Israel: A Bastion of Freedom


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Over 97 percent of Israel’s residents over the age of 15 can read and write.  The Arab literacy rate is only 68 percent, with men being much more literate than women.

Israel is the most modern and technically-advanced state in the entire region.  It’s ranked as the 24th most competitive nation by the World Economic Forum, and first in the quality of its scientific institutions.  Only Qatar and Saudi Arabia among Arab nations have a better competitive WEF ranking, and those two countries lag behind Israel in the latter category.

The Israeli military abides by international laws and customs of war.  Its troops wear uniforms, carry weapons openly, and take unprecedented actions to avoid injuring innocent civilians during operations.  Israel’s Arab world enemies use terrorism to achieve political objectives.  The U.S. State Department has designated 19 groups as foreign terrorist organizations that have gestated and operate in Arab land.  Although they operate in clear violation of Geneva conventions and protocols, their Arab hosts, the UN, and others often refer to these groups as “resistance fighters.”

A great danger facing Israel is the prospect of Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood gaining control of strategically important Arab countries like Egypt.  The Islamists are well-posited to do so because they are organized, radical and ruthless – priceless qualifications for achieving power in that region.  They also use a dangerous mix of politics and religion to recruit the Arab world’s abused, misinformed, impoverished, under-educated, and unskilled as well as university students and professionals like al Qaeda’s Zawahiri to become participants in various jihad movements.

For decades, statesmen and diplomats have incessantly and unsuccessfully sought to forge binding peace agreements between Arabs and Jews, even to the point of compromising democratic values by cutting deals with dictators and terrorists.  The main impediment is that most Arabs have an intractable view that Israel doesn’t have the right to exist on what Arabs claim is Muslim land.  And what many fail to grasp is that the clash is really between Western and Islamic civilizations, with Israel cast as an extension of the West.

The United States and other free nations could best help Israel and themselves by remaining true to core democratic values, criticizing oppressive regimes, condemning extremist violence whenever and wherever it occurs, and supporting legitimate freedom movements and the creation of true democratic institutions in the Arab world and elsewhere. That pathway offers the best chance for peace.

Fred Gedrich is a foreign policy and national security analyst and served in the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.  He has traveled extensively in the Arab world and Israel on official assignments.

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  • jaythehistorian

    Israel is the national Jewish homeland . According to international law, not only Israel but Judea and Samaria plus the current national of Jordan by international law belong to the Jewish people. Little Britain, the worse imperialists in the history of the world stoled most of the Jewish national homeland and created the phony nation of Trans Jordan. They then deliberately excluded the rightful inhabits of the Jewish national homeland (JNH):Jews, while not only allowing Syrians ,Lebanese, and Egyptians into JNH, but actively encouraged these trespassers . As the British have done all over the world, they have created the current threatening situation confronting Israel (See India/Pakistan; etc). In many ways the British have contributed more misery to the people of the world , than any other group. Little Britain was responsible for most of the carnage in WWI. They had no business intervening which prolonged the war long enough for the US to enter it and turn the tide against Germany. The fact Germany won the war militarily but with the US in the war (manipulated by Little Britain) Germany couldn't overcome the combined economic power of the Allies led to tremendous bitterness . This directly led to WWII . For the sake of the world, I'm glad Little Britain is now a relatively impotent nation.

  • imnokuffar

    When I was a child in the sixties I recall the images of that great series " The World at War" gave to us.

    Even now, these chilling images play out before me.

    We are doomed to repeat them if we are not careful.

    This time it will be the Kuffar.

  • muchiboy

    "While Arab demonstrators in places like Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Oman, Tunisia and Yemen are protesting against their oppressive governments – it’s quite ironic that Israeli citizens are the only people in that geographical sphere who actually enjoy the full fruits of true freedom and democracy. And if Arabs truly seek a democratic model to emulate, they needn’t look any farther than the Jewish state."

    I could agree with the above sentiments,to a point.The conclusions are incomplete,because the true place of the Palestinian people is intentionally ignored,or worse,dismissed.Thus,the argument,based on an incomplete,immoral premise
    is invalid.Only when the true nature of the Palestinian Nakba is acknowledged can the Israelis claim they live in a truly democratic,human rights respecting nation comparable to the western liberal democracies.You have a long way to go,but the basics are there.muchiboy

    • MixMChess

      "The conclusions are incomplete,because the true place of the Palestinian people is intentionally ignored,or worse,dismissed."

      Wrong as usual muchiboy. The international community has provided welfare for Palestinian refugees and their descendants (which is illegal under international law) since 1949 through UNRWA (UN’s Reliefs and Works Agency). Over two percent of the UN’s total budget goes to UNRWA, while less than 3 percent of the total goes to all other refugees in the world.

      According to Nigel Roberts of the World Bank: "The Palestinians have received “the highest per capita aid transfer in the history of foreign aid anywhere,” Between 1993 and 2004, the international community donated approximately $7 billion to the Palestinian Authority (half of that money is still unaccounted for).

      In 1993 the British National Criminal Intelligence Service reported that the PLO was “the richest of all terrorist organizations” with "$8 billion to $10 billion in assets and an annual income of $1.5 billion to $2 billion." And in 1999, England’s Daily Telegraph reported the PLO had "$50 billion in secret investments around the world."

      So with all this international attention, aid and support, how in your puny mind can you claim that the Palestinians are ignored and dismissed?

    • MixMChess

      "Only when the true nature of the Palestinian Nakba is acknowledged can the Israelis claim they live in a truly democratic,human rights respecting nation comparable to the western liberal democracies."

      Israel should not acknowledge the so-called "Nakba" because they did not create the refugee problem, Arab policies did! Had the xenophobic Arab leaders accepted the UN Partition Resolution instead of going to war, there would have been a Palestinian state and no refugees. Recall, the Zionists frequently urged Palestinians not to flee and encouraged them to stay in their homes and communities. In fact, the majority of Palestinians fled before full-scale hostilities began and without even seeing an Israeli soldier! Even anti-Israel historian Benny Morris has concluded that Israel is not at fault for the supposed "Nakba."

      Israel has no reason to remorse or apologize for the supposed "Nakba." If anyone should, it is the Arab who defied the UN partition and launched the 1947 War of extermination that created the refugee problem. Had they accepted partition, today an Arab Palestinian state, situated alongside the Jewish state, would be celebrating its 63rd birthday!

    • ziontruth

      "Only when the true nature of the Palestinian Nakba is acknowledged…"

      Let it be so, then:

      Let it be acknowledged, that in the years 1947 to 1949, the Arab settlers living in Palestine (the indigenous land of the Jews) set out to destroy the fledgling Jewish State ratified by the U.N. Let it be acknowledged that the Arabs living Palestine fled for three reasons:

      1) Because the leaders of the invading Arab states told them to flee, promising them their return to take the spoils once the Jew had been defeated. (In 2006, Hassan Nasrallah made the same promise for the Arabs of the Galilee.)

      2) Because of the uncertainties of war. Who would not flee during the fog of wartime?

      3) Because oftentimes the entire population of a village was active in the war effort, firing at Jewish convoys for example, and had to be cleared as part of the war.

      They started a war, they lost it. That is the Nakba. The Arab settlers were given the opportunity to share the land with the Jews even though the Jews had no obligation to share their one and only land with the populous Arab nation, yet they rejected that opportunity. The Nakba is nothing but the one big illegitimate grievance of the Arab settlers of Palestine, the would-be robbers of the one and only state the Jews have in the entire world.

      Let that be acknowledged, indeed.

  • muchiboy

    "2) Because of the uncertainties of war. Who would not flee during the fog of wartime?"

    One outta three ain't bad,ziontruth.There's hope for you yet,zionist.But don't underestimate nor diminish the horrors of war,these same horrors and uncertainties led to many European Jews fleeing their homeland to settle in Palestine.One and all of these Jewish refugees who had chosen to return after the war should have had that right.As it was,most decided to settle in Palestine/Israel.And who could blame them?The same right ,in the name of humanity if nothing else,should apply to any and all refugees fleeing war,Jew and Palestinian alike.

    "3) Because oftentimes the entire population of a village was active in the war effort, firing at Jewish convoys for example, and had to be cleared as part of the war."

    Two words,one town,men,women,children,dogs and chickens.Deir Yassin.Thank you,Irgun,you did your part for Zionism.May you burn in Hell for it,along with the killers of innocents throughout time and place.
    muchiboy

    • ziontruth

      "…these same horrors and uncertainties led to many European Jews fleeing their homeland to settle in Palestine."

      By no means can a Jew, be he European or Asian or of any other immediate origin, leave some homeland for Palestine. That is because the only homeland the Jewish nation has ever had is Palestine. Any other residence in the world is only temporary, even if "temporary" means two millennia.

    • MixMChess

      "The same right ,in the name of humanity if nothing else,should apply to any and all refugees fleeing war,Jew and Palestinian alike."

      Israel offered the Arabs a chance to repatriate refugees in 1949 and the Arab States refused. Additionally, a fair population exchange had already occurred. Recall, Israel absorbed over 850,000 refugees that were expelled from Arab countries in 1948.

    • MixMChess

      "Two words,one town,men,women,children,dogs and chickens.Deir Yassin.Thank you,Irgun,you did your part for Zionism.May you burn in Hell for it,along with the killers of innocents throughout time and place."

      The Deir Yassin massacre is a myth created by the Arabs. The town was filled with hostile residents and foreign troops who opened fire on the approximately 100 Irgun fighters.

      The Irgun had provided ample warning for the civilians to evacuate the area, which many did. In fact, the irgun left open an escape corridor from the village and more than 200 residents left unharmed.

      Surprisingly, after the “massacre,” the Irgun escorted a representative of the Red Cross through the town and held a press conference. The New York Times’ subsequent described that more than 200 Arabs were killed, most of whom were soldiers or militants. No hint of a massacre appeared in the report.

      Contrary to claims from Arab propagandists at the time, and some since, there was no massacre and no women were raped. On the contrary, every villager ever interviewed has denied these allegations. Like many of the claims, this was a deliberate propaganda ploy, but one that backfired. Hazam Nusseibi, who worked for the Palestine Broadcasting Service in 1948, admitted being told by Hussein Khalidi, a Palestinian Arab leader, to fabricate the atrocity claims. Abu Mahmud, a Deir Yassin resident in 1948 told Khalidi “there was no rape,” but Khalidi replied, “We have to say this, so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews.” Nusseibeh told the BBC 50 years later, “This was our biggest mistake. We did not realize how our people would react. As soon as they heard that women had been raped at Deir Yassin, Palestinians fled in terror."

      The Arab Higher Committee hoped exaggerated reports about a “massacre” at Deir Yassin would shock the population of the Arab countries into bringing pressure on their governments to intervene. Instead, the immediate impact was to "stimulate a new Palestinian exodus."

      Interestingly enough, just four days after the reports from Deir Yassin were published, an Arab force ambushed a Jewish convoy on the way to Hadassah Hospital, killing 77 Jews, including doctors, nurses, patients, and the director of the hospital. Another 23 people were injured. This massacre attracted little attention and is never mentioned by people such as yourself who are quick to bring up Deir Yassin.

  • muchiboy

    "They chose a war of extermination against Israel rather than having their own state. "

    That's your story,MixMChess,now here's mine.Maybe in a few hundred years both our ancestors will hear the third and true story;
    The Jews chose occupation and colonization so the Diaspora could re create Israel.

    muchiboy

    • ziontruth

      "…the third and true story; … The Jews chose occupation and colonization so the Diaspora could re create Israel."

      The biggest lie of them all. The gross, monstrous lie that Jews could be occupiers and colonizers on their own indigenous land.

    • MixMChess

      "The Jews chose occupation and colonization so the Diaspora could re create Israel."

      I have previously proved to you beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zionists did not "occupy and colonize" the land of Israel. Try providing some actual evidence rather than empty rhetoric.

  • muchiboy

    "Wrong, the "Apartheid" argument was formulated by a collusion of overtly antisemitic"

    Like many self evident truths,MixMChess,many people independently arrived at similar conclusions and comparisons with South African Apartheid and Israeli Zionism,myself included.And sure,the analogies are necessarily incomplete,but they do share certain unconscionable truths.The truth will set you free,MixMChess.muchiboy

    • MixMChess

      "many people independently arrived at similar conclusions and comparisons with South African Apartheid and Israeli Zionism,myself included."

      Impossible, considering the "apartheid" argument was never even on the table until the Arab nations and hard-left Marxists introduced it to the public discourse.

      "And sure,the analogies are necessarily incomplete,but they do share certain unconscionable truths."

      They don't, and you haven't provided any evidence to support your position. Throwing out an empty charge is just more of your useless rhetoric to demonize Israel. It also shows that you have very little understanding of what apartheid actually is and was for Black S. Africans.

  • muchiboy

    " Why else does Israel provide well over 15,000 tons of supplies to Gazans 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year (approximately 1 ton in aid annually)? Why else does Israel and the Jewish diaspora invest over half a billion dollars in the W. Bank to build up their infrastructure and economies? "

    Blood money comes to mind,but there are other,more and less noble motives,too.In that region,Palestine,land and water is at a premium.Jews have taken Palestinian land,they can afford to pay Jewish money.You cannot build a nation on money,only on land,and in the case of Palestine,it was another's land.And of course the Israelis know Palestinian suffering,and they are a charitable people.But above all,they coveted another's land,and the money they pay is indeed blood money

    " Why do pro-Israel advocates like Alan Dershowitz constantly call for the creation of a Palestinian state?"

    There are good people everywhere,MixMChess.Israel is no exception.Most Jews,whether Israeli,Zionist,Liberal,FPM poster,etc.are good,decent people who only want to live in peace and security ,love,work,have happy healthy families and good jobs,and a good hot meal at the end of the day.We all want that.muchiboy
    .muchiboy

    • ziontruth

      "Jews have taken Palestinian land,"

      Jews are Palestinians and they have taken back their own lands.

      "…and in the case of Palestine,it was another's land."

      So tell the Arab imperialists to stop coveting the Palestinians' (=the Jews') land.

      "Most Jews,whether Israeli,Zionist,Liberal,FPM poster,etc.are good,decent people who only want to live in peace and security ,love,work,have happy healthy families and good jobs,and a good hot meal at the end of the day.We all want that."

      No, we don't all want that. Some raise their kids to become suicide-murderers and to murder the other side's babies in their sleep. The people you support are outside the human race. Not because they were born that way (I'm not a racist like you, who think the Middle East comes with a "No Europeans Allowed" sign), but because they have put themselves outside humanity with their actions.

    • MixMChess

      "Blood money comes to mind,but there are other,more and less noble motives,too.In that region,Palestine,land and water is at a premium."

      Its not blood money when Israel is using its resources to actively help the Palestinian population and build their infrastructure. If Israel wanted Palestinian land and water it could just take it, but instead it chooses to help the Palestinians build a state in Gaza (unsuccessfully since the rise of Hamas) and the W. Bank.

      By the way, do you even understand the concept of blood money? It is generally used when compensation is paid to a family of a murdered person. Israel is not paying some Palestinians off so it can murder others. In fact, the opposite is true, Israel is providing money so that all Palestinians can grow and create their own state. Recall, the Palestinian population exploded exponentially under Israeli rule. If Israel were interested in "blood money" then the opposite would be true.

      "Jews have taken Palestinian land,they can afford to pay Jewish money."

      If this statement isn't antisemitic than I don't know what is. Where is this Jewish money located? How much is the annual rate of return from Jewish money? When do the Learned Elders of Zion pay their Jewish money dividend checks?

      "You cannot build a nation on money,only on land,and in the case of Palestine,it was another's land."

      I have proven this claim wrong before. Israel legally purchased and cultivated vacant and tenant-free land. Recall, less than 18% of "modern Israel proper" belonged to Arabs who willingly left the country before and after the Arab war of extermination against Israel in 1948.

      "But above all,they coveted another's land,and the money they pay is indeed blood money."

      Nope, they coveted their own land, it was never land of the Palestinians.

  • USMCSniper

    The Palestinians just murdered a whole Jewish family – even the baby. Read for your self. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-pale

    Muck the Palestinian Fuzzlims! Kill 'em all, wrap 'em in their prayer rugs and put 'em all in piles, burn 'em all using pork grease for a starter, and let Allah sort 'em out. That will guarantee NEVER AGAIN!!!l.

    • ziontruth

      Contrary to what certain arrivals from Stormfront (*cough*northwoods*cough*) have alleged, there is no case from the Torah for genocide here. (Arabs aren't Canaanites, however much they may fake themselves to be their descendants.)

      The Torah's commandment regarding driving out all the members of the usurper-nation, on the other hand, is as valid here as can be. The mistake of leaving all the Arab settlers on the land after having taken it back in 1967 must be rectified, right now, as this atrocity shows. It is the duty of the nation-state to protect the members of the nation at all costs; it is dereliction of duty for any state to continue subjecting the members of the nation to the horrors of life alongside bloodthirsty savages. Expel them all!

    • muchiboy

      "That will guarantee NEVER AGAIN!!!l."

      What do you mean,"Never Again"? You just did it again,USMCSniper.muchiboy

      • USMCSniper

        "Never Again" is the Jewish Defense Leagues very clear response to the atrocities of the Nazis meaning the Jews will give payback in spades to any who would commit atrociries against Jews – e.g. – Golda Meir after the 72 Olympic massacre killed allthe Palestinians who were connected with this atrocity.

  • muchiboy

    " Interestingly enough, just four days after the reports from Deir Yassin were published, an Arab force ambushed a Jewish convoy on the way to Hadassah Hospital, killing 77 Jews, including doctors, nurses, patients, and the director of the hospital. Another 23 people were injured. This massacre attracted little attention and is never mentioned by people such as yourself who are quick to bring up Deir Yassin. "

    I never claimed one or the other of the opposing forces or peoples were better or worse,MixMChess.For me,the Jews were as good or bad as the Arabs.You chose.Innocents always suffer in war.I've been part of it myself,and may end up burning in Hell for it.For every Deir Yassin,there are similar examples of Jewish families and villages,including the latest example(this week?).

    "If this statement isn't antisemitic than I don't know what is. Where is this Jewish money located? How much is the annual rate of return from Jewish money?

    Perhaps.I did look up the origins of blood money.Biblical.Judas.But then he was Christian at that time ,right?Regardless,history is so full of anti Semitism that it is difficult to make any remark without some reference to it.Double appologies.

    " When do the Learned Elders of Zion pay their Jewish money dividend checks? "

    Funny.Just have them make the cheque payable to me.I'll see that the funds go to the ADL,and I'll match it dollar for dollar.muchiboy
    .muchiboy

  • muchiboy

    "Nope, they coveted their own land, it was never land of the Palestinians. "

    OK.I'll meet you half way,MixMChess.They both coveted each others land.The Jews were the landlords,of course.The Arabs the tenants.But there ARE tenant rights! And squatter rights,too.See you in court. muchiboy

    PS.Do you know a good Jewish lawyer?

    • MixMChess

      Fair enough, the Jews were the landlords and held legal and historical title to the land. And I agree that the Arabs were tenants and did have tenant rights. However, they lost any "tenant rights" they had when they refused partition and waged an aggressive war of extermination against Israel in 1947.