Eleven great Zionist reads
OPINION AND ANALYSIS
Week Ending 11 November 2014
1. The Jew of Nations: The global demonisation of Israel
Can there be any doubt that Israel is the most reviled country in the world today? No other nation engenders as much scorn, whether measured in newspaper column inches, street protests, or computer pixels. The only aspect of the hatred more disturbing than its virulent omnipresence is how out of proportion it is to Israel’s real (and alleged) wrongdoing. A majority of Europeans, according to polls, consider this tiny country of eight million people to be the greatest threat to world peace. An Israeli soldier fires a rubber bullet in the West Bank and it will generate venomous crowds in cities around the globe; Iranian paramilitary basij forces murder peaceful demonstrators in broad daylight and the world emits barely a peep of protest.
2. Letter from Jerusalem: The One-state solution
Since Rivlin was elected President, in June, he has become Israel’s most unlikely moralist. Rivlin – not a left-wing writer from Tel Aviv, not an idealistic justice of the Supreme Court – has emerged as the most prominent critic of racist rhetoric, jingoism, fundamentalism, and sectarian violence, the highest-ranking advocate among Jewish Israelis for the civil rights of the Palestinians both in Israel and in the occupied territories. Last month, he told an academic conference in Jerusalem, “It is time to honestly admit that Israel is sick, and it is our duty to treat this illness.”
3. Amnesty International has become an apologist for terrorism and an enemy of democracy
Despite massive evidence to the contrary, Amnesty International mendaciously claimed that honour killings had increased in the West Bank since the Israeli occupation and that the fault for this increase in Arab men killing Arab women, lies with Israel. The reality is that there are far fewer honour killings in the West Bank than there are in adjoining Jordan, which is not under Israeli occupation, and that the number of honour killings in the West Bank has been reduced dramatically during the Israeli occupation.
4. The West’s dangerous enchantment with Islam
There are no women’s rights in Islam; there are no women’s rights in most Muslim countries. And there is no freedom of expression in these countries; people have become virtually voiceless. To make a positive change in Muslim countries, we need to be able to speak openly, without putting one’s life at risk, and tell the (too-often criminalized) truth about what Islamic teachings and traditions actually contain. If one is called “racist” or “Islamophobe,” the answer is that these are the accusations bullies always use to silence those who disagree with them. The real Islamophobes are those who degrade, abuse and kill their fellow Muslims. If oppression of women is rooted in the culture, shouldn’t one be asking, ‘what makes a culture that misogynous?’
5. Kristallnacht’s lessons for today
In thinking about Kristallnacht, we should also consider the outpouring of violence against Jewish communities in Europe this summer and draw the right lessons for today. It is rightly said that the Holocaust began not with gas chambers but with words. The significance of Kristallnacht in the history of the Holocaust is the passage from anti-Jewish legislation and anti-Semitic rhetoric to violence against Jews. And therein lies the lesson for today.
6. Letters to the Ayatollah: Why Obama’s latest outreach to Iran’s Supreme Leader was a mistake
Only the most naïve and uninformed observer of Iran would believe that a personal appeal from Obama would sway the Supreme Leader in a positive fashion. Khamenei’s mistrust of and antipathy toward Washington has been a consistent feature of his public rhetoric through the 35-year history of the Islamic Republic. Anti-Americanism is Khamenei’s bedrock, engrained in his worldview, and as such it is not susceptible to blandishments — particularly not from the very object of his loathing.
7. The Dictators’ mutual praise club
The biggest charade afoot last week at the United Nations Human Rights Council was Iran’s turn to undergo its Universal Periodic Review, or UPR, a process that invites all member states to judge each other’s rights records. It scored very highly indeed!
8. A bridge across Israel’s social abyss
They come from all over Israel. Some of them are from ultra-orthodox Ashkenazi families, some from large traditional Sephardic communities. Some come from the most destitute or violent family situations. One thing defines them all: unmotivated, at-risk youth from Israel’s peripheries at a pre-military academy, or “Mechina”, in Northern Israel.
9. Violence and oppression in Jerusalem
I think that if you probe the world-views of many Arabs and Muslims engaged in violence against Israelis, you’ll discover that the logic of their thinking is essentially genocidal: they think that we six million Israeli Jews are not human beings at all but rather a “Zionist Entity” – a pack of evil-doers that by right should be exterminated. Such logic is voiced openly by Arab and Muslim leaders across the globe.
10. Western media’s double standards on Israeli ‘racism’
So-called prestigious newspapers the Guardian and New York Times give a platform to every nonsensical item about Israel while conveniently ignoring the reality in other countries.
11. I accuse Israel
Can ordinary citizens from around the world organize themselves and file before every single court with universal jurisdiction a public interest action against the Jewish state of Israel to declare its extinction as a Jewish state, not only on the grounds that throughout its existence it repeatedly committed crimes against humanity, but first and foremost because its very constitution as a Jewish state is itself a crime against humanity? Yes they can.