Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Haaretz finds some Moral Equivalence
Ah Haaretz, the Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew, the home of
Gideon Levy and Amira Hass who never met an Israeli deserving of being
defended from terrorists, the newspaper whose idea of pluralism is running
one non-leftist item for each 100 leftist ones, the "newspaper" that lets
its anti-Zionist ideology infiltrate the news, the medium that makes
Pravda under Brezhnev look truly diverse. (Levy is so openly anti-Semitic
that he just won the "European-Mediterranean Prize for Cultural Dialogue."
My guess is that Ernst Zundel will get it next year.) Haaretz' editor
David Landau recently urged the United States to "rape Israel" (his words)
into capitulating to Arab demands, in effect calling on the US to
extinguish Israeli sovereignty. Interestingly, Haaretz is also
fanatically anti-American, and loves to reprint articles by American
leftist journalists and by Eurotrash about how evil America is.
Take today's paper. Please
The banner headline concerns the assassination yesterday of Husam a-Zahar,
the 22 year old terrorist son of a senior Hamas terrorhoid, one Mahmoud
a-Zahar. A second offspring of the senior terrorhoid had been recycled by
Israel back in 2003. Other Palestinian terrorists were also killed in
Gaza yesterday in a day of uncharacteristically active military activity
by Israel, responding to the sniping murder of an Ecuador volunteer worker
on a kibbutz near Gaza inside Israel's pre-1967 border line and to the
daily barrages of Qassam rockets on Sderot. Haaretz wants Qassam rockets
fired out of the West Bank at Netanya and Tel Aviv and that is why it
wants Israel to withdraw to its 1967 Green Line borders and then let in a
million "Palestinian refugees," so Israel will be transformed into the
third Arab state in historic Palestine.
Haaretz' Hebrew banner headline today is "Because of the killing of
A-Zahar no deal for the Release of Gilad Shalit will be Imminent."
Got that? Gilad Shalit is the Israeli soldier kidnapped by the savages in
Gaza a year and a half back. There has not been the slightest progress in
getting him released nor the slightest hint from the Hamas that he is even
still alive. But Haaretz spins the killing yesterday of the son of the
terrorist chief as a folly by Israel, where Israel itself is now to blame
for the failure to get Shalit released! You know, the Hamas was just
about to release him. In fact, every time Israel undertakes any military
action, the Arabs were just about to make peace with Israel but Israel
spoiled things, or so Haaretz would have you believe.
To drive the point home, just under the headline, Haaretz runs two photos
side by side of crying children: one is a kid in Sderot in shock from the
Qassam rockets landing near her, and the other is a Gaza Arab kid upset by
the noise of the explosions that recycled a-Zahar. In Haaretz eyes the
two are moral equivalents. When Israel kills Hamas terror leaders to put
a stop to the countless rockets being fired at Sderot civilians, this is
the moral equivalent of firing at those civilians in the first place.
After all, both actions make loud noises and scare kids.
Another headline is that 11 Jews families have moved into an "Arab
neighborhood" in Jerusalem, Haaretz reports, a place where they obviously
do not belong and have no right to be. Haaretz thinks half of Jerusalem
should be exclusive "Arab neighborhoods."
If a gated community in the US were to adopt a policy to deny residence
entry to illegal Mexican migrants Haaretz would be running lurid headlines
denouncing them for racism. Haaretz also runs weekly articles attacking
kibbutzim and small closed Jewish communities in the Galilee whose
membership committees do not admit Arabs as members for any reason. When
the Druse in Peki'in in the Galilee launched a pogrom against the handful
of Jewish families living there to drive them out, Haaretz "understood"
their grievances. Jews have lived in Peki'in without interruption since
2. Israeli Self-Abasement
By Kenneth Levin
Arab Belligerence, Israeli Self-Abasement
By:Kenneth Levin Wednesday, January 9, 2008
"... Hand in hand, arm in arm, we will protect your land, Palestine...
"The land is Arab in history and identity
"Palestine is Arab in history and identity...
"From Jerusalem and Acre, from Haifa and Jericho and Gaza and Ramallah
"From Bethlehem and Jaffa, from Beersheva and Ramla,
"From Nablus to the Galilee, from Tiberias to Hebron."
These lines, translated by Palestinian Media Watch, are some lyrics of a
song played many times daily on Fatah-TV, the television outlet of
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.s party, beginning about six
weeks before the Annapolis conference in late November.
The song, in declaring Israeli cities, and by implication all of Israel,
to be properly "Arab" and "Palestinian," repeats the message drummed out
incessantly by Palestinian Authority media, mosques and schools, whether
under the presidency of Yasir Arafat or Abbas.
That message asserts Jews have no historical connection with the land of
Israel, are merely alien usurpers, that their state and their presence in
the land is a crime, and that it is the duty of every Palestinian to kill
or expel the intruders and destroy their state.
For almost an entire generation of Palestinians, exposure to media,
mosques and schools has meant indoctrination in these claims.
Surely, an Israeli leader meeting with Palestinian counterparts has no
higher responsibility than to challenge them publicly on their sponsorship
of hate-education and incitement. It is the Israeli government.s duty to
unmask the murderous hypocrisy of Palestinian leaders talking "two-state
solution" and "mutual recognition" in speeches to Western audiences while
militating for a single, Arab, state in all the land when talking in
Arabic, through their organs of indoctrination, to their own people.
One would expect an Israeli leader to recognize the obvious: that only by
bringing the pressure of public exposure to bear on Palestinian promotion
of hatred and mass murder can there be any possibility of curbing the
Only if Palestinian leaders are prepared to encourage reconciliation
rather than a war of extermination in their messages to their people can
there be any hope of movement toward genuine peace.
And yet Israeli leaders are virtually silent. In his speech at Annapolis,
Prime Minister Olmert demanded "an end to the terror, incitement and
hatred." But he named no party as responsible for incitement, referred to
President Abbas only as "my friend" and said nothing of indoctrination by
Abbas.s own party organs, indoctrination that is hardly a sign of
"friendship" but serves rather to assure a future of more war, not peace.
Not once did Olmert say what must be said, something of the order of:
"President Abbas, we would like nothing more than to be able to negotiate
with you a settlement that assures peace and prosperity for both our
peoples as they go their separate political ways. But that goal will
remain beyond reach as long as you continue to urge on your people to
pursue our annihilation."
Similarly, much was made by Israeli officials of the attendance at
Annapolis of Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, as though this were an
indication of Saudi movement toward recognition of Israel.s legitimacy. In
his speech in Maryland, Olmert said of the Saudis only, "I value [the 2002
Saudi] initiative, acknowledge its importance and highly appreciate its
But Saudi government media are likewise filled with demonization of Jews
in the crudest terms, with children praised for parroting anti-Jewish
aspersions and Saudi audiences taught the necessity of expunging Israel.
Why did not one Israeli leader at Annapolis state the obvious to those
Saudis present: that, again, there cannot be peace when you are
indoctrinating your people, including your children, to believe that Jews
are evil, an infestation that must be eradicated?
Why did Foreign Minister Livni choose to criticize the Arab potentates at
Annapolis primarily for their refusal to shake her hand? Why did she
choose to address the personal insult, and its indirect slap at Israel,
but did not see fit to challenge them on the more profound and dangerous
insult of those leaders inciting their publics to rejection and murderous
hatred of Jews?
Likewise, Egypt was once more cast by Israel.s representatives as a model
peace partner. Olmert declared, "The peace signed between Israel and
Egypt... is a solid foundation of stability and hope in our region. This
peace is an example and a model of the relations which we can build with
Yet since the signing of the Camp David peace accords between Israel and
Egypt nearly three decades ago, the government in Cairo has increased the
anti-Israel and indeed anti-Semitic message of its official media. For
example, earlier this year Israel.s peace partner broadcast on
government-controlled television an interview with a "scholar" who
affirmed that Jews do indeed use the blood of gentile children in the
preparation of Passover matzah.
Some months prior to the broadcast, an article written by the chief Mufti
of Egypt and published in Egypt.s major government newspaper, Al-Ahram,
made the same assertion. Is it not obvious that Israeli leaders have both
a moral and pragmatic obligation not to let such vile demonization of Jews
pass when they meet with Egyptian officials?
The pattern of Israeli leaders skirting this essential issue, or alluding
to it only in broad generalities while holding no one responsible for
anti-Israel and anti-Jewish indoctrination, was repeated by Foreign
Minister Livni in her speech at December.s Paris Donors Conference
organized to raise funds for the Palestinians.
On the same day as the Paris conference and the following day, the IDF
struck at terrorist groups in Gaza involved in rocket and mortar attacks
into Israel. Abbas, through his spokesman, condemned the Israeli strikes,
which reportedly killed eleven terrorists, as a "terrible crime." Terms he
has used to characterize similar actions by Israel over the past two years
include "heinous massacre," "crime against humanity," and "barbarous
While criticizing Hamas and other Gaza groups, particularly to Western
audiences, for their incessant bombardment of Israel, his message to his
own people is largely vilification of Israeli responses against those
perpetrating the cross-border terror and virtual silence about the
Why has not the Israeli prime minister or foreign minister publicly
confronted Abbas and told him it is hard to take seriously his
condemnations of anti-Israel terror and commitment to end it, or his
insistence that he desires genuine peace, when he is telling his fellow
Palestinians essentially that those targeted by Israel for their
cross-border attacks are innocent victims of Israeli aggression?
Does Israel.s becoming a normal state mean today.s Israeli leaders simply
accepting their people.s defamation and denigration, letting the
inflammatory rhetoric pass in silence, out of gratitude for Arab leaders
deigning to sit in the same room with them? Does it mean emulating the
behavior of Jewish leaders when Jews were at best tolerated inferiors in
Europe and the Arab world?
Beyond the demonization, the anti-Jewish indoctrination, the words, are
the deeds. In the days leading up to Annapolis, members of Abbas.s police
plotted to kill Prime Minister Olmert and succeeded in murdering an
Israeli in a drive-by shooting. Egyptian forces continued to allow Hamas
to smuggle arms and explosives into Gaza and to send its members for
terrorist training in Iran and return to ply their new-learned skills
against the Jewish state. And the Saudis continued to both finance
Islamist forces targeting Israel and boycott the Jewish state, even though
they pledged to end the boycott as a condition for their being admitted in
2005 to the World Trade Organization. But nothing of this passed the lips
of Israel.s leaders at Annapolis.
To the contrary, Olmert.s administration reportedly withheld from the
media, until after the Maryland meeting, the news that the drive-by
killing a few days earlier was the work of PA police. Israel.s leaders
were apparently concerned that revealing the truth about the murderers
would spoil the atmosphere in Annapolis.
In a similar vein, according to recent news accounts, the Olmert
government has refused, despite the urging of the IDF, to share with key
members of Congress videotapes of Egyptian forces helping Hamas terrorists
cross into Gaza and smuggle arms and explosives across the Sinai-Gaza
border. Israeli leaders are said to be worried about offending Egypt. They
have embraced this stance even though such Egyptian collusion with Hamas
is a violation of numerous agreements between Egypt and Israel and greatly
increases the threats to Israel.
In late December, Foreign Minister Livni, who had come under sharp
criticism for Israel.s withholding the tapes from Congress, finally made a
public statement criticizing Egyptian failure to stop Hamas smuggling as
"dismal and problematic." But Livni did not point out that Egypt.s
behavior is a contravention of its Camp David treaty obligations to Israel
as well as of specific agreements that accompanied Israel.s permitting
additional Egyptian forces along the Gaza border for policing duties.
Nor did she note that the Egyptian violations represent a grave danger to
Israel. Rather, she explained the problem with Egypt.s behavior as its
"detract[ing] from the ability of the pragmatic forces in the Gaza Strip
and Judea and Samaria [her ludicrous characterization of Mahmoud Abbas and
his Fatah party] to control the territory."
When Egyptian officials subsequently slammed Livni for not knowing what
she was talking about, and even accused Israel of fabricating the tapes
showing Egyptian forces aiding Hamas smuggling, the Israeli response was,
once more, virtual silence.
Such behavior by Israeli leaders, particularly silence in the face of Arab
defamation and incitement, is nothing new. Illustrative are the responses
of Defense Minister Ehud Barak to various events during his premiership.
In the Austrian elections of October 1999, Joerg Haider.s far right
Freedom Party did unexpectedly well, and Barak expressed concern and
called for a struggle against fascism and neo-Nazism. Four months later,
when Austria.s president agreed to the formation of a coalition government
that would include Haider.s party, Israel recalled its ambassador from
During these same months, Syria.s state-controlled media ran several
stories with anti-Semitic themes. One such, in late November, regurgitated
the blood libel, the claim that Jews use the blood of gentiles for their
religious rituals, which was also the theme of a popular book by Syria.s
defense minister, Mustafa Tlas (The Matzah of Zion, 1984). Two months
later, in late January, 2000, an editorial in Syria.s leading newspaper,
Tishreen, a mouthpiece for the Assad regime, focused on denial of the
Holocaust while insisting that Israeli policies are worse than those of
By any measure, Arab anti-Semitism is a much greater threat to Israel, and
to Jews generally, than the Freedom Party in Austria. Yet Barak remained
silent on the Syrian libels. His most notable comments regarding the
Syrian government during this period was his characterization of Syrian
strongman Hafez al-Assad as "a courageous leader."
Israeli writer Yossi Klein Halevi, contrasting Barak.s responses to events
in Austria and in Syria, observed: "[Barak] is afraid of reminding the
Israeli public about the nature of the regime to which he proposes
yielding the strategic Golan Heights in exchange for a peace likely to be
as trustworthy as Tishreen.s sense of history."
Obviously, many Israeli leaders delude themselves into believing that the
defamation, the incitement, the hate-indoctrination are not really all
that important. They prefer to believe that Israel can negotiate
agreements and that peace can ensue despite Arab governments teaching
their people that their faith and their honor oblige them to pursue defeat
of the Jews and the annihilation of their state.
These Israeli leaders choose to construe the proper path, in the interest
of pursuing peace, to be gratitude for any sign of recognition from the
Arab side, and avoidance of broaching unpleasant facts when speaking with
Arab interlocutors, especially in public, even as those interlocutors
almost invariably slander Israel on such occasions.
How absurd, and dangerous, that there are Israeli leaders who choose to
believe, despite everything the other side says, and does, and inculcates
in its young, that sufficient Israeli concessions will turn reality on its
head and win "peace."
How absurd, and self-destructive, that they refuse to acknowledge the
truth that presently, and for the foreseeable future, the Palestinians and
most of the Arab world are not prepared to recognize Israel.s legitimacy
and give it genuine peace, whatever Israel.s concessions. Indeed, the Arab
world does not recognize the rights of any minorities within its midst,
whether religious or ethnic.
Genocidal campaigns that have taken the lives of two million Christian and
animist blacks in the southern Sudan and tens of thousands of Muslim
blacks in Darfur and some two hundred thousand Kurds . a Muslim but
non-Arab people . in Iraq, have all proceeded with broad support from Arab
regimes and their populations. So, too, has the suppression of the
language and culture of Berbers in Algeria and Kurds in Syria.
The Arab world is not about to make an exception for, of all people, the
Jews, recognizing their right to a state in however small a part of that
vast territory . stretching from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf . that
Muslim Arabs consider exclusively theirs.
Israel cannot oblige the Arabs to give it peace. To be sure, this truth is
unpleasant. But it does not serve Israel.s interests to pretend the
reality is otherwise.
It does not advance the nation.s well being when its leaders genuflect to
the other side.s hypocritical expressions of interest in peace, averments
made mainly for the sake of Western consumption and indeed to increase
Western pressure on Israel.
Rather, it serves the state to have its leaders explicitly acknowledge,
and confront, Arab demonization, incitement, and hate-indoctrination .
that is, Arab dedication to the opposite of peace.
One might retort that insisting on recognition of unpleasant truths will
not serve to moderate Arab policies.
But only by doing so can Israel convey to the world the true challenges
posed by its enemies . challenges that preclude for the present any
possibility of genuine peace. Only by doing so can it cast the light of
public scrutiny on the steps necessary from the other side if there is to
be movement toward an end to the conflict. And only by doing so will
Israel be acting like a normal nation.
Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of "The Oslo
Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege" (Smith and Kraus, 2005), now
available in paperback.
3. Differentiating Between Blind Hate And Honest Criticism
By: Phyllis Chesler
4. Poland to prosecute historian for telling the truth:
5. And you thought you had heard the last of DePaul?
6. A REAL Peace Program: