Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Amazing Day

I saw an amazing letter today in The Day of New London, Connecticut. The unnamed writer (I'm not sure whether that was a technical error on the web site or cowardice on the part of the writer) shows an amazing ignorance of history, writing as if the Arab-Israeli conflict began with the election of the terrorist Hamas to run the Palestinian Authority.

He writes: "The cause of the hatred toward the Jews has to do with the continuing
confiscation of land and destruction of Palestinian crops as well as
the demolition of their homes and the building and enlargement of

Ironically, the Arabs just "celebrated" what they call the "Nakba," or catastrophe, the re-establishment of Israel in 1948. They are the only people in the world who are angry about the fact that another people has an independent state. Had they, at that time, joined the Jews in agreeing to the Partition Plan, a heavily biased plan which would have left the Arabs with approximately 85 percent of Mandatory Palestine, including the portion east of the Jordan River, they could be celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of their own independence next year.

It was this hatred of Jews and the very idea that is behind the Arab-Israeli conflict, to which Hamas is a relative newcomer.

As usual, the Israel-haters get cause and effect reversed, while also accusing Israel and its supporters of sins they are guilty of. In this instance, the writer accuses someone else of "reading from a Zionist

It was the writer, of course, who was reading from an anti-Zionist script.

In his final paragraph, the writer rhetorically asks "What is the problem with refusing that Israel has a 'right to exist?,'" saying it "will depend on negotiations and on recognition
by the international community."

Hamas, of course, has repeatedly insisted it will never recognize the right of Israel to exist, while the international community, despite the unanimous opposition of the Arab states, welcomed Israel into the United Nations.

In the same issue, another writer, Jerry Silberberg, implied a false moral equivalency between the terrorism of the Palestinian Arabs and the defensive measures taken by Israel to protect its innocent people.

He says "There are many forms of violence that are being perpetrated by both
sides" and that "only when both sides
renounce violence and put down their arms will there be peace."

He is correct on the first point, but in a misleading way, and only partially correct in the second.

Palestinian Arabs violently murder innocent Israelis using terrorism as a strategy; the charters of both Hamas and Fatah insist violence is essential to their goal of destroying Israel. Israel responds, sometimes violently, against the murderers to protect its people.

Regarding the second, if the Palestinian Arabs lay down their arms and renounce violence, there will be no war, but if the Israelis lay down their arms there will be no Israel.

The key need is for the Palestinian Arabs to reconcile themselves to the existence of Israel.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What Goes Around Comes Around

Ironies abound regarding the current fighting between the Lebanese army and Arab terrorists, euphemistically referred to by the press as "Islamic militants." Unfortunately, in what amounts to dereliction of duty, these ironies are generally not mentioned by the press.

I just heard a Lebanese government spokesperson explain how the government must exercise its sovereignty over all of Lebanon. Of course, had Lebanon done so earlier, it would have avoided all its current problems; however, since the terrorists operating from Lebanese soil were primarily directing their weapons at innocent Israelis, Lebanon had no interest in intervening.

Throughout the Arab world, the terrorism virus which they nurtured as a tool to use against Israel has inevitably mutated, bringing with it internal terrorism that threatens the very regimes that created it. Similarly, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union trained terrorists as part of its strategy for wooing Arab regimes; today, terrorism is a major problem for the successors of the Soviet Union.

A key lesson is that the tools honed in the genocidal battle to destroy Israel are eventually used against their creators as well as those who look the other way because it is the Jews who are being murdered. Even Fatah is now reaping what it has sowed.

But one would never know from reading newspapers or watching the news on television.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Will the media continue to pretend Hamas has ever adhered to a cease fire?

It's reminiscent of the line in Tom Lehrer's song, National Brotherhood Week: "and everyone hates the Jews."

Hamas and Fatah have amply shown both that they hate each other and Israel certainly has nobody to negotiate with, since even if either Hamas or Fatah acted in contradiction to their charters and came to an agreement with Israel, the agreement would be worthless.

Still, in the midst of their gang-stye murdering of each other, and while the media still refers to Hamas as "largely adhering to a cease fire with Israel, Hamas not only launched dozens of Kassam missiles at Israeli civilians but openly claimed "credit" and announced it planned to launch more.

In the Alice-in-Wonderland world of intra-Palestinian Authority politics, the one surefire way to increase support is to murder Israelis.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Indominable Mickey Mouse

I had a few cynical laughs while and after reading an excellent commentary by Michael Goodwin on Hamas' using a clone of Mickey Mouse to teach Palestinian Arab children to kill Jews. By the time the column appeared in my local newspaper, Palestinian Authority Minister of Information Mustafa Barghouti had reacted to criticism by announcing the cartoon character would be taken off the air until a review was done, as if there was concern about teaching children to murder.

Then I checked my email and saw that pretense was doubly phony, that Farfur was still on the air.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Newspapers in Mis-Education

Newspapers in Education (NIE) are a wonderful idea, but it's particularly important to not misinform impressionable students.

The Hartford Courant published an NIE "Geography Activity on Israel" April 26. It presented a mostly age-appropriate picture of Israel, but unfortunately contained several factual errors and information that could easily lead to false inferences.

For example, it called jihad, intifada and Hamas "yiddish words;" they are, of course, taken from Arabic, with Hamas being the transliteration of the Arabic acronym for the terrorist Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamiya fi Filistin, or Islamic Resistance Movement in Palestine.

The activity included the true but misleading statement "the Palestinian refugee camps have been in place for decades;" one would naturally but incorrectly infer those camps are in Israel; all the camps for Arab refugees, which today actually have very few refugees but have millions of descendants of refugees, are either in Arab countries or were set up by Egypt and Jordan in the disputed areas when they occupied them. Whereas the Palestinian Arabs who left what is now Israel were treated as unwanted guests by their Arab brethren and forced into refugee camps, those who remained became citizens of Israel.

Finally, the statement "Israel has grown eight-fold in population since 1948 and its territory has expanded due to conquest and annexation from various wars of recent times presents an extremely distorted impression. The only additional territory incorporated into Israel after 1948 was some parts of its capital of Jerusalem and Israel actually shrank when it transferred territory to Jordan in connection with the peace treaty signed a decade ago, while the population increase has come through immigration and natural growth.

These, and a few other less significant errors and distortions, mar an otherwise well-conceived NIE resource. The Courant is to be commended for its Newspapers in Education program while realizing extreme care must be taken to accurately present information to impressionable children.

About David Ignatius Oped "End Diplomatic Isolation"

Ignatius reveals his bias as soon as he touches upone the Arab-Israeli conflict, when he writes: "A second diplomatic path for Rice involves the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the long-festering wound that has afflicted the Middle East for 40 years."

The Arab-Israeli conflict, which spawned the conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and Israelis, has of course been going on for nearly two decades longer than that. Ignatius falsely implies that the root of the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict" is the so-called occupation, rather then being rooted in the continuing refusal of the surrounding Arabs nations to live in peace.

Ignatius further misleads when he writes: "Indeed, in her effort to regain an honest-broker role, she has been willing to meet with Palestinian officials despite Israeli objections."

It was the Quartet, not Israel, that prepared the minimal conditions for dealing with the Palestinian Authority led by Hamas. It is the conditions America set which Rice is undermining.

Ignatius: "Rice took a small step this week by meeting with Salam Fayyad, the finance minister of the Palestinian 'unity government' that is dominated by the militant group Hamas. She appears hopeful that ways can be found to resume U.S. financial aid to the Palestinians through Fayyad, in his role as a representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, despite a formal ban on assistance to the Hamas-led government."

Ignatius falsely implies that the United States ended financial aid to the Palestinian Arabs. American assistance has continued virtually unabated; it has just been funneled more directly to the people. Indeed, assistance to the Palestinian Arabs has actually increased substantially since they voted Hamas into power.

Ignatius: "Israel had argued strenuously against such contacts. But Rice decided she would meet with Palestinian ministers if their past statements accepted Israel's right to exist in peace. Meanwhile, Rice continues a dual-track diplomatic negotiation she describes with the somewhat nebulous phrase of 'the political horizon.' In practice, that has meant pushing Israelis and Palestinians to discuss details for administering the Palestinian state everyone says they want in principle."

There is no need to demonstrate a "political horizon;" the Palestinian Arabs have long known all they need to do in order to establish another independent state is to say yes to peace. It was the Palestinian Arabs who have spurned all opportunities for a "political horizon."

In pushing for negotiations now, Rice is undermining the "road map" the American government has repeatedly insisted was the only game in town. She is also encouraging the belief among Arab extremists that they can safely ignore any American conditions, even conditions as innocuous as those in the road map which essentially just call upon the Palestinian Arabs to adhere to some of their prior commitments, with the confidence that if they continue their intransigence the United States will just pressure Israel to make more concessions.

Ignatius: "A promising new Arab initiative is broadening this path out of the Israeli-Palestinian wilderness. With Rice's encouragement, Arab countries this week agreed to establish a working group to present details of Saudi King Abdullah's 2002 peace plan to the Israelis. So far, the group includes only Jordan and Egypt, two countries that already have diplomatic relations with Israel."

Ignatius distorts the thrust of the "working group;" rather than showing a willingness to meet with Israel, the Arab nations which continue to refuse to recognize Israel also refused to meet with Israel. They emphasized their one-sided "peace plan" was an ultimatum, not a basis for negotiation.

Ignatius: "But there's hope the group will expand if negotiations over the Palestinian 'horizon' gather momentum."

See the earlier remarks regarding a "political horizon." It is not the Palestinian Arabs who need assurance that there is hope for their future, since they are the ones who are blocking their own futures. The Arabs need to demonstrate the willingness to live together with Israel in peace, by sitting down with Israel and demonstrating a willingness to negotiate in good faith and to compromise. After fifty-nine years of bellicosity, intransigence and ultimatums, it is long past time for some good will gestures from the Arab side.