Archive for December, 2009

Suicide isn’t an option

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Sometimes I find myself writing about Palestinian demands and Israeli responses in connection with plans for a ‘peace agreement’ which will bring about a ‘two-state solution’. I’ll say “how dare they insist on this or that” or “any agreement must include… blah, blah”.

This is a waste of time. The ‘two-state solution’ exists only in the minds of those who do not understand the actual players in this game, or the mouths of  those (like the Swedes) who see it as a way to weaken Israel. No Palestinian with the power to influence a decision wants a peaceful two-state solution or an end to the conflict — what they want is to gain an advantage in the long-term struggle with Israel.

My head is spinning from the doubletalk of the Europeans or the Obama administration, for example, in which they give lip service to Israel’s security while demanding that Israel sacrifice it to escalating Arab demands, and the doubletalk from Israel in which its leaders pretend to believe that peace is possible while trying to avoid giving up too much for nothing.

So could we please forget about Oslo, the Roadmap and all of the forty-two quintillion ‘solutions’ that have been proposed, all of which are premised on the idea that the Palestinian Arabs want to end the conflict if we can just find terms that they would accept. They don’t.

Let’s start asking what Israel can do that will lead to a state with defensible borders with as few Arabs as possible within them. Let’s try to find policies that won’t pit the national-religious part of the population against the army and police. Let’s do our best to keep terrorist murderers out of circulation, in jail or dead. Let’s return to the position that one never, ever negotiates with terrorists. Let’s stop supplying Hamas with electricity and other needs. Let’s end the incitement and the subversion of the state by foreign-funded NGOs.

You get the idea. Israel is the state of the Jewish people, the only one. It’s past time that the Palestinian Arabs give up the idea that it belongs to them and that they are going to get it. The Arabs have 22 or so much larger states in the Middle East; let them take care of their people and leave Israel to the Jews.

Israel is not a smaller version of the politically-correct US. Priority one has to be the survival of Israel as a Jewish state. Everything else, including the human rights of Palestinians or Arab residents of Israel, must be a lower priority. Yes, you heard right.

Suicide isn’t an option.

Technorati Tags:

The ugly European

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

There was a popular book in the 1950’s called “The Ugly American”, which proposed that the US was losing ground in the struggle against Communism because of its arrogance and refusal to try to understand other cultures.

Today a great deal of ugliness comes from Europe. It includes an arrogant belief that they can continue to remake the map of the Mideast however they want, as they’ve done for the past several centuries, as well as a deliberate ignorance about the intentions of the players there.

News item:

Richard Goldstone, the South African jurist and author of a controversial UN report which accused Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during the Israel Defense Forces’ military offensive in the Gaza Strip last winter, will receive the Stockholm Human Rights Award, it was announced on Thursday.

“Richard Goldstone has made an outstanding career in the promotion of the rule of law and human rights, first in his home country South Africa and during the last fifteen years in various highly prestigious international fora,” the International Legal Assistance Consortium, a Sweden-based umbrella group of non-governmental organizations which oversees the awarding of the prize, said on Thursday.

Someone — I’m sorry that I don’t recall who — said that they would have given him a Nobel, but he spoiled it by saying that ‘Palestinian armed groups’  (not even ‘Hamas’) “may be guilty of war crimes” along with Israel. And of course they needed to give it to Obama, for reasons not clear to anyone including the recipient.

Sweden is at the forefront of Israel-hatred in Europe. Its government refused to condemn the Aftonbladet organ-stealing slander, and it is the source of funding for many of the most biased NGOs.  So naturally Goldstone is a hero to them.

But far worse is a resolution recently introduced by Sweden to the Council of the EU to split Jerusalem and recognize ‘Palestine’ in all the territories formerly occupied by Jordan.

The Swedish draft resolution to the EU can be found here. It’s loaded with gems like this:

The European Union will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders except those agreed by the parties.

In other words, the resolution gives all of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem to the Palestinians by default unless they agree to let Israel keep any of it! Of course, literally it would belong to Jordan, but I’m sure they don’t intend that.

It says that East Jerusalem will be the capital of the Palestinian state. This implies that all of East Jerusalem will be under Palestinian sovereignty.

It also says nothing about the capital of Israel. So it’s imaginable that the Europeans could continue to maintain, as they — and the US — do today, that no part of Jerusalem belongs to Israel!

It also refers to the EU’s “bilateral relations with Palestine” despite the fact that there is no such state as ‘Palestine’.

The declaration stops short of calling for the entry of Arab refugees into Israel, but does refer to ‘all relevant UN resolutions’ and mentions the Arab Initiative, which are interpreted by the Arabs to imply this.

It calls for an “immediate and unconditional opening of [the Gaza] crossings,” while paying lip service to Israel’s security needs. It calls for Gilad Shalit’s release, but the word ‘Hamas’ does not appear anywhere in the text.

The Palestinians, of course are urging other EU states to support the resolution.  Interestingly, the Arab league is unimpressed, calling it ’empty words’.

One wonders why any of this is the Swedes’ or the Europeans’ business at all!

Courtesy of Dry Bones

Courtesy of Dry Bones

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

The Freeze

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Some thoughts about the settlement freeze:

  1. It’s 100% clear that the freeze will not cause the Palestinian Authority (PA) to ‘come to the table’. They have already said that it is insufficient because it doesn’t include Jerusalem, doesn’t include construction already under way, etc.
  2. However, once the principle is accepted that Israeli concessions without reciprocity from the Palestinians or other Arab nations are appropriate, pressure will increase for Israel to take the next step, and the next…
  3. I don’t know if Obama Administration officials realized the degree and depth of opposition that Israel’s government would face from residents of Judea and Samaria. If they did, the imposition of the pointless freeze is a deliberate attempt to produce civil strife within the state of Israel — an act of aggression as blatant and more dangerous than a Qassam rocket. If they didn’t understand, why didn’t Netanyahu tell them?
  4. If the freeze won’t bring negotiations closer — and anyway we know negotiations with the hard-line PA today would be fruitless — and it will create strife in Israel, is there any good it could do? Only improve the administration’s image in the Arab world. But even this won’t happen, because the Arabs see the ‘incomplete’ freeze as Obama being soft on Israel.
  5. As I have written before, Judea and Samaria are not ‘Palestinian land’. They are at most ‘disputed territory’. So a building freeze that affects Jews and not Arabs is discriminatory.
  6. The Roadmap calls for a settlement freeze as part of Phase I. It also calls for the Palestinians to stop incitement of hatred and terrorism against Israel, and for them to “[begin] sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.” Only after Phase I is complete can there be movement to Phases II and III. Perhaps it’s time to ask why the PA hasn’t met its responsibilities?
  7. The justification for the freeze is that construction in the territories ‘prejudges’ the final outcome. But the freeze suggests an acceptance of the Palestinian demand for “every centimeter” of the area occupied by Jordan in 1949, something that even the Obama administration has opposed.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Blood libels then and now

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

All four of my grandparents emigrated from the Ukraine in the beginning of the 20th century. They came to America because they heard that it was a land of opportunity where Jews weren’t restricted to where they could live or what kind of work they could do; but mainly they left the Ukraine because they were sick and tired of periodic murderous pogroms in which Jews were brutalized and murdered while the authorities stood by or even took part. Many of these pogroms were incited by ‘blood libels’, accusations that Jews killed Christians, usually children, for their blood.

Well, guess what. Although there are far fewer Jews living there today than in 1900-1914, the descendants of the antisemitic pogromists are still at it.

Stories appearing on several Ukrainian Web sites claim Israel has brought around some 25,000 Ukrainian children into the country over the past two years in order to harvest their organs.

The claim, which was made by a Ukrainian philosophy professor and author at a pseudo-academic conference in Kiev five days ago, is the latest expression of a wave of anti-Semitism in the country. It comes a few months after a Swedish tabloid ran an article alleging that Israel Defense Forces soldiers have killed Palestinian civilians for their organs.  — Ha’aretz

The organ-harvesting story  — which the Swedish government, like the Ukrainian authorities in 1905, refused to condemn —  has spread around the world.

But this isn’t the first time something like this happened, or even the tenth. According to one list, blood libels against Jews have been propagated since the year 38 CE, and examples can be found up to 2009.

An artist's conception of the death of Simon of Trent at the hands of Jews in 1475

An artist's conception of the death of Simon of Trent at the hands of Jews in 1475

The Swedish story is not the only modern-day blood libel. The Goldstone report is full of them, unsubstantiated (because they are false) stories of crimes committed by Jews against non-Jews for the worst motives. Indeed, the Palestinians have developed a whole industry dedicated to creating them.

It’s interesting that the historical blood libels were usually aimed not at individual Jews, but rather at the Jewish community — which was invariably punished collectively.  In the Simon of Trent case, the entire Jewish community was tortured until seventeen ‘confessed’ to the crime. In the Kishniev pogrom of 1903, also incited by a blood libel, anti-Jewish rioting spanned three days with the entire Jewish quarter destroyed, almost 50 dead and hundreds injured.

Today’s blood libels are also aimed at the Jewish community, but today the world Jewish community has crystallized as the Jewish state, Israel. So the Swedish blood libel and the new Ukrainian version target the IDF and the state of Israel directly.

Now… please explain it to me again: exactly what is the difference between anti-Zionism and antisemitism?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Europe’s imperialist chutzpah

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

The Israeli Knesset has belatedly become aware of the huge amount of money that is flowing into Israeli non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from European governments and other sources with anti-Israel agendas. Prof. Gerald Steinberg of the organization “NGO Monitorspoke at the Knesset yesterday, saying in part,

As Israeli citizens, we do not know how much money is involved – it is at least tens of millions of euros – or the names of all the organizations that receive these funds. In most cases, we are also not informed of European government funding behind rallies in support of one policy or in protest to another.

The same is true for academic conferences on human rights, occupation, or international law; large advertisements on the front page of a Friday newspaper (at the cost of tens of thousands of shekels); when the High Court pronounces on a case regarding the location of the separation barrier or security checks at the airport; submissions to the United Nations committees condemning Israeli responses to terror; and in many other crucial issues that affect our lives and the policies of our democratically elected government.

The nature and scale of this manipulation is unprecedented in relations between democratic countries – in no other case does one government (or groups of governments) use taxpayer money to support opposition groups in another democratic country. And there is no precedent for allowing these groups to use foreign government money to influence and manipulate the civil societies, political discourse, legal process and foreign policies.

Imagine the French response [to] an American government program that secretly gave one billion dollars to anti-abortion campaigners in Paris, or to promote human rights in Corsica. Or the Spanish response to funds from foreign governments that promote Basque issues.

Some of the organizations that receive this funding are simply — there’s no other way to describe them — enemies of the Jewish state. For example, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I) worked  closely with Human Rights Watch (HRW) to develop the medical ‘evidence’ for Israeli ‘war crimes’ that were supposedly ‘documented’ in a tendentious HRW report that I called a “blood libel”. This report was then used as one of the sources for the Goldstone Commission’s slanderous report, which may be used to prosecute Israelis for ‘war crimes’.

Where does PHR-I get its money? NGO Monitor reports that

Funders include the NDC (Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands: $125,000 in 2008-9), Diakonia (SEK 1.02 million in 2008-9, from the Swedish government), EU (722,000 NIS in 2007), NIF ($155,000, 2007), Oxfam (211,000 NIS, 2007), Christian Aid (151,000 NIS, 2007), and other foundations and church groups (2007 information from the Israeli Registry of Non-Profits).

The NIF is the New Israel Fund, a left-wing American charity which I’ve discussed here. The 1.02 million Swedish Kroner is about $148,000. There are numerous such NGOs. Steinberg continues,

Externally, officials who run these ostensible “civil society” organizations speak in United Nations sessions on human rights, as well as in churches and university campuses around the world, condemning Israel for racism, ethnic cleansing, genocide, discrimination, war crimes, and other such accusations.

Many lead the BDS campaigns – boycotts, divestment and sanctions – based on the Durban NGO Forum strategy of isolating Israel.  The Alternative Information Center, which is funded by Sweden, among others, denounces cooperation between Israeli and the Palestinian Authority as “normalization.” In a June 2008 conference, co-founder Michael Warschawski asserted that “one has to unequivocally reject the very idea (and existence) of a Jewish state, whatever will be its borders.”

What possible excuse is there for the use of European taxpayer funds for this political warfare being waged against Israel? A very small group of Israelis are seen to give them legitimacy, but fail to add a warning – these views have almost no support within the Israeli civil society, and paid for by European governments.

The degree of imperialist chutzpah displayed by the Europeans is incredible. This is an assault on Israel’s sovereignty which must be stopped. It’s bad enough that international NGOs like HRW slander and propagandize against Israel, but these are NGOs based in Israel.

The unifying theme seems to be anti-Zionism:

Ir Amim, which receives 67% of its budget from foreign governments, advocates and campaigns for the Palestinian narrative on Jerusalem, and directs these campaigns at influencing non-Israeli journalists, diplomats and opinion makers. It produced a film series, Jerusalem Moments, that has been described as “an exercise in the bludgeoning documentation of Palestinian victimhood and of allegedly mindless Israeli cruelty and aggression,” and a “skewed misportrayal.”

Other NGOs have used European support to oppose the Jewish character of the State: Adalah’s 2007 “Democratic Constitution” – based on the vision of “a one-state solution” – attempts to limit immigration of Jews for “humanitarian reasons” only; Mada al-Carmel’s “Haifa Declaration,” which has the European Union logo on it, calls for a “change in the definition of the State of Israel from a Jewish state” and accuses Israel of “exploiting” the Holocaust “at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

And, the Coalition of Women for Peace operates the “Who Profits?” divestment website, a project that tracks Israeli and international corporations that allegedly “are directly involved in the occupation.” Who Profits? led the anti-Israel divestment campaign in Norway, and is involved with a similar project in the UK.

These organizations are engaged in psychological, political and legal sabotage. Their actions are different in kind but similar in intent to those of the Arab terrorists that infiltrate across borders in order to place explosives. The goal is the same, to damage and weaken the Jewish state so that some day it can be replaced by yet another Arab dictatorship.

Technorati Tags: , , ,