In the last few days, the “Palestinian” Authority is gasping for breath and is considering committing political suicide. It may bring a bit more pressure on Israel, but, as we say, “We survived Pharaoh, we’ll survive the “Palestinian” Authority. In reality, the handwriting was on the wall. Every time the parties came close to concluding a deal, the “Palestinians” bowed out, as their leaders chose not to deemed traitors to the “Palestinian” cause. Nevertheless, a much greater evil than the “Palestinians” lurks behind the well-pressed suits and ties of politicians, who create the impression that former terrorists are now responsible political partners to bring about an end of the Middle East conflict – a “new” anti-Semitism. But, what is said to be “new” really isn’t “new” at all, but rather the “old” anti-Semitism, expressed now as “anti-Zionism”. But, nothing has really changed, except the dress and language of anti-Semitism. We also just finished eight days of the feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread. And, next week is Holocaust Remembrance Day. We DO remember. We don’t have the luxury not to remember.
“Palestinian” Authority leadership considering drastic measures if the “peace negotiations” fail.
According to one of Israel’s major daily newspapers, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the “Palestinian” Authority, along with senior P.A. officials are threatening to dissolve the P.A. if the so-called “peace negotiations” with Israel fail. Such a move would include disbanding “Palestinian” security forces operating in Judea and Samaria (referred to by the main stream media as “the West Bank”]). Such a move would also involve the P.A.’s cancellation of the Oslo Accords signed in 1993, following which they would announce that the “Palestinian” Authority is a “government under occupation” without full sovereignty. The immediate, technical result of such a move would shift responsibility for the “Palestinians” in Judea and Samaria to Israel. According to the reports appearing today (Sunday), the threat was passed on to Israel.
If the P.A. were to carry out such a threat, it would undoubtedly result in various immediate international international responses against Israel. There would also likely be a marked increase in “ Palestinian” unrest against Israeli locations, both military as well as civilian.
Naftali Bennett, the head of the Bayit Hayehudi (“Jewish Home”) party and Economics Minister, who has not refrained from expressing his opposition to the negotiations, responded to the report of the threat and said that Abbas was “encouraging terrorism against Israel” adding, “If he wants to go, we won’t stop him. Israel won’t conduct negotiations with a gun to our head.”
Contrary to the expressed optimism of the U.S., officials in Jerusalem said that there has been no progress in the emergency talks between the parties to extend the negotiations that were conducted over a period of nine months and are scheduled to end on April 29th. As reported in the last post, the negotiations stalled about 3 weeks ago over a major disagreement concerning the last phase of prisoner releases, which includes 14 Israeli Arabs, who will either not be freed or, if freed, would be deported either to Gaza or abroad. Abbas is opposed to any deportation, insists on their release and is unwilling to commit to extend the peace negotiations, which Israel has demanded of the “Palestinians”.
Dissolution rather than dishonor; for Abbas, peace with Israel would be committing treason.
Abbas has basked in his international image as a moderate, an image that was allowed to be created due to considerable lack of understanding or wilful ignorance on the part of many world leaders. This image stands in contrast to the violent character of the society and people group which he purportedly represents. Following his meeting last month with Barack Hussein Obama, the latter referred to Abbas as having “consistently renounced violence, [that] has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side in peace and security — a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbours.” It doesn’t matter that the statement is not true. The MSM doesn’t really care if it is true or not. In similar fashion, much of Israel’s left and senior officials allow him to get away with playing the game for the western media, while presenting a totally different message in Arabic to an audience that is totally antagonistic to resolving anything with Israel.
When Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon suggested in a very recent TV interview that Abbas “is a partner who takes but doesn’t give”, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief peace negotiator, Livni attacked his comments. We can forgive her for wanting to cover up her go-nowhere efforts at the negotiating table. She has her job to protect. Yet, it is difficult to reconcile all of the adulation heaped on Abbas by Israeli politicians with the reality that exists in the “Palestinian” Authority, who are at the forefront of efforts to delegitimize and remove Israel as a player on the world scene. Abbas Zaki — a senior official close to Abbas — in an interview given on March 12, 2014 [provided and translated by Palestinian Media Watch], said: “These Israelis have no belief, no principles. They are an advanced instrument of evil. They say, the Holocaust, and so on — fine, why are they doing this to us? Therefore, I believe that Allah will gather them so we can kill them. I am informing the murderer of his death”.
Abbas has received an outpouring of popular support throughout the P.A. in his intransigence against what is perceived as American pressure to agree to a U.S. framework for extending the deadline for the about-to-expire negotiations. He assured them that he would not sell out either to the U.S. or to Israel, saying: “I am 79 years old…[and] not ready to end my life [committing] treason.” It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that according to his mindset, concluding a peace deal with Israel is equivalent to committing treason. In light of such a statement, is there anything left for us to say?
The “New” Anti-semtism is just the old anti-Semitism in a new dress.
Even a cursory reading of various news media would reveal that attacks upon Jews, Jewish institutions and businesses, Jewish academicians, are on the increase world-wide. Physical attacks are easy to identify as being anti-Semitic. But, in recent years, a “new” form of anti-Semitism has arisen, which seeks to disguise itself by not attacking Jews directly and individually, but rather, indirectly and collectively, by attacking and condemning the Jewish people and, particularly, the nation of Israel. Anti-Zionism is the term usually employed, with insignificant variations, to try to justify anti-Semitism. The focus is slightly different, but the goal is the same: to generate widespread condemnation of the Jewish people with the ultimate goal of causing them to be removed from the world’s scene.
Prof. Robert S. Wistrich, in the beginning of his written statement presented at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, and published in its official record on 10 February, 2004, stated:
“Anti-Zionism has become the most dangerous and effective form of anti-Semitism in our time, through its systematic delegitimisation, defamation, and demonisation of Israel. Although not a priori anti-Semitic, the calls to dismantle the Jewish state, whether they come from Muslims, the Left, or the radical Right, increasingly rely on an anti-Semitic stereotypization of classic themes, such as the manipulative “Jewish lobby,” the Jewish/Zionist “world conspiracy,” and Jewish/Israeli “warmongers.” One major driving force of this anti-Zionism/anti-Semitism is the transformation of the Palestinian cause into a “holy war”; another source is the anti=-Americanism liked with fundamentalist Islamism. In the current context, classic conspiracy theories, such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, are enjoying a spectacular revival. The common denominator of the new anti-Zionism has been the systematic effort to criminalise Israeli and Jewish behaviour, so as to place it beyond the pale of civilised and acceptable conduct.” (emphasis mine)
He goes on to say, in part: “The question of whether anti-Zionism can or should be equated with anti-Semitism is one of those pivotal issues that refuse to go away. it is of considerable importance in any effort to define the nature of the ‘new Judeophobia’ and the strategies to deal with it….[A]nti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are two distinct ideologies that over time (especially since 1948) have tended to converge, generally without undergoing a full merger….I believe that the more radical forms of anti-Zionism that have emerged with renewed force in recent years do display unmistakable analogies to European anti-Semitism immediately preceding the Holocaust. One of the more striking symptoms has been the call for a scientific, cultural, and economic boycott of Israel that arouses some grim associations and memories among Jews of the Nazi boycott that began in 1933.”
Professor Wistrich’s complete article can be viewed here.
In an article entitled The New Anti-Semitism – What it is and how to do deal with it, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks states, among other things, the following:
“Today’s anti-Semitism is a new phenomenon, continuous with, yet significantly different from the past. To fathom the transformation, we must first define what anti-Semitism is. In the past Jews were hated because they were rich and because they were poor; because they were capitalists (Marx) and because they were communists (Hitler); because they kept to themselves and because they infiltrated everywhere; because they held tenaciously to a superstitious faith (Voltaire) and because they were rootless cosmopolitans who believed nothing (Stalin).
“Anti-Semitism is not an ideology, a coherent set of beliefs. It is, in fact, an endless stream of contradictions. The best way of understanding it is to see it as a virus. Viruses attack the human body, but the body itself has an immensely sophisticated defense, the human immune system. How then do viruses survive and flourish? By mutating. Anti-Semitism mutates, and in so doing, defeats the immune systems set up by cultures to protect themselves against hatred. There have been three such mutations in the past two thousand years, and we are living through the fourth….
“We can date the third mutation to 1879 when the German journalist Wilhelm Marr coined a new word: anti-Semitism. The fact that he needed to do so tells us that this was a new phenomenon. It emerged in an age of Enlightenment, the secular nation state, liberalism and emancipation. Religious prejudice was deemed to be a thing of the past. The new hatred had therefore to justify itself on quite different grounds, namely race.
“This was a fateful development, because you can change your religion. You cannot change your race. Christians could work for the conversion of the Jews. Racists could only work for the extermination of the Jews. So the Holocaust was born. Sixty years after the word came the deed.
“Today we are living through the fourth mutation. Unlike its predecessors, the new anti-Semitism focuses not on Judaism as a religion, nor on Jews as a race, but on Jews as a nation. It consists of three propositions. First, alone of the 192 nations making up the United Nations, Jews are not entitled to a state of their own. As Amos Oz noted: in the 1930s, anti-Semites declared, ‘Jews to Palestine’. Today they shout, ‘Jews out of Palestine’. He said: they don’t want us to be there; they don’t want us to be here; they don’t want us to be.
“The second is that Jews or the State of Israel (the terms are often used interchangeably) are responsible for the evils of the world, from AIDS to global warming. All the old anti-Semitic myths have been recycled, from the Blood Libel to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, still a best-seller in many parts of the world. The third is that all Jews are Zionists and therefore legitimate objects of attack….The new anti-Semitism is an attack on Jews as a nation seeking to exist as a nation like every other on the face of the earth, with rights of self-governance and self-defence.
״How did it penetrate the most sophisticated immune system ever constructed – the entire panoply of international measures designed to ensure that nothing like the Holocaust would ever happen again…? The answer lies in the mode of self-justification. Most people at most times feel a residual guilt at hating the innocent. Therefore anti-Semitism has always had to find legitimation in the most prestigious source of authority at any given time. In the first centuries of the Common Era, and again in the Middle Ages, this was religion. That is why Judeophobia took the form of religious doctrine. In the nineteenth century, religion had lost prestige, and the supreme authority was now science. Racial anti-Semitism was duly based on two pseudo-sciences, social Darwinism (the idea that in society, as in nature, the strong survive by eliminating the weak) and the so-called scientific study of race. By the late twentieth century, science had lost its prestige, having given us the power to destroy life on earth. Today the supreme source of legitimacy is human rights. That is why Jews (or the Jewish state) are accused of the five primal sins against human rights: racism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, attempted genocide and crimes against humanity.
“That is where we are. How then shall we respond?…As Jews we must understand that we cannot fight anti-Semitism alone. The victim cannot cure the crime. The hated cannot cure the hate. Jews cannot defeat anti-Semitism. Only the cultures that give rise to it can do so. We need allies. Jews have enemies but we also have friends and we must cultivate more…The most important thing Jews can do to fight anti-Semitism is never, ever to internalise it. That is what is wrong in making the history of persecution the basis of Jewish identity. For three thousand years Jews defined themselves as a people loved by God. Only in the nineteenth century did they begin to define themselves as the people hated by gentiles. There is no sane future along that road….To anti-Semites and their fellow travellers we must be candid. Hate destroys the hated, but it also destroys the hater. It is no accident that anti-Semitism is the weapon of choice of tyrants and totalitarian regimes. It deflects internal criticism away by projecting it onto an external scapegoat. It is deployed in country after country to direct attention away from real internal problems of poverty, unemployment and underachievement. Anti-Semitism is used to sustain regimes without human rights, the rule of law, an independent judiciary, a free press, liberty of association or accountable government. One truth resounds through the pages of history: To be free you have to let go of hate. Those driven by hate are enemies of freedom. There is no exception…We must find allies in the fight against hate. For though it begins with Jews, ultimately it threatens us all.” (emphasis mine)
Similar arguments are set forth in an article published by FLAME (Facts and Logic About the Middle East):
“The new anti-Semites do not publicly proclaim their desire to bring about a second Holocaust or to subject the Jews to mass murder or annihilation. The hatred is aimed against the state of Israel, which, according to the new anti-Semites, represents all that is evil in the world and which is the main violator of human rights and guilty of virtually every other abuse that can be conceived. This poison is now so widespread that a poll taken in Europe not too long ago found Israel to be the greatest menace to the peace of the world — far ahead of such murderous regimes as those of Iran or of North Korea….Those on the extreme left call for the abolition of the State of Israel outright, although they do not tell us what they propose to do with the five million Israeli Jews. They would presumably be left to the tender mercies of the Arabs, who would, of course, have no greater joy than to emulate or perhaps even to “improve” on the Nazi model and to give “final solution(!) to the Jewish problem” once and for all. That isn’t going to happen, of course, not because anybody in the world would lift a finger to prevent it, but because, fortunately, Israel is a very strong and most capable nation….
“In deference to “world opinion” and also to the wishes of the United States, Israel has allowed itself to be pressured into innumerable concessions to those who are sworn to destroy it. But it seems clear that, when the chips are really down, a most decisive response on the part of Israel can be expected. With the possible exception of Carthage during the Punic Wars, almost 2500 years ago, no country in the world, no country in recorded history, has ever been threatened with extinction. Israel is the one exception. Fueled by the extreme left, the “legitimacy” of Israel is a constant topic of discussion. The abolition of the “Zionist entity” gets serious attention, even in the hallowed halls of the United Nations. Iran feverishly pursues the Holy Grail of atomic weapons. Its president has publicly declared — not once, but repeatedly — that Israel is a “tumor” that must be excised and that it must be wiped off the map of the world. Medium-range missiles (so far, fortunately without atomic warheads) are being paraded through the streets of Teheran, with signs attached to them, shamelessly giving their destination as Jerusalem. A few eyebrows are being raised around the world, but otherwise nothing is being done about it. Because the memory of the Nazi Holocaust still lingers after all these years, the new anti-Semitism is disguised as the socially more acceptable “anti-Zionism.” It is pursued and propagated by the radical left. Every leftist demonstration — be it about the war in Iraq, against globalization, for or against whatever else — does inevitably include appeals against “Israeli subjugation of the Palestinians,” the “occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel,” or simply asks for the elimination of Israel. Sadly, quite a few Jews, having been saturated with leftism from their early years, participate in such demonstrations…..
“Surely, not everybody who criticizes Israel is an anti-Semite. The actions of Israel, just as the actions of any other countries, are subject to examination and criticism. But the viciousness, volume and consistency of this criticism against Israel is such that it cannot be considered as anything but anti-Semitism — the new anti-Semitism, disguised as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism. The foolish professors and the hypocritical preachers are besotted by their leftism and by their hatred against Israel and America. Overt vilification of America has to remain muted — it’s somewhat dangerous to be too outspoken about it — but Israel, perceived as the satrap and the handmaiden of the United States in the Middle East, is an easy target. Nobody should be fooled. Anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism in whichever way it may be disguised.” (emphasis mine)
More recently, on 30 January, 2014, NewStatesman published an article, with the title, The radicalism of fools: the rise of the new anti-Semitism, followed immediately by the statement, “No self-respecting person on the left should endorse anti-establishment positions that are in reality just cloaked anti-Semitism.” [The article dealt with the use of a reverse Nazi salute by a French soccer player, which was referred to as an anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic gesture – “quenelle”. The full article can be viewed here.
The new/old anti-Semitism, in the form of anti-Zionism, has infiltrated into the ranks of even those who were once considered to be the staunchest supporters of Israel – Christian Evangelicals. Luke Moon, who serves as the Business Manager for the Institute on Religion & Democracy, in his excellent article, In Bethlehem, the Wrong Kind of Christian Festival, wrote: “Evangelicals need to be taught to be anti-Zionist”. Apparently, many are being taught well. The article appeared in the April, 2014, edition of The Tower Magazine and noted the irony that was apparently lost on the organisers of the recent “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference, in that it was held in the city where the Messiah was born, yet “whose Christian population has been eviscerated by the Palestinian Authority”. In his first two paragraphs, Mr. Moon gives us the essence of the conference:
“Over the past several decades, some of the most steadfast backers of Israel have been Christians, particularly in the United States. But opponents of Israel are well aware of this and, not content with working against the Jewish state in other institutions, they have changed their tactics accordingly, working overtime to poison the wellspring of belief. Evangelical support for Israel is under attack.
“The biannual Christ at the Checkpoint Conference (CATC) in Bethlehem has been a rallying point for this campaign. When I attended the 2014 conference, I discovered that things have only gotten worse. In fact, the even demonstrated just how savvy and successful Palestinian anti-Israel Christian activist have become. Over the last four years, the leaders and participants of Christ at the Checkpoint have grown to be increasingly astute regarding American Evangelicals and how to persuade them of their anti-Israel narrative.”
He goes on to state:
“Unfortunately, it was clear from the Christ at the Checkpoint conference that pro-Palestinian Christians have serious political and institutional momentum. Indeed, several activist commented privately that they are concerned Evangelicals will become not just pro-Palestinian, but actively anti-Semitic.
“This cannot be rejected out of hand. At less than a few hundred years old, Christian Zionism is a fairly recent phenomenon. What really makes the new anti-Israel activism so dangerous, however, is how quickly support for Israel can be eroded and how fast the poison of anti-Semitism can spread.
“Arresting this threat will be a challenge. It is simply not enough to warn Evangelical churches of the danger. They need to be equipped with the knowledge necessary to combat the lies with facts and understand the modern state of Israel; and why its existence is evidence of God’s faithfulness and mercy not only toward the Jews, but toward us Evangelicals as well.”
In similar fashion, the in-depth article by Christine Williams, New Anti-Semitism Tailored for Evangelicals (Gatestone Institute International Policy Council), examines the agenda of the CATC conference, noting the “unprecedented advisory” that was issued by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warning Christians not to be involved with the conference that was held last month, which coincided with Israel Apartheid week in Bethlehem. The official statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed the government’s concern about the insidious anti-Israel propaganda emanating from the conference:
“The attempt to use religious motifs in order to mobilise political propaganda and agitate the feelings of the faithful through the manipulation of religion and politics is an unacceptable and shameful act. Using religion for the purpose of incitement in the service of political interests stains the person who does it with a stain of indelible infamy.”
Ms. Williams further gave an eye-opening reminder of the Charter of the terror organisation, Hamas, which controls Gaza and the Gaza Strip:
“For those who need a reminder about the contents of the Charter of Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip and has a joint agreement with Abbas and Fatah, it states that Israel ‘will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.’ It also echoes the motto of its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Koran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope’.”
She also noted that the conference refused to allow Kay Wilson to speak there. She and her friend, Kristine Luken, who was visiting from England, were attacked by “Palestinian” terrorists outside of Jerusalem. Kay was severely injured, while Kristine was killed: “Wilson approached one of the CATC speakers about speaking at the 2012 convocation, but was told that her story was ‘not what the Lord wants’, a phrase that is sadly abused by some Christian leaders to exercise control — akin to a kind of spiritual or psychological extortion — over the follower. Wilson then expressed dismay about ‘how any Israeli…. Messianic believer, could justify participating in a conference that has chosen to associate itself with theologians advocating Replacement Theology and Palestinian officials with clear ties to recognized terrorist organisations.’ She further stated, ‘For any self-respecting person, and especially for Israelis such as myself, the endorsement of terror by association, at a Christian conference, is obscene’.”
The readers of this blog are encouraged to read this article in its entirety, as well the others cited that deal with the “new” anti-Semitism, a subject which is pervasive in its scope and deals not only with direct attacks upon Israel itself, but encourages indirect attacks, such as through the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, as well as through the internet. Keep in mind that while the “old”, classic anti-Semitism sought and seeks to cleanse the world from Jews, the “new” version of the “old” anti-Semitism sought and seeks to cleanse the world from the Jewish State vis anti-Zionism. It’s the same lady, but she’s wearing a different dress.
As mentioned in the closing quote from FLAME above: “Nobody should be fooled. Anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism in whichever way it may be disguised.” We need to pray and act so as not to be deceived and to tacitly agree to the wiles of those who would seek to destroy Israel in any way they can.
This subject is particularly relevant inasmuch as beginning this coming Sunday evening, Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) will begin here. There will be sirens sounded throughout the country as we stand in silent remembrance of the six million Jews, including more than 1.2 million children, who were slain during the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis.
Passover is over, or is it? One more day!
This evening we complete the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:4-8). Over the years, the two religious feasts have been celebrated together, as an 8-day celebration. In Israel, most schools are closed, along with all government offices. Banks are off the first and last days. Most large companies give their employees a week off also. And, we ate Matzo (unleavened bread) for 8 days. Oh, to bite into a real sandwich ago!
Tomorrow, the day following the end of Passover, is another day of celebration, called “Isro Chag”. It is celebrated the day following each of the 3 religious festivals, when going up to Jerusalem was commanded (Passover, Feast of Weeks or Pentecost and Feast of Tabernacles). Its custom came about as a result of some people remaining in Jerusalem following each of those feast days. The name originated from Psalm 118:27 – “The LORD is God, and He has given us light; Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.”
And THAT was the Week that was.
“The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. (Zephaniah 3:17)
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you….” (Zechariah 9:9)
Be blessed and be a blessing,