In addition to my open letter, as to commentary and clarifying comments in brackets [        ] only:  © Mark Rosenblit




"Woe unto those who speak of Evil as [if it were] Good, and of Good as [if it were] Evil; who make Darkness into [the semblance of] Light, and Light into [the semblance of] Darkness; who make Bitter into [the perception of] Sweet, and Sweet into [the perception of] Bitter." (Isaiah 5:20)


“There is a Futility that takes place on the Earth -- there are righteous ones who are treated as [if they had performed] the actions of the evil ones; and there are evil ones who are treated as [if they had performed] the actions of the righteous ones -- I declared that, also, this is a Futility.” (Ecclesiastes 8:14)


Note:  The above biblical passages speak of two different, but related, Sins.  For, whenever one treats Good as if it were Evil or treats Evil as if it were Good, he thereby creates a Moral Equivalency between Good and Evil.   However, whenever one treats Good as if it were Evil and treats Evil as if it were Good, he thereby creates a Role Reversal between Good and Evil. -- Mark Rosenblit





Essay: The compensation option


By Hillel Halkin

(Jerusalem Post, February 6, 2006) There is no small hypocrisy in the argument that the former Arab vegetable market in Hebron rightfully belongs to that city's Jewish settlers because it was Jewish property in 1948 when King Abdullah's Arab Legion conquered the West Bank. That this should be the argument put forth by the settlers is only natural. That it is accepted by the government of Israel, which has reportedly come to an agreement with Hebron's Jews whereby they will be given future title to the area in return for voluntarily evacuating it now, is something else.

Let us put aside for the moment the question of how a new government under Ehud Olmert, whose apparent plan is to keep a part of Judea and Samaria for Israel while unilaterally withdrawing from most of it, intends to include Jewish Hebron, and its adjacent and much larger suburb of Kiryat Arba, within Israel's borders -- a move that would involve annexing a far higher percentage of the disputed territories than the 10% or 15% that has been spoken of. Why the government should want the headache of an expanded Jewish presence in Hebron if it eventually intends to relinquish it anyway is hard to understand -- but sufficient unto the day are the headaches thereof.

And today's headache is: Do we really want to adopt the principle that all property lost to its owners in this country in 1948 should revert to them now?

Of course, we are told, there is a legal difference between the relatively small amount of Jewish property that was taken over by Arabs in 1948 and the very large amount of Arab property that was taken over by Jews. The latter was officially nationalized by the government of Israel; the former was not by the government of Jordan, which administered it without revoking its absentee owners' title to it. Thus, this reasoning goes, when these owners were physically able to repossess their property by virtue of Israel's conquest of the West Bank in 1967, it was perfectly legitimate to allow them to do so.

But this is legal casuistry. If resorting to it in the past was condonable in such cases as Gush Etzion, or the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, where there was an overriding Jewish interest, resorting to it on behalf of the Hebron settlers, who belong to the settler movement's meanest and most fanatical elements, is not -- unless, that is, we really want to re-think the whole question of what was lost on both sides in 1948.

And perhaps we should.

FROM A Jewish point of view, of course, there can be no question of returning even a small part of the land and houses (the great majority of which are no longer standing anyway) that belonged to the Palestinians who fled in 1948. It's all ours now and has to remain ours.

But that doesn't mean we can't say to the Palestinians: "Yes, it's all ours, but it was once yours and we took it from you. That's not something we have to apologize for; we took it because we needed it and wouldn't have had a country to live in without it. Yet it's still only fair that you should be paid for what we took. There's a difference between expropriation and theft, and while we have no qualms about having been expropriators, we don't want to be thieves."

In a word, compensation. No return of Palestinian refugees to Israel, much less any return of their property, but a willingness to pay for that property as any government guided by law pays for what it expropriates for the public good.

Many reasons have been given to explain why compensation for Palestinian property is not a practical idea. This country was ours by right anyway. And besides, Israel can't afford compensation. And even if it could, there are no reliable records of which Palestinians owned what. And even if there were records, there is no way of ascertaining what this property was worth in 1948, or how it should be assessed now. And even if there were a way, the number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands that Israel absorbed in 1948, who also had their property taken from them, was roughly equal to the number of Palestinian refugees from Israel; why not, then, consider it an even swap?

THESE ARE all sensible objections. But there are sensible answers to them, too. There is a difference between the national right to a country, which we Jews have, and the human rights of a property owner, which the Palestinians have. And if Israel were to take it upon itself to compensate Palestinian refugees, long-term international loans and international funding would be available. And however complicated, agreed-on procedures for determining who owned what and should be paid how much could be arrived at. And although Jewish refugees from Arab lands should be compensated, too, the two issues are distinct. The Palestinians who lost their homes and lands without payment were not the Iraqis, Moroccans, Tunisians, Algerians, Egyptians, Syrians, and Yemenis who took without payment the homes and lands of departing Jews. Above all, compensation would be the best and fairest way of settling the Palestinian refugee problem once and for all. It would put an end to any other demands the refugees might have; it would assuage the bitterness in their and their descendants' hearts and give them the financial means to lead better lives; it would remove the moral stigma that rests on Israel for having dispossessed them; and it would put our own consciences to rest, too, so that we would never again have to think that we are living on what doesn't belong to us.

But our consciences already are at rest, you say? Perhaps, but they shouldn't be. "Thou shalt not steal," after all, was not someone else's idea. It was our own.

And lastly, there would be one other advantage to such an arrangement. The Hebron vegetable market would be ours without hypocrisy.

(©) The Jerusalem Post







Open Letter to Hillel Halkin in response to The Compensation Option, published on February 2, 2006 (updated February 4, 2006) in the Internet Edition and on February 6, 2006 in the Email Edition of the Jerusalem Post:


You have posited that the Jewish people stole Arab properties located in what became the State of Israel (within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines) as a result of the Jewish State's 1948 War of Independence.  Consequently, you have declared that reclamation of Jewish properties in Judea and Samaria (and, perchance, Gaza?), such as Hebron's downtown market area in Judea, is morally justifiable only if (after ruling out -- due to impracticality rather than immorality -- the return of former Arab properties situated in Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines), the Jewish State pays compensation to their former Arab owners. 


However, for purposes of eliminating any hint of hypocrisy from your moral posture, let us suppose that the doomed Jews of Germany had somehow defeated the Nazi onslaught, in the process not only reclaiming their own confiscated properties but also confiscating the properties of those who had tried to annihilate them, and driving their oppressors out of those areas which were newly under Jewish control, thereby carving out an independent Jewish Germany from their own and their enemies' lands.  Would these triumphant, but battle-scarred, Jews really be thieves?  And if so, in order to morally justify its successful reclamation of Jewish properties, would a Jewish Germany have to return confiscated Nazi properties to their former Nazi owners if such restoration were practical (thereby recognizing and implementing a Nazi right of return to Jewish Germany) or, if not practical, at least compensate irredentist Nazi refugees for their former properties' values?   I assume that your answer would be "No";  but if your answer would, instead, be "Yes", then you would certainly not be a hypocrite, but you would be, by any measure, without a moral compass.


Protesting that the Nazi and the Arab wars against the Jewish people are not to be viewed in the same light rings true only if one willingly ignores the aggressors' equivalent genocidal intentions in favor of their differential success rates. 


Morally, the Arabs are simply not entitled to recover, or to be compensated for, lands which they lost in their war of annihilation against the Jewish people.  Morally, the Jewish people are entitled to recover lands which they lost in the Arabs' war of annihilation against them.  Morally, one does not treat the Aggressor and the Victim as equals


Unfortunately, we live in a World of Moral Equivalency Run Amok.  As the Tanach (Hebrew Bible) so eloquently puts it:


"There is a futility that takes place on the Earth -- there are righteous ones who are treated as [if they had performed] the actions of the evil ones; and there are evil ones who are treated as [if they had performed] the actions of the righteous ones -- I declared that, also, this is a futility." (Ecclesiastes 8:14)


As for the Torah's prohibition against theft, it might be instructive to remember that the Arabs are, themselves, part and parcel of a long chain of national thieves who have, over the past several millennia, invaded, conquered and plundered our Land.  Reclaiming our Land from them is not Theft -- it is prophetic, historical, moral and legal Justice.


Mark Rosenblit

14 Coolidge Rd.

West Hartford, CT  06117




[Note:  Below is another sad example of Moral Equivalency Run Amok.  This survivor of the Holocaust, journalist, former Member of Knesset and former Israeli Justice Minister compares the Jews of Hebron to embryonic Nazis.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]


Stop the Jewish barbarians in Hebron


By Yosef (Tommy) Lapid

(Jerusalem Post, January 19, 2007) That woman, the one who it turns out is named Yifat Alkobi, the Jewish woman that confronted, cursed, spat on and threatened her Arab neighbor in Hebron, she who is imprisoned in her own home, seemed somehow familiar to me.

Gradually, from the cobwebs of my childhood memories, I dredged up the image of a Hungarian neighbor in Novi Sad, who used to stand at the entrance to her home and curse us every time we went into the street -- just like Yifat Alkobi.

When we decide, and rightly so, to never under any circumstances compare the behavior of Jews to that of Nazis, we are forgetting that anti-Semitism only reached its height at Auschwitz. It had existed, was active, frightening, harmful and disgusting -- exactly like Alkobi's image - in the years that preceded Auschwitz too. And behind shuttered windows hid terrified Jewish women, exactly like the Arab woman of the Abu-Isha family in Hebron.

It is unthinkable that the memory of Auschwitz should serve as a pretext to ignore the fact that living here among us are Jews that behave toward Palestinians exactly the way that German, Hungarian, Polish and other anti-Semites behaved toward Jews.

I am not referring to crematoria or pogroms, but rather to the persecution, hounding, stone-throwing, undermining of livelihood, scare tactics, spitting and contempt.

It was all of these things that made our lives in the Diaspora so bitter and harrowing, even before they began the wholesale killing of Jews. I was afraid to go to school because little anti-Semites lay in wait on the way and beat us. In what way is a Palestinian child in Hebron any different?

EVEN THOSE that justify the Occupation for ideological or religious reasons -- or perhaps especially those that seek to justify the Occupation -- should be ashamed, as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said of himself, when seeing these pictures. We all bear responsibility for the suffering of the Palestinians, but it would not have been possible to establish a Jewish state without causing them some harm.

But there is no reason or justification for the thuggery of the kind demonstrated time after time by the residents of the Jewish settlement in Hebron toward their Arab neighbors.

The settlement of Jews in Hebron is the original sin. Now, they are adding insult to injury. And at best, we, the Jewish citizens of the State of Israel say, "Tsk, tsk, tsk."

We forget that this hounding of the Palestinian neighbors in Hebron happens not only at the moment we see it on television, but rather day after day, every day of the year (with the exception of Yom Kippur). The truth is that I too only pipe up occasionally and pay lip service by means of articles such as this. Even worse: I reacted with silence to this when I was justice minister too. We left the task of protest to the extreme leftist groups, who provoke well-deserved loathing from us all other days of the year.

We are familiar with the excuse of "We didn't know." So, for the record: We do know.

We will never be able to forgive ourselves -- our consciences won't let us -- and neither will our children if we do not make our army and police put an end to the Jewish barbarism in Hebron.

The writer is a former MK.

(©) The Jerusalem Post





            (1) If the Arabs of Hebron were a ghettoized minority engulfed by a Jewish majority, not only in Hebron but, as well, in the surrounding countries of the Middle East;  and


            (2) If the minority Arab populations of the Jewish Middle East were merely trying to peacefully coexist with, if not seamlessly assimilate into, Jewish society;  and


            (3) If, despite all of this, the enormous Jewish majority had, from time to time, massacred its peaceful Arab minority populations due to, inter alia:


jealousy over Arab industriousness,


certitude that Arabs intended to (or already did) control the governments and economies of the Jewish Middle East (as well as the entire World),




faith in the truth of a vicious blood libel that Arabs celebrated Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) by murdering Jewish children as a symbolic substitute for Ismail (Ishmael) who, according to the Koran, was almost sacrificed by his father Ibrahim (Abraham) at the command of Allah;


Then the rudeness exhibited by that Jewish woman in Hebron might possibly be the harbinger of a future genocide against the Arabs of Hebron. 


However, given that the true state of affairs is actually the converse of the foregoing, equating the outburst of one of the 500 ghettoized Jews who live among the 150,000 hostile Arabs of Hebron with proto-Nazism is obscene.  In fact, it is contextually relevant to point out that, in August 1929, it was the Arabs of Hebron who massacred 67 of their Jewish neighbors at the instigation of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini who, before the outbreak of World War II, allied himself with Nazi Germany and, during the ensuing Holocaust, relocated to Berlin in order to become a personal advisor to German Chancellor Adolf Hitler on the liquidation of the Jewish people. 


Given this history, why would these 500 Jews want to force themselves upon an Arab-dominated city which hates and demonizes them?  The answer is that Hebron is the site of HaMa’arat HaMachpela (Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs) -- the burial place of the biblical Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah (and, by tradition, Adam and Eve).  This is a Jewish holy site which would not be accessible to Jews at all but for the permanent presence, in its vicinity, of those 500 Jews.  For, due to those few Jews stubbornly residing among such a large and hostile Arab population, the government of Israel has been forced to provide permanent military protection for them, which, in turn, has facilitated an ongoing stream of pilgrimages by the greater Jewish world to HaMa’arat HaMachpela without fear of again being massacred.


Yet, notwithstanding the foregoing, isn’t it nonetheless true, as author Yosef Lapid insists, that by insulting and taunting an Arab, a Jew thereby emulates Nazi-like behavior?  Of course not!  The fact that the Nazis and their collaborators, inter alia, insulted and taunted those whom they declared to be their enemies does not, by itself, constitute such behavior any more Nazi-like than do any of the other, more mundane, activities of these evildoers -- such as eating their meals, sleeping in their beds and fighting with their spouses.  For, otherwise, all contemporary human behavior would be deemed Nazi-like merely because the Nazis and their collaborators also engaged in such behavior.  The revulsion which the author attempts to conjure against the Jews of Hebron by discussing his childhood experiences among proto-Nazis is surely misplaced.  Consequently, it is worth repeating:  While insulting and taunting another person is not, under normal circumstances, exemplary -- or even permissible -- behavior, it is not rendered Nazi-like merely because the Nazis were also prone to do it.  So, let us be very clear:  Taking steps preparatory to annihilating millions of innocent and peaceful people is Nazi-like behavior; but opining that a victimized Jew hurling insults at a hostile Arab is in that category is merely Moral Equivalency Run Amok. -- Mark Rosenblit



[Below is the other side of the story.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]


Why the orchestrated fuss?


By David Wilder

(Jerusalem Post, January 19, 2007) The Arabic word for whore -- sharmuta -- has gained international notoriety. CNN, ABC and the BBC, among many others, have featured Hebron resident Yifat Alkobi yelling it at her Arab neighbor across the street from her Tel Rumeida home.

Israel Radio and Israel's television stations have all broadcast reports on the cursing incident. The coverage has been over-the-top: "The police have ordered Alkobi to appear for interrogation. If she refuses, an arrest warrant will be issued."

"Alkobi is presently being questioned in the Kiryat Arba police station."

Of course, most news outlets didn't bother reporting that, after questioning by the authorities, she was permitted to return home without any restrictions.

The fact that an Arab woman spat in Alkobi's face was also not too widely noted. Neither were the complaints she issued against the Internet news provider Ynet and a member of the Abu-Isha family.

Alas, cursing in Israel is nothing new.

On February 2, 2002 Yediot Aharonot headlined a piece: "Curses exchanged in the Knesset committee."

And on December 12, 2006, Internet news provider NRG reported: "Curses in the Knesset? Forbidden to say but permitted to write." This following several choice words used by Ramle Mayor Yoel Lavi in a newspaper interview.  [Arab] MK Azmi Bashara, on December 5, 2006, told fellow MK Gilad Erdan to "f... himself."

Did such outbursts lead to ministerial committees, police investigations, a week of headlines and op-ed articles?

Of course not.

Only shouting and cursing between Jews and Arabs in Hebron is a cause célèbre

Mind you, Yifat Alkobi didn't threaten her neighbors. She didn't take up arms against them, shoot anyone or stab anyone. She didn't enter anyone's home and turn it upside down. She did no damage to property. All she did was raise her voice and use some salty language.

WHY DID Yifat Alkobi yell at her Arab neighbor and call her a sharmuta? That's not her usual choice of words.

Perhaps it was because Yifat's home was shot at -- for two years -- by Arab snipers. Perhaps it was because a terrorist's bullet barely missed her daughter's head by centimeters.

For the past year and a half, radical left-wing organizations, led by the International Solidarity Movement, Christian Peacemaker Teams, B'tselem and Machsom Watch have essentially staged numerous provocations at the entrance to the Tel Rumeida Jewish neighborhood attempting to draw Jewish residents into violent encounters which are filmed, edited and fed to an unsympathetic media.

Their goal is to dehumanize Hebron Jews.

In understanding what goes on in Hebron, context is important. How many people know that Jewish children walking home from school are periodically attacked by local Arab youths on the road.

Tel Rumeida is a pressure cooker, and as tends to occur throughout the world, sometimes people lose control and use language not usually part of their everyday vocabulary. A psychologist e-mailed me that last week he found himself cursing an Arab who spit on him on a Jerusalem street. Taxi drivers curse commuters every hour of the day.

Should "nice Jewish ladies" use coarse language? It's certainly not polite, but I've heard worse.

Incidentally, how many people know that the Yifat video was filmed some six months ago. Why was such a "devastating incident" kept secret all this time before the film was publicized and a complaint issued?

There is one reason, and one reason alone for the fuss: The prime minister is facing several criminal investigations. The defense minister is holding on to his job by the skin of his teeth.

Both of them are looking for a good way to distract public attention from their woes.

Together with a very left-wing media, they have found the solution: Yifat Alkobi and the 'W' word.

The writer is spokesman for the Jewish community of Hebron.

(©) The Jerusalem Post




[Note:  Below is yet a further sad example of Moral Equivalency Run Amok.  This Jewish journalist champions the legal and moral right of “Israeli” Arabs to publicly bemoan their ethnic kinmen’s failure to annihilate the Jewish State shortly after its establishment in May 1948.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]


Rattling the Cage: A little respect for the Nakba


By Larry Derfner

(Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2009) It's touch-and-go now whether Israel Beiteinu's "Nakba law" will make it through the Knesset, but even if it does, I have no doubt it will be struck down by the Supreme Court. The law would make it a crime, punishable by up to three years in prison, to publicly mourn the 1948 Palestinian Nakba ("Catastrophe"), which a small but influential minority of Israeli Arabs do around Yom Ha'atzma'ut [Israel’s Independence Day, which is annually celebrated according to the Hebrew calendar date rather than the Gregorian calendar date].

The Nakba law is a gross violation of freedom of expression, something the Supreme Court wouldn't tolerate. Still, the controversy is making Jews and Arabs in this country hate each other just a little bit more, so [the Israeli political party known as] Israel Beiteinu is getting what it wants.

Among Jews, the debate seems to be between nationalists who say the State of Israel shouldn't allow citizens to brand its creation a "catastrophe," and liberals who say such gestures are infuriating but, for the sake of democracy, must be allowed.

Yet even the liberal argument here is misguided, because when Israeli Arabs speak of the catastrophe of 1948, they don't mean the creation of the State of Israel, they mean the price that Palestinians, including themselves, paid for it.

By nakba, they mean the 700,000 Palestinians who became refugees; they mean the 400-odd Arab villages that Israel bulldozed after the War of Independence; they mean the loss of their national home.

HOW DO I know this? Because this is what Israeli Arabs, ranging from Labor Party voters to Islamic Movement election boycotters, have told me.

Mahmoud Abu Rajab is a veteran newspaper editor in Nazareth who usually supports Labor, but who also has good things to say about the Likud. Yet even he says Israeli Arabs are entitled to mourn what happened to them during the War of Independence. "The time of Israel's creation was a time of catastrophe for Arab citizens. That's something no one, neither Jew nor Arab, can deny."

Ibrahim Shawahna is a Hadash supporter who spends Yom Ha'atzma'ut going to the site of a former Galilee Arab village, now an IDF base, where his wife's family lived before 1948. But though he commemorates Nakba Day, he does not want to overthrow the State. "This is our country and I won't be part of any attempt to destroy it. What I want is equality."

Even Hashem Abdel Rahman, the former mayor of Umm el-Fahm and a member of the Islamic Movement's radical "northern faction," told me that when Israeli Arabs say "nakba," they don't mean the birth of Israel. "That's a mistaken notion," he said, adding that he even "recognized the State of Israel."


[Despite the foregoing assertion, while the northern faction of Israel’s Islamic Movement may indeed recognize the indisputable circumstance that that the State of Israel exists de facto, it does not recognize the Jewish State’s right to exist; and its members consequently boycott Israel’s national parliamentary elections as a public demonstration of that non-recognition.]

These and other Israeli Arabs I talked to had no need to lie; with few exceptions, they complained openly and bitterly about a history of injustice. 


[These people had no reason to lie to a reporter except to further the Arab world’s supranational propaganda onslaught against the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish State, which effort includes pressuring Israel to de-Judaize its flag, State holidays (such as Memorial Day and Independence Day) and State ceremonies.]

BUT GO tell Israeli Jews that Nakba Day is not a call to insurrection, that while Israeli Arabs are not Zionists, and while they have loads of resentment, they are not enemies of the State. Go tell Jews here that with very, very few exceptions, Israeli Arabs are and always have been nonviolent, and that on balance, they are Israel's victims, not victimizers.

Good luck. The Jewish public has gotten so it can only believe the worst about Arabs, even the hapless ones in this country; thus, a memorial march to the site of a Galilee village that got erased after the War of Independence is seen as an act of subversion.

You don't have to read polls to know that Israeli Arabs are becoming more radical in their attitudes. And what should we expect? The October 2000 riots [in which “Israeli” Arab rioters, using rocks, iron bars, firebombs and guns, severed major transportation routes connecting northern Israel with the rest of the country, and violently assaulted passing Jewish motorists and destroyed their vehicles, and even attacked neighboring Jewish towns as well as desecrated Jewish holy sites, such as the graves of Second Temple era Jewish sages, were perpetrated by them in coordination with the preplanned escalation in “Palestinian” Arab terrorism which came to be known as the “Second Intifada”] were a bloody disaster for them, not us, and ever since then they've been basically ostracized. They've watched the Palestinians get bashed up by the IDF, most recently and ferociously in Operation Cast Lead [which was the codename given by Israel to its December 2008 invasion of Gaza necessitated by almost 8 years of unrelenting rocket and mortar attacks by Gaza upon Israel’s nearby civilian population centers], and now a demagogue [Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman] who's built his career on their backs is the country's foreign minister.

What better time to introduce the Nakba law?

The Jewish public has to understand that 20 percent of the citizens of this country were part of the losing side in the War of Independence, and that they lost a great deal. The Jewish public also has to admit that since that war ended, the civil status of this minority has never been anything but separate and unequal.

We cannot expect members of this minority to have warm, patriotic feelings about the State. We cannot expect them to forget what the creation of Israel cost them, personally and nationally. Like nearly all Jews, I blame the Palestinians, including those who remained in what would become Israel, for starting the war that proved to be their catastrophe. But we shouldn't be so egocentric as to expect them to agree with us.

What we can rightfully expect, though, is that whatever Israeli Arabs think, whatever they wish, they not turn to violence. And with rare individual exceptions, they haven't. They protest, but they don't revolt. They aren't a threat to this country -- not even on Nakba Day.

While we Jews are celebrating what the War of Independence did for us, can't we show a bit of magnanimity to the Arab citizens who are mourning what it did to them?

(©) The Jerusalem Post





Derfner’s article contains both factual and analytical errors.  The below quotation from Derfner’s article encapsulates his thesis:


Among Jews, the debate seems to be between nationalists who say the State of Israel shouldn't allow citizens to brand its creation a "catastrophe," and liberals who say such gestures are infuriating but, for the sake of democracy, must be allowed.

Yet even the liberal argument here is misguided, because when Israeli Arabs speak of the catastrophe of 1948, they don't mean the creation of the State of Israel, they mean the price that Palestinians, including themselves, paid for it.

By nakba, they mean the 700,000 Palestinians who became refugees; they mean the 400-odd Arab villages that Israel bulldozed after the War of Independence; they mean the loss of their national home.  


Derfner states that “Nakba Day” is annually celebrated “around” Israel’s “Independence Day”.  This assertion is a half-truth and is consequently misleading.  “Nakba Day” is actually observed twice each year.   It is officially observed on May 15 (due to the fact that Israel became independent on the Gregorian calendar date of May 15, 1948) and it also unofficially observed on the date that Israel celebrates its Independence (which, due to differences between the Gregorian and Hebrew calendars, coincides with May 15 only once every 19 years). 


Although “Palestinian” Arab spokesmen (whether from Israel in the guise of “Israeli” Arabs or from the Palestinian Authority), in addressing a Western audience, habitually assert that their annual commemoration of the “Nakba” is not intended either to mourn their and their external allies’ historic failure to destroy the State of Israel on the day of its rebirth or to sustain their and their external allies’ dream of destroying it in the future, but only to mourn the displacement of “Palestinians” from what became the State of Israel within its 1949 armistice demarcation lines, the very choice of its official commemoration date refutes this assertion.  As the earliest “Palestinian” displacement occurred in February 1948, and the latest “Palestinian” displacement occurred in November 1948, this raises the obvious question as to why the official “Nakba” commemoration date represents the middle, rather than the commencement or the termination, of this displacement period.  With respect to the displacement of the “Palestinians”, nothing noteworthy happened on May 15, 1948.  However, with respect to the exercise of the self-determination of the Jewish people, two noteworthy events happened on that very date, the first being Israel’s official reemergence as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and the second being the pan-Arab invasion of Israel, with the stated objective of annihilating it.  For the “Palestinians” (whether residing in Israel or elsewhere), the choice of May 15 to officially commemorate their self-inflicted “Nakba” (and, whenever Israel celebrates its Independence on a different date, the choice of that additional date to unofficially commemorate their “Nakba”) has nothing to do with the displacement of the “Palestinians” and everything to do with their and their external allies’ failed first attempt to destroy the renascent State of Israel. Moreover, if it were true that “Israeli” Arabs mourn, not the creation of modern Israel, but rather only the “catastrophic” effect thereof upon their society, then why mourn twice each year, especially since the relevant Gregorian and Hebrew dates never differ by more than 28 days?  The self-evident reason is that, by holding well-publicized “Nakba Day” observances, not only on May 15, but also on the date that Israel celebrates its Independence Day, the Arabs seek to delegitimize Israel’s existence ab initio.  Moreover, it seems that the existence of a Nakba Day is actually superfluous -- or, at least, overkill -- in light of the United Nations-sponsored International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (observed annually on November 29, in lamentation over the issuance of the U.N.'s Palestine Partition Plan on that very date in 1947, and in commemoration of the rejection by the recognized leadership of the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine of the Plan's recommendation for the creation of a Jewish State alongside an Arab State therein), which already serves as a reliable and well-funded international vehicle for bemoaning the “Catastrophe” that befell the “Palestinian” Arabs when the Jewish nation-state was reestablished in the biblical Land of Israel. 


Yet it is disingenuous to even claim that “Israeli” Arabs are mourning only the “catastrophic” effect of Israel’s rebirth upon their society, in that it was not Israel’s rebirth, but rather the Arabs’ unsuccessful genocidal opposition to it, which actually caused their “Nakba”.  For, in truth, the creation of modern Israel is neither the reason why approximately 600,000 “Palestinians” Arabs (via a combination of voluntary flight and forcible expulsion) departed Israel nor the reason why hundreds of their villages in Israel were destroyed.  Rather, these consequences flowed exclusively from (a) the decades-long local Arab campaign of genocide, commencing in 1920 (coinciding with the League of Nations’ creation of the Mandate for Palestine), and perpetrated via periodic attempts to destroy individual Jewish towns and Jewish neighborhoods of mixed cities in Mandatory Palestine and, culminating in 1948 (coinciding with Great Britain’s withdrawal of its occupation forces from Mandatory Palestine), with the pan-Arab invasion of the Jewish State within its nonviable United Nations Partition Plan lines; and (b) the fact that, in response to that invasion, the Jewish State was able substantially repulse both internal and external Arab belligerents via a series of battles known as Israel’s War of Independence (which is more properly denominated as Israel’s “War of Survival”).  Absent the Arab attempt to annihilate the Jewish communities of the Land of Israel (both before and after Israel’s modern reincarnation), there would have been no War of Independence, no large-scale departure of Arabs from Israel and no destruction of their villages;  in sum, there would have been no “Nakba” (self-inflicted or otherwise).  Accordingly, it is illogical for Derfner to assert that the “Nakba” is the price that that the Arabs paid for the creation of the State of Israel when the “Nakba” is clearly the price that the Arabs paid for their attempt to destroy the State of Israel.


Consequently, if it were really true that “Israeli” Arabs mourn, not the creation of modern Israel, but rather only the “catastrophic” effect thereof upon their society, then simple honesty would require that the true focus of their observance of “Nakba Day” be inward, namely, reflecting upon and repenting the sins of demonization and genocide that their ethnic kinsmen committed and attempted to commit against the Jewish residents of Mandatory Palestine;  for, it was their institutionalized hatred of the Jewish people and their violent rejection of the peaceful reestablishment of the Jewish National Home in the biblical Land of Israel that opened the door to their “Nakba”.  


Instead, the present focus of their observance of “Nakba Day” is outward, namely, incriminating Israel (i.e., the Jewish population of Israel) for the “Nakba”.  In blaming Israel, they necessarily portray the Jewish people as colonialist thieves who stole, and continue to illegally occupy, their country.  In this context, Derfner’s comment that “By nakba, they mean … the loss of their national home” in 1948 is telling.  Since Israel’s Arab citizens are, by definition, presently resident (or, if presently expatriate, nonetheless possess the legal right to be resident) within the State of Israel, clearly they (except in a few instances) did not lose their lands, villages or cities as a result of Israel’s rebirth.   Consequently, any “loss of their national home” in 1948 can only refer to the fact that instead of a new Arab State (i.e., their national home) being created in all of Mandatory Palestine situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, a Jewish State -- Israel -- came to fruition in a portion thereof.  Clearly, when “Israeli” Arabs contemplate how they might have prevented their “Nakba” from happening, they regret, not their ethnic kinsmen’s decision to make war against the Jewish people, but rather their ethnic kinsmen’s defeat in that war. 


In conclusion, “Israeli” Arabs’ present observance of “Nakba Day” does indeed constitute a lament that their (internal and external) ethnic kinsmen failed to prevent the rebirth of Israel, or -- put more bluntly -- that their (internal and external) kinsmen failed to extirpate the Jewish people (by expulsion and massacre) from the biblical Land of Israel during the “perfect storm” of 1948.


Moreover, by holding an annual day of mourning over the pan-Arab failure to annihilate Israel in 1948, the Arab citizens of Israel declare themselves kindred to those revanchist and irredentist Germans who annually mourn Nazi Germany’s defeat in 1945.


Derfner concludes his article by making the following plea for empathy: 


While we Jews are celebrating what the War of Independence did for us, can't we show a bit of magnanimity to the Arab citizens who are mourning what it did to them?


The response to this plea is “No”.  The great majority of the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine and their external ethnic kinsmen perpetuated a great Evil against the Jewish people; and we should all thank God that they were defeated in battle.  While the victims of an attempted genocide, having prevailed over an army of Evildoers, have a legal and moral right to publicly celebrate the victory of their survival, those Evildoers, their ethnic kinsmen and their descendants have no legal or moral right to publicly mourn the defeat of their genocidal endeavor.  To think otherwise is merely Moral Equivalency Run Amok. -- Mark Rosenblit



[As for the “peaceful nature” of Nakba Day observances, please see the below article. -- Mark Rosenblit]


Clashes erupt at 'Nakba' procession


By Yaakov Lappin


(Jerusalem Post, May 9, 2008) A march held by Israeli Arabs to mark Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, which mourns the establishment of the State of Israel, deteriorated into a full-blown riot on Thursday near Nazareth, resulting in the hospitalization of two police officers and an Arab Knesset Member.


Police used tear gas to disperse the crowds, but not before the Northern Police District commander, Shimon Koren, and the head of the Amakim Subdistrict Police, Lt.-Cmdr. Zohar Dvir, suffered light wounds from rocks thrown at police. Five police officers were wounded in total, and six demonstrators were arrested for rioting.


Hundreds of Israeli Arabs walked toward the former Arab village of Saffuriya, today Moshav Tzipori.


A large number of youths became inflamed during the march, which included praise for Hizbullah and calls for attacks on Jews, police said.


"There were several instances of incitement during the march," Amakim police spokesman Supt. Gary Aviad said. "Calls were shouted in praise of Hizbullah, an illegal organization. Despite the incitement, we did not stop the march, and only became involved when violence broke out."


The march was also attended by MKs Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) and Wasal Taha (Balad). Taha was hospitalized for a head injury he said was caused by a plainclothes police officer striking him with a rock.


"An undercover officer hit me with a rock on the head," Taha told The Jerusalem Post. "Before I was injured, the officer struck me in an attempt to provoke me."


Taha denied police reports of pro-Hizbullah slogans at the march, saying, "This is a technique designed to incite against the Arab community. At the march, we condemned the Israeli police state, which proved itself with these provocations. We also called for the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in their villages."


But Aviad dismissed out of hand Taha's claim of being struck by a plainclothes officer armed with a rock. "We had no undercover police in the crowd. We acted in full, plain view of everyone. How does Taha know he wasn't injured by a demonstrator?  It's the rioters who, through their conduct, began endangering lives, forcing us to dispel them."


Route 79 in the area was closed for several minutes as police attempted to regain control.


(©) The Jerusalem Post



[“Land Day” is another occasion for “Israeli” Arabs to display their “peaceful attitudes” towards Israel and its Jewish citizens.  Please see the below article. -- Mark Rosenblit]


Thousands of Arabs mark Land Day


Yaakov Lappin, THE JERUSALEM POST  Mar. 30, 2008


Thousands of Israeli Arabs waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans in praise of "Martyrs [i.e., suicide bombers and other Arab terrorists who died while committing atrocities against Israel’s Jewish population]" during a march in Sakhnin [located in the Galilee region of Israel] to commemorate Land Day on Sunday.

A picturesque Galilee backdrop of green hills was punctured by megaphone shouts in Arabic of "Do not worry, mother of martyr, your son did not die in vain," "We are with the youths who throw rocks," and "We do not fear Israel, the terrorist State."

Police kept a low profile, monitoring the event from a helicopter high above and manning a checkpoint at the entrance to Sakhnin.

In Hebrew, marchers chanted slogans against Defense Minister Ehud Barak, shouting, "Barak, how many children did you murder today?"

The demonstrators marched from Sakhnin to the neighboring village of Arrabe, where they gathered in empty market stalls to mark 32 years since a demonstration in the area against government use of local lands [i.e., the exercise of eminent domain for public purposes] degenerated into a bloody confrontation with security forces, resulting in the deaths of six people.

"Thousands are here to express their view in a civilized manner," MK [Member of Knesset] Ibrahim Sarsour (United Arab List-Ta'al) said. "We are not calling for independence or autonomy. Our slogan is that Israel needs to include the Arab minority in its national planning. We, the Arab minority, are out of the government's plans."

As Sarsour spoke, hundreds of participants shouted, "Palestine is Arab and the Golan is Syrian!"

Asked to respond to the chants around him, Sarsour said, "These calls are understandable," but added that "they have no place here."

A short distance away, a struggle ensued for control of the microphone, as bearded youths took control and began shouting "Palestine!" Other youths covered their faces with keffiyehs and cheered. The show was short-lived, however, as other rally participants showed disapproval and regained control of the microphone after a brief scuffle.

"This is the central Land Day event in the country," MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) said, as he walked at the front of the march with a number of village notables. "This symbolizes the fight of Arabs for existence in Israel. We're fighting waves of racism and fascism, with Knesset members like [NU/NRP's Effi] Eitam and [Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor] Lieberman competing over who can be the most racist."

"We're not temporary visitors here, and we've seen harder days after 1948," he said, adding that there was no need to apologize over calls in favor of "Martyrs."

"Our language is not the language of the Establishment," Barakei said. "A Martyr is someone who sacrificed himself for his Homeland, such as those who fell in 1976. This is our language, and it's the tongue we speak in. We don't speak in the language of racists."

Other marchers, like Basher and Sahab, two young men from neighboring Nazareth [also located in the Galilee region of Israel], said they considered "suicide bombers from Gaza to be Martyrs, too."

"This is a holy day for us, a day of struggle," Basher said. "Every Israeli government has taken land in the Galilee and the Negev, and we're fighting against that. We want to remind the world that we're under Occupation [i.e., all of Israel is “Occupied Palestine”]."

Said Hasnen, an editor at the weekly Israeli-Arab newspaper Kul al-Arab [Voice of the Arabs], held a lively discussion with a friend while marching to Arrabe. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Hasnen called into question the historical attachment of Jews to Israel, saying, "The Torah mentions Palestine. We are the permanent ones here, Israel is the visitor."

His friend, Hussein Kalaila, added, "Why should we be Israelis? I have a Palestinian identity. We are Palestinian Arabs in every way. This land is called Palestine."

A statement released this week in honor of Land Day by the NGO Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said: "This colonial regime has now been in existence for over 60 years, on the basis of a Zionist ideology to control the 'Land of Israel'... The apartheid regime was overthrown in South Africa... such regimes have no place in this century."

Copyright 1995 - 2008  The Jerusalem Post


[The below author explains why demands by some on the Jewish Left and “Israeli” Arab leaders for neutral State symbols, as well as a national “Nakba” commemoration in Israel, while clothed in moral terminology, not only turns Morality upside down, but also seeks to undermine the moral legitimacy of the Jewish State.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]

Into the Fray: ‘Haaretz’ vs the Jews


The success of the post-Zionist strategy hinges on breaking the sense of kinship between the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

(Jerusalem Post, May 3, 2012)

Independence Day is not a holiday for Israeli Arabs. Sixty four years ago, they lost their land and their national honor... [their aversion to] the national anthem “Hatikva” – which talks of “a Jewish soul yearning” – should serve as an incentive for devising symbols and events with which all Israeli citizens can identify without being false to themselves. – Haaretz editorial, April 27 [, 2012]

And the two words that are the most important are “Nefesh Yehudi” [A Jewish soul]”. When I hear those two words I know why I am here. I know what I am doing here. – An oleh in an Independence Day interview on the significance of “Hatikva” – April 26 [, 2012]

It is not often that I find myself disagreeing with The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline B. Glick. Indeed, for many years I have had nothing but the highest regard for her intrepid and articulate defense of Israel and Zionist ideals.

However, I am compelled to dispute the views articulated in her last column, “Post-Zionism is so 1990s,” in which she appears to convey the view that the threat of post-Zionism has waned into insignificance, or at least receded into obsolescence.

Regrettably, this claim is misplaced and misleading, and although I sincerely wish she were right, I fear that her analysis is unrealistically optimistic and gravely underestimates the true danger.

Post-Zionism more pervasive than ever

The advance of post-Zionism is arguably the greatest menace confronting the Zionist endeavor today, everything it stands for, everything it has accomplished and everything it strives to accomplish. It is imperative not to be lulled into a false sense of security.

I would, therefore, counsel caution before assigning any real significance to the fact that public events in Israel are conducted with greater decorum today relative to the 1990s when, as Glick points out, they tended to be more frivolous, irreligious and disrespectful of Jewish history, culture and heritage.

Despite deceptive appearances, post-Zionism is more pervasive and pernicious than ever.

Seemingly impervious to reality that has repeatedly refuted its doctrine, post-Zionism is hammering on the doors of the mainstream Israeli establishment – and gaining increasingly frequent access. What was unthinkably seditious – indeed legally punishable – barely a generation ago is now fashionably avant garde.

Post-Zionism and the Left

Glick writes: “Despite their best efforts, Netanyahu remains in power and the Left can’t get any traction with the public....”

While this is accurate, the crucial question is how has this affected the party platforms and the conduct of policy?

Two things are worth noting. First, Glick appears to equate the Left and “those who are interested in forcing Israel to make more concessions to the Palestinians” with the phenomenon of post-Zionism.

Clearly, such a “one-size-fits-all” categorization would raise howls of protest from many who would object to branding as “post-Zionists” an array of prominent figures who played central roles in forging the history of Zionism, yet advocated territorial compromise.

However, while lumping all “left-wing” elements into a monolithic ideo-political post-Zionist grouping may be going a little too far, it must be recognized that there is a seamless symbiosis between the self-professed Zionist- Left and the self-confessed post-Zionist radicals.

This facilitates an almost “frictionless” migration and cross-fertilization of political philosophies and policy proposals between these groups.

In turn, this has generated a deceptive ambivalence that often blurs the ideological distinction between the two, making the transition from the one to the other almost imperceptible.

Ideological obliteration of the ‘Right’

The repercussions of this “quasi-equivalence” have been profound and pernicious, resulting in an overwhelming leftward deformation of the Israeli polity and the ideological obliteration of the “Right” – which leads me to the second thing I wish to note.

Glick’s observation regarding Binyamin Netanyahu’s ability to stay prime minister, and the Left’s inability to gain electoral traction – while seemingly true – obscures a far more ominous reality.

For although Netanyahu has indeed managed to retain power, he has adopted policies that are far more concessionary (i.e. leftish) than even Oslo peace laureate Yitzhak Rabin, who was excoriated by the Right for betraying the Zionist ethos, ever dreamed of offering the Palestinians.

Moreover, while it is correct that in terms of parliamentary representation, parties labeled “left-wing” may have been diminished, the parties labeled “right-wing” have largely adopted their “left-wing” agenda.

An astonishing spectacle is unfolding before us, with the ostensibly “right-wing” Likud exhorting the Palestinians to enter into negotiations over a proposed settlement which it itself vehemently rejected not long ago as excessively concessionary – this at a time when all the Likud’s previous reservations are being proved correct.

If that were not enough, the head of Kadima, the main opposition party (established by once super-hawk Arik Sharon, together with once super-hawk Tzachi Hanegbi), ex-Likud defense minister Shaul Mofaz, has declared, a priori, that he would accede to 100% of the Palestinian territorial demands – all this before engaging in negotiations with them.

So while the formal party-affiliated representation of the Left in the Knesset has been reduced, the substantive ideological representation of its dovish political doctrine has acquired overwhelming dominance.

Apart from the marginal fringes of the Right, almost all the parliamentary factions have platforms not only far more dovish than the anti-Oslo Likud platform of the 1990s, but even more dovish than the pro-Oslo Labor vision as laid out by Rabin in his last Knesset address in 1995.

Since the 1990s, the political system has, for all intents and purposes, been gutted of any assertive Zionist party platforms that reject the bogus Palestinian narrative – which is, in large measure, the sine non qua of the post- Zionist credo.

Size doesn’t matter

A deeply disturbing trend is emerging before our eyes: Almost the entire gamut of mainstream political parties has – with varying degrees of reluctance/enthusiasm – accepted the basic tenets of the Palestinian narrative, which negate the Zionist narrative. In doing so, they have opened the door of respectability to post-Zionism, and laid down a red carpet for its access to all the vestiges of the Israeli establishment.

So while Glick is correct in asserting that “the Left” and its post-Zionist affiliates have garnered only marginal public support, this is one instance in which “size doesn’t matter.” For they do not need to win elections to effectively impose their rule on the country – or at least to prevent their ideological rivals from implementing theirs.

No matter what the results at the polls, the Left and its more radical ideological co-travelers can promote their agenda and impede that of their pro-Zionist adversaries through their dominance of the legal establishment, the media and much of academia.

Recent decades are replete with infuriating examples of how an insignificant minority view has been imposed on the nation by means of an ideologically biased judiciary, ruling in favor of PC (Palestinian-compliant) petitions, brought before it by radical left-wing NGOs, generously funded by foreign sovereign sources, and accompanied by massive media hype.

Attempts by the parliamentary majority to redress this deformation of the democratic process have been met with furious – and largely successful – resistance.

Legislative initiatives designed to enhance financial transparency of tax-exempt NGOs, and to address accelerating erosion of the credibility of the judiciary were foiled – almost incredibly with Likud-led government complicity – because they would – wait for it... undermine democratic governance.

The voice of post-Zionism

Having eviscerated the Zionist political parties of any resolve and self-confidence, and emboldened by the reticent response of their adversaries, the post-Zionists have set their sights on the symbols of Jewish sovereignty. They have turned the focus of their assault away from the political front lines to the conceptual hinterland and to the spiritual roots of the Zionist movement.

In this sinister enterprise, their lack of electoral support should not be taken as a measure of their reach. They have other means to amplify the volume of their voice and the efficacy of their message.

A major element of this assault is being conducted via Haaretz. In a string of recent editorials and a barrage of opinion columns, it has sallied forth with an overt drive to eradicate references to the Jewish character of the foundational ethos of Israel.

Consider the following editorial headlines:

• “Israel should consider altering its anthem to include non-Jews” (March 2)

• “Israel needs an anthem that represents Arabs and Jews” (March 12)

• “Israel needs national symbols all citizens can identify with” (April 27)

Ostensibly, the objective is to redraft the trappings of public life to allow the Arab minority to identify with, and participate in, state-related activities, ceremonies and celebrations. However, it takes little analytical effort to discover that this is but a flimsy veneer concealing a unambiguous campaign for the conversion of Israel from the “nation-state of the Jews” to “a-state-of-all-its-citizens.”

Assuaging Arab regret

The current focus of attack is the wording of the national anthem, “Hatikva,” which Haaretz tells us, “ignore[s] the existence of an Arab minority in the State of Israel – a minority for whom this land is also their land.”

According to the paper, “No Arab citizen who had any self-respect, political awareness or national consciousness could sing these words without committing the sins of hypocrisy and falsehood.”

Elsewhere, we are told why this is so: “Independence Day is not a holiday for Israeli Arabs. Sixty-four years ago, they lost their land and their national honor.”

I am trying to get my head around this. Is one of the nation’s major newspapers really calling on the public not only to understand the sorrow the Arab minority feels that the genocidal attempt of its ethnic-kinfolk to obliterate the Jewish population failed, but to take far-reaching steps to accommodate this sadness?


How are we to assuage their melancholy at having “lost their land and national honor” in their failed Judeocidal effort? Are Jews really expected to forgo the victory and to suppress the expression of their national identity to alleviate the discomfort of the defeated? One cannot but wonder what the consequences would have been had the fortunes of war been reversed? And how are we to restore their “national honor” (much less their ‘land”) – or to compensate them for their loss – without de-Judaizing Israel and deconstructing the Zionist ethos.

But that is what the post-Zionists are really aiming at. However, to achieve this goal of dismantling the status of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews, they first have to achieve an intermediate goal: to decouple Israel from its Jewishness, to denude, and then break, the bond of kinship between the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Hence the assault on the Jewish emblems – first the anthem, next the flag, then the Law of Return. After all, why should the Jewish Diaspora have unfettered access to the country and not the Palestinian diaspora?

This is a question the post-Zionists – and Haaretz – will doubtless be raising soon in editorials.

The nature of nations

Nations are not a mere amalgam of people who happen to inhabit a piece of real estate. As the liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill observes, to function as a nation populations need to feel “united among themselves by common sympathies which do not exist between them and any others.... The strongest of all [these common sympathies] is identity of political antecedents; the possession of a national history, and consequent community of recollections; collective pride and humiliation, pleasure and regret, connected with the same incidents in the past.”

So how do post-Zionists propose to generate a new sense of "pan-Israeli" nationality when one segment of the population sees in the 1948 Jewish victory a reason for pride and pleasure while another segment sees it as a source of regret and humiliation?

 The members of the Arab community in Israel made a call in 1948. They elected to throw their lot in with a Jewish – repeat Jewish – state. They could have left, as did many of their kin. They can leave today if they feel they cannot identify with the fabric of national life here.

They can follow the example of many Israeli citizens who came here from economically developed nations, precisely because they felt their national affiliation was not with their country of birth, but with the Jewish homeland.

Arabs in Israel who feel their national identity is incompatible with political realities and the conduct of public life have many options. Demanding that the victors relinquish their ethos to accommodate the defeated is not one.

This must be made clear – for any ambiguity will herald great tragedy.

All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.


Into the fray: Nakba nonsense


Only in topsy-turvy world of Carroll’s ‘Wonderland’ can elected leader suggest the establishment of his state is a crime.

(Jerusalem Post, May 17, 2012)

Alice: It would be so nice if something would make sense for a change. – From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The denial of the Nakba is as much a crime as the Nakba itself. Israel has a duty to recognize the Nakba.... The Nakba is equivalent to the Destruction of the First and Second Temples. – MK [Member of Knesset] Taleb a-Sana

A neurological condition where a person experiences a complete distortion of perceptual reality. – Symptoms of Alice-in-Wonderland (AIWS) syndrome

The notion that there is any reasonable basis for the demand by Israeli citizens for official commemoration of the “Nakba” is grotesquely absurd. The fact that such a ludicrous notion is not only being seriously debated, but endorsed, in some of the country’s mainstream media is a deeply worrying indication of just how frayed the nation’s cohesiveness around the idea of Jewish political sovereignty has become.

Drive to deconstruct

This should cause grave concern for the future of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews. Just like attempts to de-Judaize the national anthem, along with other state symbols, so too the drive to inculcate the commemoration of the Nakba, as an official element into Israeli public life, is part of the anti- Zionist endeavor to deconstruct the national ethos upon which the state was founded.

Citizens of sane democracies do not grieve over the establishment of their state, nor lament its survival as a “catastrophe.” Indeed, where – other than in a topsy-turvy reality akin to Alice’s Wonderland, the creation of Lewis Carroll’s fevered imagination – could an elected parliamentarian publicly characterize the creation of the state he allegedly serves as a “crime” – with total impunity?

Well, in Israel. For that is exactly what MK Taleb a-Sana is doing when he proclaims that the Nakba (i.e. the Arab defeat/Jewish victory that precipitated the establishment of the State of Israel) is a crime.

Breathtaking hypocrisy

It should be recalled that when Sana was sworn in as an MK, he took an oath of allegiance to the State of Israel – the existing State of Israel, not some desired future non- Zionist entity – whose genesis he considers a criminal act.

Several questions arise from this sort of conduct, which is generic to almost all the Arab MKs: Why would he want to swear allegiance to a state for which he clearly feels such aversion, – unless sinister motives are assumed? Why is such overtly hypocritical – or surreptitiously seditious – conduct considered societally acceptable? Why does it incur no repercussions of any kind? Why should individuals, who clearly strive to undermine the nation-state, continue to serve in its legislature, and to enjoy the benefits of their position?

The flipside of the exploitative hypocrisy of Sana et al is the display of Israeli impotence and imbecility, without which the former could not exist, much less flourish.

This reticence to respond robustly reflects a grave misunderstanding of the nature of democracy and the duties its maintenance entails.

Anarchic abandon or balkanized bloodbath?

This inertness does not serve the interests of Israeli democracy. Adherence to the doctrine of democratic governance is not a suicide pact. Neither is it an obligation to self-destruct by means of terminal stupidity. Belief in democratic principles does not require one to forgo the distinction between friend and foe. Nor does it require one to jettison any trace of survival instinct or common sense.

This is not a prescription for fascism. Quite the contrary. It is an approach embedded in the thinking of many prominent figures in the United States regarding the practical administration of democratic governance – from the founding fathers, such as Thomas Jefferson, through Abraham Lincoln and Supreme Court justices such as Arthur Goldberg and Robert Jackson, the chief American prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, to present-day jurists such as Richard Posner in his 2006 book, Not a Suicide Pact.

Sustainable democracy, therefore, is not a system of unconstrained political permissiveness, devoid of any differentiation between the inimical and the amicable, between the admissibly critical and the inadmissibly corrosive.

It cannot embrace an undiscerning, unregulated all-inclusiveness of anything and everything – lest it collapse, at best, into anarchic abandon, at worst into a balkanized bloodbath.

National, not personal

Make no mistake, the attempt by Israeli Arabs to institutionalize public commemoration of the Nakba has nothing to do with the exercise of legitimate freedom of expression in a democracy.

The demand for commemoration of the Nakba is not motivated by a desire to mark any sense of personal loss, but by a sentiment of national loss; not by a feeling of grief on a private level, but by identification with “tragedy” at a national level; not by a desire to restore respect at an individual level but for restitution of “honor” at a national level.

For, as much as it is a ceremonial manifestation of mourning over the consequences of Arab defeat, it is also – ipso facto – a ceremonial manifestation of disappointment at Jewish survival. These are inseparable sides of the same coin.

It is a collective declaration of sorrow that the Jews were not wiped out as a national entity. For if there had not been an Arab Nakba (catastrophe), there would have been a Jewish Mad'bha (slaughter).

Accordingly, demands for commemoration of the Arab “disaster” cannot be likened to individuals or groups protesting some (real or imagined) evil/defect in their society, which should be removed or repaired. It is not a demand to right a wrong that society or the state allegedly inflicts on particular categories of citizens.

Rather, it is a rejection – in their entirety – of the state and society in which the aggrieved party resides; a collective refusal to come to terms with their existence, with their intrinsic nature, and with the most elemental foundations upon which they are based.

This is a grievance that can only be redressed by the obliteration – or at least the negation – of Israel as the Jewish nation-state.

Clearly, no nation-state – liberal democracies included – is under any obligation to restructure the conduct of its public life to accommodate the demands of an adversarial nationality.

Victims of integration?

It must not be forgotten that anyone who was personally touched by the events that comprised the Nakba would today be close to 70 at the very least. They certainly do not make up the bulk of those demanding public display of sorrow over the Arab military debacle.

In Israel, the clamor for commemoration does not arise from dispossessed, deprived refugees but from fully enfranchised citizens who are neither impoverished nor persecuted, nor homeless – as the ample homesteads found in abundance throughout most Arab villages in Israel clearly testify.

Indeed, had there been no Nakba, the personal socioeconomic conditions of most Israeli Arabs would be far worse than they are today – as comparison with the surrounding Arab countries irrefutably shows [because, as residents of the Jewish State, their general economic affluence at the present time is demonstrably greater than it would otherwise be had their towns and villages, instead, been conquered by and incorporated into a greater Syria, a greater Egypt, a greater Jordan or a greater Lebanon].

Yet consider the remarkable declaration by Arab MK [Member of Knesset] Jamal Zahalka: “The Jews’ Independence Day is our Nakba Day.... Independence Day is a national day of mourning for the Palestinian people, and on this day we remember the victims of dispossession, expulsion and integration.”

Note, “a national(!) day of mourning(!)” And one commemorated not only by those directly affected by the events of 1948 but across the Arab and Muslim world, where expression of identification with the Palestinians is invariably accompanied by expression of hatred for Israel.

Of particular interest is Zahalka’s use of the phrase “victims of integration.” Victims of integration? Really? So not only the Arabs who were expelled from Israel have a grievance, so do those who were integrated in to its society?

The conclusion to be drawn from this is unavoidable: If the Arab defeat, which gave rise to the Nakba, was an undesirable event – both for those Palestinians who left and those who didn’t – then clearly for them it would been desirable for it to have been avoided, which could only have been achieved by an Arab victory, i.e. by the annihilation of the nascent Jewish state.

This is something the self-proclaimed champions of democracy, who mindlessly prattle on about freedom of speech, should mull over before they argue for unbridled political permissiveness, condone political promiscuity and in effect approve political perfidy.

Nationhood and Nakba

Much nonsense has been written recently by Nakba apologists, who seem to be woefully uninformed as to the nature of nations, not as set out in any treatise on tyranny or dissertation on despotism, but in the works of stalwart supporters of democracy, representative government and liberalism the over the past two centuries.

From the seminal works of John Stuart Mill and Ernest Renan in the 19th century to modern-day scholars such as Francis Fukuyama, a clear convergence of opinion emerges.

Democratic governance is a largely consensual system of administering the affairs of the nation, i.e. an amalgam of human beings who may differ in many aspects but are bound together by some basic affiliation to a number of fundamental core values, without which that nation would lose its identity – even its very raison d’être.

Without such rudimentary cohesiveness, no collective identity – and hence no collective, non-coercive governance – is possible. The very word “democracy” derives from the Greek dhmokrat (demokratía is “popular government”). But if the “demos” (people) become too nebulous, if there is no dominant ethos around which to coalesce, if the bonds between its members are too tenuous or adversarial, if the divisions between them become too deep, if disagreements are too irreconcilable, then no form of consensual administration of communal affairs is possible.

In such situations, anarchy and civil war begin to bubble to the surface. In such situations the only form of kratos (rule) that will be able to effect any semblance of governance will be the autocratic version, the one that brooks no diversity of opinion, but coercively imposes order and uniformity.

Imposing a choice

The Arab citizens of Israel must choose. They must decide whether they wish to be part of a developed, industrial society in which they enjoy the civic freedoms and benefits it bestows on them or whether they wish to give expression to a national identity which is inherently inimical to their country of residence. They cannot do both.

It must be clear that they cannot make demands to replace the founding ethos of the state with a competing ethos of its enemies; they cannot supplant the existing edifice of national symbolism and ceremony with one that conforms to that of states that strive to undermine their own.

They must either throw their lot in with their county of residence or seek residence elsewhere. If they feel the fabric of life in Israel is incompatible with their national identity, they can act in exactly the same manner as many Jewish citizens of Israel did when they decided to make this country their home because they felt stronger affiliation to it than to their countries of residence or birth.

In an age in which more than a quarter-billion people migrate each year – mainly for economic reasons – there would be nothing remarkable in this proposal. Moreover, there is nothing “racist” or “fascist” in it. It merely reflects the eminently reasonable notion that the Jews too have a right to self-determination.

The lessons of Europe

This is in line with the increasingly prevalent mood across many, if not most, Western democracies today where attitudes are stiffening against the erosion of the founding values of the state by discordant cultures.

Harsh and explicit declarations have come from the leaders of nearly all major European countries, acknowledging the failure of multi-culturalism and warning that those who cannot integrate will have to leave.

Thus France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy declared, “If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France.”

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel lamented: “The tendency had been to say, ‘let’s adopt the multicultural concept and live happily side by side.’ But this concept has failed, and failed utterly.”

UK Labor’s former prime minister Tony Blair, in a speech titled “The Duty to Integrate: Shared British Values,” concluded: “Our tolerance is part of what makes Britain, Britain. So conform to it; or don’t come here.” These are sentiments which parallel those recently uttered by his Tory successor, David Cameron.

And in democracies as far-flung as Australia and Canada, the media have begun to publish expressions of exasperation and frustration at the deleterious effects of cultures incompatible with the host culture, accompanied by calls for “repatriation” of those who cannot integrate.

Silly or seditious?

The calls for official commemoration of the Nakba in Israel are silly or seditious. But whatever the origins, they are deeply damaging.

There is clearly something profoundly flawed in a society that permits a significant segment within it to express grief at its success in preventing its destruction.

Israel, as any other country – perhaps more than any other county – cannot condone widespread, organized political activism aimed at negating the founding values of the state, lamenting the defeat of its enemies and perpetuating the adversarial narrative of “return.”

Those who insist in persisting with such activity should know that they face a tangible risk of being stripped of their Israeli citizenship. Of course, this should not constitute a great hardship for them. After all, why should they object to being relieved of membership of a collective they obviously find so objectionable they consider its creation a “catastrophe”?

All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.


[Note:  This Jewish commentator believes that it is wrong for Israel to blockade and bomb Gaza, because the Jewish State would not want Gaza to blockade and bomb Israel.  Yet Gaza did, in fact, perpetrate the latter atrocity against Israel and would have perpetrated the former, as well, had it but possessed the military capability to do so.  The fact that Gaza aggressed (via rocket and mortar fire) against Israel for almost 8 years prior to Israel’s three-week invasion of Gaza in December 2008 (known as “Operation Cast Lead”) -- not to mention the fact that Gaza had earlier breached Israel’s border in June 2006 during which it murdered several Israeli soldiers and kidnapped another (Gilad Schalit) for ransom -- and is now paying a just price for having done so, seems not to have affected this commentator’s “moral” calculations at all.  This is why the below article is probably the epitome of Moral Equivalency Run Amok.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]

Rattling the Cage: A taboo question for Israelis

By Larry Derfner

(Jerusalem Post, January 4, 2010) There's a question we Israelis won't ask ourselves about the Palestinians, especially not about Gaza. The question is taboo. Not only won't anyone ask it out loud, but very, very few people will dare ask it in the privacy of their own minds.

However, I think it's time we start asking it, privately and in public. If we don't, I think there's going to be Operation Cast Lead II, then Operation Cast Lead III, and each one is going to be worse than the last, and the consequences for Palestinians and Israelis are going to be unimaginable.

The question we have to ask ourselves is this: If anybody treated us like we're treating the people in Gaza, what would we do?

We don't want to go there, do we? And because we don't, we make it our business not to see, hear or think about how, indeed, we are treating the people in Gaza.

All these shocked dignitaries, all these reports, these details, these numbers -- thousands of destroyed this and tens of thousands of destroyed that. Rubble, sewage, malnutrition, crying babies, humanitarian crises -- who can keep up? Who cares? They did it to
themselves. Where to for lunch?

IT'S NOT that we can't imagine life in Gaza. It's that we are determined not to try to imagine. If we did, we might not stop there. Next we might try to imagine what it would be like if our country were in the condition in which we left Gaza. And sooner or later we might try to imagine what we would do if we were living over here like they're living over there.

Or not even what we would do, just what we would think - about the people, about the country, that did that to us and that wouldn't even allow us to begin to recover after the war was over. That blockaded our borders and allowed in only enough supplies to keep us at subsistence level, to prevent starvation and mass epidemics.

What would we think, what would we do, if somebody, some country, did that to us?

A lot of people here, I'm sure, would reply angrily: So why won't the Gazans try making peace?

But is that how we would react? Is that what Israelis would do if a foreign army did to this country what the IDF did to that one a year ago? If another country sent F-16s, Apache helicopters, white phosphorous, drones, tanks and battalions into Israel, if any nation bombed and killed over here like we bombed and killed in Gaza, then rubbed our noses in it afterward, would we want to make peace with them?

Forget we; does anyone know a single Israeli who would?

I'M SURE a lot of people would argue: What about Sderot? Didn't the terrorists in Gaza bomb and kill in Sderot? Let's the turn the question around: What would the Gazans have done if another country did to them what they did to the people in Sderot?

Fair enough. Yes, they would have hit back, too. They're not pacifists, either, to say the least. In fact, their elected leaders are fanatical, murderous Jew-haters sworn to Israel's destruction. That's extremely important to remember, and we do. But what we don't want to remember, what we make 100 percent sure to forget, is that we do all sorts of hateful things to Gaza that they don't do to us, and that this is the way it's been since 1967.

Aside from choking the flow of goods to Gaza by land, we blockade their entire coast. We don't allow ships to sail into Gaza or out. Does anyone stop ships from coming and going at the ports of Eilat, Ashdod or Haifa? What would Israel do if anyone tried? (Think of what Israel did two weeks after Egypt blockaded the port of Eilat in May 1967.)

We also blockade Gaza's airspace, preventing planes from flying in or out. Does anybody stop planes from flying in and out of Israel? Would we stand for it if someone did?

For 37 years, between 1967 and 2005, our soldiers and settlers were the overlords of the Gaza Strip. If foreign soldiers and settlers tried to come in and take over Israel, what would we do?

And regarding the years of rocket attacks on the people in Sderot, I've never been through such an ordeal, but I imagine it's hell. However, I've also never been through the ordeal that people in Gaza have gone through, and are still going through, yet I know -- as everyone in the world knows, except Israelis -- that life in Gaza is incomparably worse than life in Sderot ever was.

DURING THE 2008 US presidential campaign, Barack Obama visited Sderot, saying, "If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that."

Absolutely right. I wonder, though, what sort of empathetic reaction he might have had if he'd also visited the Jabalya refugee camp that summer. I wonder how he'd react if he visited Jabalya now.

And how would we react? If we Israelis could go to Gaza and see in person what we've done to that place and its people, would we be capable of empathy? If we thought of our children living in a country that was just like postwar Gaza, would we allow ourselves to think what we might do?

We can't go to Gaza, but we have to start using our imagination. We have to dare to put ourselves in those people's place. And we have to stop doing to them what we would never allow anyone to do to us. Otherwise, we Israelis have no conscience, and little by little we become capable of anything.

(©) The Jerusalem Post


[Note:  A prominent “Palestinian” has argued that “Palestinian” terrorists are really heroes in the mold of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi. However, the below author explains why this assertion is merely Moral Equivalency Run Amok.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]

Words of truth amidst a world of lies


(Jerusalem Post, October 18, 2011) The killers we released are not deviants of Palestinian society. Rather, they are society itself.

Bassam Nasser’s op-ed in yesterday’s paper is a must read for every citizen of the world.

Nothing could better illustrate the truth about the Palestinian society of Gaza.

Nasser argues that it’s just not fair that we Israelis view the prisoners released in exchange for Gilad Schalit as terrorist murderers. After all, everyone in Gaza worships and idolizes them. We should understand that they are heroes, a source of pride and honor to their parents and families, the most eligible bachelors desired by every young Palestinian woman. Political and social organizations will seek out the released killers to advance their names and their agendas. They are not deviants of society, but rather society itself. They are lawyers, doctors, men and women, young and old, professors and illiterates.

The picture he so proudly paints of Palestinian society, glaringly clarifies to all that the leaders of Gaza and its citizenry as a whole comprise one of the most despicable and detestable societies in the history of man. No Hollywood studio has ever created a villain as evil as the likes of Khaled Mashaal, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini or Hassan Nassrallah.

No Hollywood writer has ever written a script about an entire society of Evil, millions of devout clones of a murderous, deviant ideology and eschatology.

The reality of Gaza today, and most of the Arab World, is too strange for fiction.

If you don’t believe me, take a five-minute stroll [to the Arab-populated neighborhood that is] past the Hass Promenade in Jerusalem, one of the city’s most popular tourist stops, and you will witness a nearly unprecedented celebration in honor of the release 1,000 of the most despicable human beings ever born. Their supporters are dancing on cars, galloping through the streets on horses, shouting and screaming for joy. For what? To welcome the woman who planned and drove the suicide bomber to Sbarro [restaurant] and murdered 15 young Jews and wounded over 100, for the “crime” of eating pizza in downtown Jerusalem. Other idols of their society include the person who murdered the Dickstein parents and their nine-year-old son, Shuvael, leaving behind eight orphans, aged one-to-17 years old.

Another of the terrific Palestinian role models who was greeted yesterday was the lovely man who walked into the Shabo home and machine-gunned three young boys while they were watching television, then murdered their mother in her bed at point blank range and shot the leg off another of her sons as he cowered, hiding under his mother’s bed.

YOU CAN’T win a battle if you don’t know who the enemy is. I thank Nasser for so clearly describing the enemy we face; an entire society filled with hate, the desire to kill every Jew and every Westerner, with the hope of destroying the very moral ethic upon which we base our lives. It is an enemy with the primitiveness and intolerance that patiently executes its long term plan to violently impose a monolithic radical Islamic regime on every citizen of the world. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is their target.

The enemy we must face up to is radical Islam. Or perhaps it is Islam itself? A number of years ago I participated in a small gathering with then US Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer, who said that the United States is deeply studying this question and hasn’t yet concluded whether the problem is only radical Islam or whether the ideology is so pervasive that it is Islam itself.

It is clear that Nasser and every Palestinian leader believe that Palestinian murderers are comparable to South African leader Nelson Mandela and India’s Mahatma Gandhi. This is a loathsome comparison.

Neither of those men ever held a gun in his hand or killed another human being. Mandela was convicted of planning violent resistance while fighting for equality in South Africa. Another victim of the apartheid government, Steven Biko, headed a totally pacifist, peaceful organization that united 70 other groups to promote “social upliftment” of black residents of Durban, and Gandhi was known worldwide as a pacifist and vehemently condemned any violence.

Assimilating the joy I feel for Gilad’s return home and the disgust and fear that I feel over the release into the World of hundreds of the cruelest and inhumane murderers and killers that Society has ever known, my only solace is the gratitude that I have for being born a Jew and the pride I feel for having made the choice to become an Israeli. We have been handed a Moral Code from God and from all of our ancestors, a heritage of over 3,500 years that dictates a set of behavioral norms and societal ethics that prevent us from deteriorating into animals.

Our instincts for right and wrong, honed over thousands of years of thought, debate and practice prevent us from ever falling into the trap of adopting radical Islamic ideals.

It’s time for us, the People of Israel to be a light unto the nations to share with them the lessons of our tradition, the value of a human life, the horrible crime of murder, and the Code of Ethics that we have received, upon which the whole World can live together in peace.

The writer is the chairman of, Israel’s premier support organization for terror victims and the recipient of this year’s Presidential Citation for Volunteerism.

(©) The Jerusalem Post




[Note:  Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister does not seem to suffer from the disease of False Moral Equivalency.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]


Erdan calls to cut Gaza power to avoid shortages in Israel 




Environmental protection minister says it is "absurd" that Israel should experience power shortages while the "terror entity next to us will get electricity." 


(Jerusalem Post, May 13, 2012) Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday called on the government to cut off the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip in order to avoid electricity shortages it is feared could affect Israel this summer.


Speaking in an interview with Army Radio, Erdan said that Gaza has its own power stations and legally, it is not clear that Israel is responsible for supplying power to Gaza, especially after Israel's 2005 disengagement from the territory. Gaza's power plant provides electricity to two-thirds of its population. Power is also supplied to the Gaza grid through power lines from Israel and Egypt.


Erdan said that it is "absurd" that Israel should experience power shortages while the "terror entity next to us will get electricity that they don't pay for." The Energy and Water Ministry expects shortages in Israel between June and September.


The environmental protection minister said that the four percent of power supplied to Gaza could prevent outages in Israel at times of peak usage.


Erdan stated that while "water and energy are supposed to be outside the conflict" if there is no choice and Israel needs the energy than he sees no legal obligation to provide Gaza with the electricity.


Erdan stated that former attorney-general Menahem Mazuz said that there were legal problems with cutting off electricity to Gaza when the measure was considered as a way of combating Hamas during Operation Cast Lead in 2009. Erdan said that in that instance Mazuz had stated that the move was illegal because it constituted "collective punishment" on the civilian population of Gaza, but the circumstances were completely different in this case, as the cuts would be made not as punishment, but rather as a result of need.


The environmental protection minister said that while he was not advocating regime change in Gaza, because alternative groups leading Gaza could be worse for Israel, he was also against strengthening and making agreements with Hamas.


Erdan posited that the Hamas leadership provided electricity for those close to it and cut off electricity for others according to its own political considerations. He stated that they were "not worthy" to receive electricity at the expense of the Israeli population.


Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau last week recommended a 30-megawatt increase in solar rooftop allocations, as part of a government proposal he submitted for coping with the expected electricity shortages this summer.


The cabinet was expected to discuss measures for dealing with the shortages on Sunday. Army Radio reported that Erdan sent government ministers a letter outlining his proposal for cutting electricity to Gaza ahead of the discussion. 


All rights reserved © 1995 - 2012 The Jerusalem Post.


[Note:   In addition to electricity, Israel has been supplying Hamas-ruled Gaza with diesel fuel, potable water, and replacement currency (because Gaza has adopted Israel’s Shekel as its official currency).  Moreover, Israel allows Gazans in need of medical attention to receive treatment in Israeli hospitals, and it allows donor countries and organizations to supply Gaza with cereal grains, medicines and all manner of industrial and consumer goods.   And Israel is doing all of this for Gaza while the latter is firing mortars and missiles into Israel’s civilian population centers as well as attacking Israeli soldiers guarding the border between Gaza and Israel.  In my opinion, Israel’s present beneficence towards Gaza is just another example of Moral Equivalency Run Amok. -- Mark Rosenblit]



[Note:  The leader of the Catholic Church, who purports to be the epitome of Morality, has implicitly created a false moral equivalency between the Holocaust and Israel’s defensive security measures.   Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]

No Holds Barred: Pope Francis and the need to confront evil


When the pope prays in front of graffiti that compares Bethlehem to the Warsaw Ghetto, he risks being trivializing the Holocaust.

(Jerusalem Post, May 26, 2014) No-one can deny that Pope Francis is a man who walks the walk. While many disagree with his neo-socialist world-view, who can feel anything but respect for a world leader who eschews the perks of office to champion the poor and the oppressed. The pope is also courageously confronting the Church’s obsession with abortion, gay marriage and contraception in favor of spiritual values that directly address the materialism, narcissism and rot of the modern world.

But there is one area where the pope must do more. And that’s in his confrontation with evil.

Over the past few days we’ve heard the pope repeatedly invoke the need for Middle East peace. We have seen him walk a tightrope of neutrality between Israel and the Palestinians. But as the world’s foremost religious voice, can he afford to be silent in the face of a grotesque moral affront? When the pope prays at an Israeli security barrier in front of graffiti that compares Bethlehem to the Warsaw Ghetto he has taken neutrality to an extreme and risks being party to trivializing the Holocaust.

This past January I visited the remnants of the Warsaw Ghetto in the deep and freezing snow of Poland’s winter. It traumatized me to the bone. I found approximately five portions of the ghetto wall, Janusz Korczak’s original orphanage, the last remaining synagogue, and the square from which the 300,00 Jews were deported from the ghetto to their deaths in Treblinka. Not that they weren’t already the living dead. The photo and film archive of Emanuel Ringelblum, at the former site of the Grand Synagogue’s Library, is shocking beyond words. The discarded bodies that dotted the streets of the ghetto are haunting enough. But even worse is the footage of small children, clad in the dead of winter in nothing but rags, walking alone and barefoot and begging for bread. It is something that sears the soul and has the viewer asking how God could have allowed such unspeakable suffering. I was covered in many layers and was still shivering. I have no idea how these children survived for even a day.

I also visited the mass grave at Mila 18, headquarters of the armed Jewish resistance of April- May 1943, known to us today as the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. There I was nearly knee-deep in snow, the only visitor in perhaps days, making fresh prints by the monument to the great Mordechai Anileviscz who headed the uprising and, surrounded by the Nazis who were about to storm the position, took his own life along with other leaders of the uprising.

To compare the annihilation of the 300,000 Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto to a security fence erected by Israel so that more Jews aren’t gruesomely murdered takes a particular kind of propaganda effort, one that has contempt for human life, one that is indifferent to evil. Surely the pope cannot agree with the appalling, disgusting and vile assertion that Bethlehem is a holding pen for Palestinians awaiting Israeli slaughter. So why would the pope have prayed there?

Pope Francis just canonized John XXIII and John Paul II, both courageous friends of world Jewry. He pointedly, and to his credit, did not canonize Pope Pius XII, the man universally derided as “Hitler’s Pope.”

Evil ensues when nobody speaks against it and genocides take place when people are silent. This was the great sin of Pope Pius, a man whose refusal to use this global standing to denounce Hitler and a mysterious insistence on remaining above the fray in the great battle of light versus darkness bespoke a broken moral compass. Hitler famously said at the start of the Holocaust, in 1939, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” He banked on moral voices remaining silent in the face of Jewish European mass murder. Eugenio Pacelli, who became pope that same year, obliged him by never once objecting to the destruction of European Jewry and lives, therefore, in moral infamy till this day.

Pius XII was famous for making benign pronouncements during the war that carefully preserved his moral neutrality: “Nothing is lost with peace; all can be lost with war. Let men return to mutual understanding! Let them begin negotiations anew, conferring with good will and with respect for reciprocal rights... Christ made love the heart of his religion.”

These empty platitudes were utterly useless in preserving peace because they refused to lay the blame for the war firmly at the door of the Nazi aggressor. Even after Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, and began what would be six years of global conflict and mass slaughter, Pius avoided words of condemnation of any party. For the pope, the allies and the Nazis were equally culpable. The most the Pope Pius ever said that even approached a condemnation of the annihilation of the Jews was in a Christmas message of 1942 where he spoke of “those hundreds of thousands who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or race, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline.” Incredibly, he never once said he was referring to the Jews.

Pope Francis, who is a global inspiration and a great light of the Church, must learn from the poor example of his predecessor not be vague when it comes to mass murder. Platitudes about Middle East peace that refuse to condemn Hamas terrorism or the terrorist group’s genocidal charter risks compromising the great pope’s moral standing. A security fence built solely to protect innocent Israelis from being dismembered dare not be compared to a fence designed to cage Jews prior to their gassing.

The pope can surely find a different place to pray.

The author is founder of This World: The Values Network, the foremost organization influencing politics, media and the culture with Jewish values. He has just published Kosher Lust: Love is Not the Answer.

Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley. 

All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.


[Note:  As Israel defends itself from Gaza’s missiles and mortars, much of the World, including many “progressive” Jews, has promoted a false moral equivalency between Israel and Gaza.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]

A Dose of Nuance: Whatever happened to evil?


Why note that Gaza has no Iron Dome unless you’re really suggesting that this is a battle between two morally equivalent sides, and thus ought to unfold on a level playing field?

(Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2014) When the dust finally settles, when we can finally breathe again and begin to learn the lessons of this war of sorts, we’ll have more than our share of questions to ask.

Are the residents of Israel any safer than they were before? Is it really possible that a power like Israel cannot rid Gaza of rockets? Will Israel, when it’s all over, have sold out the residents of the South once again? Will we have created more cities like Sderot, in which the only people who live there are the ones who cannot afford to move away? Beyond the war, there will be deeper questions about our leadership and our society. To what extent did the government’s (apparent) decision to lie about the fact that it knew from the very beginning that Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel [who were kidnapped by Arab terrorists] were almost certainly dead – thus unleashing three weeks of prayer, desperation, worry and unbridled emotion – foster an environment that contributed to the [revenge] murder [by Jews] of Muhammad Abu Khdeir? And what is Israel going to do about that swathe of its society that sees nothing wrong with chanting “Death to Arabs” at football games and that, at heated moments a few weeks ago, spread across downtown Jerusalem looking for Arabs to beat up? We ignore these questions, and many others, at our own risk.

At this moment, though, I find myself consumed by a different question altogether.

It is, quite simply, this: Where has the word “evil” gone? Why are so many otherwise intelligent people so incapable of calling Hamas what it so obviously is? No matter what one thinks about the larger Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian statehood or occupation, there is something perverse about the implicit critique that this was not a “fair fight.” Ben Wedeman, reporting for [U.S.-based cable TV news network] CNN, remarked on the air more than once this week that Gaza was not protected by an Iron Dome system. That’s true, of course, but hints at a perverse worldview. Why note that Gaza has no Iron Dome, unless you’re really suggesting that this is a battle between two morally equivalent sides and thus ought to unfold on a level playing field? If only that perversity was limited to CNN, it would be less awful. But consider this, part of a letter sent by a rabbi who was (rightly) bemoaning the fact that the fighting was not nearly over.

What would the coming days bring, this rabbi asked in an open letter to the entire congregation? “More Hamas rockets landing in populated Israeli cities, not all of which will be thwarted by Israel’s missile defense system. More Israeli air strikes in densely populated Gaza (which, by the way, has no Iron Dome and only few shelters), which means more Palestinian civilians, inevitably, caught in the crossfire.”

Note the balance. Israelis suffer. Palestinians suffer. But note also the complaint about the imbalance – for Israelis are protected by Iron Dome, and Palestinians are not. What’s missing from this letter is the simple ability to call Israel’s enemies “evil.”

What’s missing is any recognition that Article XIII of Hamas’s charter says, explicitly, that “[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions... are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad.”

What’s missing is acknowledgment that Hamas will stop attacking Israel when Israel is no more. I don’t expect Ben Wedeman to care about that. But rabbis?! Even when it comes to Hamas, we need balance? Here’s more balance, from the very same letter. “So we stand, breathless, on the cusp of Shabbat – still grieving over Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, sick, ashamed and shocked by the vicious murder of Muhammad, awake, finally, to the inevitable outcome of years of hatred and racism, occupation and terror.”

The conflict with Hamas is the result of occupation? How about Article XXXII of their charter: “Leaving the circle of conflict with Israel is a major act of treason and it will bring curse on its perpetrators.” Disney [movie production studio] brings us the circle of life; Hamas is dedicated to the circle of conflict. But Jews, even rabbis, can’t say that any longer. The murderers of Muhammad Abu Khdeir are pure evil (yes, actually, they are), but Hamas is not? What’s happened to us? At a recent meeting with a group of progressive American rabbis, I offhandedly used the term “Amalek” to refer to Hamas. One of the rabbis asked, very respectfully, if I could help him think about a different vocabulary to use about Hamas, one that “reflects Jewish values.” I was actually dumbstruck for a moment. I’d thought that in mentioning Amalek, I was referring to Jewish values.

Have we gotten to the point that tikkum olam (whatever that means) and tzelem Elokim (being created in God’s image) are Jewish values, but that eradicating evil is not? That’s a bizarre bastardization of how Judaism has always seen the world. A world in which one refuses to call out evil is a world in which the meaning of goodness is also radically diminished.

Is the death of every Gazan child tragic? Of course it is. Is there something heartbreaking about watching Gazans flee the northern part of the Strip, sleeping in shelters further to the south, not knowing if their homes will be standing when they return? One would have to have a heart of stone not to be pained.

Yet why were they fleeing? Because Hamas’s leaders built shelters for themselves, not for simple Gazan citizens.

They fled because Hamas took building materials that Israel sent into Gaza, and instead of building houses built kilometers of tunnels, deep underground, designed for future attacks on Israel. Do these genuinely pitiful, frightened people stop to note that Israel warned them to flee in order to save their lives, while Hamas demanded that they go home and not heed the Zionist warnings? I don’t care that Ben Wedeman is never going to call Hamas “evil.” And I understand that Gazans won’t either, at least publicly, because they have an understandable aversion to being executed.

But must we Jews, and our religious leaders, be complicit in the charade? When Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, the head of the yeshiva of Eilon Moreh (a settlement, some will note), remarked that the murderers of Muhammad Abu Khdeir should be executed, he quoted the verse “so that you may burn out evil from your midst” (Deut. 17:7). Rabbi Levanon is quite right. There is, in fact, very real evil in the world. But if the only evil to which progressive Jews can point is the evil in us, our moral compass has been badly damaged.

If the only people we can call evil are Jews, then Hamas and its viciousness are the least of the threats to our longterm survival.

The writer is senior vice president, Koret Distinguished Fellow and chair of the core curriculum at Jerusalem’s Shalem College, Israel’s first liberal arts college. His latest book, Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel’s Soul, was recently released by NextBook.

All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.


[Note:  In the below article, the author, a Leftist Jew (who is also a retired General in Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service), alleges that the leaders of Gaza and Israel have locked themselves into a “cycle of violence” merely in order to “boast” about their respective “achievements and victories”.  In fact, whenever the term “cycle of violence” is employed in connection with actions that Israel has taken to defend itself against its enemies, the intended subtext is always that Israel’s right to defend itself from its enemies is not on a higher moral plane than its enemies’ right to attack Israel.  As such, the below analysis of Gaza’s genocidal war against Israel constitutes the epitome of Moral Equivalency Run Amok.   Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]

Operation Protective Edge is nothing new

By LIOR AKERMAN          

Hamas doesn’t really believe that by shooting rockets into Israel it will achieve a military feat; the IDF and Israeli leaders do not really want to send ground forces into Gaza.

(Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2014) We should not get confused about Operation Protective Edge. Nothing new is taking place in the Middle East; no dramatic change is going to occur, and no resolution is being achieved or agreement signed between the two parties.

As with the previous battles, the fighting is mostly the result of each side’s state of consciousness. Neither side is aiming to occupy land.

Hamas doesn’t really believe that by shooting rockets into Israel it will achieve a military feat. And the IDF and Israeli leaders do not really want to send ground forces into Gaza.

The Shin Bet knows that it would never be able to gain full control or be able to prevent attacks from Gaza and so the obvious conclusion is that this round of fighting will also end in a cease-fire in which each side will claim victory and show off to the world its impressive achievements.

The only problem is that in this match, there are no winners, only losers.

This ritual is once again repeating itself. All of these operations including Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Defense and the current Operation Protective Edge began with vigorous statements such as “This time we’re going to deliver the fatal blow to Hamas and its infrastructure.”

Each time we are told in victorious voices how all of the terrorist targets have been destroyed, and yet each time we continue to suffer from rocket barrages even after the operations are completed.

Nothing has changed. Hamas still controls Gaza. The Palestinians are still the ones who decide when to escalate activity and when it’s time to cool down. The rockets continue falling on Israeli land and population centers. Each side sends its smoothest talkers and smartest commentators to deal with the media.

Each one in turn rants and raves about the details and size of its military achievements. Both parties claim they achieved a smashing victory, the newspapers are full of graphs and statistics detailing each side’s achievements and its enemy’s failures.

Hamas announces that it plans to rain a barrage of rockets down on Tel Aviv and then boasts of its success, even though all of the rockets were intercepted and failed to cause any damage. The IDF chief of staff says he’s ready to carry out an invasion of Gaza and is merely waiting for cabinet approval (which he won’t receive now or for any future operation – at least not under the current administration).

So, how did we end up in this incessant and vicious cycle of violence again? I would like to suggest a few reasons: The Palestinians have an extremely weak and ineffective leadership, whereas Israeli leaders lack vision and backbone. Both sides suffer from diplomatic and political paralysis, and so Hamas’s obsessive fanaticism has been left to run rampant.

On both sides, stubborn nationalist parties are in control and their decisions are mainly based on fear of extremists within their own community.

This situation serves a number of purposes for both sides. First, there is nothing like a successful operation or a “justified” war to unite the people around a feeling of victimization.

There is nothing like military heroes to create a sense of solidarity and righteousness and heroism.

Second, a military operation allows us to forget our day-to-day problems. For a while, we’re allowed to refrain from thinking about our economic problems, high taxes and the high cost of living. For just a few moments we don’t need to worry about transportation disputes, government corruption or party politics.

We are given a short respite from the small, insignificant problems of our regular life.

It is in everyone’s interests that this crisis continue for a bit longer so we can all boast of our achievements and victories without having had to risk our soldiers’ lives. Both sides know that eventually we will reach a cease-fire without either side obtaining any real achievements, after which will follow a period of calm during which Hamas will replenish its rockets for the next round of fighting and the IDF can request budget increases without having to put up much of a fight.

If we don’t root out the real problem though, it will just be a matter of time until the next round of fighting begins. If we are interested in bringing about true change, a few conditions must be fulfilled: Both sides must put forward strong and courageous leaders.

There must be a strong and stable government that can prevent extremists from running the show and dictating events. These leaders and governments must be willing to make concessions and strike forcefully against terrorism on both sides. And last but not least, they must have vast military intelligence capabilities.

Israel has better military and intelligence capabilities than almost any other country. It is disciplined, and yet at the same time it is exceptionally adaptable. The sane majority prefers peace over the continuation of this war of attrition.

The only thing that we are missing now is a leadership that knows how to combine all of the above – to state our vision, prepare a longterm plan to achieve it and to make the difficult decisions necessary to reach it. When the other side realizes that we mean business, it will finally need to make the necessary adjustments.

The writer is a former brigadier-general who served as a division head in the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.


[Note:  In the below article, the author, a renowned American law professor, bemoans the fact that the World falsely equates Israel with Hamas.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]

Why did Hamas accept the cease fire?


We often forget that Hamas is a criminal organization whose sole purpose is destroying the nation-state of the Jewish people and killing as many of its citizens as possible.

(Jerusalem Post, August 2, 2014) When Hamas accepted the US-UN proposed cease fire, many eyebrows were raised. Why suddenly would Hamas accept this cease fire, when it had turned down so many previous proposals?  Some speculated that perhaps Qatar, the financial godfather of the terrorist organization, had pressured Hamas into accepting it. Others speculated that Hamas was getting pressure from its own citizens to end the bloodshed.

It now seems that all these speculations failed to take into account the true nature of Hamas. We often forget that Hamas is a criminal organization — a group of terrorists working together with other terrorist groups such as Islamic Jihad for the sole purpose of destroying the nation-state of the Jewish people and killing as many of its citizens as possible. Criminals and terrorists don’t play by the rules of civilized society. It now seems likely that Hamas and its co-conspirators agreed to the deal for the sole purpose of lulling Israel into accepting it so that they could catch Israel off guard and exploit the humanitarian cease fire to achieve one of the most important goals of the war they started: namely to kidnap an Israeli soldier or civilian and hold them hostage until their extortionate demands were met.

The reason some people actually believed that Hamas would play by the rules and maintain the cease fire to which it agreed, is because the media, the UN, and some in the international community falsely equate Israel, a democratic country that abides by the rule of law, with Hamas, a terrorist organization comprised of criminals who commit double war crimes every time they fire rockets at Israeli civilians from behind Palestinian civilians and whenever they hide terrorist tunnels in civilian areas.  

The conflict is seen not as one between good and evil, or between criminals and those who seek to enforce the law, but rather as between two parties with equal claims. This false symmetry only encourages Hamas to exploit this status by appearing to play by the rules, while never intending to do so.

Israel has learned its harsh lesson. It will never again agree to a cease fire with Hamas that in any way depends on mutual trust. One hopes that the world too has learned a lesson. It should never try to pressure Israel into taking any action or inaction that relies on Hamas’ good faith.

Since it was the United States and United Nations that asked Israel to accept the cease fire that led to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, it is now their responsibility to demand the return of the soldier with no conditions. The United States has accepted this responsibility. Secretary of State John Kerry issued the following statement: 

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s attack, which led to the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the apparent abduction of another… Hamas, which has security control over the Gaza Strip, must immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier, and I call on those with influence over Hamas to reinforce this message.”

The United Nations, on the other hand, has accepted no responsibility. Its Security Council is unlikely to demand the unconditional and immediate return of the soldier or even condemn Hamas alone for violating the UN-brokered cease fire. That is because Russia will almost certainly veto any unilateral condemnation of Hamas even if a majority could be mustered in support.

The best proof, if any were needed, that Hamas is a criminal organization, is that it regards the kidnapped soldier not as a prisoner of war but as a hostage. Responsible armed forces capture soldiers; criminal organizations kidnap them. Responsible armed forces allow the Red Cross to visit captured soldiers; criminal organizations keep them incommunicado and allow no Red Cross visitors. Real armed forces release soldiers when the combat is over; criminal groups hold their kidnap victims until their ransom demands are met. Finally, real armed forces protect the lives of captured enemy soldiers; criminal gangs often murder their kidnap victims, as Hamas members murdered the three Israeli children they kidnapped earlier this year.

The time has come, indeed it has long past, for the international community to regard Hamas as the terrorist gang that it is. It should be treated the way the world has treated pirates over the centuries. International warrants should be issued for the arrest of Hamas’ gang leaders. They should be dealt with in the way police and armed forces deal with the mafia and other criminal gangs. Hamas deserves no place at the table of negotiation or in any Palestinian government, any more than La Costra Nosta would deserve to be part of an Italian government or the Israeli-Russian mafia should be included in any Israeli government. Hamas has done more harm to the Palestinian people than has Israel. If the Palestinian people won’t rescue themselves from this gang of cutthroats, the international community must do so. That would be true humanitarianism.

All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.


[Note:   The below article is not an example of false Moral Equivalency.  Rather, in the below article, the author, a renowned American law professor, discusses an example of its equally-perverse converse -- the refusal of the World to morally equate one genocidal belligerent (namely, ISIS) with another equally-genocidal belligerent (namely, Hamas), apparently because the former is mostly focused on murdering other Gentiles (which rightly renders it Evil and, consequently, deserving of Extirpation), while the latter is mostly focused on murdering Jews (which perversely renders it a legitimate political actor and, consequently, worthy of diplomatic protection).  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]

ISIS is to America as Hamas is to Israel


Obama has called for an all-out war against the “cancer” of ISIS [the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”, now denominated by its leadership as the “Islamic State”], as he has regarded Hamas as having an easily curable disease.

(Jerusalem Post, August 21, 2014) US President Barack Obama has rightfully condemned the ISIS beheading of American James Foley in the strongest terms. This is what he said:

"There has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of the kind of nihilistic ideologies. One thing we can all agree on is group like ISIS has no place in the 21st century. Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security a set of values opposite of what we saw yesterday. We will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and stability."

At the same time that President Obama has called for an all-out war against the “cancer” of ISIS, he has regarded Hamas as having an easily curable disease, urging Israel to accept that terrorist group, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction, as part of a Palestinian unity government.  I cannot imagine him urging Iraq, or any other Arab country, to accept ISIS as part of a unity government.

Former President Jimmy Carter and Bishop Desmond Tutu have gone even further, urging the international community to recognize the legitimacy of Hamas as a political party and to grant it diplomatic recognition.  It is hard to imagine them demanding that the same legitimate status be accorded ISIS.

Why then the double standard regarding ISIS and Hamas?  Is it because ISIS is more brutal and violent than Hamas?  It’s hard to make that case.  Hamas has probably killed more civilians — through its suicide bombs, its murder of Palestinian Authority members, its rocket attacks and its terror tunnels — than ISIS has done.  If not for Israel’s Iron Dome and the Israeli Defense Forces, Hamas would have killed even more innocent civilians.  Indeed its charter calls for the killing of all Jews anywhere in the world, regardless of where they live or which “rock” they are hiding behind.  If Hamas had its way, it would kill as least as many people as ISIS would.

Is it the manner by which ISIS kills?  Beheading is of course a visibly grotesque means of killing, but dead is dead and murder is murder.  And it matters little to the victim’s family whether the death was caused by beheading, by hanging or by a bullet in the back of a head.  Indeed most of ISIS’s victims have been shot rather than beheaded, while Hamas terrorists have slaughtered innocent babies in their beds, teenagers on the way home from school, women shopping, Jews praying and students eating pizza.

Is it because ISIS murdered an American?  Hamas has murdered numerous Americans and citizens of other countries.  Indeed a senior Hamas official, Saleh al-Arouri, recently acknowledged — boasted — that a Hamas brigade kidnapped the three teenage school boys who were murdered.  One of them was an American citizen.  Why is the cold-blooded murder or an innocent young American in Israel deserving of less condemnation than the murder of an American journalist?  Yet the New York Times, which appropriately gave front page headline coverage to the beheading of the journalist, buried Hamas’ claim of responsibility for this kidnap-murder in the middle of a story about Israel killing three Hamas commanders.

Is it because ISIS has specifically threatened to bring its terrorism to American shores, while Hamas focuses its terrorism in Israel?  The Hamas Charter does not limit its murderous intentions to one country.  Like ISIS it calls for a worldwide “caliphate,” brought about by violent Jihad.

Everything we rightly fear and despise from ISIS we should fear and despise from Hamas.  Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas—at the very least until it rescinds its charter and renounces violence.  Unfortunately that is about as likely as America rescinding its constitution.    Violence, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism are the sine qua non of Hamas’ mission.

Just as ISIS must be defeated militarily and destroyed as a terrorist army, so too must Hamas be responded to militarily and its rockets and tunnels destroyed.

It is widely, and in my view mistakenly, argued by many academics and diplomats that there can never be a military solution to terrorism in general or to the demands of Hamas in particular.  This conventional wisdom ignores the lessons of history.  Chamberlain thought there could be a diplomatic solution to Hitler’s demands.  Churchill disagreed.  History proved Churchill correct.  Nazi Fascists and Japanese militarists had to be defeated militarily before a diplomatic resolution could be achieved.

So too with ISIS and Hamas. They must first be defeated militarily and only then might they consider accepting reasonable diplomatic and political compromises. Another similarity between ISIS and Hamas is that if these terrorist groups were to lay down their arms, there might be peace, whereas if their enemies were to lay down their arms, there would be genocide.

A wonderful cartoon illustrates this: at one end of the table is Hamas demanding “death to all the Jews!” At the other end is Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu. In the middle sits the mediator, who turns to Netanyahu and asks: “Can’t you at least come half way?”

No democratic nation can accept its own destruction.  We cannot compromise — come half way — with terrorists who demand the deaths of all who stand in the way of their demand for a Sunni caliphate, whether these terrorists call themselves ISIS or Hamas. Both are, in the words of President Obama, “cancers” that must be extracted before they spread.  Both are equally malignant.  Both must be defeated on the battlefield, in the court of public opinion and in the courts of law. There can be no compromise with bigotry, terrorism or the demand for a caliphate. 

Before Hamas or ISIS can be considered legitimate political partners, they must give up their violent quest for a worldwide Islamic caliphate. And they must stop kidnapping and murdering children, journalists and other innocent people — and boasting about their horrible crimes.

All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.

[Note:  Concerned about the above conflation, Hamas has argued that it is not like ISIS, as it cynically claims to be a national liberation movement fighting against an oppressive Israeli Occupation of Gaza (despite the fact that all Jews left Gaza in August 2005, and despite the fact that Israel continues to provide Gaza with electricity, fuel, water and humanitarian supplies, even while Gaza is firing mortars and missiles against Israel’s civilian population centers).   However, likewise, ISIS can cynically claim to be a national liberation movement fighting against an oppressive Alawite Occupation of Sunni territories in Syria and an oppressive Shiite Occupation of Sunni territories in Iraq. -- Mark Rosenblit]


[Note:  Difficult as it may be to comprehend, there is something more perverse than false Moral Equivalency -- that is Role Reversal.  In false Moral Equivalency, a belligerent which aggresses against Israel is morally equated with Israel.  In transactional Role Reversal, which is usually related to a specific instance of armed hostilities, a belligerent which aggresses against Israel is viewed and treated as if it is, instead, the victim of an aggression by Israel.  Yet, there is something even more perverse than transactional Role Reversal -- that is demonizing Role Reversal.  In demonizing Role Reversal, which often exists independently of any specific instance of armed hostilities, a genocidal belligerent which habitually aggresses against Israel and publicly calls for its annihilation is likened to the pacific and defenseless Holocaust-era European Jewry, while Israel is likened to the genocidal Nazi Germany.  In the below article, the author, the editor of the international edition of the Jerusalem Post, discusses the most recent example of a demonizing Role Reversal.  Read on! -- Mark Rosenblit]

My Word: Gaza is no ghetto


Israel treats Gazans in Israeli hospitals and provides (unpaid for) electricity and humanitarian aid even when under rocket attack.

 (Jerusalem Post, August 21, 2014) Talk about shoot to kill: I received a press release this week – mid-rocket attacks – proudly announcing the successful conclusion of filming of a docudrama called “What Does Anne Frank Mean Today?” – including on-location work in Gaza.

I’m loath to give the movie more publicity but I’ll let the press release speak for itself. (Spoiler alert: The answer to the title’s question in my opinion is “very little.” It seems there is no limit to how low one can sink in cheapening Anne Frank’s name and memory in the name of art.) The film is by Croatian director Jakov Sedlar with screenplay by his son and co-director, Dominik, and is being produced by Holocaust survivor Branko Lustig (who won an Oscar for his work as producer of Schindler’s List) and Stephen Ollendorff. The musical score is by [the Berlin State Opera’s Jewish conductor] Daniel Barenboim.

“Now, 70 years since the Frank family were discovered in hiding, “What Does Anne Frank Mean Today?” is a fascinating look at Anne Frank’s life and diary and how the words and thoughts of this exceptional young woman in hiding have relevance in today’s world,” reads the publicity material.

“Shot entirely on location amidst the turmoil of Gaza, Ramallah, Jaffa and Kosovo, the film takes a modern look at how relevant her thoughts and dreams are for young people in these regions today through conversations with ordinary Palestinian youths who talk about love, their first kiss and other subjects covered in Frank’s diary.

Sedlar faced many challenges shooting during the most recent conflicts in Gaza, trying to shoot scenes in between bombings and was witness to horrific images of war.

“The film will have six young Palestinian actresses portraying Anne Frank between the ages of 12 and 14 and Sedlar hopes that the film being done in Arabic (with English subtitles) will ‘open some eyes.’ ‘We must not repeat history,’ Sedlar adamantly vows.”

My eyes opened so wide I stared at the email and checked I’d read it correctly and it wasn’t just the stress of Operation Protective Edge playing tricks on me.

This movie might be one of those cases of people being so open-minded that their brains fell out.

According to the press release, the Sedlars and Lustig are seeking a distributor for the movie, and I’ve no doubt they’ll find one. The world is a very sick place.

In interviews, Sedlar, whose movies can be found at [Israel’s national Holocaust Memorial] Yad Vashem, has told reporters that he is making the film to help counter Holocaust denial in the Arabic- speaking world.

It is a noble aim, but there are other ways to go about it – educational programs in Palestinian Authority schools would be a good place to start.

Sadly, I wasn’t surprised by the kidnapping of Anne Frank’s story as part of the Palestinian narrative. The “Israelis are the new Nazis” theme has been gaining force over the years and with the latest round of hostilities in Gaza (the fighting that so played havoc with the Anne Frank movie filming) it has become a virtual motif – the language, the images, the claims.

If you study the photos coming out of Gaza as much as I do, you might even notice the recent addition of Spielberg-like pictures [plagiarized from the Holocaust-era movie “Schindler’s List”] of a young child dressed in red against the gray backdrop of destruction.

LAST MONTH, I was asked by a London radio station to relate to the claims by Britain’s former deputy prime minister Lord John Prescott which appeared in the Daily Mirror equating Gaza with a ghetto (and the condemnation by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the body which officially represents Anglo Jewry, that this was trivializing the Holocaust).

The program producers requested that I write a few lines about my opinion prior to the broadcast. At the last minute the topic changed to the threat of the Hamas tunnels; however, writer that I am, I had already sent them more than a few sentences. In the heat of the moment, or the heat of my anger, I’d managed to produce several paragraphs.

Here are my main points: Lord Prescott’s statements are not only trivializing the Holocaust, they are grotesquely distorting it: The Holocaust was an attempt by the Nazis to completely eradicate the Jewish people, their religion, culture and any memory of them just because they were Jews. None of that is the case in Israel’s treatment of Gaza – Israel has set up a field hospital, treats patients in Israeli hospitals and actually provides (unpaid for) electricity and humanitarian aid (often while the crossing itself is under missile and mortar attack). And of course Gaza does have a border with Egypt, too.

If anything – although I don’t want to fall into the same trivialization trap – it is Hamas, whose charter calls for the elimination of Israel and which would like to set up an Islamic Shari’a-abiding caliphate in its place – that is reminiscent of the Nazi ideology.

Israel is not indiscriminately bombarding Gaza (if it were, the casualties would of course be far higher during the period of fighting). It is making every effort to avoid hurting the civilian population. It is Hamas that has a deliberate policy of endangering its own population and using them as human shields.

It has even abused UN-affiliated schools, turning them into depots for arms and ammunition.

Every death of an innocent person is a tragedy, but that doesn’t automatically make it a war crime.

Much of Gaza is truly impoverished. Had the millions and millions of dollars of international aid been spent on trying to build it up in the last nine years since Israel unilaterally pulled out instead of on missiles (not so primitive it seems) and the huge underground warren of terror tunnels – all aimed at destroying Israel – the Palestinians in Gaza, and indeed the whole region, would have benefited.

And, no, the tunnels from Gaza into Israeli communities were not built to help poor Palestinians escape a modern-day ghetto. They are part of the terror network.

I am frequently asked if what we’re experiencing today can be compared to Europe of the 1930s for the Jews.

One of the obvious differences is that the State of Israel does exist, much to the chagrin of our many enemies.

Another difference is that in the 1930s, the attempts to eradicate the Jewish people did not rely on finding Jews who would do the propaganda work for the Nazis.

An email I received from BDS advocates in the US contained a recommendation for Jewish members to stress their religion in their boycott campaign work.

Among this summer’s disturbing events are the declaration a week ago by British MP George Galloway that his Bradford constituency is an Israel-free zone (something Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub, among others, set out to challenge with a well-publicized visit and talk there).

There were also the two incidents in which branches of different British supermarket chains removed products that could be associated with Israel (or Jews) because of boycott activities inside and outside the stores.

The group Sussex Friends of Israel comprising both Jews and Christians, which formed partly to counter boycott activities in this region, on Britain’s south coast, this week held a heartwarming pro-Israel rally, and I’m pleased to see the group also offered its support to an event highlighting the plight of the Kurds and other minorities under Islamic State. Such rallies are truly pro-peace.

Back to the Anne Frank movie, because it’s now playing on my mind, the press release informs us: “It was August 4, 1944, when Anne Frank and her family were discovered by the Nazis while hiding in a secret annex in Amsterdam.”

Truth be told, if the truth still means anything, the Frank family weren’t “discovered by the Nazis.” They were betrayed, most likely by their non-Jewish Dutch neighbors, although that’s the part of the story that is not often emphasized.

Anne Frank died because she was a Jew. Period.

Israel is being attacked because it is the Jewish State.

That’s it.

Rewriting history – adapting it to a new narrative – doesn’t change it; it only means it will be repeated in a new form.

The writer is editor of The International Jerusalem Post.

All rights reserved © 1995 - 2014 The Jerusalem Post.


Demonizing Israel with false moral equivalence


Five studies covering nine European countries show that about 40 percent of Europeans think that Israel is a “Nazi state.”

(Jerusalem Post, February 24, 2015) Rhetoric plays a major role in the demonization of Israel. Besides the use of lies, the dissemination of false arguments is among the major demonization techniques. It is thus important that those who publicly defend Israel be trained to see through such tactics.

One prominent technique used against Israel is false moral equivalence. It is based on the deceitful claim that there is no difference between two greatly dissimilar actions. Comparisons by nature easily lend themselves to abuse. Examples abound and only some of the most frequent ones can be mentioned here. Several go beyond the realm of common sense. A prominent one is the perverse claim that Israel’s behavior is equivalent to that of Nazi Germany or the Nazis. This example of false moral equivalence is widespread throughout Europe. Five studies covering nine European countries show that about 40 percent of Europeans think that Israel is a “Nazi state.”

Another version of this falsehood is that Israel is exterminating the Palestinians. This belief is also widespread as found in European polls. Yet another variant of this false comparison is “Zionism is fascism.” When speaking at the Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Vienna in February 2013, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayipp Erdogan stated, “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.” This statement was immediately criticized by US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since false comparisons are so easily made, a great variety of them are used against Israel. The false moral equivalence of Zionism and racism was a tactic created by the Soviet Union to justify its refusal to condemn anti-Semitism. This political strategy was initially used in an attempt to expel Israel from the United Nations in the 1960s. Although it failed, the Soviet Union, its satellite states and its Arab allies eventually succeeded in 1975 in passing UN resolution 3379. It determined that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”

Yet another example of false moral equivalence frequently used to demonize Israel is labeling Israel an apartheid state. Former US president Jimmy Carter is among those who made this false comparison, in the title of his 2006 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

Israeli left-wing journalist Benjamin Pogrund’s book Drawing Fire has as its subtitle “Investigating the Accusations of Apartheid in Israel.” The author says in a personal note in the book: “I was treated for stomach cancer at one of Israel’s leading hospitals, Hadassah Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem. The surgeon (he was the head surgeon) was Jewish, the anesthetist was Arab. The doctors and nurses who cared for me were Jews and Arabs. During four and a half weeks as a patient, I watched Arab and Jewish patients get the same devoted treatment. A year or so later, the head surgeon retired; he was replaced by a doctor who is an Arab. Since then, I’ve been in hospital clinics and emergency rooms. Everything is the same for everyone. Israel is like apartheid South Africa? Ridiculous.”

Another popular false moral equivalence used is the idea that Israel represents a colonial power in the Middle East. Historian Richard Landes exposed the hypocrisy of this moral equivalence. He wrote about the benign nature of Zionist settlements in Ottoman and British Palestine, sharply contrasting from the imperial aspirations of European powers at the time. “Rather than arrive as zero-sum military victors, the Zionists arrived as positive-sum neighbors,” writes Landes.

Yet another use of false moral equivalence is comparing the Holocaust to the Nakba, the “catastrophe” or creation of the State of Israel. Many have adopted this false moral equivalence. The Holocaust and Nakba are far from similar, however. The Holocaust was a planned, industrial genocide. The Palestinian Nakba was a direct result of the refusal of Palestinians to accept the existence of Israel, which led to their major military defeat.

Another category of moral equivalence implies that the intentional murder of innocent civilians is equivalent to the accidental deaths of civilians in military actions. In March 2012, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton compared the deaths of innocent people, such as the Jewish children killed in Toulouse, France, by serial killers, and brutal dictators like Syria’s Bashar Assad, to the accidental deaths of civilians due to Israeli retaliatory actions in Gaza. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni reacted by saying, “There is no similarity between an act of hatred or a leader killing members of his nation and a country fighting terror, even if civilians are harmed.”

Many so-called humanitarian NGOs are frequent abusers of false moral equivalence. Even when writing brief statements about the human rights violations imposed upon Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit when he was kidnapped and imprisoned by Hamas terrorists for over five years, the reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch chose to bring attention to the false moral equivalence of a kidnapped Schalit and the Palestinian terrorists sentenced by the courts to serve time in Israeli jails.

Says American lawyer Alan Dershowitz, “Every single prisoner held by Israel has judicial review available to him or her and some have won release. Every one of them has access to Red Cross visitation, can communicate with family, and has a known whereabout.

Kidnapped Israeli soldiers on the other hand are kept incommunicado by criminal elements, are routinely tortured, often murdered (as occurred recently), and have no access to the Red Cross or judicial review.

Moreover, the prisoners being held by Israel are terrorists – that is, unlawful combatants. Many are murderers who have been convicted and sentenced in accordance with due process. The ‘women’ and ‘children’ are guilty of having murdered or attempted to murder innocent babies and other non-combatants. The soldiers who were kidnapped are lawful combatants subject to prisoner of war status.”

Dershowitz mentioned that Hamas or Hezbollah would not treat the Israeli soldiers in the same manner that Israel treats its prisoners, because “they are terrorist organizations who do not operation within the rule of the law.”

Many more false moral equivalences can be mentioned. Israel’s public defenders and diplomats have, for the most part, not been trained to recognize and systematically fight against abusive moral equivalence. The damage caused by these demonization tactics should be addressed and dealt with by those who are in the public eye. The same is true for other false arguments that are frequently used, such as sentimental appeals, double standards and scapegoating. Failing to combat false moral equivalence is one of the many Israeli shortcomings in the war of words to which its government authorities should give far more serious attention.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is a former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (2000-2012). Jamie Berk is a researcher working toward an MA in political science at Hebrew University.

Copyright © 2015 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved


False Moral Equivalence as a Tool to Demonize Israel

by Manfred Gerstenfeld and Jamie Berk                   April 18, 2016 at 5:00 am

Among the many tools mobilized for the demonization of Israel, one frequently used is a mode of argument known as false moral equivalence. The term "moral equivalence," originates from a 1906 address by American philosopher William James.[1] It is the claim that there is no difference between two actions of greatly varying character. It is frequently used to emphasize similarities between two otherwise dissimilar acts. False moral equivalence undermines norms and values in a society, blurring the lines between good and evil also right and wrong.

False moral equivalence comparing Israel's actions to those of the Nazis was used by several prominent social-democratic politicians, including French President François Mitterrand,[2]Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme[3] and Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. [4]

When two dissimilar realities are linked such as Israel and Nazism, use of one side of the equivalence will eventually automatically bring to mind the other – however distorted the comparison may be. Subsequent repetition results in an acceptance, where the false moral equivalence is no longer countered or questioned.

False moral equivalence should not be confused with moral relativism. The latter lends itself to the justification of behavior by claiming that they are acceptable in a certain culture's values or were common practice during certain periods of history.[5]

Moral equivalence embodies comparisons, defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as: "The act or process of comparing: as the representing of one thing or person as similar or like another, or the modification of an adjective or adverb to denote different levels of quality, quantity, or relation."[6] Comparisons innately lend themselves to frequent abuse.


False moral equivalence used against Israel may be categorized into nine main groups, shown below. These groups are:


One widespread example of false moral equivalence is the comparison of Israel's behavior to that of the Nazis, and suggests that Israel's actions are equivalent to those of the perpetrators of the world's largest genocide. In Western societies, Nazi behavior has become the contemporary equivalent of absolute evil.

A poll published in 2004 by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation asked Germans if they agreed with the statement "What the State of Israel does today to the Palestinians is in principle the same as what the Nazis did during the Third Reich." Many respondents (23.9%) partly agreed with the statement and 27.3% of respondents totally agreed. When a similar poll from the same foundation was published ten years later, with the same question, 16.6% of respondents partly agreed, and 10.5% totally agreed.[7]

When a Bertelsmann foundation poll put the same question to Germans in 2007, 30% of respondents agreed. However, by the time the question was asked yet again in 2013, the number of German respondents agreeing with the statement had risen sharply to 41%, a figure much higher than the findings of previous polls.[8] The multiple polls show that the false moral equivalence is a well-proven phenomenon even though the actual numbers may differ.

The first comprehensive study investigating the attitudes of Norwegians toward minorities was carried out in 2011 and 2012 by the Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities at the request by the Norwegian government. The study found that 38% of Norwegians agree with the statement that Israel behaves toward the Palestinians in the same way that the Nazis acted toward the Jews.[9]

One element that can be learned from these figures is how important belief and thoughts are in addition to speech and actions. These people did not come forward and say Israel is a Nazi state. It was not even known that such a large number of Europeans held this belief until they were asked. The many people holding extreme false views about Israel provide the societal infrastructure that enables anti-Israeli inciters to succeed.

In 2009, for example Trine Lilleng, a first Secretary in the Norwegian embassy in Saudi Arabia, sent an email from her Ministry account juxtaposing pictures of slain children in Gaza with "photos of Holocaust victims in seemingly correlating situations."[10] After these emails were covered by the Norwegian and Israeli press, she faced no reprimands, and may have even been promoted, according to a Haaretz reporter who contacted the embassy a few months following the incident.[11]

David Harris, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, wrote an answer to Lilleng's email: "You've been in Riyadh since 2007. If you're so anguished by human rights violations, perhaps you could have begun by devoting some of your attention -- and email blasts -- to what surrounds you. Or were your eyes diplomatically shut?[12]

In April 2002 the Portuguese Nobel Prize-winning writer José Saramago, using the allegory of David and Goliath, wrote in the Spanish daily El País describing his view of how Israel has become a Nazi state:

"From the point of view of the Jews, Israel can never be brought to trial because it was tortured, gassed and cremated at Auschwitz. I wonder if those Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps, those who were persecuted throughout history, those who died in the pogroms, those who were forgotten in the ghettos, I wonder if that vast multitude of unfortunates do not feel shame on seeing the heinous acts committed by their descendants. I wonder if the fact that we endured does not constitute the best reason not to hurt others.[13]"

To Saramago, Israel, while supposedly using the Holocaust and pogroms as justification, acts as a Goliath toward the Palestinians.

According to Belgian historian Joel Kotek,

"there is in fact evidence that across the board, from the far right to the far left, there are those who take advantage of the 'opportunity' offered by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to unleash anti-Semitic utterances long suppressed precisely on account of the genocide. Thus, it seems to us, that anti-Zionism would appear to have become a means of drowning a feeling of vague guilt on the part of the West toward the Jews not long since abandoned to barbarity. a neat way of making up for the cowardliness and abandonment of the past by taking up an unambiguous and virtuous position on behalf of the victims of major contemporary injustices." [14]


Since the democratization and end of apartheid in South Africa, Israel has faced a new false moral equivalence, the comparison of its policies to those of the former South African white-only regime. Ignoring that much of the West Bank is under Palestinian National Authority control whereas all of South Africa was under the control of the undemocratic Apartheid regime, these opponents try to create the false comparison that Israel is an apartheid state.

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter made this comparison between Israel and apartheid politics in his 2006 book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid -- which incorporates the false moral equivalence in its title.

Within the book, Carter writes of the ways in which Israel may change the status quo. His "option two" states the possibility of

"A system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights. This is the policy now being followed although many citizens of Israel deride the racist connotation of prescribing permanent second-class status for the Palestinians... An unacceptable modification of this choice, now being proposed, is the taking of substantial portions of the occupied territory, with the remaining Palestinians completely surrounded by walls, fences, and Israeli checkpoints, living as prisoners within the small portion of land left to them.'"

Alex Safian, the assistant director of CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, proved that even when giving his book a title rooted in moral equivalence, Carter perhaps did not fully comprehend himself that his claims that Israel is an apartheid state simply are not true. Safian remarked that "[Carter] routinely misstated the definition of the word 'apartheid' saying that it was not based on racism. Yet the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines apartheid as 'inhumane acts ... committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group."[15]

Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a former anti-apartheid activist in South Africa, in a letter written in 2002 to The Guardian, at the height of the Second Intifada, is one among many examples of Tutu using his own past as an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa to justify this false comparison. He wrote:

"What is not so understandable, not justified, is what it did to another people to guarantee its existence. I've been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about."[16]

Like Carter, Tutu confused systems of apartheid under a single government in South Africa with Israel and the PA's dual-control of the region. What is most striking about this statement -- and countless others by Tutu decrying apartheid in Israel -- is that unlike Carter, Tutu's focus on Israel at that time did not come from personal observation and travel in the region. His last visit to Israel prior to his 2002 letter was in 1989, four years before the Oslo Accords and creation of the Palestinian National Authority.

"Israel," wrote Robbie Sabel, professor of law at Hebrew University, "is a multi-racial and multi-colored society, and the Arab minority actively participates in the political process. There are Arab parliamentarians, Arab judges including on the Supreme Court, Arab cabinet ministers, Arab heads of hospital departments, Arab university professors, Arab diplomats in the Foreign Service, and very senior Arab police and army officers. Incitement to racism in Israel is a criminal offence, as is discrimination on the basis of race or religion."

In addition, Sabel wrote, "The real goal behind the Apartheid campaign is the denial of the legitimacy of the State of Israel and the determination that the only status the Jewish population in Israel can hope for is that of a 'protected' ethnic minority in an Arab Palestinian state."[17]


The moral equivalence of Zionism and racism is a false moral comparison, apparently initially fabricated to further a political agenda. Prior to the mid-1960s, there was little mention of Zionism or the ethno-nationalist movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland as being a racist ideology. The singling out of "Zionism as a form of racism" was a device created by the Soviet Union to justify its refusal to condemn anti-Semitism. Soviet leaders felt that condemning anti-Semitism would anger its Arab world allies.[18]

The strategy initially was to try to expel Israel from the United Nations. When it failed, the Soviet Union, its satellite states and Arab allies instead succeeded in passing UN resolution 3379, defining Zionism as a form of racism, in 1975.[19] During the same year, the World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination in Durban, South Africa also determined that "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination."[20] This resolution remained in place until the General Assembly officially revoked it in 1991, after the fall of the USSR. [21]

This false comparison has also been repeated countless times through United Nations and United Nations-sponsored declarations and conferences. In the NGO-sponsored forum at the 2001 UN Conference against Racism, held in Durban, a strategy focusing on delegitimizing Israel was adopted.

Although initially attendees, the United States and Israel, after receiving for consideration the text of the Durban NGO forum, much of it equating Zionism directly to racism, withdrew from the first Durban Conference. The NGO Declaration referred to Israel as an 'apartheid state,' guilty of 'racist crimes against humanity including ethnic cleansing, acts of genocide,' and called for 'comprehensive sanctions and embargoes' as well as 'the full cessation of all links.'"[22] The text of this forum was presented to the Durban organizing committee for consideration.[23]

The Durban NGO Forum later led to the US, Israel, and seven other nations boycotting the 2009 Durban Review Conference in Geneva.[24] Although since the fall of the Soviet Union no UN-affiliated body has passed a declaration that "Zionism is racism," calling the world's only Jewish state racist is a direct moral equivalent of this statement. The same logic, however, repeated itself during the Durban II conference, as well as the Goldstone Report in 2009, through many other false moral equivalences such as the comparison of Israel to an apartheid state.[25]

Zionism is Colonialism/Imperialism

Another popular moral equivalence used is the idea that Israel represents a "colonial power" in the Middle East. Proponents of this theory argue that Zionism, like colonialism and imperialism, justifies the colonization of people of color in their own land by white people, who then rule the entire population and exploit their resources.

The claim that Zionism and Israel are inherently imperialist, representing a colonial power in the Middle East, is largely present in the world of intellectuals and academics.

The academic discipline, "Post-Colonial Studies," suggests that current trends in former colonies be viewed through the lens of their colonial legacy, in particular in terms of the power structures and Western influence on these nations. A distorted version of this discipline, however, tries to implicate Israel.

In practice, much of modern postcolonial studies is built on a distorted concept of the discipline presented in Edward Said's book, Orientalism. He argues that nearly all Western influence on the developing world has been negative and destructive, with Western colonizers imposing their culture and attitudes on colonized populations while treating them as if they were primitive peoples.[26]

Proponents of this distorted view draw a parallel between indigenous people of color colonized by Westerners for centuries, and the Palestinians. They incorrectly argue that Zionism "justifies" the colonization of people of color in their own land by white people, who then rule the entire population and exploit their resources.

A few examples illustrate this. The Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, in his article, "Zionism as Colonialism: A Comparative View of Diluted Colonialism in Africa and Asia," argues that the rise of Zionism in the late 19th century can be directly linked to the Age of Imperialism in Europe:

"Zionism was not, after all, the only case in history in which a colonialist project was pursued in the name of national or otherwise non-colonialist ideals. Zionists relocated to Palestine at the end of a century in which Europeans controlled much of Africa, the Caribbean, and other places in the name of 'progress' or idealism not unfamiliar to the Zionist movement. It happened in a century when French settlers colonized Algeria, claiming an atavist and emotional link to the Algerian soil no less profound that that one professed by the early Zionists with regard to Eretz Yisrael."[27]

American writer and activist Alice Walker also developed this theme, comparing Israel to apartheid-era South Africa, segregationists in the United States, and Nazi Germany. She drew false equivalence of Zionism and European imperial powers in her book, The Cushion in the Road. In her description of apartheid South Africa, she stated that

"... poor Europeans, though, to save themselves, learned to speak proper English, supported as they were by a system that favored whites. Advancement for them, as for the Jewish settlers in Palestine, was unlimited, if they could blend in, accepting the spoils of war against the indigenous and enslaved, with those in power.

"This is an old, old story and it is a terrifying one. Can people who hunger so desperately for what other people have ever have enough? One thinks of Hitler, of course, and Napoleon; of the American generals who fought wars of conquest against Mexico and Cuba and the Philippines. Guatemala. Iraq. Afghanistan. And countless other places we've never heard of."[28]

Historian Richard Landes exposed the hypocrisy of Walker's moral equivalence on his website, "The Augean Stables." He wrote about the benign nature of Zionist settlement in Ottoman and British Palestine, sharply contrasting Walker's own misconceptions about Zionist settlement in Israel with the imperial aspirations of European powers at that time.

Landes wrote, referring to Walker's comment about Hitler, Napoleon, American generals and more, that

"behind this rather blandly stated remark lies the path to a real assessment of Israeli 'colonialism' and 'imperialism.' All (other) colonial projects (e.g., Spanish in Latin America, British in South Africa, French in Algeria), occurred in the wake of a conquest. The only way that the new colonists could make claims to the land was by conquest, by (at best) driving away the inhabitants, and establishing overwhelming military superiority. Political power came from victory in war. In so behaving, the European imperialist-colonialists conformed to the international norms of millennia.

"The Zionist project of colonization worked in a markedly different manner. Rather than arrive as zero-sum military victors, the Zionists arrived as positive-sum neighbors. Granted they had no ability to conquer, and granted they built up their defenses against predatory attacks from both Arabs and Bedouin inhabitants of the land, but they nonetheless made peace with most of those who dwelled there by offering the benefits of civil society: hard productive work made everyone better off."[29]

Martin Kramer, President of the Shalem Center describes claims that Zionism is colonialism as

"a very great lie, and it is a self-serving lie. Those who believe it can sustain in their hearts the hope that in any given span of a few years, Israel will disappear. America will decide to dismantle it, or the Jews will decide that it is too costly to maintain, and so will go to other countries that are safer and more comfortable. For colonialism is something that is transient and lasts only so long as it is cost-effective. But authentic nations are forever, the ties of nations to their land are never really severed, and nations are bound by ties of solidarity that cross the generations."[30]

Colonialists conquered other countries in order to lay claim to their resources and exploit them. They funneled money and value out of the colonies. The Zionists brought money and skills into the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate of Palestine and afterwards into Israel. Israeli Arabs also significantly benefitted from this. Their current average income per capita is a multiple of that of the inhabitants of the neighboring countries. If the Palestinian Arabs had not followed their leaders' road to violence, they too would have benefited similarly.

Zionism is fascism

The false moral equivalence, "Zionism is fascism," is a fallacy linking the ideology underpinning the establishment of the State of Israel to the violence justifying fascism.

When speaking at the Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Vienna in February 2013, for instance, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated, "Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity."[31]

This statement was immediately criticized by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu's office released this statement addressing Erdogan's speech, "This is a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world." Erdogan did not retract his comments even after this international pressure, and did not issue an apology.[32]


In 2008, 59 British Jews, including popular writer and entertainer Stephen Fry, signed a letter published in The Guardian urging their Jewish peers not to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary. They stated that

"in May, Jewish organizations will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. This is understandable in the context of centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, we are Jews who will not be celebrating. Surely it is now time to acknowledge the narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-Semitism and Hitler's genocidal policies. As Edward Said emphasized, what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Nakba is to the Palestinians."

The letter then cites a number of Nakba incidents as justification for this moral equivalence, including the statement that "thousands of Palestinians (Israeli citizens) were expelled from the Galilee in 1956"[33] -- despite no evidence of any such expulsion.

Archbishop Tutu has also drawn a moral equivalence between the Holocaust and the subsequent treatment of Palestinians. Tutu toured Yad Vashem in 2009 with the "Elders," a peace activists group of retired global leaders, including Jimmy Carter. In an interview with Haaretz after the visit, Tutu said that

"the West was consumed with guilt and regret toward Israel because of the Holocaust, as it should be. But who pays the penance? The penance is being paid by the Arabs, by the Palestinians. I once met a German ambassador who said Germany is guilty of two wrongs. One was what they did to the Jews. And now the suffering of the Palestinians."[34]

In response, Dr. Robert Rozett, Tutu's museum guide and director of Yad Vashem Libraries, published in Haaretz:

"certainly it is the Jews who paid for the Holocaust with the blood of some six million innocent victims - not the perpetrators, not the bystanders and not Arabs in Palestine or anywhere else. Saying that the Palestinians are paying for the Holocaust falsely presupposes that the Jewish tie to the Land of Israel became significant only in the wake of the Nazi attempt to eradicate the Jews. It overlooks the ancient and ceaseless connection of the Jewish people to Israel, and the modern Zionist enterprise that returned an exiled people to their ancestral home."[35]

Though compared numerous times in public discourse, the Holocaust and Nakba are far from equivalents. Tutu's fallacious arguments blaming the Holocaust for Palestinian suffering are yet another distortion leading to the obfuscation of the factual events. The Palestinian Nakba was a direct result of the war initiated by the Arab states and Palestinians against Israel to massacre Jews.

Like claiming the moral equivalence of Zionism and racism, the equivalence of the Holocaust and Nakba was a Palestinian strategic political maneuver. Tel Aviv University's Meir Litvak and Esther Webman in their book, From Empathy to Denial: Arab Responses to the Holocaust, state that

"the Arab governments and public discourse rejected the linkage between the solutions of the Jewish problem and the Palestine problem, and presented in its stead a link between the Holocaust and the Palestinian catastrophe, introducing two parallel human tragedies. The Palestinians strove to gain recognition of their tragedy, with all it entails for rights of self-determination and restoration of justice. This striving for victimhood status constituted the backbone of the narrative from which various motifs developed, starting with the equation of the extent and gravity of the tragedies, through denying the tragedy of 'the other' and turning him from victim to perpetrator."

In addition, they wrote that "the Nakba, epitomizing the Palestinian suffering, was being reconstructed as a founding myth in the Palestinian national identity, fulfilling, wittingly or unwittingly, a similar role to that of the Holocaust, the epitome of Jewish suffering, in Israeli society."[36]


This category of moral equivalence pretends that the intended murder of innocent civilians is equal to the accidental deaths of civilians in targeted assassinations. Those who use this moral equivalence compare Israeli military operations intended to kill only terrorists, to premeditated cold-blooded murder.

Israeli military operations have frequently been targeted for criticism by Western pseudo-humanitarians. They are now also trying falsely to compare Israel's response to the wave of individual Palestinian terrorist knifings and ramming attacks to cold-blooded murder. Sometimes such comparisons are even made by prominent officials, overlooking that they took place during the attempted murder of Jews by terrorists.

The philosopher Jean Bethke Elshtain pointed out the dangers of false moral equivalences:

"If we could not distinguish between an accidental death resulting from a car accident and an intentional murder, our criminal justice system would fall apart. And if we cannot distinguish the killing of combatants from the intended targeting of peaceable civilians, we live in a world of moral nihilism. In such a world, everything reduces to the same shade of gray and we cannot make distinctions that help us take our political and moral bearings."[37]

By way of illustration, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry compared the three civilians murdered in the 2013 Boston Marathon to the nine killed by Israeli soldiers on the Mavi Marmara ship in the flotilla that attempted to bring help to the Gaza Strip in 2013.[38] Kerry falsely mischaracterized these flotilla passengers as innocent activists and bystanders, much like the truly innocent Boston victims, killed by bombs hidden in backpacks.[39]

False moral equivalence of this incident does not have any foundation in fact. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs proved that acts of violence had been planned by some of the passengers on the Mavi Marmara before any Israeli troops set foot on the ship. Video footage shows an Israeli soldier being thrown overboard, and other soldiers being attacked with metal pipes and chairs immediately after boarding, leaving no time to negotiate with passengers.[40] Kerry ignored all of this.

Catherine Ashton, former European Union Foreign Policy chief, provided another extreme example of false moral equivalence. In 2012, she compared the deaths of innocent people by serial killers and brutal dictators such as Syria's Bashar al-Assad to accidental deaths of civilians due to Israeli actions in Gaza. In a speech to Palestinian youths in Brussels, Ashton said:

"When we think about what happened today in Toulouse [the murder of four Jews by the Muslim terrorist, Mohamed Merah], we remember what happened in Norway last year, we know what is happening in Syria, and we see what is happening in Gaza and other places - we remember young people and children who lose their lives."[41]

Such false moral comparisons encourage terrorism.[42] Islamist terrorism in particular has increased greatly since Ashton and Kerry made their remarks. While the Israeli army has made more effort to instill combat morality in its soldiers than any other armed force,[43] the opposite can be said for terror organizations setting out to murder civilians, or with the Mavi Marmara's violent activists intending to attack soldiers.


The media have frequently claimed that targeted actions by the Israeli military against terrorists have also included the deliberate murder of civilians. It is, however, the Palestinians who specifically target Israeli civilians. While mainly Arab terrorists attack Israeli and Jewish civilians in Europe and elsewhere, Israel targets terrorists to prevent their future murderous acts.

The Los Angeles Times set up false moral equivalence in an April 2013 article entitled "2 killings shatter relative calm between Israelis, Palestinians." In this article, journalist Edmund Sanders reported the stabbing of an Israeli settler civilian by a Palestinian terrorist. The terrorist then stole the civilian's gun and attacked nearby soldiers before being arrested. The image used in this article is an unrelated and undated picture of Israeli soldiers firing tear gas in Nablus.

In the article's next paragraph, Sanders writes about a completely unrelated killing in Gaza that occurred the same day, that of terrorist Haitham Ziad Ibrahim Mishal, and remarked that "separately, the government said that Israel Defense Forces killed a Gaza Strip-based militant accused of participating in rocket attacks, including one earlier this month that struck the Israeli resort city of Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula."

The killing by the Palestinian was the cold-blooded murder of a civilian by a terrorist.[44] In the other case, the IDF targeted Mishal while he rode a motorcycle with another passenger in an isolated area to limit civilian casualty.[45]

The November 16, 2012 front page of the print edition New York Times utilized visual manipulation to achieve moral equivalence. The cover story displays two photographs of equal size, both from funerals. The first photo is of the Gaza City funeral of Ahmed al-Jabari, a Hamas military commander killed by an Israeli airstrike at the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense. The second image is of the funeral of Mina Scharf, an Israeli civilian killed by a Hamas rocket during the campaign.

Writing about Jabari and Scharf's respective backgrounds, Tablet Magazine's Adam Chandler, says in an editorial, that "Jabari was killed for being a Hamas strongman, who directed terror activity for a decade and was one of the central figures in the planning of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping. Beneath his picture is the picture of the body of Mina Scharf, a 25-year-old mother of three, who worked for Chabad in New Delhi, India and who was one of three civilians killed when a Hamas rocket struck a residential building in Kiryat Malachi."[46]

In a Huffington Post opinion piece on the same topic David Harris asks, "In the same spirit, would equal and abutting space have been given to photos of the funerals of Osama Bin Laden and one of his victims?"[47]

The 2015 report compiled by the UN Human Rights Council in response to Israel's 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza created a similar moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. Israel has, for its adversaries, a system of advanced warnings, including radio announcements, the dropping of leaflets, and "roof knocks" to announce airstrikes on weapons depots and other terror targets, so civilians will have time to leave the premises. The report claims that Israeli warnings were not adequate because of "the fact that many places considered safe were already overcrowded; and the poor conditions in shelters, which themselves came under attack."[48]

The report implies that Israel, which targeted weapons or terrorists is equivalent to Gaza's terror groups which launched rockets at Israeli civilian centers, because in a single mentioned case, the terrorists gave warnings. The report argues that "in some instances, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza reportedly attempted to warn civilians in Israel of imminent attacks. For instance, on 20 August 2014, the Al-Qassam Brigades warned communities near Gaza to avoid returning home or to remain inside shelters."[49] However, the report does not mention the means taken to ensure the effectiveness of this warning, such as whether, for example, it was translated into Hebrew. It also does not differentiate between the intended targets under threat, which in this case were civilian, not military, as opposed to Israeli airstrikes, exclusively on Gaza's terror targets.


NGOs often advocate for the human rights of imprisoned terrorists and terror suspects. Even when writing brief statements about the human rights violations imposed on a kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, when he was imprisoned by Hamas terrorists for over five years, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports chose to draw a false moral equivalence between Shalit and Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.

In October 2011, at the time of the exchange of Gilad Shalit for 477 Palestinian terrorists, the expression "prisoner exchange" was frequently referenced. Amnesty International, titled its press release, "Israel-Hamas prisoner swap casts harsh light on detention practices of all sides." In response to the prisoner exchange, Malcolm Smart, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa Director, stated that "this deal will bring relief to Gilad Shalit and his family after an ordeal that has lasted more than five years. Many Palestinian families will feel a similar sense of relief today when they are reunited with their relatives, many of whom have spent decades under harsh conditions in Israeli detention."

This statement was one of the few published by Amnesty International about Shalit, and made only on his release. Twelve paragraphs of the seventeen-paragraph text concern conditions in Israeli prisons for Palestinian detainees, while requests for Shalit's basic rights under the Geneva Convention, such as Red Cross visits, contact with his family, and information about his condition, were repeatedly denied. Despite this, Amnesty International also set up a false moral equivalence between Shalit's situation and that of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails by comparing the situation of the Shalit family to family members of Palestinian prisoners because some struggled to obtain travel permits to visit Israeli jails.[50]

In a similar press release from Human Rights Watch (HRW) about Hamas's violations of international law, three paragraphs were devoted to the moral equivalence of terrorists under Israeli control. HRW, nevertheless, did include that the ban on Gazans visiting relatives in Israeli prisoners was because of the 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza. Amnesty in its press release had omitted this. HRW, however, also wrote that "Israeli authorities have repeatedly detained Hamas members, including elected members of parliament, without charge in the West Bank in apparent retaliation for Shalit's detention." There was no reference to Hamas's status as a terrorist organization intent on the destruction of the State of Israel.[51]

U.S. law professor Alan Dershowitz writes that "Every single prisoner held by Israel has judicial review available to him or her and some have won release. Every one of them has access to Red Cross visitation, can communicate with family, and has a known whereabout. Kidnapped Israeli soldiers on the other hand are kept incommunicado by criminal elements, are routinely tortured, often murdered, and have no access to the Red Cross or judicial review. Moreover, the prisoners being held by Israel are terrorists—that is, unlawful combatants. Many are murderers who have been convicted and sentenced in accordance with due process. The "women" and "children" are guilty of having murdered or attempted to murder innocent babies and other non-combatants. The soldiers who were kidnapped are lawful combatants subject to prisoner of war status."

Hamas or Hezbollah, Dershowitz states, would not treat the Israeli soldiers the way Israel treats its prisoners, because "they are terrorist organizations who do not operation within the rule of the law."[52]

Humanitarian racism, a term for a little recognized type of racism, was coined several years ago by Gerstenfeld. He wrote: "This racism is a mirror image of the white-supremacist variety. Humanitarian racists consider—usually without saying so explicitly—that only white people can be fully responsible for their actions; nonwhites such as the Palestinians cannot (or can but only to a limited extent)."[53]

Humanitarian racism is present in the NGO statements about Shalit and Palestinian prisoners. All of these statements also attack Israeli prisons, using them as a tool to shift the emphasis in their articles away from the blatant violations of Shalit's human rights, thus creating a false moral equivalence between the treatment of an Israeli soldier kidnapped by terrorists in Israeli territory and legally-imprisoned terrorists.[54]


When releasing statements about Israel and its terrorist enemies, officials from across the world have drawn equivalencies between Israel's legitimate government and the leaders of terror organizations that are illegal according to international law.

At the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, the declarations of officials representing Russia, India, Turkey, and Sweden put Israel and Hamas on the same level.[55]

Erdogan, speaking to a gathering of the Eurasian Islamic Council, commented that "those who speak of Muslims and terror side by side are turning a blind eye when Muslims are massacred en masse." He added that "those who turn a blind eye to discrimination toward Muslims in their own countries, are also closing their eyes to the savage massacre of innocent children in Gaza. ... Therefore, I say Israel is a terrorist state."[56]

Harris commented: "Erdogan has branded Israel a "terrorist state" for having the audacity to defend itself against a group that seeks its destruction. He has vociferously denounced Israel's use of military force, while never condemning the hundreds of missile attacks against Israel this year alone... Yet Erdogan has the audacity to assail Israel mercilessly for merely exercising its right to defend itself against those who would destroy it."[57]


There are some forms of false moral equivalence toward Israel and the Jews that fall outside the above categories. These include for instance the moral equivalence of murder and vandalism, and the comparison between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

The false moral equivalence between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia compares the problems facing Jewish populations across Europe with those of Muslims. This comparison is distorted in part because many Muslims are anti-Semites and because the most extreme persecutors of Jews in Europe have come out of Muslim communities. All anti-Semitic murders of Jews in Western Europe in the current century have been committed by Muslims.

Furthermore, while both groups face adversity in modern Europe, the scope and nature of this persecution could not be more different. Anti-Semitism has its origins in many centuries of religious and ethnic hate propaganda. Islamophobia derives from perceived aggression. At the same time there is a weariness with Islam because of the actual violence supported by many in the world of Islam.

False comparisons are also frequently used by Holocaust deniers. They try to minimize the horrors of the Shoah by comparing it to the actions taken by the Allies in the Second World War to defeat the Axis powers, in particular pointing to the airstrikes on German and Japanese targets. Although some of the actions taken, such as the internment of Japanese civilians by the U.S. and in particular the use of the atom bomb against civilian targets, were inhumane, they did not reach the magnitude of the Holocaust, the largest genocide in history, intended to cleanse Europe of the Jews.

False moral equivalence was also used by Adolf Eichmann during his 1961 war crimes trial in Jerusalem. He claimed that there were no basic differences between the Allied and Axis powers. Judge Benjamin Halevi responded to Eichmann: "you have often compared the extermination of the Jews with the bombing raids on German cities and you compared the murder of Jewish women and children with the death of German women in aerial bombardments. Surely it must be clear to you that there is a basic distinction between these two things. On the one hand the bombing is used as an instrument of forcing the enemy to surrender. Just as the Germans tried to force the British to surrender by their bombing. In that case it is a war objective to bring an armed enemy to his knees.

"On the other hand, when you take unarmed Jewish men, women, and children from their homes, hand them over to the Gestapo, and then send them to Auschwitz for extermination it is an entirely different thing, is it not?"[58]

Eichmann's sentiments were also shared by historical writer David Irving, who in 1996 sued Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin books for libel. She had characterized him in her 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, as being aware of the harsh realities of the Holocaust, but choosing to distort them to ally with his own ideology and political agenda. In Lipstadt's words, he did this because "Irving realized that a pre-condition for Nazism's resurrection was to strip and wash it of its worst elements. The first important tool to accomplish this was the creation of immoral equivalencies, essentially a balance of bad behavior. For instance, in the same breath, one mentions that, while the Nazis bombarded London in 1940, the Allies bombed Germany in 1945. Less truthfully, one agrees that the Nazis had concentration camps, which were terrible places, but then denies anybody was murdered in them. One can then 'balance' that by mentioning that the Americans had camps for American citizens of Japanese descent."[59]

The defendants in the trial however emerged victorious. In a lengthy judgement, Judge Charles Gray ruled in 2000 that Irving was an anti-Semite who "for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence."[60]


The analysis of the above categories provides a broad overview of different ways in which comparisons of the moral equivalence type are abused to demonize Israel or damage its image. A more detailed analysis of false comparisons in general using many additional examples would yield many more insights in the process of demonization of Israel.

From the above, it also emerges that certain NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International use various categories of false moral comparisons. Through referencing an earlier article by Gerstenfeld on the nature and definition of double standards, it becomes clear that these organizations use additional false arguments.

Detailed analysis of all types of lies and false arguments used against Israel and the Jews is an essential tool in fighting the propaganda war. Understanding these techniques is necessary if Israel wants to operate efficiently on that battlefield against its multiple overt and indirect enemies as well as against anti-Semitism.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is former Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, where he founded and directed the Center's Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism program. His latest book The War of a Million Cuts: analyzes how Israel and Jews are demonized and how one can fight these attempts at delegitimization. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by theJournal for the Study of Antisemitism, and the International Leadership Award by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Jamie Berk is a researcher working toward an MA in political science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

[1] William James, "The Moral Equivalent of War," Representative Essays in Modern Thought,1913.

[2] "Begin Hints that Mitterrand Remark Paved way for Terrorists' Attack," The New York Times,11 August 1982.

[3] Per AhlmarkDet öppna såret (Timbro: Stockholm, 1997), 200. [Swedish].

[4] "Israelis Assail Greek Leader for Likening them to Nazis," The New York Times, 26 June 1982.

[5] Steven LukesMoral Relativism (Big Ideas), (New York: Profile Books, 2009).

[6] "Comparison," Merriam-Webster.

[7] "Zusammenfassung zentraler Ergebnisse," Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Berlin, 20 November 2014. [German]

[8] "Germany and Israel Today," Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2015.

[9] "Antisemittisme i Norge?

 Den norske befolkningens holdninger til jøder og andre minoriteter, "The Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities, 30 May 2012. [Norwegian]

[10] Kristjan Molstad, "UD-ansatt sammenligner Israel med nazistene," Aftenposten, 21 January 2009. [Norwegian]

[11] Cnaan Liphshiz, "Did Norway promote a diplomat who compared Israel to Nazis?" Haaretz, 22 July 2009.

[12] David Harris, "In the Trenches: Hypocrisy!" The Jerusalem Post Blogs. 26 January 2009.

[13] José Saramago, "De las piedras de David a los tanques de Goliat," El País, 21 April 2002. [Spanish]

[14] Joël KotekCartoons and Extremism, European Jewish Congress, 2008.

[15] Manfred Gerstenfeld, Interview wih Alex Safian "Jimmy Carter Encourages Demonizing Israel," Israel National News, 11 April 2013.

[16] Desmond Tutu, "Apartheid in the Holy Land," The Guardian, 29 April 2002.

[17] Robbie Sabel, "The Campaign to Delegitimize Israel with the False Charge of Apartheid,"Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2009.

[18] Yohanan Manor, "The 1975 'Zionism is Racism' Resolution: The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of a Libel," Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism 97, 2 May 2010.

[19] Ibid.

[20] 3379 (XXX). World conference to combat racism and racial discrimination," United Nations, 10 November 1975.

[21] Yohanan Manor, "The 1975 'Zionism is Racism' Resolution".

[22] Gerald M. Steinberg, "From Durban to the Goldstone Report: Exploiting Human Rights for Political Warfare," in The Goldstone Report "Reconsidered" A Critical Analysis, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and NGO Monitor, 2011.

[23] "US abandons racism summit," BBC, 3 September 2001.

[24] Elad Benari, "Italy Stands by Israel, Boycotts Durban III," Israel National News, 23 July 2011.

[25] Gerald M. Steinberg, "From Durban to the Goldstone Report: Exploiting Human Rights for Political Warfare," in The Goldstone Report "Reconsidered" A Critical Analysis, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and NGO Monitor, 2011.

[26] Lutfi Hamadi, "Edward Said: The Postcolonial Theory and the Literature of Decolonization,"European Scientific Journal, 2, June 2014. 39-46.

[27] Ilan Pappé, "Zionism as Colonialism: A Comparative View of Diluted Colonialism in Africa and Asia," South Atlantic Quarterly, 1 September 2008.

[28] Alice Walker, The Cushion in the Road, (New York: The New Press, 2014).

[29] Richard Landes, "1948-2008 Part I: The Sad Story of the Nakba," The Augean Stables, 8 May 2008.

[30] Martin Kramer, "Is Zionism Colonialism? The Root Lie" Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 1 August 2005.

[31] "Erdogan: Zionism is a crime against humanity," YNet, 28 February 2013.

[32] Selcan Hacaoglu and Nicole Gaouette, "UN Says Erdogan 'Wrong' to Link Zionism With Fascism," Bloomberg, 1 March 2013.

[33] "We're not celebrating Israel's anniversary," The Guardian, 29 April 2008.

[34] Akiva Eldar, "Tutu to Haaretz: Arabs paying the price of the Holocaust," Haaretz, 28 August 2009.

[35] Robert Rozett, "An Open Letter to Archbishop Desmond Tutu," Haaretz, 4 September 2009.

[36] Meir Litvak and Esther WebmanFrom Empathy to Denial: Arab Responses to the Holocaust, Columbia University Press, 2009.

[37] Jean Bethke ElshtainJust War against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World. (New York: Basic, 2003).

[38] Manfred Gerstenfeld, "The Gaza Flotilla: Facts and Official Reactions," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 15 September 2010.

[39] JTA, "John Kerry Compares Gaza Flotilla and Boston Marathon Bombing Victims," Forward,23 April 2013.

[40] "IDF forces met with pre-planned violence when attempting to board flotilla," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2010.

[41] Staff, "Israel to Ashton: Retract Toulouse-Gaza comparison," The Jerusalem Post, 20 March 2013.

[42] Alan M. Dershowitz, The Case for Israel, (Hoboken NJ: Wiley, 2004).

[43] Amos N. Guiora, "Teaching Morality in Armed Conflict; The Israel Defense Forces Model,"Jewish Political Studies Review 18:12, Spring 2006.

[44]Edmund Sanders, "2 killings shatter relative calm between Israelis, Palestinians," Los Angeles Times, 30 April 2013.

[45] "IAF strikes Palestinian jihadi in Gaza," Israel Hayom, 30 April 2013.

[46] Adam Chandler, "The Times, The Guardian Misrepresent Conflict," Tablet Magazine 16 November 2012.

[47] David Harris, "Israel and Hamas: Moral Clarity, Moral Fog, Moral Hypocrisy," Huffington Post,20 November 2012.

[48] "Report of the independent commission of inquiry established pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution S-21/1* ** ***," United Nations General Assembly, 24 June 2015.

[49] Ibid.

[50] "Israel-Hamas prisoner swap casts harsh light on detention practices of all sides," Amnesty International, 18 October 2011.

[51] "Gaza: Allow Access to Gilad Shalit," Human Rights Watch, 25 June 2010.

[52] Alan Dershowitz, "The Anti-Israel Double Standard Watch," The Huffington Post, 14 July 2006.

[53] Manfred GerstenfeldBehind the Humanitarian Mask, (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2008), 22-23.

[54] Manfred Gerstenfeld, "Beware the humanitarian racist," Ynet, 23 January 2012.

[55] David Harris, "Israel and Hamas."

[56] Emre Peker, "Turkey Labels Israel a 'Terrorist State,'" The Wall Street Journal, 19 November 2012.

[57] David Harris, "Israel and Hamas."

[58] Michael Shermer and Alex GrobmanDenying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009) 105.

[59] Deborah E. Lipstadt, "Denial of the Holocaust and Immoral Equivalence," Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism 11, 1 August 2003.

[60] Ibid.

© 2016 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved.









Note:  All words in brackets [           ] which appear in the above articles constitute my commentary or clarifying comments; and they form no part of the republished articles. -- Mark Rosenblit




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