One of the unique aspects of living in Israel is that there is never a dull moment.
Life is definitely not boring here. This country seems to be the centre of the universe if one gauges this from the amount of attention it garners internationally, either for good or more likely negative. No other country attracts so much attention. Events which do not cause a ripple of interest when they occur in other countries are blown into mega events if Israel is involved. We are constantly censured, condemned, boycotted and delegitimised while real criminal States are given a pass by the UN and its various corrupt agencies.
This past week has been no exception.
An unnamed German official told Reuters that relations between Germany and Israel were at their lowest point in years. Presumably this was because we are building houses for Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Coincidentally two German newspapers listed the Israeli Prime Minister as one of the seven looniest dictators in the world alongside North Korea and Russia. After an uproar the editors withdrew this assertion saying it “had been a mistake.” Of course by then the damage had been done but that is how things operate these days.
A South African Cabinet Minister and an official from the ANC accused the IDF of war crimes and of practising “water apartheid.” It was also proposed that any South African citizen who served in the IDF should be stripped of their citizenship. This should serve as an early warning to all those South African Jews who still think that they may have a secure future in that country. As usual too many will leave it too late to take action.
In March 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire with an automatic weapon at Israeli schoolgirls on a trip to the Jordan/Israel border area, killing seven of them and wounding five others plus a teacher. He was eventually sentenced by a Jordanian military tribunal to 20 years incarceration, having escaped a longer sentence because of “mental problems.” This week saw him released from jail. If anyone thought that he had repented for his crime they would have been rather disappointed. Hailed as a hero by family, friends and admirers alike, he proceeded to offer his thoughts to the Jordanian people. Here is what he had to say on TV:
“Israelis are human waste that must be eradicated. They must be vomited up at our feet. We must eliminate them by fire or burial. If this is not done by our hands, the task will fall on future generations to do. Do not believe the lie that is normalisation with the Zionist entity. Do not believe the lie that is the two State solution. Palestine is one land from the river to the sea. There is no State called Israel.”
This is the sort of hate incitement which we hear on a daily basis from officials of the Palestinian Arab Authority so it should not come as any surprise. One would have thought that the Jordanian monarch and Government would officially distance themselves from such utterances. Not unexpectantly there has been total silence from these peace partners of ours.
Given the constant stream of invective from Ramallah and the lauding of terrorists it seems reasonable to assume that genuine peace, tolerance and co-existence are not likely to be achieved any time soon. Despite the daily manifestations of such behaviour there are still many who dream that those promoting such slander can somehow be any sort of partner.
Amazing as it may sound there are indeed some who are dazzled by the thought of engaging promoters of hate. Recently the President of the Palestinian Arab Authority, whose four year term of office was extended “indefinitely” in 2009, received a delegation of Reform Rabbis and leaders from the USA. Incredibly these luminaries, ignoring blatant manifestations of double speak and abusers of democratic norms, revelled in the red carpet rolled out for them in Ramallah. Recognising a glorious opportunity to dazzle the naïve and manipulate the media once again, Abbas and colleagues put on an Oscar winning performance designed to show how their craving for peace has been continually thwarted by Israeli rejectionist actions. Falling into the trap neatly prepared for them, this group of US starry eyed liberals eagerly embraced the politically correct mantra of condemning their own brethren for living in areas which are legally part of our history and country. Publicly ignoring over seventy years of Arab murder and terror against Jews these representatives of what passes for a significant segment of American Jewry gave terrorist honouring Abbas a certificate of legitimacy. This no doubt plays very well with constituents back in the USA whose commitment to a Jewish State is waning or already completely absent but it certainly “bombed” as far as the majority of those living in Israel are concerned. Some Israeli politicians from the left have also trekked to Ramallah in the past. We even have had a former head of the Mossad advocating a dialogue with Hamas which is bound to be as successful as Chamberlain’s talks with Hitler. What all these advocates fail to understand is that talking and giving legitimacy to individuals, groups and political leaders whose fundamental purpose is the destruction of the Jewish State and the murder of its citizens is an exercise in futility.
To round off another week of action two events caught my attention.
The UN Economic & Social Commission for Western Asia produced a 74 page report which asserted that “available evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid as legally defined in instruments of international law.” Who are the members of this august lynch body? They are: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, “Palestine”, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Need one say more? Is it not about time to terminate support for these abominations of international corruption?
The European Court of Justice has issued a ruling that essentially permits employers to ban the public wearing of religious clothing such as head coverings (scarves), turbans, kippot and display of religious symbols such as crosses or stars of David. Can you imagine the international uproar and convulsions if Israel had instituted such a blatantly discriminatory law? The European hypocrites and other chorus of self righteous Jew haters would be out in force and countless thunderous resolutions would be issuing forth from UN headquarters and Parliaments alike. The media would be pillorying us unmercifully and one sided human rights champions would be in a frenzy, organising demonstrations.
Instead, we witness hardly a ripple of indignation at this frontal assault on religious freedom.
Welcome to another episode in the theatre of the absurd.
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.