Archive for the ‘Israeli history’ category

Israel’s public diplomacy challenge

July 26, 2017

Israel’s public diplomacy challenge, Israel Hayom, Ariel Bolstein, July 26, 2017

Paradoxically, Israel’s willingness to look for compromise, to soothe and appease, does nothing to help shatter the lies. Sometimes the opposite is true.

We have conceded too much and we have shown that we are too willing to compromise. Of course, the world rightly assumes that no nation would willingly give up what is rightly theirs, and so millions watching from the sidelines throw their support behind the violent side that refuses to compromise.

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The Jewish state is facing a growing public diplomacy problem following the events of the past few days. The anti-Israel front is trying to alter global perception of the reality in the Middle East. They attack Israel on every front — canceling history in one fell swoop (with the stroke of a pen in the case of the U.N.’s anti-Israel resolutions). They distort actual events and whitewash Islamist terror.

Under the cover of extreme anti-Israel propaganda, incitement in the Muslim world is on the rise. All those who claim the crown among the believers of the religion of Muhammad are going out of their way to portray themselves as “defenders of the mosques” from the Zionists. As usual, facts are of no importance. There is no threat to the freedom of religion, including the religion of Islam, in areas under Israeli control. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan knows this, but he has mastered the art of propaganda and knows how to use it deviously and efficiently. What is the best way to distract public opinion at home from violations of human rights, from the purging of a country of all those with different opinions, from newspapers being shut down and Turkey’s transformation into a dictatorship? That’s right: Making false accusations against Israel to blind the believers and distract them from their real troubles.

Paradoxically, Israel’s willingness to look for compromise, to soothe and appease, does nothing to help shatter the lies. Sometimes the opposite is true. The world can accept one country or another’s insistence on a particular position, even if they don’t agree with it, but will find it difficult to accept a lack of clarity and changing positions. Hesitation is the greatest enemy of any public diplomacy campaign. We should therefore ask ourselves why Israel’s enemies — those who do not shy away from violence and murder; those who never concede and perceive every one of our concessions as a sign of weakness — are so good at convincing so many of their righteousness. The answer, or at least one of the answers, can be found in the question. We have conceded too much and we have shown that we are too willing to compromise. Of course, the world rightly assumes that no nation would willingly give up what is rightly theirs, and so millions watching from the sidelines throw their support behind the violent side that refuses to compromise.

We must refine our message and focus our efforts on emphasizing our rights and not the rights of others. Our right to the land of Israel, to Jerusalem and to the Temple Mount is indisputable, and the time has come to realize this right with the uncompromising implementation of Israeli sovereignty throughout the country. A hundred years ago, the Jews realized there could be no Zionism without Zion. Now we must realize there can be no Zionist public diplomacy without explaining Zion to the world.

There are situations when it is wise (or unavoidable) to make tactical concessions on the ground. But we must never backtrack on policies that we have clearly communicated to the world. We pay dearly for these types of concessions, losing entire populations that switch over to our enemies’ side. We must present the world with a firm position that actualizes our sovereignty throughout the country by what the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin called “the virtue of our right.” Our path to a public diplomacy victory is long, but determination and an insistence on our rights will take us there.

Ariel Bolstein is the founder of the Israel advocacy organization Faces of Israel.

We want peace, not a peace ‘process’

May 22, 2017

We want peace, not a peace ‘process’, Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, May 22, 2017

After 100 years of conflict, this is what we’ve learned: There is no chance to advance toward peace as long as there is no Arab-Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. Sadly, the war against us will continue no matter how much we withdraw. This land was never a separate, sovereign entity for any nation other than the Jewish people. Even Jerusalem only became important religiously and historically thanks to the Jews. These are the fundamental conditions for fruitful negotiations. For once, we would also like to hear the Palestinians declare out loud what they would accept as a final offer, one that would end the conflict and after which they would make no more demands.

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“I love the people of Israel,” you told me in the Oval Office. Seeing as this wasn’t our first interview — I had already gotten to know you rather well during the campaign — I know you were speaking from the heart, rather than trying to curry favor with me.

I know you are sincere when you say you are committed to the security and future of Israel. You believe the United States and Israel are allies that share common values, and that America must not forsake old friends. Your powerful bond with Israel and the Jewish people was not imposed on you by your position. There are even those who say that your affection for Israel is a family affair.

The commitment and affection between Americans and Israelis is mutual. There is a great deal of love in Israel for the U.S. and its people. Throughout your campaign, Mr. President, you had many supporters here in Israel. Less in the media and more on the street — see? I told you the U.S. and Israel have a lot in common.

Here in Israel, no one burns American flags. Not now and not ever. The American flag is almost as popular here as the Israeli flag. For us, both flags symbolize liberty and hope.

Mr. President, you arrive here from Saudi Arabia with a passion to see Israel and its neighbors make peace. We thank you for this genuine desire and wish you, and us, success in this endeavor. But you must know that the last thing we need is another failed peace process. We are tired of futile diplomacy that only leads to more bloodshed, prompting us to adopt a more sober view regarding the prospects of successful negotiations and tempering our faith in peace. We want peace, not a peace process.

The country of the Jewish people

After 100 years of conflict, this is what we’ve learned: There is no chance to advance toward peace as long as there is no Arab-Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. Sadly, the war against us will continue no matter how much we withdraw. This land was never a separate, sovereign entity for any nation other than the Jewish people. Even Jerusalem only became important religiously and historically thanks to the Jews. These are the fundamental conditions for fruitful negotiations. For once, we would also like to hear the Palestinians declare out loud what they would accept as a final offer, one that would end the conflict and after which they would make no more demands.

In Riyadh on Sunday, we heard King Salman talk about the need to combat terrorism and warning of the Iranian threat that is jeopardizing the prospects of regional peace. Israel has been saying this for years. In your speech, you, too, sought to distinguish between good and evil. We need this distinction, after years of politically correct ambiguity.

You noted in your speech the need to combat the extremists; you mentioned Iran, al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas. But this axis of evil claims the opposite: that Israel and the U.S. are responsible for terrorism around the world. College campuses across the U.S. are disgracefully portraying Israel as being responsible for terrorism.

But the sad truth is quite the opposite: For over 100 years, we have been subjected to murderous terrorism in various forms, long before the so-called “occupation.” Terrorism in Israel needs to be treated the same as terrorism anywhere else in the world. All terrorism draws on the same source.

There is no Zionism without Zion

Mr. President, you chose to visit during a festive week. Fifty years ago, Israeli soldiers liberated Jerusalem from foreign rule. It has been 1,835 years since Bar-Kokhba’s fighters entered the destroyed city in 132 C.E. They engraved coins with the words “To the freedom of Jerusalem” and commemorated King David, who made it the eternal city. Jerusalem is Zion. There is no Zionism without Zion. This is the place we yearned to return to for 2,000 years. Now that we have returned, nothing can ever cut out the heart of the Jewish people.

Israel welcomes you with blessings, Mr. President. We wish you a successful visit. We bless your arrival with these words: The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace (Psalms 29:11).

Israel’s 69th Independence Day: Remarkable Achievements, Continuing Dangers

May 2, 2017

Israel’s 69th Independence Day: Remarkable Achievements, Continuing Dangers, PJ MediaP. David Hornik, May 2, 2017

Israeli youths wave national flags as they enter Jerusalem’s Old City through Damascus Gate during a march celebrating Jerusalem Day, Sunday, May 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israel’s growth is not, of course, merely quantitative; today it punches far above its weight in a wide range of fields. It was recently ranked the eighth most powerful country in the world. Compared to Israel’s 8.7 million people, the seven countries ranked above it have populations of: United States, 324 million; China, 1.37 billion; Japan, 127 million; Russia, 142 million; Germany, 81 million; India, 1.27 billion; Iran, 83 million.

Israel shines its light to the nations from a dark region, and its emergence as an incubator of optimism, vitality, and creativity is one of the great stories of our time.

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Today, Israel marks its 69th Independence Day. The country is a success beyond what anyone could have dreamed when independence was declared on May 14, 1948. (Today is May 2; Israeli holidays are guided by the Hebrew calendar.)

Around this time of year, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics publishes its annual data. Some of this year’s highlights:

Israel’s current population of 8.7 million is almost eleven times its population of 800,000 when it was established. Back then, 6 percent of the world’s Jews lived in Israel; now it’s home to 43 percent of world Jewry.

Since last Independence Day, the country’s overall population — Jews and non-Jews — has grown by 159,000: 174,000 births, 44,000 deaths, 30,000 new immigrants. Estimates show the population will reach 15 million by 2048; by then the Jewish portion of it should, by current trends, constitute a considerable majority of world Jewry.

In 1948, the “ingathering of the exiles” was a Zionist slogan. Today it’s a statistically demonstrable fact.

Since that era, large numbers of Jewish immigrants have come to Israel — particularly from post-Holocaust Europe, the Middle East, the Soviet Union, and the post-Soviet nations. At a time when Western countries’ fertility rates are falling perilously, Israel’s fertility rate keeps growing — and is far beyond that of any other Western country.

Israel’s growth is not, of course, merely quantitative; today it punches far above its weight in a wide range of fields. It was recently ranked the eighth most powerful country in the world. Compared to Israel’s 8.7 million people, the seven countries ranked above it have populations of: United States, 324 million; China, 1.37 billion; Japan, 127 million; Russia, 142 million; Germany, 81 million; India, 1.27 billion; Iran, 83 million.

How does Israel do it? By having incredible capabilities to offer in various domains.

Just some examples: Only the United States and China have more companies listed on the NASDAQ. Last year, a top Google official ranked Israel’s tech sector as second only to Silicon Valley for innovation. Israel also has “one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed” and “the 2nd highest publication of new books per capita.”

In the crucial field of desalination and water management, tiny Israel is the world’s leader. It’s also a “powerhouse in medical innovation.” And it’s a leader in disaster relief; last year the UN – which is generally hostile to Israel — ranked its army’s emergency medical team as “No. 1 in the world.” Israeli agriculture, too, is exceptionally innovative, and feeds a considerable part of the planet’s population.

Because of its circumstances, Israel has had to excel not only in saving and sustaining life but also in protecting it. It has the world’s most technologically advanced army and is “rapidly becoming the world leader” in cybersecurity. The prowess of its intelligence agencies, particularly the Mossad, has an almost mythological status.

When you’re so good at so many things, others want to benefit from it. The past few decades have seen a dramatic increase in the number of countries having diplomatic ties with Israel. From a pariah status in the 1970s, as of last year Israel had diplomatic relations with 158 of the world’s 193 countries. Apart from Arab and Muslim countries that still — at least officially — boycott Israel, that means almost all of the world’s countries.

That trend has included, perhaps most dramatically, rapidly growing ties with the world’s two largest countries, China and India. Both were formerly hostile to Israel, but are now — despite their size — eager to gain from what it can offer.

For all that, the world’s per capita most innovative, productive, beneficent country remains, almost seven decades after its birth, the only country specially marked for annihilation in some quarters.

Whereas decades ago Arab states led the push to eradicate the world’s only Jewish state, today the dubious mantle has passed to the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies. Second only to that axis is the worldwide BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement, which uses the Goebbels big-lie technique to spread canards about “Israeli Apartheid” and the like — particularly on Western campuses where minds are being formed.

But after almost seven decades at the front line of civilization, danger and hostility are not new to Israel. Despite the pressures, the aggressions, and the losses, Israel ranks — perhaps surprisingly — high in yet another, more subjective domain. This year’s UN Happiness Index ranked Israel 11th in the world; other surveys have placed it in the top 10.

Israel shines its light to the nations from a dark region, and its emergence as an incubator of optimism, vitality, and creativity is one of the great stories of our time.

The UN and Obama’s Act of Aggression

January 14, 2017

The UN and Obama’s Act of Aggression, Gatestone InstituteMaria Polizoidou, January 14, 2017

UNSC Res. 2334 is an act of political aggression against foundation of the Judeo-Christian civilization and should be treated as such. The Jewish nation has every right to consider this attack as an act of war against it.

President Obama sometimes seems to have an indifference to historical truth that often borders on antagonism. Obama has again tried to re-write history by claiming that Greece, with the help of the winners of World War I, was an aggressive and imperialistic state that cared only to re-build its Empire against the Turks.

The notion that ancient non-Muslim nations are occupiers in their own lands, is repeated in the UN Resolution 2334.

Historically, Muslim forces began invading Syria in 634, and ended by conquering Constantinople in 1453. They invaded not only all of Turkey — obliterating the great Christian empire of Byzantium — but then went on to conquer all of North Africa, Greece, southern Spain, parts of Portugal and eastern Europe.

President Obama apparently did not learn about the Trojan War in school; he apparently never read Homer to know that the inhabitants of the Bosporus and much of Asia Minor were Greeks — just as he apparently never read the Bible, or the Greek and Roman historic records of the Jewish people and their capital, Jerusalem.

The US and the UN are not who determine what is historically true and what is not. These shameful votes should be reversed immediately; if not, all funding should be withdrawn from the United Nations. They are now, to paraphrase the words Vladimir Lenin, “paying for the rope with which members of the UN will hang them.”

If US President Barack Obama were uneducated, if his staff consisted of people who had never been taught history at school, if the government consisted of savages who have just emerged from the Amazon jungle, we could somehow “justify” their ignorance about the history of the Mediterranean and the Middle Eastern people.

But that is not what is going on. This ambush against Israel in UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which considers the Jewish people “occupiers” in their own ancient capital and the holiest part of it, is an act of jihad and an act of political violence – perpetrated by governments to achieve political goals.

This resolution did not randomly emerge from a historical moment, or as the result of political choices based on reasonable criteria to provide peace and stability in the region. It does not help either the Arabs living in the disputed territories — Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip – or the Israelis in any peace process. It is an act of vengeance against the foundations of Judeo-Christian civilization and should be treated as such. The Jewish nation has every right to consider this attack an act of war against it. It certainly is an act of war against the history of the Jews and the freedom, democracy, human rights, pluralism and rule of law that Israel represents in the Middle East.

President Obama and his government at the beginning of their service eight years ago turned against the history of the Greek nation with the same political aggression. Obama had a chance to do that when he went to the Turkish Parliament, on April 6, 2009.

Sadly, he did not acknowledge the genocide of the Greeks by the Turkish army under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Between 1913 and 1923, millions of Greeks who had lived in Turkey since before the great Christian Byzantine empire, were either slaughtered or driven out. According to some Greek historians, between 800,000 and 1,200,000 Greeks were slaughtered during this period; every year on September14, the State of Greece officially honors the memory of those who died in Asia Minor.

Instead, Obama gave political cover to what the Turks did by saying at the Turkish Parliament on April 6, 2009: “You freed yourself from foreign control, and you founded a republic that commands the respect of the United States and the wider world”.

The “foreign control” to which President Obama refers is the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, where the League of Nations was established. [1]

President Obama, in evident his enthusiasm to flatter the ego of Turkey’s current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “forgot” to mention some important events of that era. President Obama “forgot” all about the genocide of Greeks and Christians in Asia Minor by Mustafa Kemal’s Ataturk Turkish. Barack Obama methodically “murdered” historical truth, by ignoring the fact that the Greek army, after the end of World War I in 1918, was sent to Asia Minor under the instructions of the great powers and the winners of the war, to protect Christian populations from persecution, murders and rapes of Muslim Turkish. The Greek army did not go as an occupier but as a protector of human life and human rights.

President Obama sometimes seems to have an indifference to historical truth that often borders on antagonism.[2]

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately responded by saying that “history cannot be rewritten”.

Now, this is what President Obama has tried to do again: to re-write history by claiming that Greece, with the winners’ help of World War I, was an aggressive and imperialistic State that cared only to re-build its Empire against the Turks. In other words, President Obama seemed to mean that the winners of WW I were some Christian Countries who wanted through Greece to establish a Christian Empire, such as the Byzantine Empire, and that Muslim territories and the International Community should, as he was the leader of such a powerful nation, “adopt” his view of history.

The notion that ancient nations which are not Muslim are occupiers in their own lands, is repeated in the UN Resolution 2334.

Obama was complimenting Turkey on not returning to the Ottoman Empire, which officially ended in 1922.

Democracy in Turkey now -what is left of it, that is – consists of all the military and the judiciary purged of anyone who believed in government by the people. Just since August, Turkey has arrested more than 26,000 people, including 120 journalists and has closed 150 news outlets.

“There is no more critical journalism, 90 percent of the free press is destroyed directly or indirectly,” according to Erol Onderoglu, the Turkish representative for Reporters Without Borders. “Investigative journalism is considered treason. Journalism has been stolen by the government.”

Is that kind of clampdown what Europeans would eventually like to see happen here, too?

Historically, Muslim forces began invading Syria in 634, and ended by conquering Constantinople in 1453.

They invaded not only all of Turkey – obliterating the great Christian empire of Byzantium – but then went on to conquer all of North Africa, Greece, Southern Spain, parts of Portugal, and eastern Europe, including Hungary, Serbia and the Balkans.

Emperor Constantine the First had moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Constantinople and laid the foundation for Christianity to become the official religion of the Roman-Byzantine State and the Western world in general. Emperor Constantine had given the citizens of the Roman Empire the right of the religious tolerance, a liberal action 1700 years ago; today, many leaders in the Arab world say they cannot tolerate Christian Churches in their territories.

The Greeks wanted during the World War I to re-establish the Byzantine Empire, but the Turkish-Muslim world prevented it from happening. Instead, commencing in 1914-15, they conducted a genocide against both the Armenians, and the Greeks until 1923.

At present the Greek community in Turkey numbers around 3000 and are not allowed to attend Greek schools.

For President Obama, the Turkish “victory” seems to have been a sensational win against the Western-Christian world, even though it was this world that had made him President of the United States.

President Obama apparently “forgot” the American’s testimonies who helped the Greeks to escape from Kemal’s Turkish massacres. He “forgot” the 1.5 million Greek refugees who were expelled from their homes in Asia Minor by the Turkish army. The Turkish “democracy” which Mr. Obama so admires, built on seas of blood of other people who were living in those areas. Perhaps, refugees for President Obama and his government, are only those who are Muslims. All the others are “occupiers”…

But even if the Greek army went to Asia Minor as an occupier — if we adopt the most distorted view of history, where exactly it would be an occupier? In the cities that were inhabited by Greeks from the beginning of recorded history?

President Obama apparently did not learn about the Trojan War in school; he apparently never read Homer to know that the inhabitants of the Bosporus and much of Asia Minor were Greeks – just as he apparently never read the Bible, or the Greek and Roman historic records of the Jewish people and their capital, Jerusalem.

The Obama administration, to cover the president’s shameful ambush against the Jewish state, sought through Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, to shift the responsibility for the UN resolution onto the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu. Where does the US Democratic party’s downhill plummet end?

President Barack Obama addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session, September 20, 2016. UN Photo/Manuel Elias US President Addresses the Hall. General Debate of the seventy-first Regular Session of the General Assembly

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the UN General Assembly’s seventy-first session, September 20, 2016. (Image source: United Nations)

The US and the UN – both the Security Council and UNESCO – are not who determine what is historically true and what is not. These shameful votes should be reversed immediately; if not, all funding should be withdrawn from the United Nations, by United States and all freedom-loving democracies. They are now, to paraphrase the words of the Soviet Union’s Vladimir Lenin, “paying for the rope with which members of the UN will hang them.”


[1] President Obama also said in the same speech: At the end of World War I, Turkey could have succumbed to the foreign powers that were trying to claim its territory, or sought to restore an ancient empire”. The “ancient empire” that Obama refers to, is unclear – Ottoman or Byzantine – and the “foreign powers that were trying to claim its territory” were the winners of World War I, including the USA.

[2] Such as claiming for weeks that a video had caused the attacks on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya; his knowingly false promises to his own people about the effects of his Affordable Care Act; lies about the Internal Revenue Service; or his endless lies about the “Iran deal”.

French Ambassadors Declare War on Israel

January 12, 2017

French Ambassadors Declare War on Israel, Gatestone InstituteYves Mamou, January 12, 2017

(Having done a bang-up job of integrating Islamic refugees, perhaps Paris and the rest of Europe will share the secrets of their “success” — so that avoid them in dealing with Palestinians. — DM)

If Israel does not comply with its condemnation; if Israel refuses to go back to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949 as UN Security Council Resolution 2334 dictates; if Israel does not renounce Jerusalem, the soul of its civilization for more than 3,000 years, to make room for a Palestinian state — they also conveniently leave out that it would most likely soon be an Islamic terrorist state — then the process of international sanctions will be launched.

“It is unfortunate, however,” the ambassadors wrote, “that Mr. Netanyahu from the outset announced that he did not want to meet Mr. Abbas in Paris. But this refusal shows the need for international pressure to reframe an impossible dialogue.”

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For our ambassadors, terrorism does not exist in “Palestine”. They just whisper Quixotically about “the need for security” for Israel.

The obvious conclusion is that they are just trying to hide their own detestation of Israel behind the Arab one.

The problem is not Jewish “settlers” in “Palestine”. Before 1967, there were no settlements, then what was the Palestine Liberation Organization “liberating” when it was created in Cairo in 1964? The answer, as the PLO was the first to admit, was “Palestine” — meaning the entire state of Israel, regarded by many Arabs as just one big settlement. Just look any Palestinian map.

The problem is that these ambassadors are not as dangerous to Israel as they are to Europe and the free world, as they keep on succumbing to the demands of Islam.

Do not forget these names: Yves Aubin de La Messuzière; Denis Bauchard; Philippe Coste; Bertrand Dufourcq; Christian Graeff; Pierre Hunt; Patrick Leclercq; Stanislas de Laboulaye; Jean-Louis Lucet; Gabriel Robin; Jacques-Alain de Sédouy and Alfred Siefer-Gaillardin.

These men are retired French ambassadors. They are apparently well educated, very polite and aristocratic people and they regularly publish op-eds in Le Monde. However, they publish in Le Monde only to threaten Israel.

Their most recent op-ed in Le Monde on January 9, 2017, was to explain how an international conference on the Middle East, the one which scheduled for January 15 in Paris, would be beneficial for the “security” of Israel. Their text is a discouraging enumeration of traditional clichés of France’s hypocritical diplomacy.

Example: “For the Palestinians, nothing is worse than the absence of a state”. In which way is it the worst? As Bret Stephens wrote this week in the Wall Street Journal:

“Have they experienced greater violations to their culture than Tibetans? No: Beijing has conducted a systematic policy of repression for 67 years, whereas Palestinians are nothing if not vocal in mosques, universities and the media. Have they been persecuted more harshly than the Rohingya? Not even close.”

Stephens also noted that:

“a telling figure came in a June 2015 poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which found that a majority of Arab residents in East Jerusalem would rather live as citizens with equal rights in Israel than in a Palestinian state. “

The French ambassadors, however, do not explain. They just add: “The Proclamation of a Palestinian state will certainly not change anything on the ground,” but they say that they hope this symbolic move will create “a new dynamic imposing new realities”. Hmm. Now what could these “new realities” be in a Palestinian state in the middle of a war-torn Middle East?

“Today,” reflects Diana B. Greenwald of the Washington Post, “with Fatah in charge in the West Bank, the main threat comes from Islamist groups, such as Hamas, and even militant groups associated with Fatah that have chafed under Abbas’s heavy-handed rule.”

This evaluation was backed up by the landslide vote for Hamas, not in Gaza, but at Birzeit University in the West Bank.

For these French ambassadors, all Israeli governments, and especially Netanyahu’s, are seemingly driven by a “religious nationalism” which supposedly makes Israel’s prime minister deaf to the national aspirations of Palestinian people — the same Palestinian people who pursue a state by killing Jews with knifes, bus-bombs or vehicular ramming attacks, at the same time shouting, “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is Greatest”]. For our ambassadors, terrorism does not exist in “Palestine”. They just whisper Quixotically about “the need for security” for Israel.

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 11: French President Francois Hollande (R) welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace before attending a Unity rally in tribute to the 17 victims of a three-day killing spree by homegrown Islamists on January 11, 2015 in Paris, France. A mass unity rally to be held in Paris following the recent terrorist attacks on January 11, 2015 in Paris, France. An estimated one million people are expected to converge in central Paris for the Unity March joining in solidarity with the 17 victims of this week's terrorist attacks in the country. French President Francois Hollande will lead the march and will be joined by world leaders in a sign of unity. The terrorist atrocities started on Wednesday with the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12, and ended on Friday with sieges at a printing company in Dammartin en Goele and a Kosher supermarket in Paris with four hostages and three suspects being killed. A fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, escaped and is wanted in connection with the murder of a policewoman. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)Unhappy France-Israel diplomacy. Pictured: French President François Hollande (right) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris on January 11, 2015. (Image source: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

Their article is a long and boring lament about the oh-so-difficult conditions of the Palestinian people. But after this complaint, our ambassadors finally get to their real intent: they threaten to banish Israel. If Israel does not comply with its condemnation; if Israel refuses to go back to the “Auschwitz borders” of 1949 as UN Security Council Resolution 2334 dictates; if Israel does not renounce Jerusalem, the soul of its civilization for more than 3,000 years, to make room for a Palestinian state — they also conveniently leave out that it would most likely soon be an Islamic terrorist state — then the process of international sanctions will be launched.

“It is unfortunate, however,” the ambassadors wrote, “that Mr. Netanyahu from the outset announced that he did not want to meet Mr. Abbas in Paris. But this refusal shows the need for international pressure to reframe an impossible dialogue.”

“Otherwise, how would Israel escape the danger of sanctions? By calling for the labeling of products from the Israeli settlements, the European Union, was being consistent with its condemnation of the settlements, and paved the way. It is a perilous process for Israel, open to the outside world, and therefore vulnerable. We recall the role of sanctions in the end of apartheid in South Africa”.

They are not precise about what “sanctions” would be. But in an earlier op-ed, published on February 3, 2016, the same group of retired French ambassadors gave some examples of their wishes.

  • Immediate recognition of the State of Palestine by France and all countries of the European Union.
  • A suspension of the association agreement between the European Union and Israel.
  • The end of economic and scientific cooperation between the European Union and Israel.

These pedantic diatribes against the Jewish state are a pathetic illustration of the traditional blindness of European diplomacy, and especially France’s. These ambassadors make the statement that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is eclipsed in world opinion by the misfortunes of Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and by the perilous presence of the Islamic state”, but they continue to think that “the resentment of Arab public opinion against the Western world” exists because this same Western world is “accused of complicity with Israel”.

The obvious conclusion is that they are just trying to hide their own detestation of Israel behind the Arab one. The problem is not Jewish “settlers” in “Palestine”. Before 1967, there were no settlements. So what was the Palestine Liberation Organization “liberating” when it was created in Cairo in 1964? The answer, of course, as the PLO was the first to admit, was “Palestine” — meaning the entire state of Israel, regarded by many Arabs as just one big settlement. Just look at any Palestinian map.

Middle East expert Gregg Roman straightens out the factual history distorted by the UN and Europe:

“[W]hen taking into account 3,000 years of history and context, Palestinian Arabs, not indigenous Israeli Jews, become the offending party…. Around 1,300 years ago, descendants and followers of the Prophet Mohammad from Arabia poured out of the Peninsular in an orgy of conquest, expansionism and colonization. They first annihilated ancient Jewish tribes in places like Yathrib (known today as Medina) and Khaybar before sweeping north, east and west, conquering what is today known as the Middle East, North Africa and even southern Europe…. Wherever Arab and Islamic rulers conquered, they imposed their culture, language and — most significantly — their religion…. At first, Arab settlers and conquerors did not want to intermingle with their indigenous vassals. They often lived in segregated quarters or created garrison towns from which they imposed their authority on native populations…. while slavery became rampant and unfettered…. Slowly, but surely, the “Arab world” that we know today was artificially and aggressively imposed.”

Arabs, who have been trying to kill Jews there for nearly a hundred years, long before 1967, represent a problem — there are 1.5 million Arab people in Israel, but no one considers them “settlers”. The problem is that these ambassadors are not as dangerous to Israel as they are to Europe and the free world, as they keep on succumbing to the demands of Islam.

Why the Anti-Israeli Sentiment?

January 5, 2017

Why the Anti-Israeli Sentiment? Town HallVictor Davis Hanson, January  5, 2017

israelflag

Secretary of State John Kerry, echoing other policymakers in the Obama administration, blasted Israel last week in a 70-minute rant about its supposedly self-destructive policies.

Why does the world — including now the U.S. — single out liberal and lawful Israel but refrain from chastising truly illiberal countries?

Kerry has never sermonized for so long about his plan to solve the Syrian crisis that has led to some 500,000 deaths or the vast migrant crisis that has nearly wrecked the European Union.

No one in this administration has shown as much anger about the many thousands who have been killed and jailed in the Castro brothers’ Cuba, much less about the current Stone Age conditions in Venezuela or the nightmarish government of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, an ally nation.

President Obama did not champion the cause of the oppressed during the Green Revolution of 2009 in Iran. Did Kerry and Obama become so outraged after Russia occupied South Ossetia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine?

Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was never so impassioned over the borders of Chinese-occupied Tibet, or over Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.

In terms of harkening back to the Palestinian “refugee” crisis that started in the late 1940s, no one talks today in similar fashion about the Jews who survived the Holocaust and walked home, only to find that their houses in Eastern Europe were gone or occupied by others. Much less do we recall the 11 million German civilians who were ethnically cleansed from Eastern Europe in 1945 by the Soviets and their imposed Communist governments. Certainly, there are not still “refugee” camps outside Dresden for those persons displaced from East Prussia 70 years ago.

More recently, few nations at the U.N. faulted the Kuwaiti government for the expulsion of 200,000 Palestinians after the liberation of Kuwait by coalition forces in 1991.

Yet on nearly every issue — from “settlements” to human rights to the status of women — U.N. members that routinely violate human rights target a liberal Israel.

When President Obama entered office, among his first acts were to give an interview with the Saudi-owned news outlet Al Arabiya championing his outreach to the mostly non-democratic Islamic world and to blast democratic Israel on “settlements.”

Partly, the reason for such inordinate criticism of Israel is sheer cowardice. If Israel had 100 million people and was geographically large, the world would not so readily play the bully.

Instead, the United Nations and Europe would likely leave it alone — just as they give a pass to human rights offenders such as Pakistan and Indonesia. If Israel were as big as Iran, and Iran as small as Israel, then the Obama administration would have not reached out to Iran, and would have left Israel alone.

Israel’s supposed Western friends sort out Israel’s enemies by their relative natural resources, geography and population — and conclude that supporting Israel is a bad deal in cost/benefit terms.

Partly, the criticism of Israel is explained by oil — an issue that is changing daily as both the U.S. and Israel cease to be oil importers.

Still, about 40 percent of the world’s oil is sold by Persian Gulf nations. Influential nations in Europe and China continue to count on oil imports from the Middle East — and make political adjustments accordingly.

Partly, anti-Israel rhetoric is due to herd politics.

The Palestinians — illiberal and reactionary on cherished Western issues like gender equality, homosexuality, religious tolerance and diversity — have grafted their cause to the popular campus agendas of race/class/gender victimization.

Western nations in general do not worry much about assorted non-Western crimes such as genocides, mass cleansings or politically induced famines. Instead, they prefer sermons to other Westerners as a sort of virtue-signaling, without any worries over offending politically correct groups.

Partly, the piling on Israel is due to American leverage over Israel as a recipient of U.S. aid. As a benefactor, the Obama administration expects that Israel must match U.S. generosity with obeisance. Yet the U.S. rarely gives similar “how dare you” lectures to less liberal recipients of American aid, such as the Palestinians for their lack of free elections.

Partly, the cause of global hostility toward Israel is jealousy. If Israel were mired in Venezuela-like chaos, few nations would care. Instead, the image of a proud, successful, Westernized nation as an atoll in a sea of self-inflicted misery is grating to many. And the astounding success of Israel bothers so many failed states that the entire world takes notice.

But partly, the source of anti-Israelism is ancient anti-Semitism.

If Israelis were Egyptians administering Gaza or Jordanians running the West Bank (as during the 1960s), no one would care. The world’s problem is that Israelis are Jews. Thus, Israel earns negative scrutiny that is never extended commensurately to others.

Obama and his diplomatic team should have known all this. Perhaps they do, but they simply do not care.

John Kerry, Those “Illegal” Settlements, That “Two-State Solution” (Part II)

January 4, 2017

John Kerry, Those “Illegal” Settlements, That “Two-State Solution” (Part II), Jihad Watch

(Part I of the series is available here. — DM)

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After the Six-Day War, while the Israelis waited for the Arabs to make that phone call about peace negotiations that never came, the Arabs had other ideas. First, they announced at a meeting in the Sudanese capital of the Arab League “the three No’s of Khartoum”: No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. Who and what – before a single “settlement” was started — was then the “obstacle to peace”? Second, the Arabs and their willing collaborators began to speak about, and thus to reify, out of the local Arabs in Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, and in the refugee camps, a “Palestinian people.” This fiction, which Secretary Kerry uncritically accepts (to be fair, so do millions of others), was designed for propaganda purposes, and has proven to be a stunningly effective weapon against Israel. No Arab leaders or diplomats or intellectuals mentioned the “Palestinian people” until 1967, when the need for such became apparent. As Zuheir Mohsen, leader of the Palestinian Arab terror group As Saiqa, famously told a journalist in 1977:

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity exists only for tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

Yet Kerry insists that U. N. Resolution 181 — the “Partition Plan” — was meant to “realize the national aspirations of both Jews and Palestinians.” In 1947, there were no “Palestinians” with “national aspirations.” The invading Arab states never mentioned these “Palestinians” and had no intention of giving up whatever territory they managed to win to a nonexistent “Palestinian” people. And in 1947, the “national aspirations” of the Jews were betrayed when they were left by the Partition Plan with only about half of what had been promised under the Palestine Mandate, or – if we include eastern Palestine — only 23% of the territory promised before eastern Palestine had been transformed into the Emirate of Transjordan. To the extent that the local Arabs had any “national aspirations,” they were to destroy the Jewish state. In any case, Resolution 181 became a dead letter when the Arabs unanimously rejected it and then invaded Israel. Kerry wants to resuscitate it.

Kerry then moves on to Resolution 242, and what he, and Resolution 2334, call “occupied Palestinian territory.” But the word “occupied” has both a colloquial and a legal meaning, and this confusion between the two meanings has been well exploited by the Arabs. Israel is an “occupier” in the colloquial sense: through force of arms, it has “occupied” certain territories. But Israel is not only a “military occupier” of the West Bank, in the way that it was an “occupier” of the Sinai. Israel’s legal (historic, moral) claim to the West Bank, under the Mandate for Palestine, remains.

The constant use of the phrase “occupied territory,” or still worse, “occupied Palestinian territory” by John Kerry and so many others suggests that Israel has no claim to the “West Bank” or Gaza other than the temporary one of being a military occupant. One thinks in this regard of such examples as “Occupied Berlin,” “Occupied Vienna,” “Occupied Paris,” “Occupied Japan.” In all of these examples, the word “occupied” signals that the territory in question is under the control of a victorious power or powers, that control having been won through military conquest, and the claim to that territory is understood to be only temporary, based solely on that military occupation. But Israel’s claim to the “West Bank” is not based on the fact of military occupation. Rather, the West Bank is properly thought of as an unallocated part of the Palestine Mandate, and the provisions of the League of Nations’ Mandate still apply. Had Israel managed to capture all of the West Bank in the 1948-49 war, it could have exercised its rights under the Mandate, and incorporated all of that territory into the Jewish state. The fact that the Jews did not end up in possession of Gaza and the “West Bank” at the close of hostilities in 1949 war did not change the legal status of those territories. Israel’s claim based on the Mandate itself was not extinguished. Of course, had the Arabs accepted the Partition Plan, as Israel had done, then Israel would have been obligated to stand by its own acceptance, but the Arab refusal to do so freed Israel from any such obligation. The Six-Day War allowed Israel, by coming into possession of the West Bank by force of arms, to finally exercise its right, based on the Mandate, to establish settlements in that territory.

The claim under the Mandate was reinforced, rather than weakened, by Resolution 242’s insistence that territorial adjustments be made to guarantee Israel’s security (“secure borders”). And when Israel voluntarily gave up the Sinai to Egypt, and later handed Gaza over to “Palestinian” Arab rule – for reasons of realpolitik– that had no bearing on Israel’s continued claim to the “West Bank.”

So what has John Kerry carefully not said in his ill-tempered attack on Israel that has apparently so heartened Hamas? He has failed to mention the most important foundational document for Israel, the Mandate for Palestine, which enshrines Israel’s legal, moral, and historic rights to establish Jewish settlements everywhere in Palestine, from the Jordan to the sea, including all of the West Bank. Not only are those settlements not illegal, but they were, and still are, to be “encouraged” under the express terms of the Mandate. He has failed to mention, too, that Israel gave up fully 95% of what it won in the Six-Day War, and failed to mention the endless Israeli efforts to engage the “Palestinians” in real peace talks, not Rose Garden photo ops; those Israeli efforts have always been rebuffed. When at Camp David in 2000 Ehud Barak made the astounding offer to Yassir Arafat of fully 95% of the West Bank, Arafat refused.

This puts quite a different spin on Israeli behavior from that which Kerry presents. For him, it is Israel that keeps trying to deny the “Palestinians” everything, whereas it is those same “Palestinians” under Abbas as under Arafat, who have turned down Israeli offers, and most important, continue to refuse even to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The list of Arab refusals starts with the Partition Plan of 1947, then the refusal to make the armistice lines of 1949 into permanent borders as offered by Israel, then the further refusal, for 12 years after the Six-Day War, by all the Arab states to recognize, or to negotiate, or to make peace with Israel (the Three No’s of Khartoum) until Sadat made his separate peace.

And even Kerry’s whipping-boy, Prime Minister Netanyahu, whose government he describes as “the most right-wing” in Israel’s history, in November 2009 put in place a 10-month freeze on settlements, hoping thereby to get the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. It didn’t work. And Kerry, of course, doesn’t mention Netanyahu’s attempt. Far from clinging adamantly to territories it won, Israel has been remarkably generous in giving up territories. The minute Anwar Sadat decided he would break ranks with the other Arabs and negotiate for Egypt alone, he found the Israelis willing, in exchange for a peace treaty, to hand back the entire Sinai. How often, in human history, has a nation victorious in war handed back all the territory it won to an aggressor?

Israel went even further with its concessions in Gaza, removing all of the Jewish settlements, handing Gaza back to the local “Palestinians,” without receiving anything in return but rockets and bombs. Yet Secretary Kerry dares to present Israel as the obstacle to peace, with the “Palestinian” campaigns of terror, and celebrations of terrorists, mentioned only in passing, while the Israeli “settlements” – specifically authorized by the Mandate – are treated, at great length, as “illegal.” He finds the Israelis bizarre in their belief, one that they have come to most reluctantly, that IDF control of the West Bank is a better way to preserve peace than a peace treaty signed with the likes of Mahmoud Abbas. Kerry is outraged that Israelis dare to insist they have a legal right to establish such settlements in the West Bank. Don’t bring up the Palestine Mandate; he doesn’t want to hear about it. And he certainly doesn’t want people beginning to agree with Israelis that the Mandate remains relevant. He doesn’t care what the main author of Resolution 242, Lord Caradon, meant by the phrases “withdrawal from territories” and “secure and recognized borders.” Please don’t trouble Secretary Kerry, either, with the report prepared by the American Joint Chiefs of Staff for President Johnson, about the minimum territorial adjustments that in their view Israel would need for “secure and defensible borders.” For Kerry, it’s more than enough to keep repeating the phrases “two-state solution” and “just and lasting peace,” which for him clearly means almost complete withdrawal to the 1967 lines with “minor adjustments.” For Lord Caradon, however, the most important thing about Resolution 242 was that Israel not be compelled to return to the 1967 lines that invited Arab aggression, and the adjustments need not everywhere be categorized as “minor.” As he forcefully put it:

We could have said: well, you go back to the 1967 line. But I know the 1967 line, and it’s a rotten line. You couldn’t have a worse line for a permanent international boundary. It’s where the troops happened to be on a certain night in 1948. It’s got no relation to the needs of the situation.

Kerry doesn’t want to hear about “secure and defensible borders.” He wants the Israelis to “take risks for peace” (as if Israel was not already taking unbelievable risks for peace), to uproot settlements needed for Israel’s defense, and to put their trust in a peace treaty, while all the evidence suggests that the “Palestinians,” including nobody-here-but-us-accountants Mahmoud Abbas, have no intention of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state until Israel returns to the 1967 lines, including East Jerusalem, and likely not even then. As for the other Arabs, it’s true that right now a shared fear of Iran has made it possible for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan to collaborate with Israel behind the scenes, but fear of Iran may not prove to be a unifying force forever. As for most Arabs and Muslims, the spectacle of a dimidiated Israel would not sate but whet jihadist appetites.

Among the many things John Kerry would prefer not to be reminded of is that in 1920, 77% of the formerly Ottoman territories that were originally intended to be included in the Palestine Mandate — that is, the land east of the Jordan — was closed to Jewish immigration. Eastern Palestine instead became, thanks to the British, the Arab Emirate of Transjordan. For Kerry, that’s not worth mentioning, but it was a huge event for the Zionists at the time. In fact, those Zionists who did not accept the loss of eastern Palestine continued to include it in their maximalist demands. Their leader, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, even wrote a celebrated poem: “Shtei Gadot L’Yarden – Zu Shelanu Zu Gam Ken” (“Two sides has the river Jordan/This side is ours, and that side too”) expressing the refusal to give up the claim to eastern Palestine. So Israel had by 1948 already been considerably reduced, the British having given away 77% of what had been intended for the Palestine Mandate. To remind people of this is not to endorse Jabotinsky’s demand, but at least to offer a historical perspective that might make some more understanding of Israel’s position.. Would it have been too much to expect John Kerry to mention how, and why, and on what land, the country of Jordan was created?

The Arabs, then, already had in 1948 a “Palestinian” state, consisting of all of eastern Palestine, the country we now call “Jordan,” where 80% of the population identifies itself as “Palestinian.” When the Arabs became convinced, after the Six-Day War, that they could not destroy Israel outright, they sought to undermine Israel in other ways – diplomatic isolation, boycotts, terror attacks – hoping to reduce its size through salami tactics, and to establish a second Arab state, this one in western Palestine, a state whose main purpose would be not to live in satisfied coexistence with Israel (‘two states, side-by-side” etc.) as Kerry naively foresees, but to serve, rather, as a springboard for yet another attempt at destroying, whether through the Fast Jihad of Hamas or the Slow Jihad of Fatah, the one Jewish state, whose mere existence, whatever its size, is such an affront to all Muslims and Arabs. John Kerry, innocent of Islam, gives no sign of realizing how deep is the Muslim Arab opposition to Israel.

So the Arabs refused this and the Arabs refused that. And the Israelis accepted this, and the Israelis gave back that. And the Mandate for Palestine says this, and U.N. Resolution 242 says that. It’s all so complicated and mind-numbing, no wonder John Kerry wants to hear only about a very few things. He blocks out the rest, and he reduces everything to the simple-minded phrases repeated endlessly: the “two-state solution,” the “just and lasting peace.” He doesn’t need to know what has actually happened between Arab and Jew in Palestine in the last 100 years, what principles were invoked or ignored, what rights created or destroyed, what promises kept or broken, what offers accepted or rejected. For Kerry, all he knows and all he needs to know is that the settlements are “illegal,” and positively noxious because they are what prevent that “two-state solution” that “everybody” knows can be arrived at just as soon as Israel stops building new settlements and dismantles all but a few of the old ones.

For the Palestinians, of course, as Kerry may not know, all the cities in Israel are “occupied” territory (“Occupied Haifa,” “Occupied Jaffa,” “Occupied Jerusalem”), and all the towns are “settlements” and all the settlements, of course, are on “Occupied Arab Land.” The Jews, as Infidels, have no rights on lands once possessed by Muslims. There is no historic connection of Jews to Jerusalem, which is also “occupied Palestinian territory.” And even if the Palestine Mandate existed, we are not required to pay any attention to it. Any history that is not on the side of the Muslims can safely be forgotten.

U.N. Resolution 2334 pretends to be about furthering “peace,” but its effect will be to embolden the “Palestinian” side, now less willing than ever to negotiate, since it believes it has now isolated Israel diplomatically. With little to lose, the Israeli government could take a different tack, a hypertrophied hasbara that would speak over the talking heads of the Security Council to a public that, especially in Europe, has been getting its own taste of Muslim convivencia and may, as a consequence, be more sympathetic to Israel’s plight than votes at the U.N. might suggest. Let Israel explain what the Palestine Mandate was intended to achieve, why the settlements are not “illegal,” what made the Partition Plan (Resolution 181) null and void, why those armistice lines were never made into permanent borders, how and why the “Palestinian people” were invented, and then, in terms anyone looking at a map can understand, what territory in the “West Bank” the tiny nation of Israel, as a military matter, must keep, as “settlements,” if it is to have those “secure and defensible borders” it both needs and deserves.

John Kerry assures us that he cares deeply about, even “loves,” the plucky little state of Israel that, he insists, stole his heart away decades ago. But he is convinced that Israel doesn’t understand its real situation, and its blinkered (“extreme right-wing”) leaders can’t seem to grasp that a “Palestinian” state living “side-by-side with a Jewish state” would only improve Israel’s well-being. Here is John Kerry, the American Secretary of State, fierce in Foggy Bottom, languid in Louisburg Square, who knows better than the Israelis what they need, and understands perfectly this most intractable of foreign policy problems. It’s an old and cruel idea: that Israel doesn’t understand its real interests, and must be saved in spite of itself. And John Forbes Kerry has arrived on the scene to help straighten out the little country he loves so much. All he asks of Israelis is that they come to their senses, and do what he, and Barack Obama, and the Security Council, demand.

Fortunately, for Israel, and for the Western world, too, the clock is running out on Obama and on Kerry. This means Israel still has a chance to decide for itself what it needs, at a minimum, in order to survive. Given the history of the Jews during the last 3000 years, that doesn’t seem like much to ask.