishes that the safe haven, advice, encouragement, assistance, and facilities provided by Syrian Defendants substantially contributed to the PIJ's ability to train suicide bombers."
The ruling has provided some solace for a family still grieving Daniel's death.
"He is a hero now," Tuly Wultz said of Lamberth. "The message that he sent couldn't be better."
The decision to go to court was not easy. "Here, people don't understand," said Tuly Wultz, who grew up in Jerusalem and moved to the United States in his 20s. "They don't understand the risk of not doing anything, the dynamic of letting the bullies get away with what they do. If this will prevent one more Daniel from being killed, we did a great job."
They created the Daniel Cantor Wultz Foundation "to educate people on the nature, tactics and goals of terrorism, promote global strategies for eradicating terrorism, and encourage socially responsible, ethically guided behaviors that contribute to a safe and peaceful world."
The Wultzes have spoken to at least 10,000 people and made a presentation before members of Congress on Capitol Hill. "We speak where ever we can," Tuly Wultz said. His message is clear: "Never give rewards to the aggressors. We have to learn from history. The Allies tried to appease Nazi Germany when they gave them Czechoslovakia. It showed how weak the Allies were. "
His own family history offers similar lessons. Wultz's father survived the Holocaust. He was 92 when Daniel was killed. He made Tuly promise not to let the tragedy destroy him. "Choose life," Tuly remembered his father saying. "I did. So will you."
Tuly Wultz's brother-in-law lost a cousin on 9/11. His son Daniel was murdered 5,000 miles away from home. "It doesn't matter where you are," he said, "terrorists will attack us everywhere if we don't fight them."
The family intends to collect on Judge Lamberth's order. But that task may prove more difficult than proving who was responsible for Daniel's death. Lawsuits like this are possible thanks to a "terror exception" Congress added to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
While most nations are exempt from civil damages in U.S. courts, that protection does not apply to those labeled as state sponsors of terrorism. But while one branch of government opened the door for victims to pursue justice, another branch has made it policy to block them from collecting.
When victims of terrorist attacks and their families try to enforce similar judgments, they must overcome the objections not only of the targeted country, but also from the U.S. State Department.
"There's almost an institutional State Department ideology that terrorism victims are little bugs that get in their way every once in a while," said Rhode Island attorney David Strachman, who has represented families in cases similar to the Wultz lawsuit. He described one hearing in which counsel for the Iranian government deferred to the State Department's argument in opposing terror victims' claims.
This situation has held true through Democratic and Republican administrations. Allowing the assets to be taken "can have a significant, detrimental impact on the conduct of our foreign relations," Fox News quoted the Justice Department saying.
When assets are in play, there often is a line of people ready to claim them. That's not the case yet with Syria, but it's likely the State Department will oppose any effort by the Wultzes to attach those assets.
Tuly Wultz is aware of such obstacles, but undeterred.
"We're not limited to the United States. We're going to enforce the judgment everywhere we can," Wultz said.
His case was helped by the Israel Law Center, which claims to have secured $72 million "that went directly to the victims and their families" in similar cases. "This court decisions shows that even outlaw regimes like the one in Damascus can have the rule of law imposed upon them," center director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said in a statement.
The family plans to use money it obtains to spread its message against terrorism. Every dollar they collect, Wultz reasoned, is a dollar that cannot go to plotting an attack or training a terrorist.
Though each day poses its own challenges, the Wultz family has found ways to find joy in life. Tuly and Sheryl are the proud parents of a grown daughter and a 4-year-old son, their "miracle boy."
Their determination and spirit clearly moved Lamberth, who heard evidence and testimony during two days of proceedings even though the Syrian and Iranian governments did not contest the litigation. Those states deserve "unadorned condemnation" for using terrorism as state policy, he wrote.
"Barbaric acts like the April 17, 2006 suicide bombing have no place in civilized society and represent a moral depravity that knows no bounds," Lamberth wrote. "In stark contrast to the Iranian and Syrian thugs stands the courageous Wultz family. The Wultz family resolved to fight injustice with whatever tools were at their disposal, and their patient determination over the last six years is a credit to both themselves and to the memory of their beloved Daniel. This Court hopes that [the] Wultz family may take some measure of solace in this Court's final judgment."
When Israel Had a Champion at the UN
When Israel Had a Champion at the UN
Kirkpatrick defended Israel with unyielding critique of UN, charging anti-Israel diplomacy "has nothing to do with peace."
by Peter Collier
Editor’s note: Peter Collier is the author of the recently published, “Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick” (Encounter Books, 2012). To order it, click here.
Jeane Kirkpatrick experienced an epiphany shortly after Ronald Reagan appointed her America’s permanent representative at the UN in 1981 when Israel’s ambassador Yehuda Blum came to her office for his first official visit.
She had been appalled during the previous four years by what she regarded as the Carter administration’s contemptuous attitude toward the Jewish state, and particularly by the way that preceding UN ambassadors Andrew Young and Donald McHenry had, respectively, criticized the Jewish state as “stubborn and intransigent” (and met secretly with the PLO representative), and voted for Resolution 465 condemning Israel’s occupation of “Arab territories including Jerusalem.”
But she didn’t realize how deeply these attitudes had penetrated the US mission until she saw the way the career foreign service officers she inherited from the previous administration dismissively referred to Blum by his first name and rudely interrupted him on this first visit. She sternly pointed out to them that Blum was a Holocaust survivor who spoke nine languages, and angrily ordered them out of the room.
“You can see what it has been like for Israel here,” Blum told her after they sat down. Kirkpatrick replied, “It will be different now. No one will be treated better in this mission than Israel.”
And this was true. She and Blum cooperated on several initiatives and often escaped with key staff members for private strategy dinners at a small restaurant in Brooklyn they both favored. The personal relationship was political for Kirkpatrick. Seeing the hatred of Israel in her first days at the UN, she told her colleague Richard Schifter with a stricken look on her face, “I think the Holocaust is possible again. I didn’t think so before I came to the UN, but I think so now.”
She brought this feeling to president Reagan who agreed with her that the US had to stand against “the obsessive vilification of Israel.” Along with preventing the spread of Marxism-Leninism in Central America and driving a stake through the heart of the Soviet Union, this became Kirkpatrick’s chief objective during her time at the UN.
After the bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, she argued strenuously that the US should simply abstain from the resolution advanced by Iraq after the attack calling for sanctions against Israel but was overruled by the State Department.
She then worked behind the scenes to get the resolution watered down to a condemnation and made her feelings known when even this question was called by raising her hand reluctantly to half mast and allowing a look to cross her face of someone who has just detected a fecal odor in the room.
Kirkpatrick defended Israel by her unyielding critique of what it faced at the UN. Charging that diplomacy regarding the “Arab- Israeli conflict” at the world body “has nothing to do with peace, but is quite simply a continuation of war against Israel by other means,” she said that the UN, as a result, had become a place where “moral outrage was distributed like violence in a protection racket”; a place where Israel is regularly and routinely attacked for manufactured crimes amidst deafening silence “when 3 million Cambodians died in Pol Pot’s murderous utopia… when a quarter million Ugandans died at the hands of Idi Amin… and when thousand of Soviet citizens are denied equal rights, equal protection of the law; denied the right to think, write, publish, work freely or emigrate.”
She pointed out repeatedly that hatred of Israel deformed all aspects of UN operations: “A women’s conference is suddenly transformed into a forum for the denunciation of Israel” because of assertions that “the biggest obstacle to the realizations of women’s full enjoyment of equal rights in the world is Zionism….A meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency becomes so absorbed in negotiations and debate over a resolution to expel Israel that it almost forgets to worry about nuclear non proliferation.”
Kirkpatrick experienced this malign obsession personally when she headed a delegation to the International Conference on African Refugees in March 1981.
The day before it opened, the Arab States, led by Libya, moved to bar Israel’s delegate. Kirkpatrick announced that if this happened, the US would walk out and withdraw the $285 million it had pledged to the refugee problem. She dared the African countries and their Arab allies to choose between their “vile rhetoric” and money that could help their people.
They chose the money.
She saw clearly that isolating and stigmatizing Israel was the USSR’s “great project” at the UN, an effort undertaken with diabolical ingenuity by the accusation that the Jewish state was guilty of racism – the greatest of sins in the post-colonial period when newly minted states were regularly entering the world organization – and by making Israel morally equivalent to apartheid South Africa.
She presciently saw that this accusation would be justified not by facts or proof, but by “a systematic assault on language and meaning.”
She picked up on the first signs of this brazenly methodical effort to turn the narrative of the Holocaust inside-out by rebranding the Palestinians “the Jews of the Arab world” and the Israelis “ Nazis,” and she understood the likely consequences: “by successfully claiming that Israel was guilty of genocide, any attack against the state and people of Israel was justified.”
The passionate indignation over the treatment of Israel at the UN Jeane Kirkpatrick carried with her until her death in 2006 is nowhere visible in the Obama presidency whose cold friendship for the Jewish State has justly been compared to the Carter administration’s. But his treatment of Israel is also often cited as one of the reasons Carter lost to Ronald Reagan who immediately installed at the UN a woman who believed that “to defend Israel was to defend America and western civilization itself.” So perhaps the historical analogy carries with it a ray of hope after all.
With friends like the Obama Administration, it is my opinion Israel needs no enemies, of which unfortunately, Israel has all too many. R. W. Latham