Skip to comments.I am not Jewish but...The Israelis are fighting the same enemy we are
Posted on 03/19/2009 5:54:24 AM PDT by SJackson
Over the years, some of my wildest critics seem to have assumed I am Jewish. At the same time, some of my closest friends wish I were.
So let me set the record straight: I live in New York. I have a wife who craves Chinese food. And people I trust tell me I practically invented the word "chutzpah."
Ladies and gentleman, I am humbled by the honor you have given me - because this award speaks more to your good work than it does to mine.
The American Jewish Committee started in response to the persecution of Jews in czarist Russia. And your response took a very American form: an organization that would speak up for those who could not speak for themselves.
In the century since your founding, the American Jewish Committee has become one of the world's most influential organizations. Yet though your concerns begin with the safety and welfare of Jews, these concerns are anything but parochial. The reason for this is clear: You know that the best guarantee of the security of Jews anywhere is the freedom of people everywhere.
Your good work has helped bring real and lasting changes to our world. Unfortunately, while some threats have been defeated, new ones have taken their place. And these new threats remind us the AJC's work is more vital than ever.
In Europe, men and woman who bear the tattoos of concentration camps today look out on a continent where Jewish lives and Jewish property are under attack - and public debate is poisoned by an anti-Semitism we thought had been dispatched to history's dustbin.
In Iran, we see a regime that backs Hizbullah and Hamas now on course to acquire a nuclear weapon.
In India, we see Islamic terrorists single out the Mumbai Jewish Center in a well-planned and well-coordinated attack that looks like it could be a test run for similar attacks in similar cities around the world.
MOST FUNDAMENTALLY, we see a growing assault on both the legitimacy and security of the State of Israel.
This assault comes from people who make clear they have no intention of ever living side-by-side in peace with a Jewish state - no matter how many concessions Israel might make. The reason for this is also clear: These are men who cannot abide the idea of freedom, tolerance and democracy. They hate Israel for the same reasons they hate us.
As I speak, the flashpoint is Gaza. For months now, Hamas has been raining down rockets on Israeli civilians. Like all terrorist attacks, the aim is to spread fear within free societies, and to paralyze its leaders. This Israel cannot afford. I do not need to tell anyone in this room that no sovereign nation can sit by while its civilian population is attacked.
Hamas knows this better than we do. And Hamas understands something else as well: In the 21st century, when democratic states respond to terrorist attacks, they face two terrible handicaps.
THE FIRST HANDICAP is military. It's true that Israel's conventional superiority means it could flatten Gaza if it wanted. But the Israel Defense Forces - unlike Hamas - are accountable to a democratically chosen government.
No matter which party is in the majority, every Israeli government knows it will be held accountable by its people and by the world for the lives that are lost because of its decisions. That's true for lives of innocent Palestinians caught in the crossfire. And it's also true for the Israeli soldiers who may lose their lives defending their people.
In this kind of war, Hamas does not need to defeat Israel militarily to win a big victory. In fact, Hamas knows that in some ways, dead Palestinians serve its purposes even better than dead Israelis.
In the West we look at this and say, "It makes no sense." But it does make sense.
If you are committed to Israel's destruction, and if you believe that dead Palestinians help you score a propaganda victory, you do things like launch rockets from a Palestinian schoolyard. This ensures that when the Israelis do respond, it will likely lead to the death of an innocent Palestinian - no matter how many precautions Israeli soldiers take.
Hamas gets away with this, moreover, because it does not rule Gaza by the consent of those it claims to represent. It rules by fear and intimidation. It is accountable to no one but itself.
This is the chilling logic of Gaza. And it helps explain why even a strong military power like Israel can find itself at a disadvantage on the ground.
THE SECOND HANDICAP for Israel is the global media war. For Hamas, the images of Palestinian suffering - of people losing their homes, of parents mourning their dead children, of tanks rolling through the streets - create sympathy for its cause.
In a battle marked by street to street fighting, the death of innocents is all but inevitable. That is also true of Gaza. And these deaths have led some to call for Israel to be charged with war crimes by an international tribunal.
But I am curious: Why do we never hear calls for Hamas leaders to be charged with war crimes?
Why, for example, do we hear no calls for human rights investigations into Hamas gunmen using Palestinian children as human shields? Why so few stories on the reports of Hamas assassins going to hospitals to hunt down their fellow Palestinians? And where are the international human rights groups demanding that Hamas stop blurring the most fundamental line in warfare: the distinction between civilian and combatant?
I suspect the answer has to do with the same grim logic that leads Hamas to provoke a military battle it knows it cannot win. Whether Israel is ever found guilty of any war crime hardly matters. Hamas gets a propaganda win simply by having the charge made often and loudly enough.
In this, Israel finds itself in much the same position the United States found itself in Iraq before the surge. There, al-Qaida realized that it was in its interests to provoke sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni - no matter what the cost to innocent Iraqis. That is the nature of terror. And what we are seeing in Gaza is just one front in this much larger war.
IN THE WEST, we are used to thinking that Israel cannot survive without the help of Europe and the United States. Tonight I say to you: Maybe we should start wondering whether we in Europe and the United States can survive if we allow the terrorists to succeed in Israel.
In this new century, the "West" is no longer a matter of geography. The West is defined by societies committed to freedom and democracy. That at least is how the terrorists see it. And if we are serious about meeting this challenge, we would expand the only military alliance committed to the defense of the West to include those on the front lines of this war. That means bringing countries such as Israel into NATO.
My friends, I do not pretend to have all the answers to Gaza this evening. But I do know this: The free world makes a terrible mistake if we deceive ourselves into thinking this is not our fight.
In the end, the Israeli people are fighting the same enemy we are: cold-blooded killers who reject peace, who reject freedom and who rule by the suicide vest, the car bomb and the human shield.
Against such an enemy, I will not second-guess the decisions of a free Israel defending her citizens. And I would ask all those who support peace and freedom to do the same.
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I’ll second that.
Rupert Murdoch Nailed It!
Moral Clarity BUMP !
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Four square stuff.
The free world makes a terrible mistake if we deceive ourselves into thinking this is not our fight.
Then why did Murdoch allow the Saudi prince Ta leel to buy up 10% of NewsCorp?
But nice from him anyway
The Saudi’s money is green, but it’s an interesting disconnect.
The Saudi’s money is green, but it’s an interesting disconnect.
Answer is Murdoch caters to many groups and Muslims are one of them. Perhaps to get his news operation into the Arab world. Murdoch may like the Jews more but will cater to others too......
He has shareholders (I think) to answer to
Murdoch is like Donald Trump...always promoting his business
On Saturday they want to kill the Jews, but don’t forget, on Sunday they want to kill the Christians. Of course, at this point, it’s still mostly Friday, which is why they are mostly killing Muslims.
“That’s true for lives of innocent Palestinians caught in the crossfire” - regarding Israeli concern for “innocent Palestinians”.
Hello! ! ! Those are Palisimians, not Palistinians.
When Israel is deluged with Palistinians calling in the locations and activities of the Hamasimians, one could then possibly make a case for “innocent” people trapped by Hamas.
Very little such data is arriving. How do I know this? Because - if such data were arriving from Gaza, the Israeli’s would have killed off the Palisimians.
GPS guided munitions make possible very accurate direct reduction of the Palisimian population.
But, one must have the location of the Palisimian if the GPS guided munition is to actualize its full potential.
And when Murdoch retires Sean Hannity will be out, too. Media Matters has always wanted to get rid of him :(
Gosh, folks, making predictions is so cheap! If Rupert Murdoch wasn’t Australian, but an American. He’d be the man called upon to run successfully for the presidency of the United States.
What’s missing? Both parties seem mired in “insider trading” ... where we don’t really get much talent coming forward.
Rupert Murdoch’s article, today, was a breath of fresh air.
And, while many have already made up their minds about Obama; I haven’t. I see the potential in looking “weak” ... on to show at some point ahead something as dramatic as Murdoch’s position. (Heck, Nixon used to say it was good to take ideas and “just fly them up the flagpole, to see if people salute.”) Today? It’s Jay Leno. (But Lincoln didn’t have it easy, either. And, in the end? He’s the best president we ever got.)
Thanks for posting this great article on Digg, Star!
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The AJC is not an organization I want to support:
A response to David Harris [Executive Director of AJC]
Posted by Caroline Glick, Melanie Phillips and Anne Bayefsky
It stands to reason that that David Harris would be sensitive to criticism of the AJC’s participation in planning “Durban II.” After all, by taking part in the Durban II planning process on a US government delegation, AJC contemptuously ignored repeated calls from Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Minister Isaac Herzog for the United States government to stay away and announce it will not participate, period. Israel’s priority, and the priority of much of the American Jewish community was to delegitimize the hate-fest, not place an AJC representative on its planning committee.
The fact of the matter is that the only reason the US made a tactical retreat from the process was the pressure created by criticisms such as ours, along with protests made by Israel, Canada, and other American Jewish organizations and leaders.
For more than a year, the AJC has conducted an extensive lobbying campaign of the American government and of foreign governments to stay in Durban II.
On December 11, 2008 Harris told The Jerusalem Post: “We can’t afford to declare Durban II lost without more focus on diplomacy.” On January 12, 2009 the AJC’s human rights arm, the Blaustein Institute, wrote to Secretary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice: “The Durban Review Conference provides an opportunity to review states’ progress in the implementation of their commitments to combat racism made in 2001... While some organizations are calling for a US boycott, we believe that is the wrong decision at this time.” As recently as February 22, 2009 Harris told the Post: “Our position on Durban II is clear. We have publicly praised France and the Netherlands, among other countries, for insisting on clear red lines and threatening to withdraw if they are breached.”
If they are breached? The AJC’s own UN monitoring body, UN Watch, reported the breach had occurred on October 28, 2008, in a report aptly called “Shattering the Red Lines: The Durban II Draft Declaration.” Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations told the Post on December 11, 2008: “We clearly see that all the red lines that have been enumerated by the Europeans have been violated.”
Under the guise of ever-shifting red lines (that in any incarnation Israel and the rest of the Jewish world understood were crossed long ago), AJC has caused great damage to Israel’s diplomatic standing.
Contrary to much misinformation, the fact of the matter is that the Obama administration has not made a final decision about whether it will attend Durban II. Its recent departure from the planning sessions in Geneva left the door open for cosmetic changes to the text of the conference declaration that, if made, would allow its negotiators to claim a spurious victory.
The key point which Harris chooses to ignore is that the agreed objective of Durban II is to reaffirm and implement the 2001 Durban Declaration. That document singles out Israel for censure and says that Palestinians are victims of Israeli racism. Consequently any attempted sanitizing of the latest text will be worthless, since by definition the new Declaration will re-affirm the 2001 singling out and demonization of Israel.
Then too, Harris’s claim that the US’s tactical withdrawal from the planning sessions will make other nations more likely to walk away from Durban II is both incorrect and misleading. The ambiguity of the US’s current position has held back the Australians and the British from withdrawing since they do not want to be double-crossed by an Obama administration that eventually attends. Absent a clear American stand, the French and the Germans are putting enormous pressure on Italy and the Netherlands not to break ranks with the rest of the EU - which have no intention of leaving. Initial suggestions by both countries that they would not go are now in doubt.
Worse still, as a quid pro quo for its tactical retreat from Durban II, the US is on the verge of announcing that it will run for a seat (election is a foregone conclusion) on the UN Human Rights Council - a move strongly advocated by none other than the AJC’s human rights institute. In the words of an AJC press release January 29, 2007: “The human rights arm of the American Jewish Committee is urging the United States to seek membership on the UN Human Rights Council.” The Council has adopted more resolutions and decisions condemning Israel than all other 191 UN member states combined. By joining the UN Human Rights Council, the Obama administration will be legitimizing a body dedicated to the delegitimization of Israel.
It is shameful that the AJC has chosen to join this cynical and sinister process, whose outcome can only be to weaken Israel and strengthen her enemies. And it is outrageous that the AJC has sought to defend its participation in the process by attacking those who point out the consequences of its actions.
No one knows whether the Obama administration or other Western governments will finally stand their ground against pro-Durban, anti-Jewish and anti-democratic forces. What is certain, however, is that if the Obama administration, European countries or Australia do decide to stay out and the West thus finally says no to the substance of Durban I, it will be through the efforts of all those who have tried to delegitimize the process rather than those whose actions have effectively helped an unconscionable exercise come to fruition.
This article is a response to “Durban Diplomacy, Durban Delirium” by AJC Executive Director David Harris
Caroline Glick Melanie Phillips Anne Bayefsky
Senior Contributing Editor British Journalist and Touro College and Editor of
The Jerusalem Post Author of Londonistan www.EYEontheUN.org