Heeding the Times from Harry Antonides' Desk

Israel: Does it Have the Right to Exist?

April 20, 2009 

The power to rule over the earth has been promised to the whole community of believers…A state of this sort cannot evidently restrict the scope of its activities. Its approach is universal and all-embracing. Its sphere of activity is coexistent with the whole of human life. (Abul Ala Mawdudi (1906-1979) 

The Israel-Palestine conflict has endured ever since the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. There have been times when peaceful coexistence seemed possible, especially after the peace treaties with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994). But all efforts to resolve the conflict invariably failed. 

No matter how well-intended the facilitators - including American presidents - were in framing a road map to peace, all efforts to that end were dashed on the rock of this reality: The Palestinian leaders, whatever they state publicly to the contrary, are convinced that the state of Israel is illegitimate and must disappear. All the radical Palestinian organizations, notably Hamas, Hezbollah, and Fatah, enabled by numerous likeminded organizations and even some nation-states, are committed to the destruction of Israel. Efraim Karsh, provides this insightful explanation: 

No Ordinary Dispute

In other words, the ‘Question of Palestineis neither an ordinary territorial  dispute between two national movements nor a struggle  by an indigenous population against  a foreign occupier. It is a holy war by the worldwide Islamic umma to prevent the loss of a part of the House of Islam to the infidels. ’When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims.’  (Islamic Imperialism: a History, p.214) 

This is the reason the 1993 Oslo accords went nowhere, and Yasser Arafat refused to accept the Camp David offer in 2000 despite the fact that he had obtained nearly every one of the Palestinian demands. He did not sign because peace would have legitimized the existence of Israel, and that he refused to do. In his own words: “We shall never commit a crime against them [future generations], the crime of permitting the existence of a racialist state in the heart  of the Arab world.” (II, p.180) 

The Palestinian position could not be more bluntly explained than in these words, repeated endlessly in all kinds of documents, sermons, on the airwaves, and even in school text books aimed at the very young. For good measure, the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has spelled out this position so that no one can plead ignorance:  “We will wipe Israel off the map.” 

As long as this deep-seated hatred of Israel  prevails, it will make no difference how many road maps to peace are concocted; every one will reach a dead end. There may well be times of relative peace, but they will be no more than temporary cease-fires, invariably used by Israel’s enemies to bolster their own offensive capabilities. 

If it is true that one side in this conflict refuses to accept its opponent’s right to exists,  why is it that so many still insists that negotiations should continue? I have no easy answer, but a few things may be suggested, all of which spell trouble for Israel. 

In the first place, there is a widespread naiveté about the true nature of radical Islam with its 1400 year history. Many do not understand the depth of religious fanaticism that divides humankind into a world of war and one of peace. They refuse to take seriously the declaration  of war against the infidels, nor do they want to recognize the true meaning of  the terrorist strikes against the West, or the ongoing violence perpetrated in the name of Islam in may parts of the world. 

These “deniers” do not want to face the fact those who have declared war on the free West mean what they say when they pledge to destroy the Great and the Little Satan. Instead of clear language in the western media and public documents, the order has gone out from media editors and government authorities that never must terrorism be connected with Islam.

Anti-Semitism is Alive

In the second place, whereas Islamic radicalism is a taboo topic, Israel and the Jewish people are subjected to harsh and unrelenting criticism. Anti-Semitism  has again raised  its ugly head. Incidents of attacks on Jews, their schools and synagogues in the free West have increased in number and severity. 

Many Jewish students at North American universities have been threatened and deprived of their right to free speech. Think of the recent anti-Israel “Apartheid Week” campaigns at Canadian and American universities.  

Khaled Abu Toameh, a Palestinian journalist who works for the Jerusalem Post, recently visited several university campuses in the U.S. He was not prepared for what he discovered there: that there is widespread sympathy for Hamas coupled to hatred for Israel.

Listening to professors and students, he thought he was in the company of Hamas spokesmen or would-be suicide bombers. He said that even at campuses in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip he had never encountered the hatred and abuse shouted at him in the U.S.

Toameh wrote that there is less interest at U.S campuses in supporting the Palestinians than there is in spreading hatred against Israel. He said that much has been written about the spread of hatred against Israel  through the Palestinian school text books,  but the anti-Israel  campaign on U.S campuses is just as dangerous. What is happening on these campuses is not the promotion of  free speech  but the freedom to disseminate  hatred and violence. 

Toameh concluded: “As such, we should not be surprised if the next generation of jihadists comes not from the Gaza Strip or the mountains and mosques of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but from university campuses across the U.S.” (“On Campus: The Pro-Palistinians’ Real Agenda,” www.hudsonny.org, March 24, 2009) 

The UN Charade

The UN, in clear violation of is own founding document and led by a coalition of the Arab states, has consistently carried on a campaign of denouncing Israel as the worst human rights violator. This despite the fact that Israel is the only law-based, democratic state where some one million Arabs enjoy all the rights of citizenship, including the right to elect their own members in the Israeli parliament ( Knesset). 

In 1975, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that equated Zionism with racism. Daniel Moynihan then U.S. Ambassador to the UN, called it “a reckless and obscene act.” This resolution was rescinded in 1991, but nothing in the tone and substance of the UN changed. 

Since 1961, Israel has been barred from the Asia regional group, though in 2000 it received limited membership in the Western European  and Others group. Such membership is essential for full participation in all UN agencies. 

Israel is barred from membership in the currently named U.N. Human Rights Council, whereas such paragons of freedom as Cuba, Liberia, China,  Iran, North Korea, Saudi-Arabia, are members in good standing.  This Council has adopted more resolutions and decisions condemning Israel than all the other 191 member states combined. 

It appointed a Special Rapporteur, John Dugard, for investigating the human rights violations committed by Israel, deliberately excluding those committed by Palestinians.

Dugard has compared Israeli policies with South African Apartheid. His recently appointed successor is Richard Falk who has likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews.

Until now, the U.S. has refused to join the newly named (2006) Human Rights Council in protest against its shameful bias against Israel while ignoring the states that are guilty of horrendous human rights violations. But a few days ago, President Obama announced that the U.S. will seek a seat on the Council, thereby legitimizing an agency that ought to be condemned in no uncertain terms. 

Regrettably, the anti-Israel forces get a great deal of help from the mainstream western media and academic world. The leaders of radical Islam and especially the Palestinians are masters at playing the western media and intelligentsia. So much so that when Israel in self-defence builds a protective wall, sets up check points, or takes military action, it. invariably is accused of killing the innocents and using disproportionate force. All the while Hamas and Hezbollah hide behind civilians from which to send their rockets and suicide bombers to terrify the Israeli population. 

A Few Questions

What should Israel Do? What should we do? We, that is, people of goodwill, who pray for the peace of Jerusalem and who wish nothing more fervently than that Israelis and Palestinians would live in freedom and peace alongside and with each other. 

Once before, nearly a century ago, the West misjudged the character of a hate-filled and murderous enemy of the Jews. Had they understood the truth, they could have prevented the destruction of Europe and the slaughter of six million Jews. 

Are we facing a repeat of that cataclysmic human disaster?  Can you blame the Jews for being very afraid? 

 One thing is absolutely certain. The Nazi monster was built on the Big Lie. Similarly, today’s hatred against the Jews and the Israeli state is based on the Big Lie.

Unless we begin to see through that lie – and the ongoing attempts to construct the road map to peace is built on a lie – we will not make any progress in preventing a recurrence of the Holocaust. 

May God have mercy on us all.

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