This Passover marks the fifth year anniversary of two separate bloody massacres by Hamas suicide bombers. Altogether, more than fifty innocent Israeli civilians, mostly seniors and children, were murdered in those two incidents alone.
The Saudi government-controlled daily Al-Jazirah published a column shortly after the first of the two massacres in which the suicide bomber wreaked his carnage as a Passover Seder was about to begin. He was lauded in the Saudi press as a “mujaheed and martyr, the quiet hero who infiltrated so elegantly and spoke so gaily. You defended your religion, your homeland, and your people. You attached no importance to [any] Arab summit; you did not wait for international agreements…” (Source: The Middle East Media Research Institute)
How did the United Nations choose to commemorate these twin Passover slaughters of innocent Jews during the days and weeks leading up to this year’s Passover observance? As usual, it ignored any mention of Israeli loss of life. Instead, the UN turned on Israel, serving as the most convenient vehicle for Islamic propaganda aimed at destroying the legitimacy of Israel in the world’s eyes. The Islamists are relying on the gullibility of the world’s politically correct elite to validate their tale of victimhood at the hands of Israeli "oppressors."
John Duggard, UN Special Raporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and perennial purveyor of anti-Semitic blood libel, exemplifies this phenomenon. In his March 22, 2007 statement to the Human Rights Council, Duggard repeated his rote attack on Israel’s measures to protect its people from terrorist attacks launched from Gaza (no longer occupied) and from the West Bank. He accused Israel of practicing “colonialism and apartheid” in the Palestinian territory.
Missing from Duggard’s report are all of the terrorist provocations that have led to the present situation. Time and again the Palestinians could have had their own independent state, but the rejectionists in their camp have spurned all reasonable offers – including a peace offer brokered by President Clinton that would have given the Palestinians 95% of the occupied territories for their own state. Duggard omits any historical context that would explain how Israel only occupied the Palestinian territories in the first place for defensive reasons after fending off Arab attacks across these territories during the 1967 Six Days War – nearly twenty years following Israel’s creation by the United Nations as a Jewish state within the borders of Israel proper. If Israel’s Arab neighbors had accepted the UN’s original terms, the Palestinians could have been living in their own land free of any Israeli interference for the last sixty years. And there would have been no Palestinian refugees to speak of because their plight was only created when the Arab nations spurned the UN’s original terms and tried to destroy Israel at its birth.
Indeed, Duggard matter-of-factly admitted that his report “makes no attempt to describe the violations of Israelis’ human rights by Palestinians, by means of suicide bombers or Qassam rockets” because his mandate was limited to “the occupation of a developing country by a developed, Western-affiliated regime.” And that is precisely the way he likes it, adding that “I do not believe that the Human Rights Council should change this mandate.” In other words, according to the UN’s Special Raporteur on Human Rights, Israeli children who are blown up to bits by Hamas terrorists have no human rights important enough to worry about. Their protection does not count in calculating the reasonableness of the measures Israel has been forced to use in their defense.
For its part, the Human Rights Council continued to focus almost exclusively on Israel as a serial violator of the Palestinians’ human rights. When UN Watch representative, Hillel Neuer, made some brief but pointed remarks before the 4th session of the Human Rights Council on March 23, 2007 criticizing the Council for its hypocrisy in targeting Israel while brushing over the far more egregious atrocities in Muslim dictatorships like Sudan, the President of the Council, Mexico's Luis Alfonso de Alba, refused to discuss the substance of Neuer’s remarks. Instead, he lashed out at Neuer for daring to pierce through the thick veil of lies that permeates the Council’s resolutions, declaring that “any statement you make in similar tones to those used today will be taken out of the records.” Censorship of the truth is now the official modus operandi of the UN’s Human Rights Council.
The UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination chimed in with its own assessment of conditions within Israel proper. In its March 2007 report, it accused Israel of racial discrimination against its Arab citizens. It questioned how Israel can square its definition of itself as “a Jewish nation state” with principles of equality for all. Not surprisingly, this UN report – like most others - completely ignores the fact that the core human rights of free speech, freedom of religion, the right to vote and to run for elected office, etc. are accorded to Arab Israeli citizens as a matter of course. On the other hand, most Muslim countries’ strict Islamic law legalizes discrimination and harsh treatment of non-Muslims, which are features of daily life for Jews and Christians in those sanctimonious lands.
Israel, with Jerusalem at its center, is the ancient homeland of the Jewish people who have had a continuous presence there for 4000 years. The first independent nation on this land was, after all, a Jewish nation. The Islamists originally conquered and occupied Jewish lands, not the other way around. Many centuries later, Zionists who did emigrate to Israel from Europe to return to their historic roots from persecution in the diaspora bought their land from absentee Arab landlords and developed it from its abandoned, arid condition. But the majority population of Israel today is not of transplanted European descent, as the Islamic propagandists argue. The majority are made up ethnically of Sephardim from North Africa and Black Jews from Yemen and Sudan. They are as much descendants of inhabitants of that part of the world as the Palestinian Arabs are. They too want to live free in a state that fully protects their Jewish identity, often from the Muslim persecution they or their parents or grandparents faced in their countries of origin.
All of the Islamic-inspired propaganda we hear and read today is intended to distort history and, in Hillel Neuer’s words, to “demonize Israeli democracy, to delegitimize the Jewish state, to scapegoat the Jewish people.”
Even more ominously, the UN is pushing a deceptively appealing peace plan from the Saudis, which would irrevocably seal Israel’s fate. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon just recently praised a five-year old Saudi Arabian peace proposal, which the Saudis are now seeking to revive, as a "pillar" in the search for Middle East peace. In his press conference this past week, after meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and laying a wreath beside the tomb of PLO terrorist Yasser Arafat, the UN Secretary-General declared that “President Abbas is ready” for peace. That may be true, but it is meaningless so long as Abbas’ Hamas partners in the Palestinian Unity Government remain in the shadows, refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist or to renounce terrorism. When Ban was asked whether he would also meet with Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh or other Hamas cabinet ministers, Ban said no “because I think the political atmosphere is not fully right”. Yet Ban thinks the time is right for Israel to bet its whole future, trusting that Hamas will simply fall in line with whatever Abbas negotiates.
Apparently Ban assumes that if the Saudis are willing to take the lead, the Palestinians will follow. On the surface the Saudi plan seems so attractively simple that even Israeli Prime Minister Olmert is reportedly near taking the bait. It offers Israel full recognition by Arab states and permanent peace in return for a withdrawal to pre-1967 borderlines. But like all things that seem too good to be true, they usually are just that.
The Saudis have no real use for international conferences and treaties unless they can manipulate the result to serve their own deceptive purposes. Peace treaties and terror are both tactical instruments in their hands to achieve the same strategic objective – the destruction of Israel. If there is any doubt on this point, remember the praise in the Saudi press for the Hamas Seder bomber as a “mujaheed and martyr” who “did not wait for international agreements”. It appeared after the Saudis had introduced their peace plan the first time back in 2002.
This time, Prince Saud al-Faisal has warned Israel to take all of the Saudis’ terms without any further negotiation or they will be facing war. A key part of the Saudi take it or leave it package is the right to return to Israel for all the descendants of Arabs who left Israel – many on their own accord – during the 1948 war launched by the neighboring Arab countries against the nascent Jewish state. As many as 4 million Palestinians would be eligible to return to Israel – about two-thirds of Israel’s current population. This would be tantamount to signing Israel’s death certificate as a Jewish state. The Saudis would achieve by artifice what Hamas is dedicated to bringing about by force.
Olmert insisted in interviews published on March 30th that he would reject any Palestinian right of return to Israel proper. It remains to be seen how effective the Saudis will be in luring the United Nations, the European Union and Russia – three-fourths of the Mideast Quartet - into believing that allowing Palestinians to return to their ‘homes’ is a human right that should be honored as the just price for Israel to get the final peace that it so desperately wants. The Saudi are laying a trap for what would turn out to be a repeat of the Nazis’ Final Solution visited against Jews on their own soil.
In any case, even if the Saudis actually intend to stand behind their peace plan this time and were willing to negotiate some reasonable changes to accommodate Israel’s concerns, they cannot deliver real peace. Full recognition by “Arab states” does not mean recognition by Hamas, Hezbollah or, of course, the terrorist sponsoring state of Iran. Their war against Israel will go on, backed by Iranian money, terrorist training and advanced missiles being stockpiled in areas controlled by Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria that immediately adjoin Israel proper.
Iran’s president has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the map. Iranian state television broadcast a cartoon depicting a young boy blowing himself up after being told: "Go and show the Zionists how brave and heroic are the children of Palestine." During a press conference on March 4, 2007 in Tehran with Hamas’s political leader, Khaled Meshaal, President Ahmadinijad said: “The Zionist entity is in the worst period in its history, and is headed toward crumbling…The divine victory…will soon be revealed.”
Hamas’ Charter lauds the killing of Jews and destruction of Israel in these words, which it still refuses to revoke:
“Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!... Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.”
Hamas’ tactical decision to form a Unity Government with President Abbas has not changed its strategic objective. It continues to broadcast its message of hate to its own people, using little children as props to deliver its sick message. This past month, for example, the children of Palestinian suicide bomber Rim al-Riyashi were interviewed on Hamas TV praising their mother's act of "martyrdom" in which she killed 4 Israelis and wounded 8 others. Al-Riyashi's 4-year-old daughter recited a poem titled "Mama Rim": "Rim you are a fireball, Your children and submachine gun are your motto." (Source: The Middle East Media Research Institute) In a follow-up to the interview with Rim al-Riyashi’s real children, Hamas TV then broadcast a video using a child actress to dramatize the four-year-old daughter declaring, “Send greetings to our Messenger [Muhammad] and tell him…I am following Mommy in her steps.” (Source: Northeast Intelligence Service)
Islam is the defining identity of the fifty-seven sovereign nations that currently belong to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Virtually all of them are autocracies of one form or another, highly influenced by Islamic law. In the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists, Islam has reverted to its most murderous, primitive form. Its adherents will never agree to co-exist peacefully anywhere in the world on equal terms with non-Muslims. They reject the very idea that the rule of law derives from the will of the people. They consider any society based on governing principles other than their immutable divine Islamic law to be sacrilege.
Jews have but one state to call their own, created under international law by the United Nations and characterized by democratic governing principles. On this fifth anniversary of the Passover massacres, we must stand with Israel against the same poisonous Islamic fanaticism that perpetrated 9/11. Israel’s fight for its existence as a democratic state against the global jihadists is our fight as well.
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