Since time immemorial Jews have always been in the news.
Nowadays it is more likely to be the Jewish State which features almost on a daily basis in the world media. Whether we like it or not the bulk of publicity tends to be negative and riddled with falsehoods and distortions. The dilemma thus is whether to ignore or expose it. I believe that shining a bright light on double standards and hypocrisy when it comes to reporting about Israel is a necessity in order that we can competently combat the inevitable insidious fallouts.
Growing ignorance and deliberate hatred which we are witnessing multiplying almost on a daily basis must be fought with all the resources at our disposal. Those who still believe that it’s only Israel which is the target need to realize that all Jews everywhere are now at risk in one way or another.
That is why I make no apologies for exposing unsettling events because without knowledge and awareness we have no hope of tackling the haters. For those who still prefer to dwell in denial land where life is full of delusions and where uncomfortable truths are best swept under the carpet, I suggest you skip straight to “on the other hand” and bask in the positive achievements which are happening here but which the boycotters want everyone to shun.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, here are samples of the latest news targeting us as Jews and Israelis.
No matter how many times our internationally designated “peace” partners display their talents at rewriting history and deny our connection to this Land there are unfortunately still many who prefer to believe that all we have to do is appease. The latest example of doublespeak by those who pay terrorists to slay Israelis was a statement issued on behalf of the PA: “our right to UN membership was ratified in 1947. It is not open for negotiation with anyone nor will we ask for permission from anyone.”
As any student of history knows in 1947 the UN voted to partition what was left of mandated Palestine into a Jewish and Arab State. Everyone except deniers of reality knows that the Jews accepted the proposal and the Arabs rejected it preferring instead to annihilate the proposed Jewish State. Not once, not twice, but endless times these self-same Palestinian Arab leaders taking their terror group charters as validation have tried to eliminate us.
Our message should be unambiguous: sorry mates. You have by your past and present incitement and terror forfeited any right to retrospectively reclaim something you trashed for the last 70 years. The UN did not in 1947 grant you an automatic right to UN membership – it offered you the opportunity to create your own country living peacefully with a Jewish State. You preferred instead to embark on a rejection of any Jewish presence and to poison the minds of future generations. Your future lies in the citizenship of Gaza or Jordan and not in Judea and Samaria.
The insatiable urge by the international community to interfere in our internal affairs has resulted in some scandalous situations which no other normal country would have tolerated.
We have TIPH – temporary international presence in Hebron, comprised of “observers” from Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Since 1997 these far from neutral individuals have been ostensibly spending their time wandering around this ancient Jewish city in support of the alleged oppressed local Arab population. Shamefully agreed to by an Israeli Government under the delusory belief that these “temporary” busybodies would guarantee us international approval they are still here engaged in meaningless daily rituals of sending back bad reports about Israel. Finally, twenty-two years later, they have been given their marching orders and of course, all hell has broken out. This is a classic example of how Israel is treated differently from any other democracy. It is also a salutary lesson to local appeasers that self-abasement never succeeds in winning friends.
If you ever needed better examples of international chutzpah here are a few choice samples:
Austria and Norway sponsored a UN event honouring the memory of a Jewish child murdered in Auschwitz. Served at the reception was Israeli wine from a Golan winery. However, the source of the wine was blacked out on the label so that horror of horrors nobody should be knowingly contaminated by drinking it. When confronted with this, to their credit, the Austrian Mission to the UN expressed outrage and denied any responsibility. The Norwegian Mission to the UN and the UN itself, on the other hand, did not respond to inquiries so one can guess where the culprits originated from.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the EU has in the last year given five million Euros to NGO’s engaged in supporting boycotts of Israel.
In a similar vein, a Spanish construction company has declined to compete for a tender to build additional lines for Jerusalem’s light rail network because the train will be travelling in what they declare is “occupied territories” – in other words, Israel’s Capital. Trying to take the high moral ground these Spaniards merely expose their own deliberate prejudices and ignorance. The irony of the heirs of Spanish inquisitors and conquistadors who colonized and raped countries and indigenous populations lecturing and boycotting us is mind-boggling.
Likewise, Amnesty International which apparently has run out of human rights abuses to report on once again targets Israel and demands that Jewish holiday homes in Judea, Samaria, Golan and Jerusalem be boycotted and shunned.
Always wanting to be seen as the champion of the oppressed, Turkey’s President hosted a delegation of Arab Knesset members and thanked them for “serving Palestinian interests in the Knesset.” Just imagine if Israel’s Prime Minister told a visiting delegation of Turkish Kurdish MP’s “kol hakavod” on serving independent Kurdistan’s interests in Parliament. We, of course, are expected to just grin and bear it.
Eurovision is getting closer and right on cue, the usual suspects in the entertainment industry have demanded that the BBC boycott the competition. Next thing we know New Zealander Lorde will be adding her two cents worth. Australian boycotter advocates have already jumped on the bandwagon.
The funniest spectacle was the outrage expressed by the UK because the EU in the context of Brexit negotiations had the audacity to call Gibraltar a colony. As an Israeli, I totally sympathize with the Brits. Gibraltar is definitely not a colony – it is occupied territory the same as the Falklands and Northern Ireland.
The last example takes the cake or should we say frankfurter. Plans were announced for the establishment of a sausage museum in a building adjacent to the former Buchenwald concentration camp. Appropriately named the “Bratwurst” museum the people behind this innovative venture were taken by surprise when uproar broke out over the proposed location. It highlights once again the gross ignorance and fading memories of a not so long ago bygone era and should serve as a warning as to what we can expect in a few more years when Holocaust survivors are no longer with us. As a result of the many protests, it has now been decided to relocate this museum to another more suitable place.
Meanwhile, on a news channel, I noticed that the world’s first sausage-themed hotel has opened in Bavaria. According to Google, there are 1,500 varieties of sausages in Germany which gives plenty of scope for further innovative enterprises. Hopefully, locations will be more carefully selected.
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.