Listening carefully to what individuals or groups are saying about you is a prerequisite to understanding what actions may subsequently follow.
During the Jewish People’s millennial march through history there has been virtually no period when they have not been subjected to verbal abuse followed inevitably by attempts to physically eliminate them. One would think that these experiences had inculcated a keen sense of danger of where threats can lead. It is true that some kind of early warning system has developed which alerts many to the imminent dangers ahead. In fact Jews have been described as the canaries in the coalmine in so far as they are usually the first victims of disasters but certainly not the last.
Canaries are passive victims of their own vulnerabilities and while this was true of Jews in past generations, with the re-establishment of the Jewish homeland it is not so today. The verbal lies, slanders and delegitimisation may remain the same but our ability to counter them bears no relationship to our defenseless helplessness prior to 1948.
Tragically there are still too many who ignore those threatening us and who have not learnt the lessons of history. Most of the international community carries on as they always have and in some ways this is expected. The real tragedies are those targeted as the first victims who prefer to pretend that nothing is amiss. Not taking threats against us seriously is the first step on a slippery slope of denial, inaction and often fatal finality.
A more than cursory glance over what has transpired during the last sixty-eight years (or more) should serve as a wake up call as to what we can confidently expect today and in the near future. The raucous rhetoric of blood-curdling intentions articulated just three years after the Shoah by Arab nations was immediately translated into murderous genocidal intent as the Jewish State was reborn. In fact unbridled terror had preceded the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty and it certainly continues unabated until this very time. It was only by dint of sheer grit, sacrifice and with a dose of Divine intervention that the small, vulnerable and valiant defenders of the State managed to avert a tragedy of post Holocaust proportions. Listening to the speeches at the time nobody could have been left in any doubt as to the ultimate fate of every Jewish man, woman and child had the forces of Arab hatred prevailed.
That was then. What about today?
We have peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt although that is only as good as the forces of Islamic terror are prevented from overwhelming the current regimes. As for those designated by the UN as “peace partners” and their terror-supporting backers it is business as usual. The torrent of threats and lies emanating from official media and spokespersons continues unabated. It is important to remember that what is spoken in English to gullible international journalists and politicians is different to utterances made in Arabic for local consumption. Those seduced by expressions of moderation and fraternal friendship are the same fools who in the past were mesmerised by Nazi and Communist disinformation tactics. Well funded by the EU and other sources, groups dedicated to singing the siren songs of delusionary nirvana abound in Israel and elsewhere. The sickening spectacle of academics, media experts and other fellow travelers instigating, organizing and promoting Israel boycotts and sanctions in the face of clear evidence of genocidal intentions makes one realize that indeed there are many who still do not want to take seriously the verbal abuse being unleashed against us.
If you think I am exaggerating or scare mongering take some time to peruse just a few of the examples provided here. Then decide whether we should shrug our shoulders and pretend that it is all hot air or instead should we take those threatening us at their word and prepare to deal with them accordingly.
1944: “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God, history and religion.”
– Haj Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem
(Radio Berlin, March 1, 1944;
1947: “I personally wish that the Jews do not drive us to this war, as this will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Tartar massacre or the Crusader wars.”
– Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League
1948: “If the Jewish state becomes a fact, and this is realized by the Arab peoples, they will drive the Jews who live in their midst into the sea… Even if we are beaten now in Palestine, we will never submit. We will never accept the Jewish state… But for politics, the Egyptian army alone, or volunteers of the Muslim Brotherhood, could have destroyed the Jews.”
– Hassan al-Banna, Muslim Brotherhood founder
1967: “Whoever survives will stay in Palestine, but in my opinion, no-one will remain alive.”
– Ahmed Shuqayri, PLO founder
1970: “We shall never stop until we can go back home and Israel is destroyed… The goal of our struggle is the end of Israel, and there can be no compromises or mediations… the goal of this violence is the elimination of Zionism from Palestine in all its political, economic and military aspects… We don’t want peace, we want victory. Peace for us means Israel’s destruction and nothing else. ”
– Yasser Arafat, PLO chairman
1980: “Fatah is a nationalist revolutionary movement bent on the complete liberation of Palestine [and] the liquidation of the Zionist entity economically, militarily, politically, culturally and intellectually…”
– Fatah Congress resolution
1996: “The PLO will now concentrate on splitting Israel psychologically into two camps… We plan to eliminate the State of Israel and establish a Palestinian state. We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion. Jews will not want to live among Arabs. I have no use for Jews. They are and remain Jews. We now need all the help we can get from you in our battle for a united Palestine under Arab rule.”
– Yasser Arafat, speech to Arab diplomats in Stockholm
2001: “We are ambushing the Israelis and cheating them… If we agree to declare our state over what is now 22 percent of Palestine, meaning the West Bank and Gaza, our ultimate goal is the liberation of all historic Palestine from the River to the Sea… We distinguish the strategic, long-term goals from the political phased goals, which we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure.”
– Faisal Husseini, PLO strategist
2016: “Jews are thieves who stole the land…we have been here for 5,000 years.” Abbas advisor on official PA TV 3 June 2016
2016: “The Bible says the Palestinians existed before Abraham…We have been planted in this land (Palestine) since the invention of the Canaanite-Palestinian alphabet more than 6,000 years ago,” Abbas on PA TV June 2016
Of necessity this is merely a smattering of endearing messages of “peace and fraternal greetings” which have been declared without pause since 1944 by Arab leaders. They are not aberrations but sincerely held beliefs. Sanctioned by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority today, they encapsulate exactly what their real agenda is all about. Not one day passes without yet more statements of a similar ilk published or broadcast in Arabic to the masses.
Yet, despite these incontrovertible facts the international community refuses to face reality. From Washington to Wellington, Brussels to Berlin, Paris to Pretoria, London to Lisbon, Moscow to Madrid, Dublin to Dubai and all points in between, we are told to ignore these manifestations of hate and surrender our security to deniers and revisionists, hate mongers and delegitimiser, all of whom wish the elimination of a Jewish presence in the Land of Israel.
Following this week’s Ramadan sponsored terror attack in Tel Aviv, Ban Ki Moon expressed shock at those Palestinian Arabs celebrating and praising this latest murder of Israelis. Where has this guy been in recent years? Like most of the UN he obviously prefers to shut his ears and avert his eyes to the daily expressions of murderous intent.
When groups articulate a desire to eliminate Jews and the Jewish State we need to take them seriously. Past experiences should have taught us no less.
An American civil rights activist, Maya Agelou, put it best when she said: “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
We are duty bound to do just that.
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.