Skip to comments.Andrew Sullivan: Spreading the greater lie about Israel
Posted on 12/25/2001 4:08:58 PM PST by CrossCheck
A gaffe is perhaps best described as what happens when a politician accidentally tells the truth. Among professional practitioners of the political arts this doesnt occur too often. But every now and then the truth emerges. So God bless the French ambassador. All he was saying is what many also privately believe. That shitty little country, Israel, has become, among many European elites, the object of hate that dare not speak its name.
Im not talking merely about editorials that seem to deny the right of Jews to emigrate to Israel; or leaders that come close to blaming Israel itself for the mass murder of its own citizens by Hamas terrorists. It is simply routine at this point to see balanced news reports from the BBC and the broadsheet British press that morally equate the actions of Israeli self-defence with the deliberate murder of civilian Jews by Palestinian terrorists.
While Britain and America are allowed to fight a war against terrorism, Israel is urged to practise self-restraint every time another terrorist massacres another group of civilians in a restaurant or disco. Supporting Israel as a matter of right versus wrong is almost unheard of in polite society.
In normal times, this is lamentable but not disastrous. The Jews know something about survival. They can and will defend themselves. But in abnormal times, when anti-semitism is spreading across the globe like a brushfire, it is deeply dangerous. Not since the 1930s has such blithe hatred of Jews gained this much acceptability in world opinion. Across the Arab world, in particular, the past decade or so has seen a shift from mere passive resentment of Jews to a paranoid anti-semitism. That European elites want to ignore it, or worse pander to it, suggests we have learnt nothing from history.
Am I exaggerating? I wish I were. The massacre of September 11 has merely exposed and accelerated this trend. In the aftermath, a Gallup poll of Pakistanis found 48% believing that the Jews actually flew the planes into the World Trade Center, after warning their compatriots to stay away. This unhinged lie was routinely reproduced in dozens of Middle Eastern newspapers and remains the biggest single obstacle to getting Arabs and Muslims to acknowledge Osama Bin Ladens guilt.
Al-Ahram, Egypts biggest newspaper and the official mouthpiece of the government, controlled by President Hosni Mubarak, recently published a particular gem as a compilation of the investigative work of four reporters on Jewish control of the world. It stated that: Jews have become the political decision-makers and control the media in most capitals of the world (Washington, Paris, London, Berlin, Athens, Ankara). It claimed: The main apparatus for the Jews to control the world is the international Jewish lobby, which works for Israel.
Or take the official moderates. Consider the view of the former imam of New Yorks Islamic Cultural Center, a man described until a short time ago as a western-leaning mullah sent to New York to spread inter-faith understanding. After September 11, he disappeared and then popped up in the Middle East with the following statement: You see these people (the Jews) all the time everywhere, disseminating corruption, heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism and drugs. They do this to impose their hegemony and colonialism on the world. Now, they are riding on the back of the world powers.
Then theres the Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda: the Muslim-Jewish conflict resembles the conflict between man and Satan . . . this is the fate of the Muslim nation, and beyond that the fate of all the nations of the world, to be tormented by this nation (the Jews). Replace the word Muslim with German and you dont have an approximation of Hitler. You have Hitler.
Heres one fact, reported earlier this autumn by Agence France-Presse: Mein Kampf was recently as high as No 6 on the Palestinian bestseller list. Last week, Reuters ran a photograph that was barely picked up elsewhere. It was a picture of Hezbollah youth brigades gathered in a square and all performing the Nazi salute. If that picture had shown American children doing the same, dont you think it would have been splashed on every front page in the world? In fact, it is a function of condescending racism to the Arabs that we believe this kind of hate-filled pathology is somehow normal for them.
The left is particularly complicit in this evil. Many western liberals chided America for withdrawing from the Durban conference on racism last August. But that conference was the latest high-water mark for Jew-hating. The infamous, fabricated tract, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was widely distributed at the meeting. Questioners were shouted down with cries of Jew! Jew! Jew! The Palestinian Authority refuses to include the fact of the Holocaust in its own history books.
What about the following statement by one Ali Aqleh Ursan: The covetous, racist, and hated Jew Shylock, who cut the flesh from Antonios chest with the knife of hatred, invades you with his money, his modern airplanes, his missiles, and his nuclear bombs. Is Ursan some fringe extremist? No, hes the chairman of the Arab Writers Association.
There are, of course, completely legitimate criticisms of Israel and Israeli policy that have nothing to do with anti-semitism. The settlements policy of the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, is extremely hard to justify. There are Jewish extremists as well; and there is brutality in Israels conduct in the West Bank and Gaza that deserves rebuke.
But these valid arguments are light years away from the Jew- hating that has been fomented by Arab governments for years and tolerated by western elites for far too long. Such anti-semitism is the fundamental reason why no peace is possible in the Middle East, because it has so infected every possible Arab interlocutor that Israel simply has nobody to make peace with. In fact, unless western governments expose and condemn such anti-semitism no peace will ever be possible.
And the minute real pressure is put on the Palestinians by the West, we get results. Hamass temporary cessation of suicide bombings in Israel last week is directly related to the Bush administrations clear backing for Israel after the latest terrorist wave. Appeasement is not necessary for peace. In fact, it perpetuates war.
Do we remember anything? Sixty years ago such hatred of Jews unchallenged, appeased, excused, ignored led directly to Auschwitz. Its prevalence now in the Middle East should remove any doubt about the morality of Israels self-defence in these perilous times and shame anyone who trafficks in it. Yes, this means that Israels war against terrorism is the same as our war against terrorism. And, yes, it is good versus evil all over again.
How much more do we need to know about the nature of Israels enemies to know whose side we should truly be on?
I have searched long and hard to figure out how that rumor started, and this is what I have come up with:
Jerusalem Post: "Thousands of Israelis missing near WTC, Pentagon" 9/12/01. Article states: "The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem has so far received the names of 4,000 Israelis believed to have been in the areas of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon at the time of the attack."
New York Times: "Officials Say Number of Those Still Missing May Be Overstated" 9/22/01. Article states: "There were, in fact, only three Israelis who had been confirmed as dead: two on the planes and another who had been visiting the towers on business and who was identified and buried." To date, accordingly to the tally, there was 1 Israeli killed in the WTC disaster.
These news articles, along with the famous Odigo message (reported by Ha'aretz and other news media) received by 2 Israelis 2 hours before the attack, and which has not been explained as of this date, has combined, I believe, to contribute to this rumor referred to by Sullivan. And yes, it is circulating vigorously in the Arab world.
You betcha. It's one powerful piece, beautifully written, and indictment of the subtle anti-semitism/anti-Israeli sentiment that seems to be sweeping the leftist salons in Europe and elsewhere.
December 19, 2001.
In mainstream political discourse, Israel's recent atrocities are described as 'retaliatory acts' - answering the last wave of terror attacks on Israeli civilians. But in fact, this 'retaliation' had been carefully prepared long before. Already in October 2000, at the outset of the Palestinian uprising, military circles were ready with detailed operative plans to topple Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. This was before the Palestinian terror attacks started. (The first attack on Israeli civilians was on November 3, 2000, in a market in Jerusalem). A document prepared by the security services, at the request of then PM Barak, stated on October 15, 2000 that "Arafat, the person, is a severe threat to the security of the state [of Israel] and the damage which will result from his disappearance is less than the damage caused by his existence". (Details of the document were published in Ma'ariv, July 6, 2001.) The operative plan, known as 'Fields of Thorns' had been prepared back in 1996, and was then updated during the Intifada. (Amir Oren, Ha'aretz, Nov. 23, 2001). The plan includes everything that Israel has been executing lately, and more.(1)
The political echelon for its part (Barak's circles), worked on preparing public opinion to the toppling of Arafat. On November 20, 2000, Nahman Shai, then public-affairs coordinator of the Barak Government, released in a meeting with the press, a 60 page document titled "Palestinian Authority non-compliance...A record of bad faith and misconduct", The document, informally referred to as the "White Book", was prepared by Barak's aid, Danny Yatom.(2) According to the "White Book", Arafat's present crime - "orchestrating the Intifada", is just the last in a long chain of proofs that he has never deserted the "option of violence and 'struggle'". "As early as Arafat's own speech on the White House lawn, on September 13, 1993, there were indications that for him, the D.O.P. [declaration of principles] did not necessarily signify an end to the conflict. He did not, at any point, relinquish his uniform, symbolic of his status as a revolutionary commander" (Section 2). This uniform, incidentally, is the only 'indication' that the report cites, of Arafat's hidden intentions, on that occasion.
A large section of the document is devoted to establishing Arafat's "ambivalence and compliance" regarding terror. "In March 1997 there was once again more than a hint of a 'Green Light' from Arafat to the Hamas, prior to the bombing in Tel Aviv... This is implicit in the statement made by a Hamas-affiliated member of Arafat's Cabinet, Imad Faluji, to an American paper (Miami Herald, April 5, 1997)." No further hints are provided regarding how this links Arafat to that bombing, but this is the "green light to terror" theme which the Military Intelligence (Ama"n) has been promoting since 1997, when its anti-Oslo line was consolidated. This theme was since repeated again and again by military circles, and eventually became the mantra of Israeli propaganda - Arafat is still a terrorist and is personally responsible for the acts of all groups, from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad to Hizbollah.
The 'Foreign Report' (Jane's information) of July 12, 2001 disclosed that the Israeli army (under Sharon's government) has updated its plans for an "all-out assault to smash the Palestinian authority, force out leader Yasser Arafat and kill or detain its army". The blueprint, titled "The Destruction of the Palestinian Authority and Disarmament of All Armed Forces", was presented to the Israeli government by chief of staff Shaul Mofaz, on July 8. The assault would be launched, at the government's discretion, after a big suicide bomb attack in Israel, causing widespread deaths and injuries, citing the bloodshed as justification.
Many in Israel suspect that the assassination of the Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Abu Hanoud, just when the Hamas was respecting for two months its agreement with Arafat not to attack inside Israel, was designed to create the appropriate 'bloodshed justification', at the eve of Sharon's visit to the US. (Alex Fishman - senior security correspondent of 'Yediot' - noted that "whoever decided upon the liquidation of Abu Hanoud knew in advance that would be the price. The subject was extensively discussed both by Israel's military echelon and its political one, before it was decided to carry out the liquidation" (Yediot Aharonot, Nov. 25, 2001)).
Israel's moves to destroy the PA, thus, cannot be viewed as a spontaneous 'act of retaliation'. It is a calculated plan, long in the making. The execution requires, first, weakening the resistance of the Palestinians, which Israel has been doing systematically since October 2000, through killing, bombarding of infrastructure, imprisoning people in their hometowns, and bringing them close to starvation. All this, while waiting for the international conditions to 'ripen' for the more 'advanced' steps of the plan.
Now the conditions seem to have 'ripened'. In the power-drunk political atmosphere in the US, anything goes. If at first it seemed that the US will try to keep the Arab world on its side by some tokens of persuasion, as it did during the Gulf war, it is now clear that they couldn't care less. US policy is no longer based on building coalitions or investing in persuasion, but on sheer force. The smashing 'victory' in Afghanistan has sent a clear message to the Third-World that nothing can stop the US from targeting any nation for annihilation. They seem to believe that the most sophisticated weapons of the twenty-first century, combined with total absence of any considerations of moral principles, international law, or public opinion, can sustain them as the sole rulers of the world forever. From now on, fear should be the sufficient condition for obedience.
The US hawks, who push to expand the war to Iraq and further, view Israel as an asset - There are few regimes in the world like Israel, so eager to risk the life of their citizens for some new regional war. As Prof. Alain Joxe, head of the French CIRPES (peace and strategic studies) has put it in Le Monde, "the American leadership is presently shaped by dangerous right wing Southern extremists, who seek to use Israel as an offensive tool to destabilize the whole Middle East area" (December 17, 2001). The same hawks are also talking about expanding the future war zone to targets on Israel's agenda, like Hizbollah and Syria.
Under these circumstances, Sharon got his green light in Washington. As the Israeli media keeps raving, "Bush is fed up with this character [Arafat]", "Powell said that Arafat must stop with his lies" (Barnea and Schiffer, 'Yediot', December 7, 2001). As Arafat hides in his Bunker, Israeli F-16 bombers plough the sky, and Israel's brutality is generating, every day, new desperate human bombs, the US, accompanied for a while by the European union, keep urging Arafat to "act".
* * *
But what is the rationale behind Israel's systematic drive to eliminate the Palestinian Authority and undo the Oslo arrangements? It certainly cannot be based on 'disappointment' with Arafat's performance, as is commonly claimed. The fact of the matter is that from the perspective of Israel's interests in maintaining the occupation, Arafat did fulfill Israel's expectations all these last years.
As far as Israeli security goes, there is nothing further from the truth then the fake accusations in the "White Book", or subsequent Israeli propaganda. To take just one example, in 1997 - the year mentioned in the "White Book" as an instance of Arafat's "green light to terror" - a 'security agreement' was signed between Israel and the Palestinian authority, under the auspices of the head of the Tel Aviv station of the CIA, Stan Muskovitz. The agreement commits the PA to take active care of the security of Israel - to fight "the terrorists, the terrorist base, and the environmental conditions leading to support of terror" in cooperation with Israel, including "mutual exchange of information, ideas, and military cooperation" (clause 1). [Translated from the Hebrew text, Ha'aretz December 12, 1997]. Arafat's security services carried out this job faithfully, with assassinations of Hamas terrorists (disguised as 'accidents'), and arrests of Hamas political leaders.(3)
Ample information was published in the Israeli media regarding these activities, and 'security sources' were full of praises for Arafat's achievements. E.g. Ami Ayalon, then head of the Israeli secret service (Shab"ak), announced, in the government meeting on April 5, 1998 that "Arafat is doing his job - he is fighting terror and puts all his weight against the Hamas" (Ha'aretz, April 6, 1998). The rate of success of the Israeli security services in containing terror was never higher than that of Arafat; in fact, much lower.
In left and critical circles, one can hardly find compassion for Arafat's personal fate (as opposed to the tragedy of the Palestinian people). As David Hirst writes in The Guardian, when Arafat returned to the occupied territories, in 1994, "he came as collaborator as much as liberator. For the Israelis, security - theirs, not the Palestinians' - was the be-all and end-all of Oslo. His job was to supply it on their behalf. But he could only sustain the collaborator's role if he won the political quid pro quo which, through a series of 'interim agreements' leading to 'final status', was supposedly to come his way. He never could. . .[Along the road], he acquiesced in accumulating concessions that only widened the gulf between what he was actually achieving and what he assured his people he would achieve, by this method, in the end. He was Mr. Palestine still, with a charisma and historical legitimacy all his own. But he was proving to be grievously wanting in that other great and complementary task, building his state-in-the-making. Economic misery, corruption, abuse of human rights, the creation of a vast apparatus of repression - all these flowed, wholly or in part, from the Authority over which he presided." (Hirst, "Arafat's last stand?" (The Guardian, December 14, 2001).
But from the perspective of the Israeli occupation, all this means that the Oslo plan was, essentially, successful. Arafat did manage, through harsh means of oppression, to contain the frustration of his people, and guarantee the safety of the settlers, as Israel continued undisturbed to build new settlements and appropriate more Palestinian land. The oppressive machinery, - the various security forces of Arafat, were formed and trained in collaboration with Israel. Much energy and resources were put into building this complex Oslo apparatus. It is often admitted that the Israeli security forces cannot manage to prevent terror any better than Arafat can. Why, then, was the military and political echelon so determined to destroy all this already in October 2000, even before the terror waves started? Answering this requires some look at the history.
* * *
Right from the start of the 'Oslo process', in September 1993, two conceptions were competing in the Israeli political and military system. The one, led by Yosi Beilin, was striving to implement some version of the Alon plan, which the Labor party has been advocating for years. The original plan consisted of annexation of about 35% of the territories to Israel, and either Jordanian-rule, or some form of self-rule for the rest - the land on which the Palestinians actually live. In the eyes of its proponents, this plan represented a necessary compromise, compared to the alternatives of either giving up the territories altogether, or eternal blood-shed (as we witness today). It appeared that Rabin was willing to follow this line, at least at the start, and that in return for Arafat's commitment to control the frustration of his people and guarantee the security of Israel, he would allow the PA to run the enclaves in which the Palestinians still reside, in some form of self-rule, which may even be called a Palestinian 'state'.
But the other pole objected even to that much. This was mostly visible in military circles, whose most vocal spokesman in the early years of Oslo was then Chief of Staff, Ehud Barak. Another center of opposition was, of course, Sharon and the extreme right-wing, who were against the Oslo process from the start. This affinity between the military circles and Sharon is hardly surprising. Sharon - the last of the leaders of the '1948 generation', was a legendary figure in the army, and many of the generals were his disciples, like Barak. As Amir Oren wrote, "Barak's deep and abiding admiration for Ariel Sharon's military insights is another indication of his views; Barak and Sharon both belong to a line of political generals that started with Moshe Dayan" (Ha'aretz, January 8, 1999).
This breed of generals was raised on the myth of redemption of the land. A glimpse into this worldview is offered in Sharon's interview with Ari Shavit (Ha'aretz, weekend supplement, April 13, 2001). Everything is entangled into one romantic framework: the fields, the blossom of the orchards, the plough and the wars. The heart of this ideology is the sanctity of the land. In a 1976 interview, Moshe Dayan, who was the defense minister in 1967, explained what led, then, to the decision to attack Syria. In the collective Israeli consciousness of the period, Syria was conceived as a serious threat to the security of Israel, and a constant initiator of aggression towards the residents of northern Israel. But according to Dayan, this is "bull-shit" - Syria was not a threat to Israel before 67: "Just drop it. . .I know how at least 80% of all the incidents with Syria started. We were sending a tractor to the demilitarized zone and we knew that the Syrians would shoot." According to Dayan (who at a time of the interview confessed some regrets), what led Israel to provoke Syria this way was the greediness for the land - the idea that it is possible "to grab a piece of land and keep it, until the enemy will get tired and give it to us" (Yediot Aharonot, April 27 1997)
At the eve of Oslo, the majority of the Israeli society was tired of wars. In their eyes, the fights over land and resources were over. Most Israelis believe that the 1948 Independence War, with its horrible consequences for the Palestinians, was necessary to establish a state for the Jews, haunted by the memory of the Holocaust. But now that they have a state, they long to just live normally with whatever they have. However, the ideology of the redemption of land has never died out in the army, or in the circles of the 'political generals', who switched from the army to the government. In their eyes, Sharon's alternative of fighting the Palestinians to the bitter end and imposing new regional orders - as he tried in Lebanon in 1982 - may have failed because of the weakness of the spoiled Israeli society. But given the new war-philosophy established in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan, they believe that with the massive superiority of the Israeli air force, it may still be possible to win this battle in the future.
While Sharon's party was in the opposition at the time of Oslo, Barak, as Chief of Staff, participated in the negotiations and played a crucial role in shaping the agreements, and Israel's attitude to the Palestinian Authority.
I quote from an article I wrote in February 1994, because it reflects what anybody who read carefully the Israeli media could see at the time: "From the start, it has been possible to identify two conceptions that underlie the Oslo process. One is that this will enable to reduce the cost of the occupation, using a Palestinian patronage regime, with Arafat as the senior cop responsible for the security of Israel. The other is that the process should lead to the collapse of Arafat and the PLO. The humiliation of Arafat, and the amplification of his surrender, will gradually lead to loss of popular support. Consequently, the PLO will collapse, or enter power conflicts. Thus, the Palestinian society will loose its secular leadership and institutions. In the power driven mind of those eager to maintain the Israeli occupation, the collapse of the secular leadership is interpreted as an achievement, because it would take a long while for the Palestinian people to get organized again, and, in any case, it is easier to justify even the worst acts of oppression, when the enemy is a fanatic Muslim organization. Most likely, the conflict between the two competing conceptions is not settled yet, but at the moment, the second seems more dominant: In order to carry out the first, Arafat's status should have been strengthened, with at least some achievements that could generate support of the Palestinians, rather then Israel's policy of constant humiliation and breach of promises."(4)
Nevertheless, the scenario of the collapse of the PA did not materialize. The Palestinian society resorted once more to their marvelous strategy of 'zumud' - sticking to the land and sustaining the pressure. Right from the start, the Hamas political leadership, and others, were warning that Israel is trying to push the Palestinians into a civil war, in which the nation slaughters itself. All fragments of the society cooperated to prevent this danger, and calm conflicts as soon as they were deteriorating to arms. They also managed, despite the tyranny of Arafat's rule, to build an impressive amount of institutions and infrastructure. The PA does not consist only of the corrupt rulers and the various security forces. The elected Palestinian council, which operates under endless restrictions, is still a representative political framework, some basis for democratic institutions in the future. For those whose goal is the destruction of the Palestinian identity and the eventual redemption of their land, Oslo was a failure.
In 1999, the army got back to power, through the 'political generals' - first Barak, and then Sharon. (They collaborated in the last elections to guarantee that no other, civil, candidate will be allowed to run.) The road opened to correct what they view as the grave mistake of Oslo. In order to get there, it was first necessary to convince the spoiled Israeli society that the Palestinians are not willing to live in peace and are threatening our mere existence. Sharon alone could not have possibly achieved that, but Barak did succeed, with his 'generous offer' fraud. After a year of horrible terror attacks, combined with massive propaganda and lies, Sharon and the army feel that nothing can stop them from turning to full execution.
Why is it so urgent for them to topple Arafat? Shabtai Shavit, former head of the Security Service ('Mossad'), who is not bound by restraints posed on official sources, explains this openly: "In the thirty something years that he [Arafat] leads, he managed to reach real achievements in the political and international sphere... He got the Nobel peace prize, and in a single phone call, he can obtain a meeting with every leader in the world. There is nobody in the Palestinian gallery that can enter his shoes in this context of international status. If they [the Palestinians] will loose this gain, for us, this is a huge achievement. The Palestinian issue will get off the international agenda." (interview in Yediot's Weekend Supplement, December 7, 2001).
Their immediate goal is to get the Palestinians off the international agenda, so slaughter, starvation, forced evacuation and 'migration' can continue undisturbed, leading, possibly, to the final realization of Sharon's long standing vision, embodied in the military plans. The immediate goal of anybody concerned with the future of the world, ahould be to halt this process of evil unleashed. As Alain Joxe concluded his article in Le Monde, "It is time for the Western public opinion to take over and to compel the governments to take a moral and political stand facing the foreseen disaster, namely a situation of permanent war against the Arab and Muslim people and states - the realization of the double phantasy of Bin Laden and Sharon" (December 17, 2001).
(1) For the details of this operative plan, see Anthony Cordesman, "Peace and War: Israel versus the Palestinians A second Intifada?" Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) December 2000, and it summary in Shraga Eilam, "Peace With Violence or Transfer", 'Between The Lines', December 2000.
(2) The document can be found in: http://www.gamla.org.il/english/feature/intro.htm
(3) For a survey on some of the PA's assassinations of Hamas terrorists, see my article "The A-Sherif affair", 'Yediot Aharonot', April 14, 1998, http://www.tau.ac.il/~reinhart/political/A_sharif.htm
(4) The article (in Hebrew only) can be found in: http://www.tau.ac.il/~reinhart/political/01GovmntObstacleToPeace.doc
However, I don't support our continuing to give them (or anyone else) billions of dollars in aid every year. Israel is a nuclear power, they have hundreds of atomic weapons, and they are also a technological powerhouse. Some of the finest engineers I have ever worked with have been Jews, some of them from Israel, and the notion that a nation composed of such talented and energetic people needs our financial and military aid seems absurd on the face of it.
We can be friends with Israel, and sell them arms and trade with them, but let us not be joined at the hip with them, let us allow them to stand on their own two feet and fight their own battles. Again, they have over two hundred atomic weapons. Have you seen what their pilots do to our pilots in war games? I don't think anybody is going to be driving them into the ocean anytime soon. Let them look out for their own interests on their own terms, and let us do the same.
Palestine was divided into arab and jewish - Jordan and Israeel. The arabs don't want any place for the jews. This is the real problem.
Then you have Arafat, who has consistently violated a major precept of the 93 accords, that he and the palestinians publicly acknowldege the right of Israel to exist. They keep trying to destroy israel.
Is it any wonder that the Israeli's have made plans for their defense, and plans which include an offense?
And lastly, Arafat and the PLA are still around, and that is only because Israel has not tried to eliminate him, not because they have tried to eliminate him.
That article is pure BS propaganda.
Actually anywhere from 20-40% of the Israeli population is against the occupation. Bunch of delusional leftists, no doubt.
I can read Hebrew (you, though, obviously cannot) and Prof. Tanya Reinhart is a well-known far left looneytoon. Why is it that you anti-Israel types who claim to be conservatives expect everyone to swallow leftist drool without barfing? Next you'll be posting stuff from Israel Shahak, another "Israeli university professor"
Then they have elections where we learn whose opinion is not worth the the fallen tree.
Not intended as a rhetorical question. If theres a reason I should give a damn, I'd really like to know.
If you tell us exactly what you were doing with your mouse and keyboard we may be able to reconstruct how you accidentally arrived at this thread.
Didn't you leave something out?
Sound familiar? Maybe Andrew reads FR!!
Anything to say about this article?
Blessed Christmas to you both. :)
By Israel Shamir
It is not much fun to be a Muslim in the West today. Not even to be taken for one. I felt it on my own skin while flying into the US. A Mediterranean man with mustachio complete, I was asked by the US customs officer whether I read Koran a lot. A chewing gum wrapping paper with a comic strip suggested to the officer an instruction to pray on board the plane, probably to call Allahu Akbar and attack the crew. You are up to no good, he concluded. I was taken aback. Our Palestinian brothers and we Israelis are facially quite similar; I was often taken for a Palestinian by both sides, but I did not expect the US immigration to copycat Israeli Border Police.
Should I say plainly, I am not a Muslim, occurred to me. It did not seem fair. In occupied Denmark of 1940, Germans ordered the Jews to wear the yellow Star of David. The king of Danes wore such a star as a sign of his solidarity with his Jewish subjects. Would I fail this test of common humanity and proclaim my non-Muslim kosher origin? It would feel like sacrificing a Muslim in my stead. I tried to compromise: I do not read Koran a lot, said I. The officer Gomez, a big dark man, did not relent. But you read Koran? Occasionally, I tried again.
This pusillanimous response was a beginning of my undoing. I was searched, verbally abused; every piece of my luggage was checked and double-checked.
The personal affront did not matter. In 1812, a French soldier on the streets of occupied Moscow turned back Pierre Bezuchov, a Russian nobleman in Tolstoys War and Peace. The soldier had stopped my immortal soul, thought Bezuchov, and laughed. St Francis of Assisi found even more joy at being refused entry to a monastery one cold and rainy night. A go of humiliation is good for the soul, he explained to his sidekick St Bernard.
It was more upsetting to see Islam as the accused in Judeo-American culture. In the US newspapers and on the Internet, theological debates are back in vogue with vengeance after an eight hundred years lull, as subtle as ever. Even good friends of Muslims began to hesitate, as the powerful brainwashing machine began to produce its hateful output. Islam is accused of being the faith of Jihad, the permanent war with infidels, of intolerance and cruelty, of providing theological basis for terrorism. The allegations do not stop at politics.
The semi-literate Crusaders of 12th century accused the Muslims of having orgies in front of their divinity, Baphomet (probably corrupted name of the Prophet). The latest frontal attack on Islam in the American public opinion also has amusing sexual overtones. An appeal to bomb the hell out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine usually contains a weighty disapproval of the Prophets sexual mores and of alleged Muslim ill treatment of their womenfolk.
Love of the Prophet to his youngest wife, Aisha, causes much consternation in America; almost fifty years after the US Supreme Court removed the ban of that ode to underage love, Vladimir Nabokovs Lolita. For the prude accusers, it does not matter that Muhammad, peace upon him, was in love with the girl, as she with him. They know better what is good for everybody. If the Prophet would choose a boy of Aishas age, one feels that fear of homophobia would soften the blows. But the Prophet was a man of Catholic tastes.
A modest Talmudic scholar from Jaffa, I would rise to his defence in the name of our Jewish tradition. Far from being a sinner, Muhammad (peace upon him) acted according to the letter and spirit of our holy faith. Biblical Jacob fell in love with Rachel, 7, and brought forth a line of saints including Mary, mother of Christ.
Talmud stipulates the permitted age of marriage for girls at three years and one day. It brings us a dialogue worthy of Boccacio that took place in Sephoris of Galilee. A Roman princess Justine, daughter of Emperor Sever son of Anthony asked Rabbi Judah the Prince, the greatest spiritual and legal authority of Jews in post-Biblical period, what is the permitted age of marriage and cohabitation.
- Three years and one day, - replied the Rabbi.
- What is the age for childbearing, - persisted the Princess.
- Nine years[i], - he replied.
- I was married at six, and gave birth at seven, - she reflected with great regret, - so I wasted in vain three excellent years of my young life.
Muhammads wife, Aisha, wasted six years of her young life, as she was wed at nine. Thus, the Prophet demonstrated great prudence, also in full accordance with our Jewish teachings. Our holy Rabbis permitted very early marriage, but they were not absolutely sure that three-year old girls are sufficiently ripe. They taught: proselytes and paedophiles delay the Coming of Messiah and Kingdom of Heaven.
Who are the paedophiles in this context, asked the Talmud. They have to be persons of legitimate but objectionable behaviour, and therefore, not the sodomites (as they deserve death by stoning) nor masturbators (they merit watery grave). It is those who marry girls before the nubile age of nine. Thus, the Prophet is above suspicion according to our Jewish law.
He had a few wives, continue the accusers. Well, the Jewish law permits us to have as many wives as we can get. Nowadays, a Muslim has to limit himself to four wives in this world, but we Jews have no such constrictions.
The presumed barbarous Muslim custom of veiling women and keeping them away from a strangers lusty eye annoys the accusers. An avid reader of Washington Post would assume that the US attacked Afghans just to bomb the veil away. As the first fruit of American victory in Afghanistan, CNN presented sale of smut in smitten Kabul.
Here again, our Jewish law firmly stands on the side of the Talibs. A Talmudic sage, Rabbi Isaac taught: if one gazes at the little finger of a woman, it is as if he gazed at her you-know-what! (Do not confuse it with You-Know-Who of Harry Potter) Rabbi Hisda wistfully said: a woman's leg is also quite an incitement. Rabbi Sheshet improved on him, reminding that a woman's hair is a sexual incitement. That is why pious Jewish women don the wig. And the master of oneupmanship, Samuel, upstaged him saying, a woman's voice is a sexual incitement, as the Holy Writ quoth, sweet is thy voice. The conclusion of the debate was the rule kvod bat ha-melech pnima, meaning a good Jewish woman should stay indoors.
Enemies of Islam would not dare to attack our Jewish faith though all features of Islam they profess to dislike could be found in Judaism. It concerns not only sexual matters. Jihad is but an Arab translation of the Jewish concept of Milhemet Mitzva, the Commanded (or Preordained) War. Though in jihad, one is not allowed to kill civilians, while in milhemet mitzvah, one is commanded to do so. Look up your Pentateuch and you will find it there, without an effort. The Messenger, peace upon him, softened his Message.
If you think Islam is intolerant, let me quote you the story written by the perfect sage and excellent doctor of medicine R. Samuel Sholem in Constantinople, capital of the great King, our ruler, mighty Sultan Suleiman about Rabbi Gaon Isaac Campanton (d. 1463), the chief rabbi of the Castilian community, the most enlightened Jewish community of all times. He writes, the great Rabbi, his honorable R. Isaac Campanton burned Rabbi Samuel Sarsa at the stake. Once, Rabbis gathered to announce a marriage contract. They read such and such year since the Creation of the world, and this Sarsa fellow placed his hand on his beard and alluded to the world s existence since time immemorial. The Rabbi Campanton rose to his feet and exclaimed, Why the bush isnt consumed? Let the bush burn! They sentenced him to death by burning because he denied Creation of the World 5000 years ago, and burned him at the stake.
If you believe Islam is the reason for Muslim terrorism, probably Judaism is the reason for Jewish terrorism. Until now, Muslims succeeded to assassinate one Israeli minister. When Jews dealt with private (as opposed to state) terror, my saintly ancestors assassinated two Russian tsars and a whole row of government ministers, officials, ambassadors and statesmen of Britain, Germany, Sweden, Russia and Arab countries. Until nowadays, the records of terror established by Jews were not beaten, and as a proud Jew, I reject the futile efforts to pass this crowning achievement to Muslims or anybody else.
In America, Jews cant do wrong, and whoever thinks otherwise, is branded an anti-Semite. By proving the Jewish origin of the alleged faults of Islam, we therefore proved that the Islam-bashers are anti-Semites and probably hidden Holocaust deniers. Whoever doubted it, may look up the Washington Post of November 27. The co-ed by the ex-CIA chief James Woolsey illuminates a much-retouched hysterical close-up picture of the bestial and demonic Semite, dark-skinned and full-lipped cruel savage. Der Sturmer, the Nazi newspaper, would like it[ii]. The contents of the article are also eminently suitable for Der Sturmer. Woolsey, in an Orwellian-named article, Objective: Democracy, calls to take out Iraqi air defences and hit Iraqi ground forces as we did to Afghanistan.
The great Russian playwright, Anton (The Seagull) Chekhov, established the law of scene: if there is a gun hanging on the wall in the first act, it will fire in the third act. Life imitates theatre, or, as Shakespeare put it, this world is but a stage. The gun of anti-Semitism fired as expected, but it shot at real Semites, the Arabs. Paradoxically, among new anti-Semites, there are many persons with Jewish names, or known by their sympathy to Jews. How could it be?
It brings us back to the adage of our sages, regarding paedophiles and proselytes. Jewish faith is extremely suspicious of proselytes. They are like scab on the head of Israel, taught Rabbi Helbo, and modern practice supports his learned opinion. Judaism is too complicated to receive in mature age. People born and raised as religious Jews got used to be the Chosen folk, and take it easy, but neophytes go dizzy at the thought.
It is not strange. The true English aristocrat Tony Benn supports the rights of ordinary folk, while freshly created parvenu Conrad Black promotes the oppression of Europeans and Muslims alike in his numerous newspapers. Some of the worst racists in Hebron, this frontline of Israeli apartheid are actually proselytes who took literally some risky Biblical ideas. Witness the converted American Gentile Nazi who took the name of Eli Hazeev (the Wolf) and was slain by Palestinian guerrillas, or this scourge of cyberspace, Dr Andrew Mathis who converted and began to defend his version of Judaism on various Internet localities.
A reader sent me a disturbing letter: my sister who converted to Judaism years ago (although we're WASPs) has gone over the edge. Last night when I asked her to interrupt her niggerization of Arabs long enough to cite just one example...anytime in history...when Israel did something...anything...wrong (pointing out that peace cannot possibly be attained when one party thinks itself totally OK, and thinks the other party is completely at fault), the best she could do was "collateral" damage id the unintentional bombing of civilians when a "legitimate" target was the intent. My sister is quite active in the Jewish community in St. Louis, and perhaps in a position to do a fair amount of damage to whatever chances remain for world peace.
Yes, Rabbi Helbo had a good reason for his suspicion. Real Jews knew they live in real world, and left their fantasies for Sabbath. They remained humble, studied Talmud and did not try to find a modern equivalent of Amalek or the Red Heifer, to retake the Holy Land by force or stealth, or preach hate of Gentile. They knew: these concepts should be left untouched as hidden files in the Windows operational system. They are there for an historic reason and one should not meddle with them. Neophytes lack this humbleness.
It is not a question of race: neophytes, whether of Jewish or Gentile extraction, are equally blind to reason. That is why the ferocious Neo-Cons of America, Gentile Israel-firsters like Jeanne Kirkpatrick and secular Jews like infamous Podgoretz, her mentor from Commentary, relentlessly push for destruction of the Islamic world and poison the minds of Americans.
Islam is a form of Christianity particularly close to the Jews. While Eastern Orthodox Church was influenced by Greek culture, and Catholics partook of Roman world, Islam returned the ideas of Christianity into the Semitic milieu. The Prophet, peace upon him, upheld the Jewish concepts of strict monotheism, of fear of graven images, of protectiveness towards women and integrated them with the universal message of Christ and apostles. The cowardly enemies of Islam besmirch it, as they fear its unbroken spirit, courage of its warriors and chastity of its maidens.
 Alluding to the verse in Exodous 3:3
[i] Twelve in some manuscripts.
[ii] Osama Bin Laden's shifty, oily, Semitic features leer from every news bulletin, in a barely concealed appeal to the American viewers' racism. Dr Joseph Goebbels could not have done it better, reported from America the British historian, David Irving. He should know, he was a biographer of Goebbels.
The Holocaust denier? That David Irving?
BTW I visited the website of your hero, Israel Shamir. He is a champion of the "right of return" i.e. flooding Israel with millions of Muslims who will then, according to the "one man, one vote" principle, overturn the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state and turn it into yet another turd world Muslim dungheap in which the Jews (and Christians too--the "Sunday people" are next on the list) are dhimmis or dead.
I guess the truth will take longer.
Are you a little dense or something? Do you take these sentences as some sort of support for Irving?
In the context of the rest of this screed? You betcha.
And yet they keep on telling us they want their own independent State living in peace with Israel. I'm confused. Can they be lying?
Does this mean, Sabramerican, that you are a feminist? Cool!