The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
(Editor’s Note: The following is adapted from Mr. Murdoch’s remarks upon receiving the American Jewish Committee’s National Human Relations Award on March 4 in New York.)
Over the years, some of my wildest critics seem to have assumed I am Jewish. At the same time, some of my closest friends wish I were.
So let me set the record straight: I live in New York. I have a wife who craves Chinese food. And people I trust tell me I practically invented the word “chutzpah.”
In the century since its founding, the American Jewish Committee has become one of the world’s most influential organizations. Yet though its concerns begin with the safety and welfare of Jews, these concerns are anything but parochial.
The reason for this is clear: it knows the best guarantee of the security of Jews anywhere is the freedom of people everywhere. Its good work has helped bring real and lasting changes to our world. Unfortunately, while some threats have been defeated, new ones have taken their place.
In Europe, men and woman who bear the tattoos of concentration camps today look out on a continent where Jewish lives and Jewish property are under attack – and public debate is poisoned by an anti-Semitism we thought had been dispatched to history’s dustbin.
In Iran, we see a regime that backs Hizbullah and Hamas now on course to acquire a nuclear weapon.
In India, we see Islamic terrorists single out the Mumbai Jewish Center in a well-planned and well-coordinated attack that looks like it could be a test run for similar attacks in similar cities around the world.
Most fundamentally, we see a growing assault on both the legitimacy and security of the State of Israel.
This assault comes from people who make it clear they have no intention of ever living side-by-side in peace with a Jewish state – no matter how many concessions Israel might make. The reason for this is also clear: These are men who cannot abide the idea of freedom, tolerance, and democracy. They hate Israel for the same reasons they hate us.
The current flashpoint is Gaza. For months now, Hamas has been raining down rockets on Israeli civilians. Like all terrorist attacks, the aim is to spread fear within free societies, and to paralyze its leaders. This Israel cannot afford. No sovereign nation can sit by while its civilian population is attacked.
Hamas knows this better than we do. And Hamas understands something else as well: In the 21st century, when democratic states respond to terrorist attacks, they face two terrible handicaps.
The first handicap is military. It’s true that Israel’s conventional superiority means it could flatten Gaza if it wanted. But the Israel Defense Forces – unlike Hamas – are accountable to a democratically chosen government.
No matter which party is in the majority, every Israeli government knows it will be held accountable by its people and by the world for the lives that are lost because of its decisions. That’s true for lives of innocent Palestinians caught in the crossfire. And it’s also true for the Israeli soldiers who may lose their lives defending their people.
In this kind of war, Hamas does not need to defeat Israel militarily to win a big victory. In fact, Hamas knows that in some ways, dead Palestinians serve their purposes even better than dead Israelis.
In the West we look at this and say, “It makes no sense.” But it does make sense.
If you are committed to Israel’s destruction, and if you believe that dead Palestinians help you score a propaganda victory, you do things like launch rockets from a Palestinian schoolyard. This ensures that when the Israelis do respond, it will likely lead to the death of an innocent Palestinian – no matter how many precautions Israeli soldiers take.
Hamas gets away with this, moreover, because they do not rule Gaza by the consent of those they claim to represent. They rule by fear and intimidation. They are accountable to no one but themselves.
This is the chilling logic of Gaza. And it helps explain why even a strong military power like Israel can find itself at a disadvantage on the ground.
About the Author: Rupert Murdoch is founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of News Corporation, whose numerous worldwide holdings include the New York Post, Dow Jones & Company, The Times (London), Fox News Channel, HarperCollins Publishers and 20th Century Fox.
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On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor
After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel to on peace process
Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria
Ronen Shamir’s just the latest tenured Leftist convicted of sexual misconduct with his own student
NY Times precious front page ink is only reserved for portrayals of Israel as the aggressor.
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Many books have supported the preferability- not to be confused with desirability- of the status quo
Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims
The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR
Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.
U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.
We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
We live in a world where there is an ongoing war against the Jews.
For the first decades after Israel’s founding, this war was conventional in nature. The goal was straightforward: to use military force to overrun Israel. Well before the Berlin Wall came down, that approach had clearly failed.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/israels-fight-is-our-fight/2009/03/25/
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