Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cast a Giant Jesus over Israel

By JewishIsrael.com


Plans are in the works for a giant statue of jesus to be erected on Mount Precipice (also known as Har Kedumim) near Nazareth. Israeli, International and Christian news sources are reporting that the proposed monolith will be akin in scale to, or even larger than, the huge iconic statue of "christ the redeemer" which towers over the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. 

The project involves JNF owned land and has reportedly received an endorsement and blessing from Minister of Tourism Uzi Landau.
JewishIsrael is taking a pro-active stance opposing this project and has a full report ...more

SO JUST KEEP GIVING THEM MONEY, NO????....PA rejects EU demand not to fund terrorists with EU money, yet EU continues transferring money to PA

PA rejects EU demand
not to fund terrorists with EU money,
yet EU continues transferring money to PA

November 2013
PA Minister mocks EU for criticizing PA use of funding for terrorists' salaries:
"The Europeans want their money that comes to us to remain clean - not to go to families of those they claim to be terrorists... These [prisoners] are heroes"
December 2013:
EU ignores its own principles, continues transferring funds to the PA and facilitating salaries to terrorists
"The EU donated approximately 11 million euros to pay the November salaries... [of PA] government employees"
Head of Prisoners' Club: Government workers and prisoners' salaries are paid together
"What is disbursed to the prisoners is exactly what is disbursed to me and you [a PA civil servant]. These are salaries. Therefore, when the salaries are paid to those working in [government] ministries and institutions, they will also be paid to the prisoners."
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

In 2011, Palestinian Media Watch exposed that the Palestinian Authority was using Western donor money to pay salaries to terrorists. Following PMW's exposure of these payments to terrorists, many European countries condemned the practice.

Recently, PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake made a public statement rejecting the European demand that EU funds not go to terrorists. Indeed, Karake mocked the EU for challenging the PA's funding of terror saying, "the Europeans want their money... to remain clean." He said that by viewing Palestinian prisoners as terrorists, Europe has adopted an "occupation mentality." According to the PA, the prisoners "are heroes":

"The Europeans want their money that comes to us to remain clean - not to go to families of those they claim to be 'terrorists.' [They] need to renounce this occupation (Israeli) mentality. These [prisoners] are heroes, fedayyeen(self-sacrificing fighters), and fighters who fought so that we could live in dignity... These heroes, whom you (i.e., the audience) are applauding, must live in dignity, so that we will continue to hold our heads high. We appreciate the people of the revolution and are proud of them."
[Official PA TV Live, Nov. 4, 2013]

Click to view

This rejection by the PA has significance beyond the financial issue, as it shows the ideological divide between Western donors and the PA. While the Western world views the killing of civilians as murder and terror, the PA sees Palestinians' killing of civilians as heroic and deserving of financial reward. As the PA minister said: "These [prisoners] are heroes... We appreciate the people of the revolution and are proud of them."

On numerous occasions, the PA has stressed that PA salaries to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners are like all other government and civil servant salaries. One example was when Chairman of the Prisoners' Club Qadura Fares confirmed in a PA TV interview that prisoners receive salaries along with government employees:

PA TV host: "How were the prisoners' salaries and allowances affected by the economic crisis in Palestine?"
Chairman of the Prisoners' Club, Qadura Fares: "All in all, we are in the same situation as others. What is disbursed to the prisoners is exactly what is disbursed to me and you [i.e., government employees]. These are salaries. Therefore, when the salaries are paid to those working in [government] ministries and institutions, they will also be paid to the prisoners."
[Official PA TV, Jan. 17, 2013]

Click to view

So when the EU transferred 11 million euros to the PA this month to pay the salaries of PA government employees, it directly or indirectly facilitated the payments of millions of euros in salaries to Palestinian terrorist prisoners and released prisoners.

"Yesterday [Dec. 15, 2013] the European Union donated approximately 11 million euros to pay the November salaries and pensions of approximately 71,000 Palestinian government employees and pensioners in the [West] Bank and the Gaza Strip."
[WAFA, official PA news agency, and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 6, 2013]

From the EU press release:

"For many years, the EU has been the biggest donor and most reliable partner to the Palestinian Authority. Today's contribution to salaries and pensions is further evidence of our unimpeded support for the Palestinian people which will continue in 2014."


The Bedouin Problem and the Only Possible Solution

The Bedouin Problem and the Only Possible Solution

by Mordechai Kedar

At the end of November, 2013, Israel experienced a series of demonstrations throughout the Arab areas, some of which were violent, as part of the “Day of Rage” over the government’s decision to implement the “Prawer Plan” to solve the problems relating to land in the Negev. Arab spokesmen – all of whom are Israeli citizens - threw around slogans such as “third intifada”, “Land Day II” and “Bedouin revolt”, slogans that were meant to incite the Arab public, which represents a fifth of the citizens of the state. Politicians and leaders of the Islamic movement tried to stir up emotions against the state and its decision regarding the Bedouins settling on state lands in the Negev.

The impression is that the problem is about land, because the Bedouins, who live scattered over the area, have built houses on land that belongs to the state without permission or building permits, without general planning or infrastructure. Now the state wants to put matters in order, so questions arise such as how much each Bedouin should receive as part of the arrangement and how much monetary compensation he will get for the territory that he gives up, despite the fact that no Bedouin has or had any proof of ownership of the land that he claims is his. Until today, all of the Bedouins’ legal claims that have reached the courts have failed because of this, and now the state is interested in solving the matter of illegal Bedouin settlements through legal procedures.

However, the truth of the matter is that the problem is not only an issue of the land and the Bedouins’ illegal settlement on state lands, but is both wider and deeper. Wider – because there are still serious problems between the state and the Bedouins, and deeper – because all of these differences stem from the tremendous gaps between the Bedouin culture and a state culture. 

Another problem related to the Bedouins is the problem of polygamy. Approximately four years ago (April 21, 2009), in The Marker, Haaretz’s economic supplement,  Meirav Arlozorov published information stating that at that time, 5,829 women were listed as single mothers in the Negev, who had 23,855  children between them. At that time, 155 women had 10 children each, and there were even two women with as many as 17 children each. Anyone can easily understand that these are not single mothers, but each woman is the second, third or fourth wife married, according to Islamic Shari’a, to one man, and living together with him in one household. If this was the situation four years ago, what is the situation today?

The current situation is made possible because of two factors, cultural and economic. The cultural factor is that within the traditional Bedouin culture, a man is expected to marry more than one woman in order to prove his manhood. A man who lives with one woman is thought to be weak and worthless. In addition, a man hopes to expand his family as much as possible so that it will have more economic, social and political weight in the system of Bedouin society. For example: the number of votes in elections to the local council will be greater, so all of the candidates will come to him to solicit his support.

The economic factor in polygamy is that the government welfare institution grants subsidies according to children’s benefits for each woman separately, regardless of whether she reports herself as married or single, so bringing children into the world is a productive business. This year (July, 26, 2013), in the Tzedek supplement of the Makor Rishon newspaper, Yehuda Yifrach publicized the fact that Bedouin families receive hundreds of millions of shekels per year from government welfare programs by means of fictional divorces in Shari’a court, awarding negligible alimony to the “divorcees” (who usually continue living with their husbands) so that the government welfare institution would be obligated to give them supplemental payments. 

The entire story of polygamy in the Negev is very puzzling, since polygamy is against the law in Israel. Therefore the question immediately arises: why does the state not enforce this law on the Bedouins, and why does it finance polygamy among them by granting children’s benefits and income supplements? The answer is clear: the state understands that the issue is a cultural matter related to the Bedouin sector so it prefers to pay them, using resources that would have been available to other sectors, just to keep the Bedouins quiet, so they will not demonstrate and not block the roads.

Another matter connected to marriage is unions between relatives. Most couples in the Negev are relatives, and the result is that many children suffer from genetic diseases, some of which are severe and life-threatening. The high rate of infant mortality within the Bedouin sector stems in part from this reason. The state must allocate many resources to care for the children who suffer from genetic defects. Marriage between relatives is also a cultural matter related to tribal conventions.

Another cultural matter related to Bedouins is the matter of honor killing and blood feuds. In this matter as well, the state prefers to close an eye and not see the serious transgressions that are committed within the Bedouin sector, whether because of the difficulty in investigating them – no Bedouin would testify against another Bedouin – or because of the leniency with which the law enforcement agencies (police, state’s attorney, courts, prisons and the mechanism of pardons) relate to these acts of murder. The researcher Manar Hasan exposed this leniency in an important and painful article that was published in the book “Sex, Gender and Politics”, edited by D. Yizraeli.

Additional problematic matters with the Bedouin sector that have come to light in recent years are the culture of “protection money” in building sites and industrial areas, for example: Emek Sarah in Beersheba, and smuggling of drugs, guns, women and foreign workers from Sinai and Jordan.

All of these matters – illegal building on state lands, polygamy, marriage among relatives, murder, blood feuds, protection and smuggling – which are connected to the Bedouin sector, prove that rather than being a case of a few isolated incidents, the problem is that the Bedouin culture sees the law of the state as law that is not part of the Bedouin culture. In this, the Bedouins in Israel are no different from the Bedouins throughout the Arab world, who live parallel and separate lives from the rest of the state, and within another legal system – “customs and tradition” – which is based on the sense of “we are here and the state is there”. The group gives them power, because the state – for reasons of convenience – does not deal with each separate Bedouin, but with a consolidated and violent tribe that would not hesitate to take to violence if it feels that its interests are endangered.

Tribal culture is the basis for all of the problems that are connected with the Bedouins, not only in Israel but in the entire Middle East: in Libya, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Syria, in Algeria, in Egypt (Sinai) and in many other places, tribes struggle with the state in order to maintain their culture, their laws, their customs and their traditions, that are usually contrary to the laws of the state and its regulations. The tribe has its own leadership and its own legal system and in many matters it conducts itself as an entity that is independent and separate from the state. Among the Bedouins, the state is considered a hostile entity since it aims to enforce its laws on the tribe.

The situation among the Bedouins of the Negev is not different in principle from the situation of the Bedouins throughout the Middle East. Since the State of Israel was established more than 65 years ago it has not dealt correctly with the matter. Beginning in 1968 the State of Israel has been attempting to settle the Bedouins in towns that were built for them: Rahat, Tel Sheva, Kuseifa, Lakiyya, Hura, Aro’er and Segev Shalom. A significant part of the Bedouins indeed did move to these towns and changed their lifestyle considerably, but tribalism has also moved from the desert to the city: the neighborhoods in the city are usually settled according to the tribal code, and the people’s conduct and behavior still have traditional tribal characteristics: in one of the Bedouin towns in the Negev, a child was run over by a member of another tribe, and every child belonging to the driver’s tribe stopped walking to the neighborhood school, since they had each become a potential murder victim, in revenge for the child that had been run over. They demanded that the state build a special school for them, because the way to the school passes through the neighborhood of the child that was killed, and therefore they can no longer walk to the general school in the community. 

Moving to the town does not solve the issue of polygamy, since in the cities as well, there are families in which one man lives with several wives according to Islamic Shari’a, despite its being a transgression of the laws of the state. And many Bedouins in the towns continue to earn their living from illegal occupations. The state hesitates to enforce its laws on the Bedouin sector, and this is obvious in the lack of enforcement of the planning and building laws. Local politics in Bedouin towns is based on the tribe, and inter-tribal conflicts make it difficult for the local authorities to function. In many cases, when a Bedouin town's council becomes dysfunctional due to endless conflicts between the tribes, the interior minister is forced to disband the municipal council, dismiss the mayor and appoint a committee and a mayor from outside to manage the town. 

In conclusion: the basis of the problem with the Bedouin sector is that it has been left behind on the platform as the train of the state has progressed into the twenty first century. Great parts of the Bedouin sector still live tribal lives, according to rules that are contrary to the laws of the state. The tribal lifestyle influences all areas of life – type of housing, education, occupation and family relations – and interferes with the state’s ability to solve the problems of its citizens in the Bedouin sector. The state has never tried to deal with the problem in a holistic way, but has rather tried to solve the problem of housing without regard to dealing with the other problems. This is where the difficulties in dealing with the problem of lands and housing stem from. In the absence of a state policy, the door is opened for the involvement of foreign bodies such as the Islamic movement, which exploits the confusion in the state’s institutions, and conducts a boom of illegal building on state lands in projects that include thousands of people who come from other areas into the Negev for one day for just this purpose. These projects are carried out openly with many advertisements before and afterwards, and the state doesn’t do a thing; it is paralyzed when confronted with the determination of the Islamic movement.

The solution

The thread that ties together all of the problems related to Bedouins is the Bedouin culture, which is based on the tribe. Tribal culture is a high barrier that separates the Bedouin public from life in a modern state that conducts itself according to the law of equality for all of its citizens. If the state desires to bring the Bedouins to a situation where they are normative citizens, it must not only take them out of the desert, it must take the desert out of them. The solution to the Bedouin problem in the Negev must not be limited to dealing with the matter of housing, since the problem of housing is only a small part of the tribal culture. If the state desires to solve the problem at its root it must take care of problems that are a result of tribal culture. 

The treatment of the Bedouins must involve a holistic, inclusive approach, and relate to all areas of life: housing, occupation, education and family relations. Moreover, the state must relate to the Bedouin lawbreaker as it does to any other lawbreaker, and if he breaks the law, the state must not treat him leniently just because he was born to a large and powerful Bedouin tribe that can exert pressure on the enforcement agencies. 

Towns for Bedouins must be planned, with infrastructures for water, sewage, electricity and communications, and with public institutions, industrial areas, employment and social services. The state must invest all of the necessary resources in this effort so that the Bedouin towns in the Negev will be equal to any other city in the state of Israel. On the other hand, private building, scattered outside the communities, must be considered a severe transgression of the laws of the state, and these lawbreakers must be tried and punished. The state must behave toward its citizens in the Negev exactly as it does toward citizens in Tel Aviv or in Herzliya, because if it is not so, severe discrimination is created between the citizens of the state: the situation would exist where the citizen in Tel Aviv is forbidden to build illegally on state land, while a citizen in the Negev is permitted. 

The state must establish places of employment and industrial areas in the Bedouin towns in order to develop incentives and grant its Bedouin citizens the ability to make an honorable living in normative occupations. The institutions of higher education in the state must be open and accessible to any Bedouin, man or woman, who is interested and capable of learning in them. On the other hand, the state must enforce the law to its fullest severity on anyone who deals in smuggling, “protection” or any other illegal occupation.

The state must use the educational system to impart to the young generation of Bedouins the concepts of citizenship that will supersede tribal laws. A Bedouin girl must learn that according to state law, as well as Islamic law, she has the right to choose a life partner for herself, even if he is from another tribe, and that she can marry him with the condition that he not take another wife after her. The educational system must provide the youth of the Bedouin sector with information and awareness regarding the genetic dangers associated with marriage between relatives, and that everyone – whether woman or man – has the right to learn, to progress in life and to develop a professional career. 

The educational system must impart to the youth of this sector the obligation to obey the laws of the state and especially if they are contrary to the laws of the tribe. The prohibition against violence must be a guiding principle for every citizen, including the Bedouin. Education must relate to polygamy as something that is against the law and is therefore forbidden. The educational message must give to the new generation of Bedouin men the sense that their manliness does not stem from the number of wives that they have but from the way that each man relates to his only wife, and that the number of children is less important than their education and making sure that each child gets what any modern child should from his parents. 

Educators in the Bedouin sector must act in accordance with the principle that their task is to impart to the young generation the desire and the ability to be a citizen with equal rights and obligations, that he is an autonomous person with the right to make decisions independently, and is not subservient to any group. 

The state must enforce the law of National Insurance in such a way that it will not subsidize breaking the law, which forbids polygamy. The state must limit the children’s benefits according to each household, in such a way that every man can get benefits only for one wife to whom he is legally married, and her children. The state must stop the benefits to wives who were brought to the Negev from Mount Hebron, from Jordan, from Saudi Arabia or from the Gaza Strip, including Ismail Haniye’s sister. There is no reason that the state’s money should be spent on the citizens of foreign states.

The government’s policy towards the Bedouin sector must be consistent over the years, without regard to changes in government. Cultural change does not occur overnight and calls for a large and long-range investment. The state must allocate the necessary resources to bring this cultural change to the Bedouin sector in order to bring it into the twenty first century, otherwise this important sector will remain in the cultural desert of the Middle East.


Dr. Kedar is available for lectures 

Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Mordechai.Kedar@biu.ac.il) is an Israeli scholar of Arabic and Islam, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University and the director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. He specializes in Islamic ideology and movements, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

Translated from Hebrew by SallyZahav with permission from the author. 

Additional articles by Dr. Kedar

Source: The article is published in the framework of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (under formation), Bar Ilan University, Israel. Also published in Makor Rishon, a Hebrew weekly newspaper.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the author.


Monday, December 30, 2013



by Fiamma Nirenstein

While vows are always made to fight anti-Semitism, its existence is not even admitted where it is found in its most frequent and obvious forms: among media and university "intellectuals;" among certain NGOs; in international institutions, such as the United Nations and its offshoots; within the European Union; in "liberal' organizations ostensibly promoting human rights -- and as a way of life, as well as a way to reinforce identity, in the Muslim world.

Anti-Zionism today, from Malmö to Qom, arises and multiplies entirely from prejudice. Most of Israel's most vicious critics have never even set foot in the state.

Such falsehoods have not only had some success; they have become mainstream. There is no protest against them from political parties, with few exceptions, or most cultural groups.

The problem of the Jews today, the world over, is not anti-Semitism but a new branch of it: "Israelophobia." The most productive fight for world Jewry and its allies at the moment would be not against anti-Semitism, even though Israelophobia is a part of it, but against Israelopbia itself.

The observances that took place in Europe to commemorate Kristallnacht, which took place on November 9, 1938, were abundant: no Jew could be unhappy about the surrounding sympathy, the public proclamation of the need to remember, the absolute rejection of any anti-Semitism, and even more, the rejection of any genocidal fervor against the Jews. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of many resolute speakers, said that the Germans must show their "strength of character, and promise that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in any form." It was a point of view echoed by all European leaders, and it was nice to hear.

Unfortunately, however, these words are only a cheap way to address the problem. They do not keep in check all the other promises -- those to destroy the Jewish world, starting with Israel. If the fight against anti-Semitism were actually to be fought from memory and history, many programs, such as Holocaust studies in schools, movies on TV, trips to Auschwitz, interfaith dialogue, and the historical shame of racial laws would have had a deeper resonance in the European soul.

Even Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei, occasionally embraces some local Jew and explains that he has nothing against Jews. In the Islamic world the commitment to kill Jews has a special religious character, as can be seen from the Hamas Charter -- in which Jews are accused of having caused all wars, and promises are made to kill them all, one by one, down to the last Jew -- as well as other positions taken by Hamas's parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. In other countries, such as Turkey, the discourse is different: the death sentence is first on Israel, and only secondarily on Jews. Either way, hatred of Israel, or Israelophobia, seems a fundamental element of Islamic ideology today, but does not stop just at that.

The term Israelophobia seems to stem from a prejudice and irrational hatred of Israel. The word was used for the first time, as far as I know, by Richard Prasquier, President of CRIF (the umbrella organization of the Jewish communities in France), and was presumably the obverse of "Islamophobia," a term used to define a huge cultural prejudice with a racist character towards the religion of the Prophet, while armies of human rights defenders stand guard against any element of discrimination against people of the Islamic faith.

"Israelophobia," on the other hand, is steeped in centuries of anti-Semitic stereotypes, but it has now taken on an intense life of its own, often rich in contemporary fabrications -- for example, that historically Jews have never lived in Jerusalem; that IDF soldiers harvest the organs of Palestinians; that the "wall of separation," built to keep out terrorists, is a form of apartheid -- and through these falsehoods gushes forth a hatred for Jews. Israelophobia is a block of hatred crystallized around a piece of land, around an idea. Anti-Zionism today, from Malmö to Qom, arises and multiplies entirely from prejudice against Israel: many of its most vicious critics have never even set foot in the state.

These attacks on Israel are all too often made up of devastating classical anti-Semitic projections, lies and distortions to delegitimize Israel -- the blood libel that Jews kill non-Jewish children to use their blood to bake matzah; bottomless greed; indifference, and savage cruelty toward anyone who is not Jewish. Even legitimate geopolitical decisions -- such as the right to self-defense, or not being expected to hold territory in perpetuity until such time as one's sworn enemies might perhaps decide not to threaten annihilation, with no cost for the delay; or ignoring other countries accused of "occupation," such as Turkey in Cyprus, Pakistan in Kashmir or China in Tibet, while singling out only Israel for opprobrium. These accusations are often translated not just into judgments against Israel, but then go viral against any Jew.

Such falsehoods have not only had some success; they have become mainstream. There is no protest against them from political parties, with few exceptions, or most cultural groups. Moreover, countering these lies or honoring historical truths count for nothing: facts just disappear. Thus, while political correctness does not allow for outright anti-Semitism -- all the TV presenters are ready to say a kind word to the Jews as a "different religion," and that they are appreciated as a "minority" -- anti-Israelism is not only on the rise; it is fashionable and snobbish. To say "that shitty little country," as the French ambassador to London, Daniel Bernard, did, is commonplace.

As Daniel Schwammenthal has written in the Wall Street Journal, before there was anti-Semitism without Jews; now there is anti-Semitism without anti-Semites. No one -- not even most of the Jewish leadership -- will publicly ascribe anti-Semitism to anyone except possibly the occasional neo-Nazi group. While vows are always made to fight anti-Semitism, its existence is not even admitted where it is found in its most frequent and obvious forms: among university and media "intellectuals;" in certain NGOs; in international institutions such as the United Nations and its offshoots; within the European Union; in "liberal" associations ostensibly promoting human rights -- and both as a way of life, as well as to reinforce identity, in the Islamic world. Recently, during a dinner with a high level diplomat, while discussing the increasing anti-Semitism in Europe, he responded with absolute amazement. "I have never met an anti-Semite in my life," he and his wife assured me; "I am sure that many of my closest friends would say the same thing: these episodes are sporadic, done by extremist groups, especially on the far right." That is not, however, the case.

No one, either on the left or right, believes Israelophobia to be a violation of human rights, or defends the Jewish people from this all-encompassing prejudice that covers the history and character of the Jewish people with lies. An attack on Israel is seen, rather, as a legitimate critique of a sovereign country; the revival of anti-Semitism (which is what it is) against the Jewish people is therefore considered not important.

European Jews, and even a large number of American Jews -- possibly hoping to avoid being the target of such a chill, and possibly hoping to join the bandwagon to fit in better with their non-Jewish neighbors -- have sidestepped a position of total support for Israel, and instead appear reticent and opportunistic. At a meeting with the Italian Foreign Minister shortly after Italy's unilateral recognition of Palestine at the UN, none of the representatives at the meeting of international Jewish leaders, apart from this author, dared to ask for an account of that event.

Any obvious lie can be told about Israel; it will always find a huge echo of consent. Reality and facts are always removed. In his latest book, The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism, Daniel Goldhagen lists slanderous remarks that others have made about Israel, such as: Israel is a source of disorder for the neighboring countries; the cause of the dictatorships in the Middle East; the greatest threat to world peace; the Nazis of our time; it inspired the war against Iraq, it controls U.S. policy; it foments hatred toward the Americans and the West; it perpetrates genocide against the Palestinians; it wants to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque; it murders Palestinian children; it poisons wells and people, and so forth ...Israel's policy of sexual non-discrimination was called "pinkwashing," on the grounds that the attitude of respect toward gays, as opposed to the persecution of them in Muslim countries, is purely for propaganda purposes.

Much work has also been done to deconstruct the birthright of the Jews in Israel, claiming that their relationship to the land is non-existent, distant or inconstant. Another notion with which Israelophobia is packed is "illegal," often referring to the occupation of territories, but also to the very existence of a country that was never accepted by its neighbors, since day one, when five Arab armies attacked it in the hope of stamping it out before it could even start.

Of all the Asian or African democracies, according to Goldhagen, Israel is the most solid and the oldest; and, as the 57th member nation of the UN -- before Spain, Italy, Germany --- not a moment has passed without its existence being threatened by the terrorism and the religious and tribal hatred of the Muslim world, accompanied often by Europe.

In defending itself, Israel has lost 30,000 men, proportionally equivalent to 1.18 million Americans. It has lost 4,000 people to terrorism, the equivalent of 157,000 Americans. When, after yet another defensive war, Israel ended up pushing back Jordan and capturing the West Bank, which Jordan had occupied, it immediately offered to return the land -- only to have the offer rejected by the Arab League in the form of the three "Nos" of Khartoum: "No peace, no recognition, no negotiation."

When Israel made peace with Egypt, it had no problem returning the Sinai Peninsula, down to the last inch of land. But the responsibility for the difficulties of maintaining the peace with Egypt is always attributed only to Israel, which has never said or done anything that even vaguely resembles the aggression of its neighbors. It is nevertheless accused of the worst possible crimes and moral abjection -- charges which countries such as South Africa, for example, endorse without even bothering to verify whether or not they are true, claiming Israel is a country where apartheid is practiced, and forbidding government ministers to travel there. It does not matter if its democratic institutions and human rights record receive the highest ratings from Freedom House. It is mystifying that the UN recently condemned Israel for abuses in the Golan Heights, when in fact Israel accepts wounded Syrians and treats them freely in hospitals, while their own leader, Bashar Assad, tears them to pieces.

The consequence of Israelophobia is, not surprisingly, that anti-Semitism linked to Israel is on the increase. According to a study by the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation, 63% of Poles and 48% of Germans think "Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians." Meanwhile, 41% of the British and 42% of the Hungarians think the same thing, as well as 38% of Italians. In the survey, 55% percent of Poles and 36% of Germans responded: "Considering Israel's policy, I can understand why people do not like Israel." Respondents in other countries studied agree with this at percentages that range from 30-40%. According to a survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), 48% of European Jews interviewed have heard or read the accusation that "Israelis behave towards the Palestinians as the Nazis did to the Jews." In Italy, as in Belgium and France, 60% percent reported the same.

The mainstream "narrative," as it Is now called, although false, claims there was a "historic Palestine," which the perfidious Jewish "settlers" occupied, and from which they expelled the suffering population; yet this "narrative" is the basis of the hatred that leads to the toxic myths of the apartheid wall, the demolition of houses (would London allow houses built in Hyde Park; or Paris in the Bois de Bologne, or Berlin in the Tiergarten?); the persecution of the Palestinians and their children beaten and killed; the Zionist jailer locking Gaza in a cage; and, conversely, the glorification of terrorists, the widespread justification of attacks and missiles rained on Israel; the corrupt use of European public funds; the rejection of the very existence of a state for the Jewish people despite the acceptance of several self-declared Islamic "Republics," such as Pakistan and Iran; and Israel as considered an archeological remnant of colonialism, imperialism and a reincarnation of all evil forces, especially Nazism.

Daniel Schwammenthal also mentions Jack Straw, the former British Foreign Secretary, who last month in the House of Commons, said that AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby in America, "has made its unlimited funds one of the greatest obstacles to peace between Israelis and Palestinians" -- again a false statement; but, says Schwammenthal, the notion that that a large group of Americans can support Israel must be, to Straw, so incredible that consequences at once impossible and disastrous are ascribed to it. What actually does seem incredible that people such as the Greek composer Michael Theodorakis or José Saramago, a Portuguese writer who compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis' treatment of Jews at Auschwitz, and so many other intellectuals and notables, would be fully recruited for the Israelophobic battle.

In other incredible events, when, in Germany, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, Badische Zeitung published a cartoon by Horst Haitzinger in which a snail with the head of a dove goes to the peace talks with Iran, in a classic case of anti-Semitic slurs in which Jews are cast as poisoners, saboteurs and warmongers, Israel's Prime Minister,Binyamin Netanyahu is shown on the phone saying, "I need poison for doves and snails."

There seem three main reasons why Israelophobia exists:

The worldwide spread of a Muslim presence never before seen, including its globalization on the Internet, its proliferation of anti-Israel propaganda, and its power in institutions.
The spread of the culture of "human rights," in which anyone who appears to be an underdog must be "good," and anyone who appears not to be an underdog or victim must therefore be "bad."
The current government of the United States of America.
The current U.S. Administration has sincerely promoted a positive relationship between America and Islam that, in addition to being politically questionable, makes room in the world for the most brutal anti-Semitism. The decline of American influence has left a vacuum that has been filled by all kinds of alternatives to democracy - ideological and otherwise, from the al-Nusra Front to the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as to Russia, China and Afghanistan.

The current Administration probably did not foresee this disastrous side effect, but it seems clear is that in designing the policy that prohibited the use of the word "jihad" in official U.S. documents, no one stopped to think about how many times that term has been used to explain terrorism against, for example, Israel. That point apparently does not strike anyone there as relevant to the president's international policies. Hatred toward the Jewish state, even in its most extreme forms, was apparently not regarded as having any political significance, and therefore has not, in recent years, been subjected to any ideological or moral sanction.

As for the relationship with Iran, it is clear that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are leading the world towards acceptance of a military nuclear program for a country that has repeatedly spoken out in public about genocidal intentions. The U.S. negotiators seem to have easily swallowed a deal that destroyed any leverage for future negotiations; that had every benefit for Iran and effectively no benefits for the West; that assisted Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons instead of stopping enrichment, in accordance with six UN resolutions; that contained no improvements in human rights for Iran's citizens; and did not address Iran's threats, illegal under the UN Charter, to obliterate a fellow member-state, Israel.

Continual threats against Israel have also been coming from the Sunni world. In Egypt, Mohamed Badie, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said, "We will continue to wave the flag of jihad against the Jews, our first and greatest enemies." Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi stated, "Allah has imposed upon the Jews a continuing punishment for their corruption. The last was led by Hitler. There is no dialogue with them other than the sword and the gun. We pray to Allah to kill every last one of them." New, is the complete lack of reaction to these positions.

Islamic cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, threatens Jews on his popular Al-Jazeera TV show. (Image source: memritv.org)
Past American presidents have always either hinted at, or made plain, a prohibition of the most racist and dangerous aspects of Islam regarding Israel, the Jews, and Christians. Not so with the current U.S. Administration. No one in it has ever said to Iran, with which it is about to sign an agreement, that it may not consider Israel "a rotten root that must be destroyed."

No one in it has ever told the Palestinians that it is "not helpful" to repeat every day, especially during negotiations, that Israel is a murderous, racist, genocidal country -- a charge most recently leveled by Sa'eb Erekat, the head negotiator of the Palestinian delegation.

In a word, by seeming to give Islam a free hand in exchange for nothing in return, the current U.S. Administration has allowed the most severe hostile messages, both Israelophobic and otherwise, to spread without caution. Without America standing guard, all non-Muslim countries become fresh prey for their detractors.

On human rights, ironically, the organizations purportedly supporting them have spared no weapons in attacking Israel, one of the countries most conscientious about enforcing human rights despite the almost impossible conditions of a tiny country finding itself under military, economic or diplomatic attack -- often all three -- virtually every day since its birth. The assault from human rights groups cannot have resulted from observing facts. If pure facts were observed, Israel should be at, or near, the top of any list of nations that embody human rights. Anti-Western nations, however, which form majority at the United Nations, began associating Zionism with racism in 1975 -- probably meaning "Western imperialism." The claims were then advanced, and financed, by anti-Semitic NGOs, culminating in the UN's Durban Conferences. At that point, human rights became distorted into being used as a shield behind which to escalate attacks against Israel, as well as to protect UN "peacekeepers" in Africa from the "food for sex" scandal, where they sexually abused the children they were charged to protect.

The systemic disease with respect to "anti-imperialism" arose in the history of a political wing that, at a time when communism proved to be totalitarianism, chose not to complain about it, but to fight at its side against capitalism, imperialism, and whatever else then seemed an "injustice."

The Jews, however, with their history of suffering and death, no longer correspond to the image that they, more than any other comfortable white person in the West, are ammunition for the war against "bourgeois," or middle class, society. The Marxist economic view of class warfare can be seen as "win-lose" -- meaning, if I "win," it must have been by exploiting someone else, who "lost". The capitalist economic view, on the other hand, can be seen as that of "win-win": if you win, everyone wins: the rising tide lifts all boats with it. It is this capitalist view that has catapulted societies to undreamed-of success. From the Marxist model of winners versus losers, however -- which was popular in the early 20th century until it was proven catastrophic in nations such as Russia and Cuba, where the only winners turned out to be the few men in charge -- arose the use of the issue of human rights, often as a tactical and political weapon against anyone who even looked well-off -- especially against Israel, probably as the embodiment of a nation of mostly white people who, despite so many ongoing efforts to stamp them out, were not even slowed down.

The 1960s ushered in "radical-chic" verbal aggression, still in use, whereby the world is suddenly filled with "fascists." Considered as such were Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, Silvio Berlusconi, and Ronald Reagan, followed by writers and singers -- simply because they were not communists. Thus Israel, a friend of America, but which allegedly caused suffering to the Palestinians (a poor Arab third-world Muslim population, that, although no one ever talks about it, is accustomed to fierce and authoritarian leadership toward its own people), became a "fascist," "imperialist" country: because it was not in the "correct" camp, that of the "people's democracies" -- all of them in fact dictatorships, then and now.

The lack of clear condemnation of European terrorism, rationalized in various ways -- for instance, as comrades who had made a few mistakes -- was accompanied by justifying international terrorism against Israel: from the attack at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, up to the glorification of the terrorists recently released by Israel, who received the red-carpet treatment from Mahmoud Abbas, and were rewarded by the Palestinian Authority with checks for $50,000 each, plus a monthly stipend. One of these recently released terrorists had killed a father who was driving with his little girl by his side; another had killed a survivor of the Holocaust with a pickax; and another attacked and dismembered a man who worked in Gaza in an office that provided aid to the Palestinians.

These events are a subsection of Israelophobia in a world that legislates to have a smoke-free environment, but not against child-marriages or honor killings or female circumcision, and that has never felt the need to deal with terrorism against Israel, or with the human rights to which the Israelis might be entitled.

A few months ago, Baroness Catherine Ashton fretted publicly about the state of a Palestinian prisoner who had chosen the path of a hunger strike, yet she took no position on the massacres in Syria, not even those of the Palestinians in the Yarmouk refugee camp, where many Palestinians were massacred by the Assad regime's air raids.

The Jews, meanwhile, know that by staying within the established boundary of "Never Again," they find sympathy, understanding, and protection. Israel, on the other hand, is terra incognita, where any criticism, it seems, is considered "legitimate."

But Israelophobia has nothing to do with legitimate criticism of the State of Israel: it is not based on any observation of reality. It is an obsession, the clearest expressions of which are the UN's "Zionism is Racism" resolution of 1975; the fury with which nine motions were recently passed against Israel at the UN General Assembly, which were commented on even by a translator accidentally speaking into an open microphone; and when the UN General Assembly pushed through a total of 23 similar resolutions, in all of which legitimate defense becomes the cruelty of a "racist" and murderous country.

There needs to be a strategy which considers the consequences of Israelophobia. It would encompass the history of Israel, its values, its actions, its right to defend itself -- and the verbal and physical abuse to which it is constantly subjected. It is also necessary to continue fighting anti-Semitism. Any other option will allow terrorism -- against both Jews and non-Jews -- to grow.


Exploiting the Koran to Target the Jews?

Exploiting the Koran to Target the Jews?

by Lawrence A. Franklin

Koran-based anti-Jewish themes that closely resemble typical anti-Semitic stereotypes appear to be part of a studied effort to convince Christians to view Muslims as their natural ally against the Jews.

The Koran's prejudicial passages against Jews might have more traction in Europe, where many of the continent's citizens, even secular Europeans, seem to have trouble separating their antipathy for Israel's policies from their feelings for the surviving remnant of Jews among them.

Anti-Jewish passages in the Koran appear to be undergoing exploitation by Muslim extremists and neo-Nazi elements alike to form a nexus of sorts based upon their one common denominator: hatred of "The Jew." The exploitation of these themes by hate groups should be challenged by the millions of peace-loving Muslims, and the use of these Koranic-passages by radicals should be combated by Muslims of good-will in mosques, Islamic Schools and on Islam-friendly websites. Muslim clerics and laypeople must fight the Koranic culture of violence[1] that seems to motivate some Muslims to justify horrific acts against non-Muslims. The following incidents are just a few of the acts of savagery which have done irreparable harm to the image of Islam: the Nigerian Muslim converts who slaughtered British soldier Lee Rigby in the heart of London; the mass murder of his fellow U.S. soldiers at Ft. Hood by Maj. Nidal Hasan, and the selective killing of "unbelievers' [non-Muslims] at the Westgate Mall in Kenya. Muslims must lead the fights against these extremists, or the ranks of those who distrust, fear and hate Islam will continue to grow.

The Koran-based anti-Jewish themes closely resemble prejudicial beliefs held by many Christians over the centuries. These themes seem to be part of an effort to mobilize non-Muslims to view "the Jew" as the enemy of "the Faithful," of both Islam and Christianity alike, and by implication, as the adversary of God. They also read as if they are part of a studied effort to convince Christians to view Muslims as their natural ally against the Jews.

Sura (chapter) three of the Koran, for example, "The Family of Imran", seizes upon the most virulent indictment of the Jewish people by some Christian anti-Semites: the charge of "Christ-Killer." The chapter describes Allah's providential intervention to frustrate the plot by Jews to murder Christ. Moreover, the Sura addresses Allah's decision to honor Jesus, while clearing Christ of all false charges leveled against him by the Jews.[2]

Allah's protection and elevation of Jesus is further described in Sura four, an-Nisa (The Women). According to this Sura, Allah made four specific promises to Jesus.[3] Allah saves Jesus from crucifixion and promises to allow him to die a natural death. Secondly, Jesus will forever be exonerated of all aspersions cast upon his character. Allah then informs Jesus that he will enjoy an honorable position in the midst of the divine presence. Lastly, Jesus is told that he will achieve total dominance over his prevaricating accusers, (the Jews).

As a demonstration of Allah's decency, An-Nisa further declares that Jesus was not illegitimate, and that Maryam (Mary), his mother, remained untouched by man, thus acknowledging the virgin birth of the Prophet Isa (Jesus).[4] This was a shrewd assertion, as early Christians were probably stung by the bawdy jokes of some Jews who ridiculed Christianity's doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ.[5]

The Koran doubles down on this theme by claiming that the Jews also attempted to assassinate Muhammad. But Islamic scripture relates that Allah intervened once again, this time to safeguard the Prophet Muhammad, his Messenger.[6] The Koran also condemns the Jews for the unseemly manner in which they treated many of Allah's prophets. Because of this scandalous behavior, Allah withdrew his favor and selected a more worthy people: presumably, Arab Muslims. To punctuate this point, some Koranic commentators even quote from the Gospel according to Matthew, in which he chastises his fellow Jews for having rejected Him.[7]

Sura 2, al-Baqarah, (The Cow) depicts the Jews as a race of ingrates who quickly forgot Allah's direct intervention of parting the Red Sea to help them escape Pharaoh's chariots. Koranic commentary also denounces the Jews for abandoning Mosaic Law by becoming idolaters, and taking up the bull-worship of their former masters, the Egyptians.[8] This stereotypical image of the Jew as fickle ingrate, despite God's favors, was once replete in the Catholic Good Friday prayer called "The Reproaches," before it was discontinued by order of Pope John Paul II. That prayer puts words in God's mouth, where He recounts all the blessings He bestowed upon the ancient Hebrews, only to have them crucify His incarnate presence in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.[9]

Moreover, Sura 5, al-Ma'idah (The Spread Table or The Food) even quotes the Hebrew Prophet Ezekiel[10] as further theological justification for the suffering of the Jews. This reference justifies the scattering of the Jews from their ancestral homeland throughout the globe because of their perverse moral behavior -- a "curse theme" familiar to some Christians.

Just in case any gullible gentile might fall victim to suggestions that Muslims and Christians are natural allies against the Jews, he should be aware that every year on October 30, Muslims, especially Shia Muslims, celebrate Eid Al-Mubahala,[11] a feast that commemorates a historic meeting in 632 A.D. between Muhammad and a group of Christians from Najran, a town in the southwestern tip of Arabia's border with Yemen. According to the Koran, Muhammad and his followers debated with the Christian delegation over the latter's claim that Jesus was God. After the inconclusive discussion in the Muslim city of Medina, Muhammad dared the Christians to pray alongside his Muslim faithful to call down a curse upon those who argued in falsehood. The Najarani Christian delegation's refusal to take the dare is viewed by many Muslims as evidence of lack of belief and therefore a victory for Islam. Following the meeting, Muhammad agreed to a truce with the Christian inhabitants of Najran, as long as they agreed to pay an annual tribute. However, ultimately the Najarani Christians were forced, by the third Caliph Umar ibn al-Kattab, into exile -- mostly in the southern region of today's Iraq.

Still another example of Koranic scriptural targeting of Jews while simultaneously siding with Christians is found in Surat al-Buruj (The Zodiac).[12] Most Muslim commentators interpret these verses as an oblique reference to the slaughter of Najarani Christians by the last King of the Jewish Himyarite Dynasty of Yemen in 524 A.D.[13] It is possible that Muhammad aware of the bitter history between the Himyarites and Christians of Najran and sought to demonstrate that the latter fared better under Islam. The Christians were allowed to live and practice their faith as long as they agreed to pay taxes and remove themselves from the affairs of state.

This type of anti-Semitic scripture-based prejudice is unlikely to win many converts in America. The overwhelming majority of Americans have no ill will against their fellow Jewish citizens. Even many Muslims, particularly American-based Islamic communities, reject the Koranic justification for attempting to turn Christians against their fellow Jewish citizens. Certainly, there are many Muslims who are sincerely dedicated to inter-faith cooperation with both Jews and Christians. Their rejection and/or reinterpretation of apparent Koran-based enmity for Jews is a courageous decision – and is quintessentially American.

The Koran's prejudicial passages against Jews seem to have found an appreciative audience among some neo-Nazis as well as extremist elements on the left of the political spectrum. This is particularly the case in Western Europe.[14] However, some American Jewish students perceive that this affliction has found its way onto the college campus as well.[15]

Moreover, as early as the turn of the century, there were reports of contacts between al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist networks with neo-Nazi groups. This seemingly incongruent phenomenon was denounced by former German Minister of Interior, Otto Schily, when he publicly described the relationship between his country's neo-Nazi National Democratic Party and the now outlawed Muslim extremist organization, Hizb-ut-Tahir (Party of Liberation)[16]. This alliance seems to have gained more traction in today's Europe, where many of the continent's citizens, even when secular, seem to have trouble separating their opposition to Israel's policies from their feelings for the surviving remnant of Jews among them.


[1] Sura 4, Verse 89, An-Nisa (The Women): "They (the Jews) wish that you reject the Faith, as they (the Jews) have rejected the Faith and thus wish that you all become equal (like one another). So take not auliya (friends/protectors) unbelievers (Jews and Christians) till they emigrate in the way of Allah. But if they turn back (from Islam) take hold of them and kill them wherever you find them."; The Noble Quran, Darussalam, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1996, p. 187.

[2] Koran, Sura 3, Al-Imran (The Family of Imran), Verse 55.

[3] Koran, Sura 4, An-Nisa (The Women), Verse 156.

[4] Koran, Sura 19, Maryam, (Mary), Verses 20-21.

[5] Isaiah 7:14 in the Hebrew Tanach claims that the Messiah will be born to a virgin. Some Jewish commentators refer to the Hebrew word for young girl (almah) rather than virgin (betulah), which was employed by Isaiah.

[6] Koran, Sura 4, an-Nisa (The Women), Verse 61.

[7] Koran, Sura 3, Al-Imran (The Family of Imran) and Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 21, Verse 43, "The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you (the Jews) and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."

[8] Koran, Sura 2, Al-Baqarah (the Cow), Verse 49-58.

[9] The Reproaches or Improperia is chanted as Christian worshipers approach to kiss the Crucifix on Good Friday. This commemoration of Christ's sacrifice for the sins of man (past, present and future) is called the Veneration of the Cross.

[10] Koran, Sura 5, Al-Ma'idah (The Food/The Table Spread). The Hebrew Bible, Ezekiel 22 8-15.

[11] Koran, Surat (Chapter) 3, Al-Imran (The Family of Amran), Ayat (Verse) 61. Eid Al-Mubahala (Ibtatala/The Humbling) is a feast memorializing a meeting between Nestorian Christians and the Alul-Bayt (House of the Holy Family of Islam) that included Muhammad, his daughter Fatimah, her husband Ali, and their children Hassan and Hussein. This feast is of particular import for Shia Muslims. However, Sunni Muslims emphasize the significance that the Prophet bested the Christians in the discussion that ensued.

[12] Koran Sura Al-Buruj (The Zodiac) Chapter 85, Ayat (Verse) 5-8. The Holy Koran English Language Commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali p.1198. Lahore, Pakistan, 2002.

[13] The Jewish Himyarite Dynasty of Saba (Yemen) had reached its most expansive size during the last decades of its existence. Their territorial control reached far into the Arabian Peninsula, including the Christian communities of southeast Arabia. The Himyarites may have doubted the Najaranis' loyalty. The Yemeni rulers might have calculated that Najarani sympathies lay with the kingdom's rival, Christian Abyssinia (Ethiopia). This calculation was a rational, if not correct, deduction, as Christianity had first arrived in the region during Ethiopia's forty-year occupation of Yemen in the latter half of the fourth century. Ultimately, the last Jewish King of Yemen, Dhu Nuwas, liquidated most of Najran's Christians by mass immolation in 524 A.D.

[14] The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) at last year's Office of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) July convocation in Warsaw Poland filed a request asking that that the OSCE pass a resolution to condemn bigotry and anti-Semitism "that have been given growing legitimacy in cities across Europe". British author Howard Jacobson was quoted on "the Volkh Conspiracy" website in an article by Daniel Bernstein as analyzing how some European leftists have focused on anti-Zionism as a convenient substitute for expressing anti-Jewish attitudes and thereby escaping the accusation of being anti-Semitic. October 23, 2013.

[15] Investigative Taskforce on Campus Anti-Semitism (ITCA) "Feds Investigate Claims of Anti-Semitism at UC Berkeley". October 3, 2012. This article addresses a suit filed by two Jewish students at UC's Berkeley Campus the Civil Rights Office of the U.S. Department of Education. The suit alleged that during the annual anti-Apartheid week in February, 2012, campus protests against Israel's policies morphed into anti-Jewish tirades which created a threatening atmosphere at the university.

[16] "Al-Qaeda's Neo-Nazi Connections by William Grim, Jewish Press, February 25, 2004. G2 Bulletin: Washington D. C., August 5, 2005.


The Palestinian Red LIne

The Palestinian Red LIne

PA leader Abbas views recognition of Israel as the Jewish state as a red line. It is high time the Palestinians recognize the Jewish people’s right to their ancient homeland, as Israel already recognized Palestinian rights 

Prof. Efraim Inbar

Not even the so-called Palestinian moderates are calling for a debate among the Palestinians on whether to recognize the right of self-determination of the Jews in their historic homeland.
The media reported that Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority (PA), rejected the peace proposals submitted by US Secretary of State John Kerry. The Palestinians leaked that Abbas sent a letter to Kerry reiterating his complete opposition to the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This was declared a “red line” that the Palestinians will not cross.

This “red line” is not just about semantics, but rather the essence of the conflict. The Palestinian position amounts to denying the Jews the right to establish their state in their homeland. It also indicates without any doubt that the Palestinians, despite the conventional wisdom, are not ready to reach a historic compromise with Zionism, the Jewish national revival movement.

Therefore, a stable peace based on mutual recognition and ending all demands is not in the cards. The weak PA seems to accept partition of Mandatory Palestine into two states – perhaps in accordance with the PLO’s stages approach – but it still refrains from accepting the legitimacy of the Zionist enterprise.

This is in stark contrast to Israel, which recognized the “legitimate rights of the Palestinians” in the September 1978 Camp David Accords, and is ready for generous territorial concessions in order to implement a partition of the Land of Israel/Palestine.

The bitter truth is that the asymmetry in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has not changed for over a century. In essence, this ethno-religious conflict is not about territory – although it obviously has a territorial dimension – but about securing the recognition of the other side to national rights in a given territory.

Despite the image of untrustworthiness in keeping written agreements, Palestinians actually give great importance to the language used in the documents they are asked to sign. Yasser Arafat, generally viewed by most Israelis as an accomplished liar, refused in 2000 to sign an agreement that included a clause about an end to all demands. For him the conflict could end only with Israel’s eventual demise.

Similarly, Abbas cannot bring himself to put his signature to a document which says that the Jews have returned to their homeland. We know that the perception of Jews being foreign invaders of Palestine is a fundamental widespread Palestinian attitude, which is instilled in the younger generations in the PA-run schools.

The entrenchment of such attitudes is clear also by the lack of a debate among the Palestinians whether to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Discussing Jewish rights to the Land of Israel is not conceivable in the current intra-Palestinian deliberations.

Not even the so-called Palestinian moderates are calling for a debate among the Palestinians on whether to recognize the right of self-determination of the Jews in their historic homeland. Palestinian polls do not ask whether Israel should be recognized as a Jewish state. Normative language mentioning rights and international norms in Palestinian discourse is reserved for Palestinian demands only, and is never applied to understand what Israelis want.

The efforts of the Palestinian media to negate the Jewish past and historic links to the Temple Mount, and even the Western Wall, indicate an ideological commitment to rewriting history. Palestinian archeology is similarly used to erase all traces of Jewish presence from the land. Even Koranic sources mentioning the links of the Jews to the Land of Israel are ignored.

Such Palestinian behavior serves only to prolong the conflict because it does not teach the Palestinians that Jews are part of the history of this land. All these acts are intolerable and must stop before Israel considers signing a comprehensive peace agreement.

It was a mistake not to insist on recognition of Israel being a Jewish state in the negotiations with the Palestinians in the 1990s. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu understands very well the need for such recognition by the Palestinians to ensure a historic peace deal, and his insistence on getting it in the framework of a comprehensive settlement is right on the mark.

Moreover, Palestinian Arabs are different than the Egyptians or Jordanians, who were not required to accept Israel as a Jewish state. They have no claims to Palestine, while it is the Palestinian Arabs and the Israelis that fight for the same piece of land.

The Israelis recognized Palestinian legitimate rights 35 years ago. It is high time for the Palestinians to learn about the “other” they are in conflict with, and reciprocate if they are serious about making peace.

Prof. Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is a professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

A BESA Center Perspectives Paper, published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Calling the Pope an Anti-Semite

Calling the Pope an Anti-Semite

Actions and words paint a sorry picture of the Vatican and Israel.

Giulio Meotti

I always had the feeling that Pope Francis would  be eager to engage in the presentation of a cordial dialogue with Di\aspora Jews and that if this occurred, he would   address the Holocaust  and condemn anti-Semitism in general, but also undermine and isolate the State of Israel, the existential anchor of the Jewish people.
The confirmation came this week.

To the disappointment of Israeli officials, Pope Francis will not host mass for believers within Israel during his next trip to the Jewish State in March 2014. However, the Pope will host a large mass in Bethlehem and that will be the headline event of his trip.

The Pope will deliver the greatest gift to Palestinianism, which draws on the two theological elements of anti-Judaism: “supersessionism”, the idea that Muslim-Christian unity replaced Israel, and the demonization of Jews for seizing a country which was not theirs. This is the meaning of the Pope’s decision to host a mass in the Palestinian Authority’s areas. The present Pope wants to visit his dear friends in what the Holy See brands as “Palestine”.

It is the blood libel of Israel’s “occupation” partnered with the return to the Catholic cycle of existential denial in which Israel is not “Israel”, but the usurper of an identity, of a history, of a name and of a land.

For more than a hundred years, and five decades after the Holocaust, the Vatican has kept a very hostile attitude toward the establishment of a national Jewish home in the land of Israel. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Popes have adopted a policy sympathetic to its Arab and Muslim enemies.

Pope Francis will spend most of his time in Israel in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. In Vatican policy and in Francis’s conception, the Holocaust is the counterweight to the recognition of the Jewish condition in politics and history, which is the recognition of Jews as a people with a state in Israel.

The Catholic recognition of the Holocaust (dead Jews) justifies the denial of the Jews as a sovereign subject of history (living Jews). It is Yad Vashem versus Bethlehem.

If these are the Pope’s conditions for traveling to Israel, why not declare him “persona non grata”? If Francis goes to Bethlehem to proclaim it “a Golgotha under occupation”, if he curses Israeli Jews exercising their right to defend themselves, if he asks the Palestinian Arabs “to resist”, then we have the right to call the Pope an anti-Semite.