Sunday, August 10, 2008

We Have To Change Tactics

Mike Packer

I used to be a left wing liberal, but no more!

I arrived in Israel on aliyah in historical times, 2 months before Anwar Sadat made his speech from the Knesset podium. At the time I was of a mind that here, at last, was our big chance for “peace”, first Egypt then the rest of the arab world.

Needless to say the arab world certainly didn’t kill themselves in the rush to follow Sadat, they killed Sadat.

This didn’t deter me from my liberal ideology although I did have a “right wing twinge” when the US forced us to let Yasser Arafat leave Beirut. I would have gladly cheered if the ship had been torpedoed on the high seas.
. I also had high hopes for the Madrid conference and was angry at PM Shamir’s attitude.

I was all gung ho over the Oslo accords albeit a little disappointed when the “palestinians” repeatedly reneged on agreements that they signed, agreements that the Israeli authorities deemed necessary for a lasting “peace”.

I was pleased with the decision of the Israeli government to disengage unilaterally from Gaza…. that is until the first Kassam rocket landed on Israeli soil.

I have now seen the light!

I say now, NO MORE!

Enough is enough, I no longer wish to search for “peace”. Let the arabs search for peace

Today I sit in my living room watching the TV coverage of the prisoner swap between us and Hezbollah and I am thinking to myself that the time has come for us to change our tactics vis a vis the arab world. We are in a direct war with two entities maybe three, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority through their Fatah Al Aqsa faction. Let us not fool ourselves, these three entities are embroiled in a struggle to relieve the world of its Jewish presence and we are involved whether we like it or not.

Israel has always played by the rules no matter what left wingers say to the contrary. We extended our hand in peace to all our neighbors on the birth of our nation and we are still seeking someone to shake it with. We have adopted the Geneva Convention accords, yet our enemies haven’t, we abide by international law apart from when it applies to us and our enemies twist it to suit themselves, we have fought all our wars according to the international rules of warfare, yet our enemies didn’t.

I say again, NO MORE!

Israel should demand reciprocity, visitation rights for visitation rights, information for information, live prisoners for live prisoners, dead for dead.…I would have liked nothing better than to send Samir Kuntar back in the same condition we got our soldiers.

The same goes for the rules of war the essence of which was mutuality. A state can’t violate them and expect its enemy to follow them. So much more so when the non-state is not a signatory to them, they are afforded no protection by them. Israel is MY COUNTRY I have the right and the duty to defend it with all the power at my disposal and I will do it without my gloves on, not according to the rules of warfare, the Marquis of Queensbury’s rules or any other obstacle that the international community wishes to put in my way….enough is enough.

When I came to Israel there was always the optimistic attitude of “my son/daughter will not have to serve in the army because the wars will be over”, well, this hasn’t come true and now I am saying the same thing about my grandchildren. This time I don’t want it to be an empty promise. I want the Israeli government to pluck up the courage to say that international pressure will no longer work that we have to do the job properly and if that means “collateral damage” then so be it!

That damage at the moment is, more or less, one-sided as I don’t see a much belated IDF response to the physical insults rained upon us by Hamas. Hezbollah or the Al-Aqsa brigade.

Israel is MY country and must act as it deems fit and not how the international community deems. I don’t advise any country in Europe how to run their business nor do I pressure the US to return Texas to Mexico. So who are they to tell us what to do? According to the decision of the League of Nations as pertaining to “Palestine” and which was passed unanimously by the 51 member states and which was later adopted, verbatim, by the United Nations, Israel IS the homeland of the Jewish people. The Jewish people will decide what is good or not for themselves by themselves.

I would like to conclude with a quote from the Congressional Record of the US House of Representatives which on June 30 1922 endorsed a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress:
“Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people…..”
from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean sea.
President Warren G.Harding signed the resolution of approval on September 21, 1922.
Amongst the speakers on this resolution was Representative Walter M.Chandler of New York who set out three rules for the establishment of the National Homeland and they are:
(1) That the Arabs shall be permitted to remain in Palestine under Jewish government and domination, and with their civil and religious rights guaranteed to them through the British mandate and under terms of the Balfour declaration.
(2) That if they will not consent to Jewish government and domination, they shall be required to sell their lands at a just valuation and retire into the Arab territory which has been assigned to them by the League of Nations in the general reconstruction of the countries of the east.
(3) That if they will not consent to Jewish government and domination, under conditions of right and justice, or to sell their lands at a just valuation and to retire into their own countries, they shall be driven from Palestine by force.
I, personally, totally agree with him and as this proposal was later ratified by three more presidents, it seems that they did too.
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'Popular Palestinian Conference' Peddles Propaganda

by Cinnamon Stillwell
August 8, 2008

This weekend, the "Popular Palestinian Conference 2008" will be held in Chicago, and if past is prologue, a slew of anti-Israel propaganda will be part of the repertoire. The organizers make no effort to conceal their nefarious intentions, titling one of the workshops [emphasis added], "Inserting Palestine into High School Curricula in the US & Empowering Students to Challenge Dominant Narratives" and subtitling the conference, "Palestinians in the US: Reclaiming Our Voice, Asserting Our Narrative." Unfortunately, this "narrative" is a false one in which Israel is the oppressor, the Palestinians its perpetual victims, and the United States an accomplice in crime.
Various Middle East studies academics will be on hand to help propagate this fictitious narrative. UC Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian, a skilled propagandist for Palestinian victimhood in the classroom and a radical activist outside it (he called for an "Intifada in this country!" at a 2004 anti-war rally in San Francisco), will be speaking on a panel titled, "Palestinian Political Prisoners in the US: The Attack on Palestinian Activists and Scholars." Bazian has long perpetuated the idea that off-campus criticism of Middle East studies is a form of persecution. To state the obvious: there are no "Palestinian political prisoners" in the U.S., only criminals convicted through the justice system of aiding and abetting terrorist organizations.
One of them, former University of South Florida computer science professor Sami Al-Arian, who pled guilty in 2006 to conspiring to provide goods and services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and who awaits an August 13 trial for criminal contempt, will be represented on the panel by his daughter, Laila Al-Arian. Al-Arian has enjoyed unstinting support from the Middle East studies establishment, particularly founding director of Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, John Esposito. Unmoved by the murder of innocent civilians by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Esposito penned a letter last month to the presiding judge urging that Al-Arian be granted bond and describing him as "a man of conscience with a strong commitment to peace and social justice." Al-Arian's radicalism is nothing new: at a 1991 commemoration of the Palestinian Intifada featuring Islamic Jihad spiritual leader Abdel-Aziz Odeh, he called Jews "apes and pigs."
Wayne State University anthropologist Thomas Abowd will moderate the "political prisoners" panel. This is fitting, for Abowd fashions himself the victim of what his supporters call "right-wing Zionist elements on campus." But Abowd is hardly impartial. He is affiliated with the radical group Anti-Racist Action (ARA-WSU), whose members have accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" and pro-Israel groups at Wayne State of practicing "white supremacist politics," along with defending the use of a swastika to equate Israel with Nazi Germany at one of their rallies.
Abowd spoke at "Palestine Awareness Week," an anti-Israel event at the University of Michigan in February 2008. Several students who attended Abowd's lecture described in a Michigan Daily op-ed his hostile and dismissive attitude towards a student who dared ask a challenging question. Abowd, as they put it, "smirked and glared" and "used scare tactics to intimidate and to alienate the student and to negate the importance of his question."
The conference ends with the panel, "One-State Solution to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict." The so-called one state solution is really just a fig-leaf for the destruction of Israel. There's no evidence that the Palestinian political leadership has any inclination towards the sort of multi-religious, multi-ethnic democratic nation envisioned by "one-state solution" proponents. The pathological hatred towards Jews, persecution of Christians, advocacy of Sharia law, indoctrination of children, and violence among rival Palestinian clans and terrorist groups all demonstrate the danger to Israel that lies down this path.
Yet some scholars advocate the "one-state solution" in spite of these glaring obstacles. Jennifer Loewenstein, associate director of the Middle East studies program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be one of the conference panelists doing just that. In a March 2008 article for the rabidly anti-Israel, far-left publication Counterpunch with the ridiculous title, "Gazan Holocaust," Loewenstein asserts that "Israel and its U.S. Master have long since resided in the lowest circle of Hell for betraying the name of humanity." No word from Loewenstein on the betrayals of humanity by the Palestinians, both towards Israelis and each other.
Another panelist, Tomis Kapitan, chair and professor in the Department of Philosophy at Northern Illinois University, displays a similar blind spot. In a 2004 paper on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Kapitan waxes philosophically about the "reciprocal" nature of Arab terrorism, calls the suggestion that "cultural or religious beliefs" motivate suicide bombings "incredible," and concludes that "the maximalists in charge of Israeli policy and their supporters in the United States and elsewhere, are chiefly to blame for the ongoing cycle of violence."
Panelist Seif Da'Na, professor of sociology and international studies at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, takes a Marxist, populist approach. In a 2001 Media Monitors Network article, Da'Na calls for a "Palestinian liberation strategy" and urges activists to view the "Palestinian struggle against Israel…in the larger context of the struggle to bring human dignity and social justice to the world." Surely "human dignity" and "social justice" would first need to be established within before serving as some sort of shining beacon to the world, but Da'Na overlooks this minor matter.
So too do conference organizers, who, as part of pushing their "narrative," bemoan the 60th anniversary of "al Nakba," the Arabic word for "catastrophe" used to describe the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948. But the "60 Years of Catastrophe" trumpeted at the conference website would more appropriately be placed upon the heads of Palestinian and regional Arab leadership. They have perpetuated a constant state of victimhood and refugee status while fomenting chaos and violence. Palestinians are the second largest per capita recipients of foreign aid in the world, yet precious few resources have been dedicated to the building of a functioning civil society. In fact, rising levels of violence can be directly correlated to rising levels of aid. The current civil war between Fatah and Hamas and the resultant human rights abuses are just the latest examples.
If the Palestinians in the U.S. that conference organizers profess to represent, and Middle East studies academics sympathetic to their cause, truly wanted to effect a just resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, they would start looking within for answers. Instead, such conferences simply peddle propaganda intended to demonize Israel. Those seeking the truth would do well to steer clear.

Cinnamon Stillwell is the Northern California Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. She can be reached at Read more!