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October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Goldstone Report’

Hamas’ Phony Statistics on Civilian Deaths

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

It’s a mystery why so many in the media accept as gospel Hamas-supplied figures on the number of civilians killed in the recent war. Hamas claims that of the more than 1800 Palestinians killed close to 90% were civilians. Israel, on the other hand, says that close to half of them were combatants. The objective facts support a number much closer to Israel’s than to Hamas’.

Even human rights group antagonistic to Israel acknowledge, according to a New York Times report, that Hamas probably counts among the “civilians killed by Israel” the following groups: Palestinians killed by Hamas as collaborators; Palestinians killed through domestic violence; Palestinians killed by errant Hamas rockets or mortars; and Palestinians who died naturally during the conflict. I wonder if Hamas also included the reported 162 children who died while performing child slave labor in building their terror tunnels. Hamas also defines combatants to include only armed fighters who were killed while fighting Israelis. They exclude Hamas supporters who build tunnels, who allow their homes to be used to store and fire rockets, Hamas policemen, members of the Hamas political wing and others who work hand in hand with the armed terrorists.

Several years ago I came up with a concept which I call, the “continuum of civilianality”—an inelegant phrase that is intended to convey the reality that who is a civilian and who is a combatant is often a matter of degree. Clearly every child below the age in which he or she is capable of assisting Hamas is a civilian. Clearly every Hamas fighter who fires rockets, bears arms, or operates in the tunnels is a combatant. Between these extremes lie a wide range of people, some of whom are closer to the civilian end, many of whom who are closer to the combatant end. The law of war has not established a clear line between combatants and civilians, especially in the context of urban warfare where people carry guns at night and bake bread during the day, or fire rockets during the day and go back home to sleep with their families at night. (Interestingly the Israeli Supreme Court has tried to devise a functional definition of combatants in the murky context of urban guerrilla warfare.)

Data published by the New York Times strongly suggest that a very large number—perhaps a majority—of those killed are closer to the combatant end of the continuum than to the civilian end. First of all, the vast majority of those killed have been male rather than female. In an Islamic society, males are far more likely to be combatants than females. Second, most of those killed are within the age range (15-40) that are likely to be combatants. The vast majority of these are male as well. The number of people over 60 who have been killed is infinitesimal. The number of children below the age of 15 is also relatively small, although their pictures have been shown more frequently than others. In other words, the genders and ages of those killed are not representative of the general population of Gaza. It is far more representative of the genders and ages of combatants. These data strongly suggest that a very large percentage of Palestinians killed are on the combatant side of the continuum.

They also prove, as if any proof were necessary to unbiased eyes, that Israel did not target civilians randomly. If it had, the dead would be representative of the Gaza population in general, rather than of the subgroups most closely identified with combatants.

The media should immediately stop using Hamas-approved statistics, which in the past have proved to be extremely unreliable. Instead, they should try to document, independently, the nature of each person killed and describe their age, gender, occupation, affiliation with Hamas and other objective factors relevant to their status as a combatant, non-combatant or someone in the middle. It is lazy and dangerous for the media to rely on Hamas-approved propaganda figures. In fact, when the infamous Goldstone Report falsely stated that the vast majority of people killed in Operation Cast Lead were civilians and not Hamas fighters, many in Gaza complained to Hamas. They accused Hamas of cowardice for allowing so many civilians to be killed while protecting their own fighters. As a result of these complaints, Hamas was forced to tell the truth: namely that many more of those killed were actually Hamas fighters or armed policemen. It is likely that Hamas will make a similar “correction” with regard to this conflict. But that correction will not be covered by the media, as the prior correction was not.

The Celebrate Parade and the ‘Boycott Israel Fund’

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

On June 1, the 50th annual Zionist parade, the “Celebrate Israel Parade” will take place in Manhattan. It is one of the most important, visible and widely attended  pro-Israel events for the American Jewish community, a community which impacts Israel’s future almost as much as the people in Israel.

The hallmark of the parade has always been an unabashed pride and love of Israel, both from its  hundreds  of participating organizations and its hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Strange then that this year, there will also be a participating organization which is perceived by millions of Jews around the world as not only a complete stranger to the essence of Zionism, but also as one of its most significant opponents – the New Israel Fund (NIF).

In truth the NIF is like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Despite exhausting public relations contortions to convince Jews that they are Zionistic supporters of Israel, their actions consistently demonstrate the exact opposite posture.

Whether it has been their past relationship with the notoriously anti-Semitic Ford Foundation, or their close involvement of the organizations which filled the infamous Goldstone Report with accusations of IDF war crimes, or the statement by their former Vice-CEO, Hedva Radovanitz, that “If Israel were to disappear, it wouldn’t be a tragedy” it is inescapable that the NIF is out to undermine Israel as a strong Jewish State.

Of course, this is not how they present themselves in their frequent well-funded marketing campaigns.

In the toxic arena of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), the New Israel Fund is particularly disingenuous. It declares on the one hand that it will not support organizations calling for a boycott of Israel, or activities encouraging a boycott. However, as recently as April 11 the Fund’s spokesperson, Naomi Paiss, told the Ma’ariv newspaper that “since it [the NIF] objects to the occupation and the settlement project… it will not avoid supporting organizations that encourage not consuming or buying products manufactured in the settlements…”

Huh?

The difference between organizations encouraging a “boycott” against Israel and organizations encouraging “not consuming” Israeli products, is similar to the distinction made between a terror organization and an organization that kills innocent people for political gains.

It is a distinction without a difference.

And so, the NIF openly supports organizations such as the “Social Television”, which promotes the use of the “Buycott” [a combination of the words “buy” and “boycott”] app to identify and boycott Israeli products, and Adalah, whose Negev branch head, Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, admitted following an assignment to Brussels that he wanted “To encourage policy designers to increase diplomatic pressure on Israel.” And there are more of the same

Increasingly, people in Israel are waking up to the insidious nature of the New Israel Fund. They are not fooled by semantics where not consuming products made in Israel is somehow not a boycott. It is time for American Jews to see the NIF clearly for what it is, and to shun it.

Having the NIF march in the Israel Day Parade is to turn support for Israel on its head. Having a big tent of various organizations is one thing; willingly welcoming those who seek your destruction is another thing.

The NIF is way too smart to forthrightly express their true destructive anti-Zionist beliefs and intentions. But the consequences of their many activities would lead to the same disastrous results.

The sooner American Jews reject the New Israel Fund, the better. The Celebrate Israel Parade is a great place to start.

This article was reprinted with permission of the author.

US Reform Jews Following Same Path as in 1940s

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom haShoah. Although I agree with those who say that preservation of the historical record is a necessary part of preventing its repetition, I am very uncomfortable with its use to produce an emotional catharsis, which often stands in the way of facing the real threats against the Jewish people today. The same people who cry over the dead Jews of the 1940s often have no problem taking anti-Zionist positions today — or supporting politicians like Barack Obama, whose policies are inimical to the continued existence of the Jewish state, and therefore the Jewish people.

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) as seems not to have noticed Yom haShoah this year — at least, I can’t find anything on its website. Individual congregations, like the one in our town, are holding commemorative events. Possibly they have decided to deemphasize the observance.

But the URJ’s drift in the direction of anti-Zionist politics hasn’t stopped. Under the leadership of its President Rabbi Richard ‘Rick’ Jacobs, we find the URJ supporting the phony ‘pro-Israel’ organization J Street in its bid to join the Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. J Street — which called for a cease-fire on the first day of Operation Cast Lead in 2009, which supported an anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security council (which the US vetoed), which consistently opposed sanctions on Iran, which supported the conclusions of the Goldstone Report (later repudiated by its author) that accused the IDF of war crimes in Gaza and introduced Goldstone to members of Congress, which has invited viciously anti-Zionist and pro-BDS speakers like Mustafa Barghouti, Rebecca Vilkomerson and James Zogby to its annual conferences, but which refused to allow liberal Zionist Alan Dershowitz to speak — is anything but pro-Israel. It is, however, very pro-Obama.

It is ironic, then that the liberal wing of the Jewish establishment in the US is following the same path as it did in the 1940s, when, out of loyalty to a liberal president and his party, it worked against the true interests of the Jewish people. The danger is not as immediate today as it was in the dark days of WWII, although the Iranian nuclear project, which is being facilitated by the policy of the Obama Administration, could very quickly change this.

I am therefore taking this occasion to republish the following, which I wrote several years ago. It is even more timely today.

—————————————————————

The failure of the liberal Jewish establishment, then and now

by Vic Rosenthal, 8/7/2011

400 mostly Orthodox rabbis march to the White House on October 6, 1943. Roosevelt avoided meeting with them.

It’s well-known that the Roosevelt Administration did little to help European Jews during the Holocaust. Unfortunately, part of the blame falls on American Jewry, which was sharply divided about how to respond — a fact which caused good men in the government to hesitate, while it gave antisemites an excuse to resist taking action.

The NY Times has published a piece by Isabel Kershner that may bring more attention to the shameful stupidity of the Jewish establishment during that period:

The Bergson group formed in 1940 when about 10 young Jews from Palestine and Europe came to the United States to open a fund-raising and propaganda operation for the Irgun, the right-wing Zionist militia. The group was organized by Hillel Kook, a charismatic Irgun leader who adopted the pseudonym Peter H. Bergson. [Samuel] Merlin was his right-hand man.

Women of the Wall Leadership Linked to Anti-Israel Groups

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

While Women of the Wall has built up a name for themselves as a feminist organization promoting women’s rights in Israel, their leadership in fact have links to anti-Israel groups that not many people know about.

In Israel, Women of the Wall is often presented as a feminist organization seeking to conduct egalitarian prayer services with women wearing tallits at the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the holiest site within the Jewish faith. Regardless of whether one views their actions as provocative publicity stunts that disturb the peace at the Western Wall or as noble deeds designed to promote women’s rights within the Jewish religion, the Israeli public is generally not aware that the Women of the Wall leadership possesses links to anti-Israel groups.

The Jewish Press has learned that Women of the Wall Vice Chair Batya Kallus serves as an adviser to Sikkuy. This NGO is a signatory to the Haifa Declaration, which calls for the abolishing of the State of Israel, praises violent resistance, and accuses Israel of manipulating the memory of the Holocaust for political purposes.

Furthermore, Kallus has facilitated funding for anti-Israel groups Adalah, Ir Amin, Yesh Din, and Mossawa, as part of her position as programs officer for the Moria Fund. Though outwardly presented as human rights groups, these organizations contribute towards the delegitimization of Israel in the world.

Adalah is opposed to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, views Israel to be a colonial state, and has participated in anti-Israel activism via Israel Apartheid Weeks and the Goldstone Report, which until its arguments were retracted by its main author caused Israel significant diplomatic damage. Adalah is mentioned by name 38 times in the Goldstone Report.

Ir Amim supports the division of Jerusalem, has asserted that Israel’s archaeological digs within the city are a “tool in the fight for control” over the city, that Israeli governmental powers are being handed over to “settler organizations,” and that the Security Barrier is not motivated primarily by security concerns. They run highly politicized anti-Israel tours of the holy city, which indoctrinate internationals into holding anti-Israel views. In the Huffington Post, Ir Amim appealed to the US Government to “threaten Israel with severing diplomatic ties. Threaten us with cutting back on, or even cutting off, the annual support package. Bludgeon us over the head and force us to wise up.”

Yesh Din views Israel to be an apartheid state and demonstrated support for Turkey after the Gaza Flotilla incident, even though the Turkish sailors on board the Mavi Marmara ship chanted jihadi slogans and attacked IDF soldiers. They routinely indoctrinate foreign diplomats to hold anti-Israel views, petition the Israeli Supreme Court to rule more in favor of the Palestinian side, and encourage Palestinians to demand more from Israel.

Mossawa is based on the premise that “the State of Israel was established on the ruins of the Palestinian people, for whom the event was a national tragedy – the Nakba.” Mossawa, like Adalah, explicitly has stated that they refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. They publish an annual racism report that makes outrageous claims, such as labeling an indictment against Hadash Chairman MK Muhammad Barakeh for assaulting a police officer as a violation of the Arab MK’s political freedom. This listing just represents a sample of the types of organizations that Kallus facilitated funding for.

Woman of the Wall Chair Anat Hoffman also happens to be the chair of the Domari Society of Gypsies in Jerusalem. Her association partners include Yonathan Mizrahi and Dafna Strauss from the Emek Shaveh organization, which calls for an international committee to investigate Israeli archaeological work in Jerusalem and runs archaeology-based anti-Israel tours of the city.

The Domari Society of Gypsies is also part of Al Aqsa Grassroots, an anti-Israel network that supports “resistance to the occupation” and is against the “Judaization of Jerusalem,” in addition to supporting the Palestinian right of return to Israel proper.

Additionally, prior to the 1993 Oslo Accords, Hoffman was the chairwoman of Women in Black, a group that advocates giving all of Judea and Samaria, as well as East Jerusalem which includes the area of the Kotel, to the Palestinian Authority. Interestingly, the Women of the Wall organization do not deny these accusations in regards to their leadership. Women of the Wall spokeswoman Shira Pruce stated, “Our participants and supporters come from all walks of life, political opinions, and Jewish denominations.”

The ‘Merely Wounded’ In Terror Attacks

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Back in 2009, the now infamous Goldstone Report was first released by the UN’s Human Rights Council. Regrettably, it took an unreasonably one-sided look at Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, originally choosing to ignore vital aspects of antecedent anti-Israel terrorism. Most conspicuously disregarded by Judge Goldstone was this principal fact: Israel’s purposefully limited military operation had represented an essential self-defense action, one that had also been supported by longstanding codified and customary international law.

In essence, thoroughly unreported was the information that Cast Lead had been initiated reluctantly by Israel, and solely to ward off unending and still-escalating acts of Palestinian terrorism.

To recall the pertinent details even more fully, by the end of December 2008 nothing had been working to safeguard Israel from relentless terror attacks. All attempts at diplomacy had already failed in the face of a hideously recalcitrant enemy, one that was literally and lasciviously intoxicated by opportunities to inflict terror violence. At that time, could Jerusalem have chosen to rely more heavily for protection on the “international community”? The question itself is preposterous, a prima facie expression of an absurdly otherworldly naiveté.

On December 27, 2008, Israel commenced Operation Cast Lead. It was a long-delayed and substantially limited response to eight years of continuously barbarous Hamas terror. Ultimately, the entire operation was over in less than a month. True to established IDF doctrine, the conflict was designed and executed as an inherently short operation.

Most IDF activity had been directed toward destroying the thousands of still-remaining Hamas rockets, and to slowing the massive smuggling of arms from Egypt into Gaza. At the same time, Cast Lead had sought to reduce the incidence of future terror attacks upon Israelis, including so-called martyrdom attacks, not just those randomly inflicted assaults that were being launched, at a conveniently safe distance, by Palestinian mortars and Kassams.

Oddly, even today, the legally unsupportable idea of terror bombing as “resistance” is widely accepted throughout the world as permissible. At times, especially when it is a “suicide bombing,” this tactic is celebrated as “heroic.” What all such plainly romanticized views ignore is not merely the flagrant and incontestable violations of law, particularly violations of the basic or “peremptory” principle of discrimination or distinction (between combatants and noncombatants), but also the core medical and human horror of what these terrorists actually unleash.

For Boston, in the wake of the Marathon attack, and indeed for America, Israel may be a microcosm. Israel has suffered thousands of terror attacks since the start of the misconceived Oslo “Peace” Accords in 1993. Whether perpetrated by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, these attacks have intentionally killed and maimed large numbers of unprotected civilians, usually women and children.

Typically, post-attack casualty counts refer to those maimed victims as “merely wounded,” but this is a notably grave misrepresentation of what is genuinely being suffered.

What, exactly, does it mean to be merely wounded in an Arab “martyrdom” or more long distance terror-bombing attack?

Today, the authoritative answer to this question may apply equally to the recent victims of the Boston Marathon bombing here in the United States.

By looking back systematically at Israeli terror victims, we can learn more about what actually happened to recent terror victims in Boston, and what could still happen elsewhere in the uncertain American future.

Sometimes, the human impact of terrorist bombings can be made at least partially evident on radiographic images. X-rays of terror bombing victims in Israel have shown hundreds of metallic fragments, ranging in size from millimeters to whole nails, embedded in the victims’ bodies – literally, from head to foot. What had been created originally by civilized human beings for constructive purposes is now being transformed by both anti-Israel and anti-U.S. terrorists into the cruelest of aimless projectiles.

In Boston as in Tel Aviv, nails, screws, nuts, and ball-bearings were included by the bombers to maximize lethal effects and also, of course, to inflict gratuitous pain and suffering on victims’ bodies. These objects, sometimes after being dipped in rat poison, or other available toxins, are deliberately propelled into skin, flesh, and bone with the ballistic force of bullets.

There is more. Usually, the nails fly head first, presenting themselves in a strangely surreal yet also orderly arrangement within the victims’ bodies. Many are embedded “only” to the depth of their entrance sites. Others burrow their way in more deeply, and lodge palpably under the skin, where the examining physician can touch and feel their alien presence.

‘We Need To Have New Ideological Blood In The System’: An Interview with Im Tirtzu Founder Ronen Shoval

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Im Tirtzu, an Israeli student organization, recently made waves when it accused the New Israel Fund (NIF) of granting millions of dollars to 16 NGOs, whose condemnations of the IDF helped build the case against Israel in the UN’s Goldstone Report. According to a controversial Im Tirtzu ad in Israeli newspapers, “Without the New Israel Fund, there could be no Goldstone Report, and Israel would not be facing international accusations of war crimes.”

In response to Im Tirtzu’s campaign, the Knesset promised to investigate the matter and the Jerusalem Post fired NIF president Naomi Chazan as a columnist for the paper. Meanwhile, prominent left-wing personalities slammed Im Tirtzu for McCarthyism and right-wing extremism.

Last week, The Jewish Press spoke with Ronen Shoval, the 29-year-old chairman and co-founder of Im Tirtzu.

The Jewish Press: Are there any new developments in your organization’s campaign against the NIF?

Shoval: We’re learning that the connection between the NIF and the Goldstone Report was only the tip of the iceberg. A lot of information is coming to us showing that the NIF is working so that Israel ultimately won’t be a Jewish state.

What do you mean by that?

For example, the words of Hatikvah speak of the “soul of a Jew yearning.” In the flag we have the Star of David. In 1947 the UN called for the establishment of a Jewish state. The NIF is trying to flip it over. They want Israel to be a country for all its residents. And that’s a big difference.

Your critics argue that Im Tirtzu’s claims regarding the NIF’s connection to the Goldstone Report are exaggerated. What is your response?

Well, it’s really hard to argue with footnotes. There are more than 199 footnotes [in our 120-page report] related to NIF organizations. The power of the Goldstone Report comes from the fact that Israeli organizations are blaming Israel of committing war crimes. It’s not interesting if Hamas says it. It’s interesting when Israelis say it. So I was looking: Who are the Israeli organizations blaming me and my friends of committing war crimes? And I found 16 organizations – all of them getting money from the NIF.

You know, just yesterday I went to the Friends of the IDF dinner and in front of the building there was a demonstration of several organizations calling to put [IDF Chief of Staff] Gabi Ashkenazi in jail. A couple of them were organizations sponsored by the NIF. If the NIF doesn’t think they are right, I will be more than happy if they stop sponsoring them.

What is Im Tirtzu’s goal? Why did you found it in 2006?

People in my generation try to kill sacred cows. We are trying to protect them. That’s our mission. So if some people don’t see the IDF as a sacred cow anymore, we are trying to protect it. If some people don’t see Jerusalem as a sacred cow anymore, we are trying to protect it. If people think the Holocaust can be denied, we are trying to protect it.

You bill your organization as “the second Zionist revolution.” What does that mean?

Every big revolution in the last century – socialism, communism, fascism, etc. – had energy for the first generation and then started going down. So we are trying to give spirit to the Zionist revolution and make a second one. Let’s give hope again to the people, to let them feel that they’re part of a great idea and can make a change.

Look at Israeli society today. It’s just inertia. My generation doesn’t have any clear answer for why they should risk their lives in order to ensure the existence of the Jewish state. We are trying to give answers.

How do you do that?

We are working inside campuses, advocating for Israel and Zionism on three levels: Zionism through the legs – tour the land; through the heart – celebrate Independence Day, Chanukah, etc.; and through the mind – explaining, lecturing, showing movies, etc.

We have branches right now in ten different universities with more than 25,000 members in the movement.

What do you tell Israelis who ask: Why should I live a precarious life in Israel when I can move to America and enjoy a comfortable existence?

Well, it depends on who’s asking. But generally I would say that we have the ability to be connected to a story of 3,500 years. We’re part of a nation living in a land where, every place you touch, you feel that you are part of a big, big chain. We have the opportunity to be part of a nation, and to see the chain all the way back and all the way to the future.

[Most] people in this world don’t have an opportunity of meaning. Lots of people don’t have meaning in life because they are not part of a community. This is what’s happening here in Western civilization; we are losing the inspiration of life. So when you’re part of a nation with such a beautiful history and such a beautiful future, this is an opportunity that we should [grasp].

We have the responsibility to make Israel and the world a better place. This is what our goal is, to be an ohr lagoyim. We’re lucky that we were born to a people with a great heritage and, potentially, a great future. But it’s all in our hands. This is the reason why Im Tirtzu is called Im Tirtzu [which means "If you will it"]. If we want, we can have it all, but if we don’t want

Some people argue that Zionism cannot exist without Judaism and to the extent that Judaism’s hold on the Jewish masses is weak, Zionism’s hold will also be weak. What’s your opinion?

I agree 100 percent. And I think one of the issues that we are dealing with in Israel is how to bring young secular kids closer to their heritage.

But you yourself are not ritually observant.

No, I grew up in Ramat HaSharon, which is a suburb of Tel Aviv, in a secular family.

But the Torah sees Judaism as the nation first, and then religion. How do we know? We are called the Jewish people before we got the Torah. Pharaoh called us a nation – “hinei am ratzu mi’menu.” When God asked the different nations to accept the Torah, we were one of them. In the book of Shoftim the people were not keeping the law, but they didn’t stop being a people.

This is how the Torah, God – not me – defines Judaism: first national, then religion. I have very strong feelings about, and an understanding of, the religion, but the question about what I do when I wake up in the morning is a whole different aspect.

Im Tirtzu claims to be neither left wing nor right wing. Which Zionist personalities, then, inspire Im Tirtzu’s ideology?

We have a couple of them. I would say Moshe Rabbeinu, Herzl, Jabotinsky, Berl Katznelson .

Don’t the writings of these leaders contradict one another?

No. They may have had their differences, but they were all committed Zionists.

You also have to understand that we’re not copying. We’re creating something new. I’m coming out soon with a book called Herzl’s Vision 2.0. I think it’s unique because most books about Zionism are not about Zionism; they’re about the archeology of Zionism – what Berl Katznelson or Jabotinsky thought 100 years ago. It’s too old; we need to have new ideological blood in the system.

My book tries to answer all the hard questions – Why stay in Israel? What does it mean to be a Zionist? etc. – for our generation.

Do You Remember?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Are you one of those people who were outraged at the bias, the libel and the naked hatred evidenced in the Goldstone Report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland? Were you stunned by the blatant lies? Were you left shocked and speechless at the sad realization that the author of this venomous report was Goldstone – yes, a Jew!

Are you among those who can still recall how Israel uprooted its own citizens, rendering them refugees in their own land? Yes, incredibly, Israel gave away the villages of its citizens, their homes, their farms, and their settlements to accommodate an enemy that swore to obliterate every trace of Jewish life from the Holy Land.

Indeed, lethal missiles began to rain down on Sderot and its environs. Day and night, fire fell from the skies, terrorizing, wounding and killing, men, women, children and babies. The nations of the world never even took notice. Not one of them raised a voice, not one of them cared.

After eight torturous years of living in terror, Israel finally acted, but even as she did so, her army exercised unparalleled compassion such as the world had never before witnessed.

Israeli soldiers alerted Gazan citizens so that they might protect themselves. They dropped more than two million leaflets and made over 100,000 phone calls to safeguard the civilian population. But Hamas was not interested in giving them this protection. They took these very same civilians and used them as human shields!

And more… much more…the I.D.F. allowed vast amounts of humanitarian aid to be delivered to the enemy, and aborted many battle plans which placed its own soldiers in jeopardy, once again to protect the civilian population.

But no matter what Israel did, it has all been to no avail. The nations are seething with venomous anti-Semitism and there are always self-hating Jews who are anxious to join their ranks. So, once again Israel stands alone. Once again, she is “one lamb among 70 wolves.”

But not to panic – Truth be told, there is nothing new about this infamous Goldstone report. Jew baiting – libelous accusations are as old as the Jewish people themselves, and we triumphed over all of them.

Even as I was pondering all this, one of my students at Hineni reminded me of an essay that testifies to this reality, written by Eric Hoffer (non-Jewish) author in 1968 and titled, “Israel’s Peculiar Position.” Chances are that readers have come across this before as it was written over 40 years ago. However, it bears yet another look as it could have been written today.

Israel’s Peculiar Position
By Eric Hoffer

The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.

Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it, Turkey threw out a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese – and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees.

Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis.

Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.

Other nations when they are defeated survive and recover but should Israel be defeated it would be destroyed. Had Nasser triumphed last June he would have wiped Israel off the map, and no one would have lifted a finger to save the Jews.

No commitment to the Jews by any government, including our own, is worth the paper it is written on. There is a cry of outrage all over the world when people die in Vietnam or when two Negroes are executed in Rhodesia. But when Hitler slaughtered Jews no one remonstrated with him.

The Swedes, who are ready to break of diplomatic relations with America because of what we do in Vietnam, did not let out a peep when Hitler was slaughtering Jews. They sent Hitler choice iron ore, and ball bearings, and serviced his troop trains to Norway.

The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources. Yet at this moment Israel is our only reliable and unconditional ally. We can rely more on Israel than Israel can rely on us. And one has only to imagine what would have happened last summer had the Arabs and their Russian backers won the war to realize how vital the survival of Israel is to America and the West in general.

I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish the holocaust will be upon us.

Postscript: Mr. Hoffer was a non-Jewish American social philosopher who died in 1982. He was the author of nine books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His first book, “The True Believer” was recognized as a classic.

While the essay that I shared with you is most powerful, if I may, I would like to make an addition: Israel’s survival is not dependant upon its own efforts, but upon the Almighty G-d who sealed a Covenant with the Jewish people that guarantees their survival for all eternity, and that Covenant is the secret behind the supernatural endurance of the Jew.

Throughout history, empires, nations, have risen only to fall, but the Jewish people are here! They are here to testify to the existence of G-d and bear witness to His holy Name…That Covenant, the voice of Torah rings today as it rang out throughout the centuries, and please G-d, it will usher in soon, in our own day, the coming of Moshiach.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/do-you-remember/2009/11/04/

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