Posts Tagged ‘Palestinians’

Israel whistles, the United States comes running. No matter what’s right

September 23, 2011

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, told a cheering UN General Assembly today, “I do not believe that anyone with a shred of conscience can reject our application for full admission to the United Nations.”

Who can disagree? The government of Israel, for one. And if the GOI objects, the American right will come right along. And so, sadly, will President Obama. Conscience takes a back seat when votes are about to be counted.

Obama’s speech to the UN was a craven surrender to the Israeli government’s demand that we oppose the Palestinian request. This is an ethical disaster, as well as a realpolitik one. It will wipe out the good will Obama earned with his earlier calls for honorable treatment of the Palestinians and his once-brave insistence on a halt to Israeli expansion into the West Bank. Forgotten, too, will be his siding with the Arab Spring, outweighed as it is among most Muslims and young people everywhere (including in Israel) by his opposition to Palestinian rights.

Obama did have support for his position. To Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Obama’s speech was a “badge of honor.” This is the same Netanyahu that President Clinton blamed, as recently as yesterday, for preventing a peace deal.

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman liked the speech even more, telling a news conference, “I congratulate President Obama, and I am ready to sign on this speech with both hands.” Lieberman is widely despised in Israel as a racist for his proposal to rid Israel of its Arab citizens by “redrawing its map to ‘exchange’ part of the Arab population and create a more ‘homogenous Jewish state,’ as a solution to Israel’s Arab minority ‘problem.’ ”

Having sabotaged Israel’s own relations with Turkey over Israeli refusal to apologize for killing nine Turkish activists running the Gaza blockade, Israel is now sabotaging American relations with the entire Muslim world, which will have a hard time accepting that America preaches freedom for all, but not for occupied Palestine.

Israeli leaders condemn Jewish mosque-burners as “criminals” and “terrorists”

October 6, 2010

EthicsBob recently slammed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his failure to denounce Israel’s former chief rabbi for calling for death to all Palestinians: his office merely issued a statement that the rabbi’s views “don’t represent” Netanyahu’s. But when Jewish settlers set fire to a West Bank mosque this week the Israeli Prime Minister quickly ordered Israeli security forces to “act firmly to quickly uncover the criminals and bring them to justice.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak went further, calling the perpetrators “terrorists in every sense of the word.”

It’s beyond my memory that any senior Israeli official publicly called violent religious settlers terrorists. Hooray for Barak; hooray even for Netanyahu.

Sadly there are people on both sides of the Jewish/Arab divide who use the incident to inflame. The UK-based Middle East Monitor headlined its coverage, “Israeli settlers burn yet another mosque in occupied Palestine.” It implied that the crime had the assent of the Israeli establishment, saying that “In the current climate of global Islamophobia these uncivilised and intolerant acts will evoke little or no condemnation or censure.”

Not true. Netanyahu and Barak are siding against the Israeli terrorists. That’s a good thing. There’s no excuse for failing to credit it.

We are tarred by what we put up with: “Death to all Palestinians”? Not my view, says Netanyahu

August 29, 2010

We honor politicians who denounce members of their party or of their administration who lie, cheat, steal, or defame. Those who defend such behavior—or are silent about it—are encouraging it and eventually own it as their own. Some try to have it both ways—gently stepping away from the crime without offending the criminal. Like Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu?

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reports today that Ovadia Yosef, formerly chief rabbi of Israel, called yesterday during his weekly Shabbat sermon, for death to all Palestinians. Rabbi Yosef, spiritual leader and a founder of Israel’s leading ultra-Orthodox Shas Party—part of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s governing coalition with four ministers—described Palestinians as evil, bitter enemies of Israel:

“Abu Mazen [more commonly known as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] and all these evil people should perish from this world … God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”


Nothing new for Rabbi Yosef. Haaretz also quotes a 2001 speech in which he proclaimed,

“It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.”

When asked for a comment yesterday, Netanyahu’s office fell despicably short of condemnation, issuing a statement, according to the Jerusalem Post, that Yosef’s comments:

“don’t represent the views of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu or the Israeli government. Israel entered into negotiations out of a desire to progress with the Palestinians toward an agreement that will end the conflict and ensure peace, security, and good neighborly relations between the two nations.”

Is Turkey becoming anti-American, anti-Israeli, pro-Iran, and radical Islamist? What in the world is going on with Turkey?

June 18, 2010

Turkey, long America’s most reliable, and Israel’s only, ally in the Muslim world, is now being called anti-American, anti-Israel, and most alarming, Islamist, especially after the deadly May 31 incident when Turkish activists sailed into an Israeli blockade of Gaza and came off second best.

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recap Erdogan (pronounced Re-jep ERD-uh-WAN) is the favorite whipping boy of just about anybody who is for Israel or against Iran, radical Islamists, or Muslims in general. It’s ironic that Erdogan, who has led Turkey toward most of the western democratic-style reforms demanded by the European Union as a condition for Turkey’s acceptance, is at now being accused by many, including many Turks, of wanting to return Turkey to the Muslim caliphate of pre-Ataturk days.

One of the West’s most insightful observers of Turkish affairs is South African journalist and author Hugh Pope, who for years headed the Istanbul office of the Wall Street Journal. Pope has an op-ed in today’s Haaretz, Israel’s most respected newspaper headlined Erdogan is not the bogeyman. In it he debunks the idea of an “Islamist foreign policy for Turkey, (more…)

Israel’s policy on Palestinians and their supporters: An eye for a tooth

June 3, 2010

The Bible says “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand.” (Exodus, 21:23) The Israeli government has long since amended this commandment. Israel’s policy appears to be eye for tooth.

Israel’s latest military action was to interdict an attempt to run an Israeli blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. The blockade-running flotilla sailed from Turkey with humanitarian supplies. It was stopped by Israel Defense Forces, who subdued the crews, killing ten of them, seized the boats and supplies, and brought the 700 activists, mostly Turkish, to Israel. The Israeli government said it would deport almost all of them within the next two days, but about 50 would be held for investigation into their part in the violence at sea.

It was another great victory for the once vaunted Israel Defense Forces over unarmed civilians. Here’s the recent scorecard of deaths:

· 2010 Gaza blockade incident: Israelis 0, Turks (and a few others) 10

· 2008-9 Gaza invasion: Israelis 13, Palestinians 1300

· 2006 Lebanon invasion: Israelis 162, Lebanese 1035

Israel asserts the right of self defense, and clearly some of the people they killed were fighting against Israel, including against the civilian population. But most opinion inside Israel is that the vast majority of those killed by the IDF have been unarmed non-combatants.

Israel’s relentless war on Palestinians and those who support them (more…)

Joe Lieberman’s “enemies” aren’t America’s

March 16, 2010

The flap intensifies over Israel’s announcement of
plans to build 1600 new homes in East Jerusalem. After strenuous objection from Joe Biden and the State Department , Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized for the timing of the announcement but not for the substance,  telling the Israeli Parliament that construction of Jewish housing in Jerusalem was not a matter for negotiation.

The New York Times quotes a senior administration official as saying, “What happened to the vice president in Israel was unprecedented. Where it goes from here depends on the Israelis.” But the Israelis seem intent on continuing to expand into East Jerusalem and more broadly into the West Bank.

The U.S. is in a difficult position, caught between the uncompromising Israeli ally on one side and  (more…)

Anti-Defamation equals “Don’t mess with Israel”

March 13, 2010

The Anti-Defamation League’s website says its purpose is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Apparently this includes supporting any Israeli expansion—like the plan announced this week to build 1600 new houses in East Jerusalem—and opposing any criticism of Israel by the U.S. government.

Thus, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement yesterday (March 12):

We are shocked and stunned at the Administration’s tone and public dressing down of Israel on the issue of future building in Jerusalem.   We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States.  One can only wonder how far the U.S. is prepared to go (more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers