Confusing the fire fighter with the arsonist.
On November 2, the Obama administration sharply criticized Israel’s decision to accelerate construction of Israeli housing in various communities in and around Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank. The administration also had some harsh words about Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmud Abbas’ renewal of efforts to wrest recognition for his “Palestinian State” from the UN Security Council, in which endeavor he may have made some progress with the recent UNESCO vote to accept “Palestine” as a member.
It is important to recall that Mr. Abbas’ maneuvers in the UN are actually part of the PA’s political and propaganda war against Israel, which, as he told the world back in May, will not stop once the UN recognizes the state of “Palestine,” but rather will be ratcheted up for a more effective assault against Israel. Moreover, the apartments that PM Netanyahu plans to build are not on Palestinian land, but are suburbs or even neighborhoods of Jerusalem, none of which are on the agenda for land swaps in a peace agreement.
Irrationally, but not unexpectedly, the White House and State Department used identical language to express the President’s disappointment with both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and with Abbas. The State Department spokesperson went on to chastise Netanyahu for Israel’s temporary suspension of the transfer of millions of tax dollars that Israel collects on behalf of the PA.
By using the same language for both Israel’s housing construction and Abbas’ diplomatic saber rattling, Obama creates a moral equivalence between one side’s accommodating its population growth and the other side’s efforts to ultimately destroy that population. By demanding that Israel bequeath millions upon the PA, our State Department is pretending that the PA leadership and its partners (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc.) will use that money for state-building and economic development.
Victor Davis Hanson, a professor of military history at UC Fresno, California, addressed this confusion back in 2004. When asked “At what point should we reconsider our rather blanket support for the Israelis and show a more even-handed attitude toward the Palestinians?” he responded:
we should no longer support Israel, when:
Mr. Sharon suspends all elections and plans a decade of unquestioned rule.
Mr. Sharon suspends all investigation about fiscal impropriety as his family members spend millions of Israeli aid money in Paris.
All Israeli television and newspapers are censored by the Likud party.
Israeli hit teams enter the West Bank with the precise intention of targeting and blowing up Arab women and children.
Preteen Israeli children are apprehended with bombs under their shirts on their way to the West Bank to murder Palestinian families.
Israeli crowds rush into the street to dip their hands into the blood of their dead and march en masse chanting mass murder to the Palestinians.
Rabbis give public sermons in which they characterize Palestinians as the children of pigs and monkeys.
Israeli school textbooks state that Arabs engage in blood sacrifice and ritual murders.
Mainstream Israeli politicians, without public rebuke, call for the destruction of Palestinians on the West Bank and the end to Arab society there.
Likud party members routinely lynch and execute their opponents without trial.
Jewish fundamentalists execute with impunity women found guilty of adultery on grounds that they are impugning the honor of the family.
Israeli mobs with impunity tear apart Palestinian policemen held in detention.
Israeli television broadcasts to the tune of patriotic music the last taped messages of Jewish suicide bombers who have slaughtered dozens of Arabs.
Jewish marchers parade in the streets with their children dressed up as suicide bombers, replete with plastic suicide-bombing vests.
New Yorkers post $25,000 bounties for every Palestinian blown up by Israeli murderers.
Israeli militants murder a Jew by accident and then apologize on grounds that they thought he was an Arab, to the silence of Israeli society.
Jews enter Arab villages in Israel to machine gun women and children.
Israeli public figures routinely threaten the United States with terror attacks.
Bin Laden is a folk hero in Tel Aviv.
Jewish assassins murder American diplomats and are given de facto sanctuary by Israeli society.
Israeli citizens celebrate on news that 3,000 Americans have been murdered.
Israeli citizens express support for Saddam Hussein’s supporters in Iraq in their efforts to kill Americans.
Dr. Hanson went on to say that he had confidence that most Americans can see the moral differences in the present struggle. Perhaps the American people can, but apparently our President and State Department cannot.
Dozens of Arab terrorist organizations, including but not limited to, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP, the DFLP, the PFLP-GC, Fatah, the PLO, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Ansar al-Islam, Jayyish Allah, Sayyif al-Jihad, al-Jama’a al-Islamiyeh, el-Qaeda and others, all unabashedly proclaim their intentions to destroy Israel, a close, loyal and strong ally of America. In the context of that commitment to Israel’s destruction, they also emphasize their intention to exile or murder all of Israel’s Jews. Hezbollah goes even further with Hassan Nasrallah’s publicly announced aspiration to genocide all Jews everywhere: “If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide” (quoted in an interview with Arab journalist Badih Chayban, in the Beirut Daily Star, October 23, 2002).
The endless Arab diatribe of destruction and relentless rhetoric of annihilation (thoroughly documented during decades of Arab hate-speech and hate-preach here and here) have gone on unimpeded and unabashed, broadcast throughout much of the Arab and Muslim world since before the creation of the State of Israel. And Arab deeds have matched their words for almost seventy-five years, with equally relentless terrorism punctuated by full-scale wars when Arab leaders thought they would easily win.
Countless times, Arab confrontation states and their terrorist proxies have violated international law, the UN’s Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and the Fourth Geneva Convention, with terror attacks on Israeli women and children, mistreatment, torture and slaughter of Israeli prisoners, and incitement to genocide.
On the other hand, every action by Israel to seek a peaceful resolution, thirty one attempts since 1937, has been rebuffed by the Arab side with war or terrorism or vociferous threats of the same.
The Palestinian national movement is the only one of its kind in the entire world, and across all of world history, whose sole paradigm is terrorism and whose unique and unrelenting goal is the destruction of a sovereign state and the genocide of its citizenry.
One should not have much trouble recognizing the moral differences between the two parties in the Arab-Israel conflict. But our State Department wants Israel to provide the PA with millions of dollars, even as the PA continues its incitement and rejects every invitation to negotiate a peaceful settlement, even as the PA’s partner, Hamas, continues shooting qassam rockets into Israeli schools, synagogues, busses and homes.
There is no excuse for our leadership’s moral confusion about this conflict. Demanding that Israel underwrite Arab efforts to destroy her is ludicrous. Equating mass murder, attempted mass murder, incitement to genocide, and innumerable attacks on civilians with the construction of apartment buildings is not merely erroneous and misleading. It is obscene.
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