It has been over a week since I’ve posted because I have been occupied with personal affairs (I am OK). Many was the time in the course of the last several days that I have wanted to write. Here I will touch upon some of the news items that caught my attention, and follow with more in coming days. (The number of things I might write about is, quite frankly, overwhelming.)
There is so much that is vile happening, that I will begin with good news: I’m determined to maintain a balance! See this video about a program that incorporates young people with disabilities into the IDF:
There is no other army like this in the world, and I hold my head high. Please, share very broadly.
Jew-hatred, which is so prevalent in the world, is so irrational, so maliciously skewed, so inherently sick, that those who promote it are oblivious to information about extraordinary, humane and sensitive actions taken by Israel. Reality is irrelevant to them. But there are others – exposed to anti-Semitism but still open to the possibility of seeing good in Jews – who need to know about programs such as the one described above.
Besides, those who love Israel should share in this pride.
On all scores, your sharing is important.
I speak about Jew-hatred now for a reason:
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has just released the results of a global survey on anti-Jewish attitudes done in 101 countries plus Gaza and PA-administered areas of Judea and Samaria (referred to as the “West Bank”). Over 53,000 people were polled.
Some 25% of people across the world exhibit anti-Semitic attitudes, according to the survey. The highest rates of anti-Semitism in the world are found in the Middle East and northern Africa. On the average in these areas (Muslim, all, I note), 74% are anti-Semitic.
The very highest rate of anti-Semitism in the world was found to exist among the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and PA-administered areas of Judea and Samaria. In these areas, 93% are anti-Semitic. Let me repeat: ninety-three percent have anti-Jewish attitudes.
Our “peace partners,” my friends.
This, too, should be shared widely. How could anyone possibly believe there can be genuine peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs? A sick joke.
Prime Minister Netanyahu had it right when he told the Cabinet on Sunday that this shocking rate of anti-Semitism, “is the result of the Palestinian Authority’s endless incitement against Israel and attempts to distort Israel’s image and the character of the Jewish people.”
As Israel National News explains:
“Earlier this year, the Israeli government…released its annual ‘Palestinian Incitement Index,’ which showed that incitement against Israel and the Jewish people is continuing on official media channels including…by bodies that are very close to the PA Chairman and in educational and religious networks.
“Such incitement ranges from the glorification of Nazism and the lionization of Adolf Hitler, to programs on official PA television featuring heavily-stereotyped Jews as villains (and encouraging violence against them), and various TV and radio shows which literally wipe the Jewish state off the map.”
If you want to see examples of incessant and ugly PA incitement, check the Palestinian Media Watch at http://www.palwatch.org/.
I would never claim that our government totally ignores this situation. Incitement is alluded to now and again – clearly this is so, as there is an incitement index. But I will charge that it is not emphasized nearly enough, not placed front and center in press conferences and releases on a regular basis. That US leaders have the unmitigated gall to say that “settlements” were the stumbling block in negotiations when this sort of incitement persists is something that should be directly and forthrightly challenged. In fact, from the “get go,” Israel should have declined to sit at the table with representatives of Abbas as long as this incitement persisted.
The Oslo Accords – which never required a cessation of settlement activity – unambiguously called for a cessation of incitement:
The Interim Agreement (Oslo 2) of September 28, 1995 (Article XXII) states that Israel and the PA “shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other and…shall take legal measures to prevent such incitement by any organizations, groups or individuals within their jurisdiction.” (Emphasis added)
Netanyahu did make the point at the Cabinet meeting on Sunday that Nakba Day, celebrated last Thursday as a day of catastrophe because of Israel’s establishment, constitutes incitement:
“Whoever sees the establishment of the State of Israel and its continued existence as a disaster does not want peace,” he declared.
In point of fact, this Nakba day was quite violent, with riots in several locations.
In the course of rioting, two young Palestinian Arabs were allegedly killed, although there is serious dispute as to the circumstances.
Be alerted: An organization called Defense for Children Palestine is circulating a video that ostensibly shows the IDF simply shooting down two youths in Beitunia, near Ramallah, in the course of a lull in Nakba riots. The IDF says that the video is edited in a tendentious manner and does not reflect the true level of violence that occurred there. What is more, it appears, based on initial checks, that no live fire was used, only rubber bullets.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon says the soldiers were facing a situation that was life-threatening, and acted appropriately.
”Israeli Channel 2′s military correspondent Roni Daniel suggested that the film may have been staged and faked. Daniel noted that the first alleged victim put out his hands to break his fall, which did not appear consistent with being shot. Daniel further noted that the two alleged fatalities, ostensibly filmed an hour apart, appeared to have taken place in almost exactly the same place, with an immediate convergence on the scene of a similar group of people. His queries were not about whether two Palestinians had been shot that day, Daniel said, but rather about whether the NGO footage being disseminated indeed actually showed such shootings or was fabricated.”
Anyone familiar with Pallywood fabricated film sequences will find that all of this sounds familiar indeed. Naturally the PA and its supporters revel in this.
With this all, good old Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hateuna), chief negotiator for Israel, met with Abbas in London without sanction from the prime minister and in spite of the fact that all ties with the Palestinian Authority are supposed to be cut because of its unity negotiations with Hamas. Some reports had it that Netanyahu knew about the meeting, but made it clear that she spoke not for the government but only for herself. Others said that he didn’t learn until after the fact. In any event, it was reported that he was “furious.”
Livni, who was in London to deliver a talk, claimed that there was no choice but to continue talking. She is sufficiently obtuse so that she is likely pleased with herself. There have been calls for her resignation – and indeed she should be dumped forthwith if she doesn’t resign. But none of this will happen.
The prime minister has announced his intention to submit to the Knesset a new Basic Law (Basic Law serves as Israel’s constitution) that would define Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
With this declaration came a clarification: ”The State of Israel will always preserve the full equality, in personal and civil rights, of all its citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish alike.”
There is a distinction between personal civil rights, which adhere to all Israeli citizens, and national rights, which belong to the Jewish people. Anyone who claims that Israel will no longer be a democracy if this Basic Law is passed is distorting the reality.
Yet another law that offers promise is being promoted. This, to ensure Jewish rights to pray on Har Habayit (the Temple Mount). MK Miri Regev (Likud) and MK Hilik Bar (Labor) have said they will introduce a bill that would create a situation similar to that of the Machpela in Hevron, where Jews and Muslims both pray. At a bare minimum, this should be the situation – right now Muslims have full access for prayer, but Jews are prevented by Israeli security from praying because it would generate “unrest” among the Muslims. This, in spite of the fact that the High Count has said that Jews have a right to pray on the Mount.
Dearly would I love to see this pass. I believe this issue must be promoted until the current situation is overruled. But I am cynical. I fully expect Netanyahu – who is afraid of upsetting the status quo on the Mount and risking Muslim displeasure – to do everything in his power to block it. I see the talk about this legislation as an important first step.