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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Karl Vick’

Karl Vick’s Revisionist History of Oslo

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Karl Vick in Time does what he always does:

Two decades ago, the word Oslo evoked everything the Middle East normally refuses to provide: hope, trust and compromise. Israelis and Palestinians, two peoples claiming the same biblical lands, had rarely talked peace with each other before in a serious way. Then, in the space of four months, their leaders secretly agreed upon a set of plans — the Oslo accords — that promised an end, once and for all, to the violent conflict between them. The diplomatic achievement was sealed on the White House lawn on Sept. 13, 1993, with a signing ceremony and a handshake between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The reality came home nine months later, in July 1994, when Palestinian guerrillas led by Arafat ended 27 years of exile by rolling into the Gaza Strip escorted by Israeli soldiers. “From the moment we entered Gaza, it looked like, my God, really peace has come,” says Nabil Shaath, one of Arafat’s lieutenants. “We were doing things fast.”

The momentum ended on Nov. 4, 1995, when a radical right-wing Jewish settler shot Rabin dead at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. In that moment, many historians have argued, the Oslo accords suffered a fatal blow. Without Rabin to reassure a nervous Israel that Oslo was a genuine path to peace, extremists quickly began to drive events on both sides.

Were things wonderful and peaceful and hopeful between July 1994 and November 1995?

During that time there were dozens of drive-by shootings of Jews on the roads, as well as stabbings. On August 26, 1994 – Shlomo Kapach, age 22, and Gil Revah, age 21, were killed at a Ramle building site, and the PA protected their killers.

On October 19, 1994, a Hamas bomb killed 22 people on a bus in Tel Aviv.

On January 22, 1995, a double suicide bombing at the Beit Lid junction near Netanya killed 21 others.

On April 13, 1995, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the Hadera Central Bus Station, killing 5 and injuring 30.

On July 24, 1995, 6 civilians were killed when a terrorist blew himself up on a bus in Ramat Gan.

On August 21, 1995, three Israelis and one American were killed when a terrorist blew himself up in an attack on a Jerusalem bus.

But none of those deadly attacks – and these are only a few of scores of them – are considered by Vick to have harmed the Oslo process. No, Arab violence is never the problem. Only Jews are responsible for ruining “peace.” The dozens of Israelis killed before Rabin’s assassination weren’t killed by Arab extremists, according to Vick – their extremism only started after Rabin’s assassination.

Beyond that, Vick is clearly unaware that Rabin never advocated a Palestinian Arab state. He never advocated dividing Jerusalem. His last speech in Knesset before his assassination described his red lines:

We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines. …First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term…

So who are these anonymous historians that Vick confidently quotes, and what are their credentials?

Vick goes on:

Violence erupted in 2000, and Israel’s peace camp was destroyed in the face of the ensuing wave of Palestinian suicide bombings. The center of Israeli politics shifted firmly to the right.

“Violence erupted” as journalists have done hundreds of times, Arab terror is something that simply happens by itself, without any responsibility.

A Time To Cancel

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

This year, one of America’s leading newsmagazines decided to send a memorable Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jews all over the world.

On the cover of its latest issue, Time magazine placed a large Star of David made of white Gerbera daisies, in the middle of which was superimposed large black text triumphantly declaring: “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.”

So even as Jews everywhere were gathering in synagogues for the start of the High Holidays to plead with the Almighty for a year of peace, the editors at Time were busy depicting the Jewish state as a rogue, war-mongering entity.

Ironically enough, the issue in question is dated September 13, 2010, which is precisely 17 years to the day since Israel signed the Oslo accords with the Palestinians on the White House Lawn.

Nonetheless, despite nearly two decades of Palestinian terror, violence and rejectionism, it is Israel – and Israel alone! – that is singled out for blame by Time.

But the irony doesn’t end there. Just days before the magazine came out, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had succeeded in getting Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table in Washington.

It was of course Netanyahu – not Abbas – who pushed for these talks to take place, and the Palestinian leader was practically hauled yelling and screaming by the Obama administration into this process.

So it is simply astonishing how the learned journalists at Time would choose to lambaste the Jewish state precisely when it is making a monumental effort to achieve peace with a Palestinian “partner” who could not possibly care less.

Indeed, the PLO propaganda department couldn’t have asked for more.

It would be easy, of course, to dismiss this as just another example of the mainstream media’s callous and methodical bias toward Israel. After all, hardly a week seems to go by without someone blasting Israel for having the nerve to continue to exist.

But this is different – both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Think about it. In every train station and airport, every newsstand and corner store where Time is sold, millions of passersby who glance at the cover will quickly take in the nefarious message that Israel is the obstacle to peace.

They don’t even need to open the magazine to come away with the idea that those pesky Jews are at it again, blocking any hope of reconciliation in the Middle East.

But that is just what’s on the cover. If you bother to read the article inside – and I strongly suggest that you don’t – it will leave your bottom jaw swaying in the wind like a cartoon character gripped in a state of shock. For Time has managed to publish perhaps the most insidious and anti-Semitic cover story to grace a major publication in recent memory.

I’ll spare you the details, since it will only serve to raise your blood pressure, but suffice it to say that the primary thrust of the article is quite simply that Israeli Jews care more about money than about peace.

The article, by Karl Vick, states: “the truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They’re otherwise engaged; they’re making money.”

Yes, that’s right: it is all about Jews and money in Time’s distorted take on the world. The only thing missing was a caricature of a hooked-nose Shylock demanding an ounce of Arab flesh.

Quite frankly, you don’t need to be a scholar of Medieval Jewish history to realize that accusing Jews of caring more about cash than calm is a throwback to some of the darkest and cruelest of anti-Semitic libels.

Yet the editors at Time either didn’t know or care whom they were offending.

If you are like me, you probably stopped reading magazines such as Time many moons ago.

In the age of the Internet and cable news, a weekly newsmagazine has come to resemble a stale croissant. It may look enticing, but it offers little in the way of meaningful taste or experience.

But we cannot and should not underestimate the damage that the Time story can cause to Israel and its image.

It sends a clear signal to journalists everywhere that they can feel free to cross the already nebulous line between being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic with little to fear.

It is therefore imperative that a strong and compelling reaction be sent to those behind this outrageous and offensive assault on Israel and the Jewish people.

If Time’s editors think that all we Jews care about is money, then I say let’s hit them where it will hurt them the most – in their pocketbook.

If you are a subscriber to Time, cancel your subscription. Don’t visit the magazine’s website, don’t follow links to Time’s articles, and shower Time’s editor with letters of outrage. And let your friends and neighbors know they should not purchase this magazine.

Let the publisher and editors of Time learn the most basic lesson of a consumer economy: if you insult us, not only won’t we buy your magazine, we will do our darndest to make sure no one else does either.

Michael Freund is founder of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that helps “lost Jews” return to Zion. His Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the third week of each month.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/fundamentally-freund/a-time-to-cancel-2/2010/09/15/

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