Tag: Jewish Settlement

THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S “PALESTINE” VOTE: EUROPEANS, “BLIND IN ONE EYE”, SEE ISRAEL AS “GREATER ISRAEL” — UN VOTE REFLECTS GROWTH  – FROM SPAIN TO  NORWAY –  OF TOXIC ANTI-SEMITISM

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Contents:                          

 

 

Israel’s Settlements and the Europeans: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Dec. 2.2012— Those looking for an explanation for why almost all of Europe backed the Palestinians in the recent vote to upgrade their status at the United Nations are blaming it on Israel’s decision to continue building homes in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

Did Israel Lose Europe?: Jonathan Schanzer, Benjamin Weinthal, Foreign Policy, Nov. 30, 2012— There was never much doubt that the U.N. General Assembly would overwhelmingly vote to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to the status of non-member state on Nov. 29. The big surprise of the event was that a number of key Western European countries did not join the United States and vote against the resolution.

 

Blind in One Eye: Galtung and the Toxic European Left: Robert S. Wistrich, Times of Israel, May 17, 2012— The dark spirit of anti-Western ressentiment and knee-jerk anti-Zionism that has come to characterize a growing sector of Europe’s intellectual left is no secret to seasoned observers of these cultural pathologies.

 

 

On Topic Links

 

 

 

Knee-jerk Anti-Zionism: Tibor Krausz, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2012

Britain: EU Sanctions Against Israel not an Option: Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post  Dec. 4, 2012

The French Connection – To Anti-Semitism: Ari Lieberman, Front Page Magazine, Nov. 29, 2012

Where Would Hezbollah Be Without the EU?: Douglas Murray, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 8, 2012

 

 

 

 

ISRAEL’S SETTLEMENTS AND THE EUROPEANS

Jonathan S. Tobin

Commentary, Dec. 2.2012

 

Those looking for an explanation for why almost all of Europe backed the Palestinians in the recent vote to upgrade their status at the United Nations are blaming it on Israel’s decision to continue building homes in Jerusalem and its suburbs. As reporter Laura Rozen put it in a tweet, “Does Israel really not get how fed up Europe is w/ its settlement policies?” The upshot of this sort of thinking is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fanatical devotion to “Greater Israel” is isolating Israel and forcing even its friends to abandon its cause in international forums.

 

The problem with this thesis is that it is pure bunk….[T]here are a lot of reasons why the Europeans stabbed the Israelis in the back at the UN, among which their objections to “settlements” is by no means inconsiderable. [However], if the Europeans believe that the 1967 lines with land swaps is the formula for peace, it’s hard to understand why they are upset with Israel building in places that everyone knows they would keep under such a plan. After all, does anyone who is actually interested in peace–as opposed to those who think every Jewish home anywhere in the country is an illegal settlement–actually think Israel will abandon 40-year-old Jerusalem neighborhoods or the suburbs that are close to the green line? Far from the Israelis pushing the limits in their quest for settlements, it is the Europeans who are redefining the terms of peace.

 

For Israel’s European critics, “Greater Israel” is no longer all of the West Bank, which even Netanyahu has conceded may be ceded for a real peace deal, nor even retention of an undivided Jerusalem. They are now acting as if any Israeli government that acts as if it is going to hold onto all of the Jewish areas of Jerusalem is a foe of peace. In doing so, they are not only distorting Israel’s position — which is still perfectly compatible with a two-state solution based on the ’67 lines with swaps — but also covering up or ignoring the fact that the Palestinians have refused Israeli offers of a state and now no longer even wish to negotiate.

 

The idea that the Europeans — save for the principled stand of the Czech Republic — have turned on the Israelis solely because of “settlements” is a misnomer. The tilt toward the Palestinians and against Israel is not a recent phenomenon, nor is it the product of Netanyahu’s tenure as prime minister. Virtually any act of Israeli self-defence is treated as impermissible. Nor can one understand the unwillingness of these governments to stand with Israel outside of a context in which anti-Zionism has become the orthodoxy of European intellectuals and the rising tide of anti-Semitism on the continent.

 

Moreover, the decision to back Mahmoud Abbas at the UN has just as much if not more to do with the hope that giving him a shot in the arm will undermine Hamas. This is a monumental misjudgment, since Abbas cannot hope to compete in the long run with the more violent Islamists who run what is already an independent Palestinian state in all but name.

 

Europeans who think isolating Israel in this manner will teach Netanyahu or the Israeli people a lesson are ignoring the realities of the conflict. Though they would divest themselves of almost all of the territories in exchange for an end to the conflict, the overwhelming majority of Israelis have no intention of allowing the West Bank to become another, more dangerous version of Gaza from which Islamist terrorists will launch missiles or terror attacks. A European demand for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines including a divided Jerusalem and the eviction of nearly half a million Jews from their homes to empower a Palestinian entity that won’t negotiate is antithetical to the idea of genuine peace.

 

 

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DID ISRAEL LOSE EUROPE?

Jonathan Schanzer, Benjamin Weinthal

Foreign Policy, November 30, 2012

 

There was never much doubt that the U.N. General Assembly would overwhelmingly vote to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to the status of non-member state on Nov. 29. The big surprise of the event was that a number of key Western European countries did not join the United States and vote against the resolution. The Czech Republic was the only European country to vote against the upgrade, and shockingly, the normally staunchly pro-Israeli governments of Germany and Britain decided to abstain. Does this mean that Israel has lost Europe?

 

Germany's surprising decision, in the eleventh hour, to shift from opposing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's bid to abstaining on it was reportedly tied to the question of Israel's ongoing construction of settlements in the West Bank — a recent source of contention in European capitals. Germany appears to have taken this opportunity to address the conflict on the world stage.

 

This decision was especially shocking to Israelis given Germany's historical relationship with the Jewish state. Chancellor Angela Merkel declared in a 2008 speech before the Knesset that she supported Israel's right to defend itself and that only the Israelis and Palestinians — without external interference — could negotiate a two-state solution.

 

"Every German chancellor before me has shouldered Germany's special historical responsibility for Israel's security," Merkel said then. "This historical responsibility is part of my country's raison d'être. For me as German chancellor, therefore, Israel's security will never be open to negotiation."  The Federal Republic has based a large chunk of its devotion to Israel's security on the notion of Wiedergutmachung, or reparations for the German crimes against European Jewry during the Holocaust.

 

Although Germany likes to present itself as Israel's strongest ally in Europe, the relationship has often been shaky. Take the example of Christoph Heusgen, Merkel's national security advisor and Middle East point man, who in 2009 — a year after the chancellor's speech before the Knesset — sought to convince U.S. envoys to weaken Washington's opposition to the United Nations' Goldstone Report, which alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza during that year's Operation Cast Lead.

 

According to a WikiLeaked cable from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin at the time, Heusgen "thought [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu needed 'to do more' in order [to] bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. With Palestinians in East Jerusalem getting notices from Israeli authorities that their houses will be destroyed, it would be 'suicide' for President Abbas to move under the current circumstances."

 

The cable continued: "Heusgen said he could not fathom why Netanyahu did not understand this. He suggested pressuring Netanyahu by linking favorable UNSC [U.N. Security Council] treatment of the Goldstone Report to Israel committing to a complete stop in settlement activity."

 

In 2010, Merkel and Netanyahu had a heated telephone exchange over the settlements issue, and the relationship further frayed over Germany's decision this year to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's representation in Berlin to that of a full diplomatic mission with an ambassador.

 

Germany's U.N. abstention on Nov. 29 may also have been driven by domestic calculations. Specifically, Merkel may inherit the Social Democratic Party (SPD) as a coalition partner in a new government in elections in late 2013. This month, SPD officials hosted representatives of Palestine's ruling Fatah party at the SPD's Berlin headquarters and published a joint declaration affirming a "strategic partnership" between the two parties.

 

Meanwhile, France's relations with Israel have been uneasy for more than a decade. Famously, in 2001, France's ambassador to Britain, Daniel Bernard, called Israel "that shitty little country." More recently, then-President Nicolas Sarkozy offended the Israelis with his famous hot-mic fiasco at the 2011 G-20 meeting, in which he told U.S. President Barack Obama he couldn't stand Netanyahu (and Obama concurred).

 

During Sarkozy's tenure, France was also a vocal proponent of upgrading the Palestinian status at UNESCO. When the Paris-based UNESCO granted the Palestinians member-state status, U.S. law compelled the Obama administration to withhold its $80 million annual contribution to the organization. Washington registered its displeasure with the move in no uncertain terms. As State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland stated, the vote was "regrettable, premature, and undermines our shared goal of a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East."

 

Sarkozy's successor, François Hollande, did not let the financial blow to this Paris-based organization get in the way of his support for the Palestinians at the United Nations. Hollande has made clear that the settlement issue is a priority for his government. "It erodes the building of trust between the sides and constitutes an obstacle to a just peace, based on a two-state solution," said France's Foreign Ministry in a statement this month.

 

In a late-October meeting with Netanyahu in Paris, Hollande said that the two countries had "divergences on occupation, which we want to see halted." Although Hollande has played his cards close to the vest, he announced this week that he would support Abbas's bid. His position against the Jewish state was particularly startling given the recent uptick in anti-Semitic violence that has rocked France in recent years, forcing Paris and Jerusalem to jointly deal with this disturbing trend.

 

With France pushing for Palestinian statehood and Germany largely sitting out the fight, other European governments soon cast their votes in favor of Abbas's bid too. According to one European diplomat well versed in Spain's foreign policy, Hollande capitalized on the weak Spanish economy to push Madrid to vote for the PLO's upgrade….Spain is [also] attempting to obtain a seat on the U.N. Security Council and that the vote may have been a way to court favor from Arab countries.

 

Israel could once count on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's staunch support, but this has given way to successor Mario Monti's cold shoulder. Monti's support for the Palestinian bid was an about-face from Italy's position when Abbas attempted a similar maneuver one year ago.

 

(As for the now-isolated Czechs, Prague's decision to veto the PLO's move came as no surprise. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has dubbed noble-born Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg the "Zionist prince" for his support during Operation Cast Lead.)

 

Israel's brief war against Hamas in Gaza this month may also have had an impact on EU decision-makers. Faced with the PLO's deepening irrelevance and the growing potency of Hamas and its Iranian military arsenal on Israel's southern border, Israeli officials say that the Europeans may have wanted to give the nonviolent Abbas a moment in the sun. In other words, they wished to demonstrate approval for bureaucratic and legal strategies over the brutal violence of Abbas's rivals in Gaza.

 

So, after the better part of a decade of diplomacy between PLO embassies and their host governments from Latin America to the Levant, Abbas won his diplomatic upgrade….

 

In fairness, Israel always faced an uphill battle in Europe, where Muslim populations are on the rise and pro-Palestinian sentiments continue to gain traction. From the EU's perspective, Israel's long-standing recalcitrance over settlements and the rise of Hamas probably made support for Abbas inevitable.

 

But for Netanyahu to find himself all alone, with only a reluctant partner in Washington and seven other countries by his side, must surely have come as a shock.

 

 

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BLIND IN ONE EYE: GALTUNG AND THE TOXIC EUROPEAN LEFT

Robert S. Wistrich

Times of Israel, May 17, 2012

 

The dark spirit of anti-Western ressentiment and knee-jerk anti-Zionism that has come to characterize a growing sector of Europe’s intellectual left is no secret to seasoned observers of these cultural pathologies. The world-renowned 82-year-old Norwegian Professor Johan Galtung – who over fifty years ago founded Oslo’s International Peace Research Institute – is only the most recent prime exhibit of this syndrome.

 

Widely recognized as the “father” of international peace studies, Galtung has long execrated the United States as an imperialist nation of killers, exploiters and torturers, responsible for most of the world’s evils. The much-traveled white-haired professor, in many ways the embodiment of European elitist anti-Americanism, has more recently lavished his self-righteous indignation on Israel (the “little Satan,” as the Iranian Ayatollahs fondly call it), and seems to have enthusiastically embraced the notion of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy.

 

Among Galtung’s most recent claims has been the assertion that the massacre last summer in Norway of 77 young people by Anders Behring Breivik may have been ordered by the Israeli Mossad. He was even quoted as saying, “It will be interesting to read the [Norwegian] police report on Israel, during the trial.”

 

If that blood libel were not enough, he bizarrely linked Breivik’s murderous actions to the King David Hotel bombing of the British Administration’s nerve-center in Palestine by the Irgun in July 1946. The only vague connection between these two totally distinct events is that they both occurred on July 22. But for the distinguished “sociologist,” the link evidently lies in sinister Zionist-masonic machinations and an endemic terrorist blood-lust among Jews.

 

Galtung, an iconic figure in the Norwegian and international left, has not hesitated to recommend that we should all look again (more sympathetically) at ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” one of the most notorious anti-Semitic texts of the 20th century. Reading the ‘Protocols’ apparently makes Galtung think above all of Goldman Sachs, the giant international investment bank with an unmistakably Jewish name, and the long tentacles of “Jewish” finance-capital. In this context, he airily dismisses the notion that the ‘Protocols” were a concoction of Tsarist Russian anti-Semites. After all, how could mere forgers and Russian police agents possibly predict, over a century ago, what is supposedly happening before our very eyes!?

 

Galtung obviously regards the USA as the contemporary living embodiment of the “Protocols of Zion” scenario displayed in vivid Technicolor. “Six Jewish companies control 96% of the media,” he has written — including virtually all the major TV networks, film studios, publishers and top journalists. Even the non-Jewish media mogul Rupert Murdoch – a favorite target of anti-Semites worldwide – is on his list, since many of those who work for him are (according to the Norwegian professor) “fanatically pro-Israel.”

 

It is worth noting that a major source for these and other bigoted conspiracy-mongering assertions by Galtung is the deceased American neo-Nazi and white racist supremacist, William Pierce, founder of the “National Alliance.”

 

Galtung, who last week told Haaretz that he is open to all hypotheses on such questions, did not fail to imply that Jews had a historic responsibility for the pogromist assaults directed against them, since they had lent money in the past to indebted peasants; and, he added, even Auschwitz had two sides, since Jews in Weimar Germany allegedly held key positions — which meant that “anti-Semitism could have been predicted.” Ignorance, dogmatic obtuseness and sheer bigotry echo from these statements in a truly toxic mix.

 

Some Norwegian academics and fans of Galtung’s “peace studies” research have professed mild shock and bewilderment at this tissue of neo-Nazi, racist and anti-Semitic rubbish pouring out from the mouth of such a prominent and respected leftist guru. But this astonishment seems thoroughly misplaced…[T]here is a well-entrenched tradition of such anti-Jewish bigotry on the left from the beginnings of European Socialism until the present day.

 

Long before Galtung, many left-wing radicals embraced the grossly simplistic view that Jews were the driving-force behind Wall Street, the big banks, international finance-capital, global exploitation and predatory imperialism. Moreover, during the past 40 years it is leftist intellectuals who have often been the spearhead of fashionable “anti-Zionist” conspiracy theories and pernicious efforts to equate Israel with the evils of apartheid, racism, colonialism, fascism and even Nazism.

 

In the last decade we have, for example, seen a growing list of European and even American academics, artists and intellectuals (some of them Jewish and ex-Israeli) join this bandwagon….

Galtung cannot, unfortunately, be dismissed merely as one more senile bigot and ultra-leftist crank. The recipient of many university honors and prizes, his remarks inevitably attract attention and are only a slightly more extreme version of a proliferating European-wide sickness. A long-time admirer of Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Castro, Saddam Hussein and other “leftist” totalitarian tyrants, Professor Galtung’s “peace” orientation in the name of human rights has proven all-too-popular in Western as well as Third World academic circles. In the Arab-Islamic world he would, of course, be considered mainstream, even “moderate.”…

 

(Professor Robert S Wistrich is the director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

 

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The French Connection – To Anti-Semitism: Ari Lieberman, Front Page Magazine, Nov. 29, 2012—When it comes to the Jews, the French have a long, checkered history of treachery. French anti-Semitism is well known and deeply embedded in French culture. It therefore comes as no surprise that France will likely be the first major Western power to recognize Palestinian statehood, according to a statement released by the French Foreign Ministry.

 

Where Would Hezbollah Be Without the EU?: Douglas Murray, Gatestone Institute, November 8, 2012—The EU has been here before. During the same period they came up with their false wall-of-separation within Hezbollah, they they did the same thing with Hamas. The fiction disappeared in Europe because it was no longer possible to allow a group to operate which blew up buses full of civilians.

 

Knee-jerk Anti-Zionism: Tibor Krausz, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2012—Karl Marx thought he had the Jews figured out. “What is the worldly religion of the Jew? – Huckstering. What is his worldly God? – Money,” the patron saint of communism opined in his 1844 polemic “On the Jewish Question.” He went on to lament the way Christians had fallen prey in their habits to the pecuniary obsessions of those greedy Semites.

 

Britain: EU Sanctions Against Israel not an Option: Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 4, 2012—As country after country summoned their Israeli ambassadors in protest of settlement building plans, British Foreign Secretary William Hague clarified Tuesday that European sanctions against Israel were not an option.

 

 

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PROFILES IN COWARDICE, AND FARCE: U.N., EUROPE, U.S. ON G.A. VOTE, PALESTINIAN ZERO-SUM “HISTORIOGRAPHY”

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Contents:                          

 

Israel’s Response to UN Recognition of Palestine: Increased Settlements Everywhere: Jewish Press, December 2nd, 2012— “The Palestinian Authority’s one-sided step at the UN constitutes a gross violation of the agreements that have been signed with the State of Israel; accordingly, the Government of Israel rejects the UN General Assembly decision.”

 

The U.N. Vote on Palestine: Profiles in Cowardice: Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2012

—Last week's vote to extend non-member observer status to the Palestinians at the United Nations was a virtual primer on what is wrong with the U.N., the European Union, the Palestinian Authority and the United States when it comes to the Middle East.

 

Zero-Sum Historiography: The Palestinian Assault Upon History: Paul Merkley, The Bayview Review, Nov 26th, 2012—A key to understanding the duel that is going on today between the State of Israel and its local enemy the “Palestinians” is to be found in the motto that governed Lewis Carroll’s “Wonderland” – that words can mean anything you want them to.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

The Legal Impossibility of Limited Palestinian Statehood: J. Sekulow & M. Clark, Washington Post, Nov. 28, 2012

Rebutting Palestine’s Illegal UN Push for Statehood that Divides Jerusalem, Attacks Israel: Skip Ash ,American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), November 28, 2012

Israel Should Let the PA Collapse: Elad Benari, Israel National News, Dec. 2, 2012

UN Never Misses an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity: Deborah Danan, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 12, 2, 2012

Europe Once Again Shows that Palestinian Violence Pays: Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, Dec.3, 2012

Legal Implication of the United Nations Resolution on Palestine: Alan Dershowitz, Algemeiner, December 2, 2012 

 

 

 

 

ISRAEL’S RESPONSE TO UN RECOGNITION OF PALESTINE:
INCREASED SETTLEMENTS EVERYWHERE

Jewish Press, December 2nd, 2012

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today [Dec. 2] made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

 

“The response to the attack on Zionism and the State of Israel must reinforce and underscore the implementation of the settlement plan in all areas in which the Government decides regarding settlement.

 

“These are not my words. These are the words of the government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and this is the language of the Cabinet’s 1975 decision in the wake of the UN decision that equated Zionism with racism. Today we are building and we will continue to build in Jerusalem and in all areas that are on the map of the strategic interests of the State of Israel.

 

“The Palestinian Authority’s one-sided step at the UN constitutes a gross violation of the agreements that have been signed with the State of Israel; accordingly, the Government of Israel rejects the UN General Assembly decision.”

 

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THE U.N. VOTE ON PALESTINE: PROFILES IN COWARDICE

Jennifer Rubin

Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2012

 

Last week's vote to extend non-member observer status to the Palestinians at the United Nations was a virtual primer on what is wrong with the U.N., the European Union, the Palestinian Authority and the United States when it comes to the Middle East.

 

One hardly needs to note that the U.N.'s Israel obsession, which takes up more of its time and elicits more Human Rights council resolutions than any issue or country on the planet, comes at a time the body can't bring itself to move against Bashar al-Assad in Syria, religious oppression of Christians in the Middle East or, goodness gracious, anything regarding the authoritarian revanchism in Georgia. Nothing to see there. Keep moving on. (This, by the way, is the "international community" in all its glory that President Obama so diligently courts.)

 

Next, let's look at the ineptitude of the Obama administration (and our ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice) in failing to convince European allies to vote against the Palestinian Authority's phony statehood resolution and abrogation of its treaty resolutions.

 

Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies points out, "There was never much doubt that the U.N. General Assembly would overwhelmingly vote to upgrade the Palestinian Authority to the status of non-member state on Nov. 29. The big surprise of the event was that a number of key Western European countries did not join the United States and vote against the resolution. The Czech Republic was the only European country to vote against the upgrade, and shockingly, the normally staunchly pro-Israeli governments of Germany and Britain decided to abstain."

 

You can attribute this sorry state of affairs in large part to the pusillanimous governments of Europe. For example, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is wary of her potential coalition partner and pro-Palestinian Social Democratic Party. Meanwhile, Schanzer notes, "According to one European diplomat well versed in Spain's foreign policy, [French president Francois] Hollande capitalized on the weak Spanish economy to push Madrid to vote for the PLO's upgrade. . . . In short, the diplomat noted that Spain had joined France as part of a bloc of countries — including Italy and Portugal — in exchange for France's protection in upcoming rounds of austerity talks. The diplomat also noted that Spain is attempting to obtain a seat on the U.N. Security Council and that the vote may have been a way to court favor from Arab countries."

 

Which brings us to the U.S. and Ambassador Rice. She could only persuade the Czech Republic, some Pacific island countries, Canada and Panama? That's the extent of her diplomatic prowess? (I am certain that the Canadian government needed no convincing on this score, having frequently and courageously defended the Jewish State.)

 

It is unclear if the Obama administration, and Rice specifically, made any effort whatsoever to round up some "no" votes. It is quite likely the United States never communicated to Europeans and other allies (e.g. Australia) that the United States would look unfavorably on their abstentions. Apparently our "improved" relations with allies under Obama don't allow us to ask for anything or get anything of any consequence. Should she still get the nomination for secretary of state, Rice should be grilled on why the results were so abysmal.

 

Last and least is the Palestinian Authority. Former deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams writes that "the political failure of the Palestinian Authority which is to say of the Fatah Party and of the PLO against Hamas is significant. Since Arafat's death in 2004, the leadership group has generally failed to win the 2006 elections, to prevent Hamas from taking Gaza, to develop a new generation of uncorrupted and popular candidates, and to produce the underpinnings of a state. Such institutional and economic progress as has been made has largely been the work of Salam Fayyad, the PA prime minister, who is not even a member of Fatah and is deeply unpopular within its ranks." All the PA can muster is a relatively meaningless declaration that changes nothing, although it neatly sums up the endemic cynicism of the Arab countries, which would rather sponsor empty resolutions than help improve the lives of Palestinians or promote a true peace between Arabs and Jews in the region….

 

Europeans' animosity toward Israel is rising, unchecked by the inept Obama administration. The PA is a corrupt, undemocratic relic that neither wants peace nor has the ability to make necessary compromises. And naturally, the current status of the Middle East, in the eyes of the U.N. General Assembly, is Israel's fault. Israel's building announcement is deemed to be a "risk to peace." With a straight face the White House intones that such a step "makes it harder to resume direct talks, achieve a 2-state solution." We're beyond farce now when it comes to the sanctimonious tut-tutting of Israel.

 

Oh, and the centrifuges are spinning in Iran, where the mullahs understandably are unimpressed by the United States and the "international community."

 

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ZERO-SUM HISTORIOGRAPHY:
THE PALESTINIAN ASSAULT UPON HISTORY

Paul Merkley

The Bayview Review, Nov 26th, 2012

 

A key to understanding the duel that is going on today between the State of Israel and its local enemy the “Palestinians” is to be found in the motto that governed Lewis Carroll’s “Wonderland” – that words can mean anything you want them to.

To begin with: we note the universal use of the term “President” or “President of Palestine” or “President  of the Palestine Authority” ahead of the name Mahmoud Abbas.

 

Yet Mahmoud Abbas himself has absolutely no right under the Basic Law of Palestine to refer to himself as President of anything. The term of office to which he was elected by democratic vote ran out over four years ago. The office is vacant, and if constitutionality meant anything in Palestinian circles he should be judged a usurper; and if legitimacy meant anything in our media or in the minds of our own rulers, he should have been shown the door long ago.  It is exactly as though Paul Martin were still strutting around as Prime Minister of Canada or George W. Bush as President of the United States.

 

It was not Abbas’s party (Fatah) but Hamas  that won the mandate of January, 2006, after which the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, was appointed Prime Minister of the Palestine Authority by the President (February, 2006.) But the ensuing round of assassinations of Hamas figures by Fatah figures and vice versa led Hamas’ leaders to conclude that more could be gained by quitting Ramallah, the administrative capital pro tem of Palestine, seizing all of Gaza,  liquidating the leading Fatah figures there, and proclaiming  themselves to be the rightful rulers of Palestine.

 

Haniyeh continues to call himself Prime Minister of Palestine although much of our media is under the impression that Gaza is a sovereign entity or at least a Province and that Haniyeh is Prime Minister (or something) of that. He has no more right to any of his titles than Abbas has to the title of President, as the tenure of the  Parliament elected in 2006 has also run out.

 

This embarrassing truth is never hinted at by our governments – not by the government of Canada, not by the Government of the United States, and, most incongruously of all, not by the government of Israel.  Our elected politicians go on wining and dining “President Abbas” out of a Machiavellian calculation that if anything is ever to be rescued from the long-collapsed Peace Process we have to pretend to have a “Partner for Peace” that once got himself elected.

 

It is all one patronizing fantasy – this notion of an emergent Palestinian democracy, embodied in the courageous, beleaguered leadership of the Palestine Authority. It is Orwellian double-think, kept alive by the agreement among media, politicians and opinion-elites that titles can have whatever meaning it is convenient to give to them so long as the cause of achieving peace through democracy  is served.

 

In pretending not to notice the illegitimacy of the Abbas regime we are stooping to acceptance of the congenital contempt for historical fact that has bedeviled the political history of Islam since Muhammad proclaimed his message nearly fourteen centuries ago.

 

On September 13, 1993, a splendid ceremony was held on the White House Lawn to praise the government of Israel and the leaders of the terrorist group, Palestine Liberation Organization, as heroic peacemakers, worthy of inclusion among history’s noblest spirits. To meet the needs of this unprecedented occasion, the records of Yasir Arafat and the records of his closest companions had to be moved off the shelves, their origins as terrorists quickly forgotten. If the past was to be referred to at all, the emphasis was to be on redemption.

 

For example, the freedom fighter,  Abu Mazen, who coordinated fund-raising for the Munich Olypmic massacre, was henceforth to be referred to by us (but not by the Palestinians themselves) by a civilian name, Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas was quickly redesigned as  a family man, dedicated from his beginnings to diplomacy, a serious, benign scholarly gentleman, whose greatest love was the study of history. Abbas, does, indeed, hold an advanced degree in History. He earned it at the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, designed by the Soviet Union for the advanced training of foreign revolutionaries. (Since 1992, this University has been called the People’s Friendship University of Russia.)

 

While at PLU, Mahmoud Abbas wrote a doctoral thesis, The Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement, later published (but only in Arabic) by a Jordanian publisher under a title that (we are told) would read in English: The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism. Mazen’s book presents a deconstructionist understanding of the Holocaust, beginning with challenge of the generally accepted numbers of victims.

 

“Many scholars,” notes Dr. Abbas, “have debated the figure of six million figure of victims of the Holocaust and reached stunning conclusions fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand… It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure [to six million] … in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism.” There were, in any case, no gas chambers.

 

This demonstration of vagueness and obfuscation about matters long settled by scholarship tells us everything we need to know about Abbas’s qualification to be called an historian. Yet, the official BCC News Profile describes Abbas as “A highly intellectual man, Abbas studied law in Egypt before doing a Ph.D. in Moscow. He is the author of several books,” while the New York Times has described him as “a lawyer and historian.”

 

Nowadays, Abbas’s scholarly and polemical skills go to vilification of Israelis and Jews. He sets his sheepskin up front as token of his scholarly soundness while he belittles the history of Israel and the Jews and demonstrates that nobody ever really intended there to be a Jewish  state. As diplomacy dedicated to the Peace Process has gone into deep freeze, Abbas  has all the time in the world to badmouth Israel, its undeserved reputation for liberalism, for education, for research for science. Mahmoud Abbas and other principal figures in the Palestine Authority use the prestige of their titles to pursue in international media and at the UN a two-sided campaign of aggrandizement of Palestine and belittlement of Israel. Abbas’s scholarly labours have led him to the conclusion that the so-called State of Israel is not fit to be a neighbour of Palestine.

 

The latest breakthrough in the  PA’s propaganda offensive has been its success in establishing in the minds of our scholars, our  leaders of opinion and, with truly resounding success, our churchmen  the counter-factual theorem that Palestine is a ancient and distinguished while Israel is a fraud.

Here is the syllogism:

 

  • Palestine is real; Palestine has always been here; the Palestinian People have always been here.
  • Israel is not real. Israel is an invention of the mid-Twentieth century AD, the product of European imperialism, foisted upon the world by a Zionist conspiracy in control of international diplomacy.

The contempt for Zionism in the company of opinion elites in the West, where all lines of argument that belittle Israel’s right to exist are accepted as authentic without examination, explains the great success that Abbas and his fellow Palestinian statesmen have encountered with this syllogism.

 

Dr. Abbas recognizes the possibilities for creative minds created by his contempt for history. His hope is to turn the tables on the tedious textbooks, to establish in all minds the politically correct notion that it is Palestine that is ancient, that has the historical pedigree, and Israel that is without pedigree.

 

For example: Palestinian Authority TV News hews consistently to the PA policy of denying the history of Jewish presence in Jerusalem and in particular the existence at any time of a Jewish Temple.  In a report about Israel’s excavations on the Temple Mount exposing part of the Western Wall, PA TV stated:

 

“There’s [an Israeli] race against the clock to complete the excavations in search of [Jerusalem's]  Temple that exists only in the minds of radical organizations ….[The Israelis] falsify historical facts by linking them to Jewish history, the traces of which don’t exist in our land.”

 

Israel’s excavations of the Western Wall have nothing to do with any archeological project, PA authorities declaim, but are cover for a plot to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque from below.

 

Palestinian “historiography” (if sheer assertion without reference to any documentary or archeological evidence can be dignified by such a term) asserts that until the day before yesterday the Jews, or Israelis, call them what you will, never resided in this area, never had a Kingdom, never had a temple….Among recent lunatic examples are:

 

“Moses was a Muslim who led Muslims in Exodus from Egypt, says a PA university lecturer on PA/ Israel's conquest of the Land of Israel defined as ‘The first Palestinian liberation through armed struggle to liberate Palestine" (April 2, 2012); and "There never was a Temple… for the Jews …. [says PA Mufti.] They [the Jews] want to say or suggest that this place (Temple Mount) was once, according to their claim, a Temple. However, in truth, there never was a Temple in any period, nor was there, at any time, any place of worship for the Jews or others at the Al-Aqsa Mosque site (built on the Temple Mount, 705 CE).” Palestinian TV, Jan. 5, 2012.]

 

In order to keep this free-floating dogma unsullied, Muslim religious authorities on the Temple  Mount have been hauling away to garbage dumps the debris resulting from their building projects on the site. When Israeli scholars find and display artifacts clearly illustrating the presence of the People of Israel or of the Temple of the Jews, Palestinian authorities simply claim them as proofs of “Palestinian” presence.

 

Keen as they are on siding with the victims of Israeli aggression, our cultural elites and, most distressing of all, our church leaders today indulge these knuckle-dragging assertions about Palestine and Palestine’s history for tactical purposes: they believe that polemical solidarity with the Palestinian victims will make it possible for us to keep Palestine’s “elected leaders” in the great cause of moving towards the Day of Peace.

 

Why should we care about these assertions about long-gone days? We should care because all this double-think is doing great damage to truth. We know that no historical commentary is ever free of self-serving bias. Bias occurs because of the human weakness of the historians and the sources they deal with. But in our western tradition no party ever justifies or admits distortion of historical fact for political advantage – although it can happen easily enough. On the other side, the Muslim side, distortion of historical fact has always been done boldly and on the grandest scale and always with impunity. This is because the methods of history have never developed on Islamic soil. The Qur’an  itself is based upon the most blatant manipulation of history…..

 

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UN Never Misses an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity: Deborah Danan, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 12, 2, 2012—November 29, 2012 marked the day that should have been the 65th birthday of Palestine. But because of the Arab world’s rejection of the UN partition resolution in 1947, no one was blowing out the birthday candles last Thursday.

 

Europe Once Again Shows that Palestinian Violence Pays: Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, Dec.3, 2012—Just in case there were any doubts, last week provided conclusive proof: Yes, Palestinian violence pays. And the so-called “enlightened” countries–those Western states who claim to deplore violence and favor the peaceful resolution of conflicts–are the very ones who will reward violence the most.

 

The Legal Impossibility of Limited Palestinian Statehood at the U.N.: Jordan Sekulow and Matthew Clark, Washington Post, Nov. 28, 2012—On Thursday, the Palestinian Authority (PA) will again seek statehood at the United Nations. While this form of “statehood” will not confer U.N. member state status to the “Palestinian entity,” it could fundamentally reshape the Middle East, undermine international law, inhibit peace, and violate Israel’s right to exist.

 

Rebutting Palestine’s Illegal UN Push for Statehood that Divides Jerusalem, Attacks Israel: Skip Ash, American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), November 28, 2012— The PA's attempt to achieve at the UN what it has been unable—or unwilling—to achieve via direct talks with Israel violates a whole host of prior agreements with Israel entered into freely by Palestinian officials. As such, the PA is openly and notoriously breaching its international agreements with Israel, itself a violation of international law.

 

Israel Should Let the PA Collapse: Elad Benari, Israel National News, Dec. 2, 2012—Israel should let the Palestinian Authority collapse, particularly in the wake of its unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations.

 

Legal Implication of the United Nations Resolution on Palestine: Alan Dershowitz, Algemeiner, December 2, 2012 — The General Assembly vote declaring that Palestine, within the pre-1967 borders, is a “state”, at least for some purposes, would have nasty legal implications, if it were ever to be taken seriously by the international community.  

 

 

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