At Bar-Ilan, Binyamin Netanyahu laid the foundations for a Palestinian state. Along with that, he unwittingly nullified the Jewish State. Netanyahu outlined his vision for the Middle East: "In my vision of peace, there are two free peoples living side by side in this small land, with good neighborly relations and mutual respect, each with its flag, anthem and government, with neither one threatening its neighbor's security and existence."
Netanyahu's speech detailed the deep Jewish connection to the Land of Israel and attempted to correct many of the fallacies and inaccuracies contained in Obama's Cairo address. To thunderous applause, Netanyahu proclaimed that "the connection of the Jewish People to the Land has been in existence for more than 3,500 years. Judea and Samaria, the places where our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob walked, our forefathers David, Solomon, Isaiah and Jeremiah, this is not a foreign land, this is the Land of our Forefathers... The right to establish our sovereign state here, in the Land of Israel, arises from one simple fact: Eretz Israel is the birthplace of the Jewish People." Yet for all the powerful and refreshing Zionist rhetoric, Netanyahu undermined all of this with his call for a Palestinian state east of the Jordan.
The very existence of a "Palestinian" people negates the basis of Zionism. The age-old Jewish dream of being a free people in its own land stands in stark contradiction to the claims of the "Palestinians". Either Israel belongs to the Jewish people or Palestine belongs to the Arabs. If the land is the historical birthplace of the Jewish people, promised to us by G-d and redeemed and rebuilt in recent generations through Jewish blood, sweat and tears, then no other people has a claim of ownership. On the other hand, if "Palestine" exists, then the Jews are invaders and usurpers, colonizing a foreign land which they have no right to. There can be no two sides in this conflict: either there is an Israel, or there is a "Palestine:".
From its very inception, Zionist leaders understood this. Only 30 years ago, Golda Meir argued that "there is no such thing as a Palestinian!" One of the early Zionist slogans was that Israel was "a land without people for a people without a land". Of course during the long two-thousand year exile when the majority of the Jewish people were prevented from returning home did foreigners come and settled in the land- but only as individuals, and never as a people. At no point before 1967 did the Arabs living in Israel consider themselves part of any people other than the greater Arab nation, and certainly not as a distinct "Palestinian" entity. Never was there an independent "Palestinian" state, nor was there ever a struggle or a demand for one, until Israel liberated Judea and Samaria. When Egypt and Jordan occupied Gaza, Judea and Samaria illegally for 19 years, there was no movement by the Arabs in these areas for a "Palestinian" state. In short, the concept of a "Palestinian" people is crock, a fallacy and a fraud, product of historical revisionism designed to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state. By accepting, at least partially, the validity of "Palestinians", Netanyahu has unknowingly rocked the foundations of Israel.
Despite the majority of the Jews being carried off by the Romans, never did we relinquish our right or title to the Land of Israel. Jews maintained a constant presence in Israel since biblical times and in each subsequent generation, they sought to re-establish themselves there. No other people ever took roots or built a state in the land, and no other nation ever called out longingly and with intense yearning for two millenia, for her, saying "Next year in Jerusalem!".
The borders outlined for a "two-state solution" are purely artificial borders, created arbitrarily. Judea and Samaria have no special significance to the Arabs, yet it is the land where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob roamed, where David fought and conquered, and where Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied. An Israel cut off from its biblical roots has absolutely no justification to exist. Without these lands, Israel will be a body, but devoid of a heart or a soul. The Arabs have been blessed with 22 states and vast wealth- let them create a 23 state for the "Palestinians" there. Jordan was originally part of the "Mandate for Palestine", and has a majority of "Palestinians". Therefore, it is fitting for "Palestine" to be created in Jordan, yet there is no justification for the Jewish people to surrender their homeland to create a country for a foreign nation of squatters.
"No Jew has the right to yield the rights of the Jewish People in Israel. No Jew has the authority to do so. No Jewish body has the authority to do so. Not even the entire Jewish People alive today has the right to yield any part of Israel.
It is the right of the Jewish people over generations, a right that under no conditions, can be cancelled. Even if Jews during a specific period proclaim they are relinquishing that right, they have neither the power nor the authority to deny it to future generations. No concession of this type is binding or obligates the Jewish People. Our right to the country - the entire country - exists as an eternal right and we shall not yield this historic right until its full and complete Redemption is realized."
It was Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who said this, because he understood that every single concession and territorial withdrawal meant that another nation had a claim on the Land of Israel. A "Palestinian" people negates and contradicts the Zionist dream, because it implies that some other nation established itself in the land of Israel. Only by virtue of our historical ties and divine promise can Israel exist, and if this is the case, there is no room for a foreign national movement in the Land of Israel. Either the Land is the eternal inheritance of the Nation of Israel, or it belongs to the Arabs, and specifically to the "Palestinians". Event as late as 2002, Netanyahu, speaking before the Likud Central Committee, recognized this. "Ultimately, the historical accounts are clear: Yes to a Palestinian state means no to a Jewish one. And yes to a Jewish state means no to a Palestinian one." Indeed, Mr. Netanyahu, indeed.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
In a few short lines, Barack Hussein Obama did more to delegitimize Israel than all previous US previous in 62 years. In his speech, he effectively accepted the Arab Islamic narrative of Middle-Eastern history and painted Israel's existence as a Holocaust consolation prize.
He said: "America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied. Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and antisemitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust... Six million Jews were killed - more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful." With these few sentences, Obama said that Israel's right to exist is based on anti-semitism and the Holocaust.
According to the anti-Zionist narrative, Israel is a colonialist state that has no place in the Middle-East. Following WWII, European powers, ridden with guilt over the Holocaust, allowed the Jewish people to set up a state in Israel, a land that the Europeans never had the right to give away. Based on this belief, we can see why Holocaust denial is an essential feature of Islamic anti-Israel discourse. If the Holocaust never happened in the first place, then surely Israel has absolutely no right to exist. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expresses this point well: "The West claims that more than six million Jews were killed in World War II and to compensate for that they established and support Israel. If it is true that the Jews were killed in Europe, why should Israel be established in the East, in Palestine?" "Moderate" Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, wrote his Ph.D. thesis denying the Holocaust.
Only an ignoramus could claim that Jews are interlopers and settlers in Israel. Archaeology proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel, maintaining a presence in the land from biblical times until today. The first Jewish commonwealth existed from 1200 BCE until the 6th century BCE, this period of Jewish independence lasting longer than the United States, Canada or any modern country has been in existence. After a brief hiatus of 70 years in Babylonian exile, Jews returned in large numbers to the land and following the Maccabee revolt in the 4th century, the Jews in Israel enjoyed another 100 year period of unbroken sovereignty. During all of these centuries, Jerusalem lay at the heart of the Jewish nation and served as its political, religious, spiritual and cultural center. Long before France was French or Britain was British, when Rome was still a collection of villages on the Tiber and the Greek barely began philosophizing, Israel was already firmly Jewish and Jerusalem its capital.
Although forcible exiled in 70 CE by the Romans, the Jews never forfeited their claims to the land. Although the Romans renamed the land "Palestinae" by the name of another invading tribe, the Philistines, in an attempt to sever the Jewish connection to the land, the Jew never stopped longing and praying for Zion. In his heart, he knew that the land was Israel, and that "Palestinae" was a fraud, never existed. Three times a day for 2000 years, from the four corners of the Earth, Jews turned towards Jerusalem and prayed, "May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in mercy" and "Return to Jerusalem Your city, as You have promised, and build it speedily in our days." After every single meal, Jews in Morocco and Poland, Persia and Russia, Spain and India concluded by thanking G-d " that You have bestowed on our forefathers the inheritance of the precious, good, and spacious land" and asking Him to "rebuild Jerusalem, the Holy City, speedily in our days." At every Jewish wedding, the groom would break a glass in remembrance of the destruction of the Temple and vow "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning." At the conclusion of every single seder all over the world, Jews declare with firm hope and faith "Next year in Jerusalem!" The Jew never forgot the dream of Zion, the beacon calling him home to his land.
In each successive generation, Jews strove to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. Writing in the 11th century, rabbi Yehuda Halevi wrote: "My heart is in the East, and I am at the ends of the West; How can I taste what I eat and how could it be pleasing to me? How shall I render my vows and my bonds, while yet Zion lies beneath the fetter of Edom, and I am in the chains of Arabia? It would be easy for me to leave all the bounty of Spain --As it is precious for me to behold the dust of the desolate sanctuary." The famed commentator, the Ramban, Nachmanides, re-established the Jerusalem Jewish community and the great sages, the Vilna Gaon and the Baal Shem Tov, sent their disciples to settle the land. In the 18th century, thousands of Eastern European Jews began to settle the land and the active return to Zion began.
To suggest that Israel is some sort of Holocaust consolation is not only obscene but anachronistic because the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations in the 1920s recognized the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel and declared that Jewish settlements "are there as of right, and not sufferance". The State of Israel draws its legitimacy not from the ashes of dead Jews but rather from the Torah, from the deep and ancient Jewish connection to Israel. The modern State of Israel is but a continuation of the previous Jewish commonwealths, with a mere two thousand year gap in between. No other nation or people has any claim on the land of Israel, nor was there ever any other sovereign state, beside the Jewish ones, in the land. Israel exists by historic connection, by divine right, by the blood and sweat of Jews who built and toiled, defended and fought for this land.
A new president arose over the United States who did not know Joseph. The President said, "Who is G-d that I should listen to His voice and leave Israel alone? I do not know of G-d, nor will I leave Israel alone!" However, G-d has a different plan in mind. "Behold days are coming, says the Lord, that the plowman shall meet the reaper and the treader of the grapes the one who carries the seed, and the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will return the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall rebuild desolate cities and inhabit [them], and they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their produce. And I will plant them on their land, and they shall no longer be uprooted from upon their land, that I have given them, said the Lord your God." (Amos 9:13-15)
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Before the eyes of billions of people worldwide, the leader of the free world munched happily on Mohammedan tuches. In what is without a doubt the largest example of appeasement before terror and fascism since Chamberlain, Obama brought his message of love, peace and reconciliation to the Islamic world, in Cairo. Crying "peace, peace in our time", he repeated ad nauseum myths and revisionist history about "civilization's debt to Islam", his hope for peace between "all the children of Abraham", and apologized for America upsetting the Islamic world. This speech is extremely significant in light of the declaration of jihad against the United States and the Western world, since the victim of aggression cannot even recognize that he is at war. Here are parts of Hussein Obama's speech, with my comments interspersed.
I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning, and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt's advancement.
Such higher learning is manifested in Al-Azhar's Grand Sheikh's approval of suicide bombings on Islamic grounds.
Together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I am grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. I am also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: assalaamu alaykum.
We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world - tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the west includes centuries of co-existence and co-operation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a cold war in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the west as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
Of course, the United States is to blame for the conflict. No mention of Islamic supremacist doctrine, of the teachings of violent jihad. There is no mention of the Qur'an injunction to "fight them until idolatry is no more, and religion is for Allah" (Q 2:193), or of Muhammad's deathbed last words that he "was commanded to fight until all men testify that there is no god but Allah". According to Obama, the West is guilty of antagonizing Islam, despite the fact that since its founding in the 7th century, Islam has never stopped aggressively expanding and conquering non-Muslim land. He ignores the traditional Islamic division of the world between Dar al-Islam, the House of Islam, and Dar al-Harb, the House of War.
Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust.
Again, Obama repeats the myth that the vast majority of Muslims reject terror, even though there is no basis for this claim. A 2007 CBC poll found that 12% of Canadian Muslims approved of suicide bombings and a foiled plot to behead the Canadian PM. 13% of American Muslims support suicide bombings and 40% do not believe that 9/11 was carried out by Muslims. 5% if U.S. Muslims support Al Qaeda specifically, although fully 25% refused to answer the question. 10% of British Muslims pro-actively support terror, while 20% sympathize while stopping short of actually blowing themselves up. 57% of Jordianians and 40% of Moroccans ("moderate" countries) condone or support suicide bombings. In addition to this, no mainstream major American, Canadian or European Muslim organization has unequivocally condemned or rejected the Islamic doctrine of jihad and repudiated the objective of replacing the secular constitution of Western states with Islamic sharia law.
So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the co-operation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles - principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
Does this include a rejection of the laws of dhimmitude, under which non-Muslims are second-class citizens, discriminated against and forced to conform to humiliating laws? Or that women are subservient and inferior to men (Q 4:34)? That "non-believers are the vilest of all creatures" (Q 8:51)? More likely, the "new beginning" that Obama would like to inaugurate will be one of American appeasement and apology, concession and retreat.
I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. No single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have all the complex questions that brought us to this point. But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly the things we hold in our hearts, and that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us: "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth." That is what I will try to do - to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart.
Part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan [the Muslim call to prayer] at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.
As a student of history, I also know civilization's debt to Islam. It was Islam - at places like al-Azhar University - that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.
The idea that Islamic culture was once a beacon of learning and enlightenment is a commonly held myth. In fact, much of this has been exaggerated, often for quite transparent apologetic motives. The astrolabe was developed, if not perfected, long before Muhammad was born. The zero, which is often attributed to Muslims, and what we know today as “Arabic numerals” did not originate in Arabia, but in pre-Islamic India. Aristotle’s work was preserved in Arabic not initially by Muslims at all, but by Christians such as the fifth century priest Probus of Antioch, who introduced Aristotle to the Arabic-speaking world. Another Christian, Huneyn ibn-Ishaq (809-873), translated many works by Aristotle, Galen, Plato and Hippocrates into Syriac. His son then translated them into Arabic. The Syrian Christian Yahya ibn ‘Adi (893-974) also translated works of philosophy into Arabic, and wrote one of his own, The Reformation of Morals. His student, another Christian named Abu ‘Ali ‘Isa ibn Zur’a (943-1008), also translated Aristotle and others from Syriac into Arabic. The first Arabic-language medical treatise was written by a Christian priest and translated into Arabic by a Jewish doctor in 683. The first hospital was founded in Baghdad during the Abbasid caliphate -- not by a Muslim, but a Nestorian Christian. A pioneering medical school was founded at Gundeshapur in Persia — by Assyrian Christians.
In sum, there was a time when it was indeed true that Islamic culture was more advanced than that of Europeans, but that superiority corresponds exactly to the period when Muslims were able to draw on and advance the achievements of Byzantine and other civilizations. But when the Muslim overlords had taken what they could from their subject peoples, and the Jewish and Christian communities had been stripped of their material and intellectual wealth and thoroughly subdued, Islam went into a period of intellectual decline from which it has not yet recovered. (From Jihad Watch)
Islam's history of racism is shocking. Today, the Arab trade of black slaves continues in Niger, Sudan and Mauritania. But, perhaps the most conspicuous example of overt racism in Islam is the genocide in present-day Sudan by the Arab-Islamic government and the refusal of Muslim organizations around the world to condemn it. Over two million black Africans have died from Arab aggression in the Christian south. And 200,000 more were killed by Arab militias over the last four years in Darfur. The Arabs are known for rampaging through villages and hacking black Africans to death in the name of Jihad while screaming things like, "Kill the slaves!"
I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America's story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote: "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims." And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic torch. And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our founding fathers - Thomas Jefferson - kept in his personal library.
So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
Which wars have Muslims fought in (on the side of the United States)? "Won Nobel prizes" --- he should say "won A Nobel prize" (Ahmed Zewail is the only U.S.-based Muslim to have won a Nobel prize). Islam's largest contribution to American history is the smoking crater at Ground Zero in New York City.
Why is it the POTUS's responsibility to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam? What about negative stereotypes of Jews, or Christians, or Buddhists, or Hindus, or Shintos, or Californians, or vegetarians, or blue-eyed people, or redheads, etc.?
So let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America. And I believe that America holds within her the truth that regardless of race, religion, or station in life, all of us share common aspirations - to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with dignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God. These things we share. This is the hope of all humanity.
Unfortunately, Americans tend to project their values on others. In the words of Mr Inyadullah, one of Pakistan's largest Islamic fundamentalist groups, "Americans love Pepsi, we love death". Or to quote Osama bin Laden: “We love death. The US loves life. That is the difference between us two.” Islamic culture simply does not place the same value on life as Western culture does. One need simply think of Palestinian mothers sending their children out to suicide missions and then dancing, rejoicing and giving out candy when they hear that they have successfully blown up and murdered Jews in a Tel-Aviv cafe. This is a culture that wallows in death and hatred.
Of course, recognizing our common humanity is only the beginning of our task. Words alone cannot meet the needs of our people. These needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and our failure to meet them will hurt us all.
For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations. When violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountains, people are endangered across an ocean. And when innocents in Bosnia and Darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective conscience. That is what it means to share this world in the 21st century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.
Yet no peep is heard about the genocide of hundreds of thousands in Darfur. If one fraction of the indignation and condemnation that was heaped on Israel when it had the gaul of defending itself from rocket attacks had been directed towards Khartoum, so many hundreds of thousands would not be dead.
The first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms.
Like Episcopalian extremism? Those nutty Quakers? Fundamentalist Seventh Day Adventists? Maybe he's talking about those Voodoist fascists? Radical Hindus? Or maybe Islam, the only religion that has carried out over 13 000 violent attacks since 9/11?
In Ankara, I made clear that America is not - and never will be - at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security. Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as president to protect the American people.
Islam condemns the killing of innocent civilians. Yet out definition and the Islamic definition of innocent may be quite different.
The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.
America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.
Wrong! The aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in the hundreds of years of Jewish sovereignty in Israel and in the thousands of years of an unbroken Jewish presence there. Israel does not derive its legitimacy from the ashes of murdered Jews, but rather from the Bible, from the historical fact that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, a fact which was recognized by the League of Nations in the 1920s, and then again by the United Nations, and is enshrined under international law.
Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and antisemitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed - more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction - or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews - is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.
Obama apparently loves dead Jews much more than live ones. He has no qualms with forcing Israel back to the indefensible pre-67 "Auschwitz borders" and bringing every single major Israeli city within "Palestinian" rocket range.
On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people - Muslims and Christians - have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they have endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations - large and small - that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.
The incredible chutzpah of implicitly drawing a comparison between Jewish suffering during the Holocaust and "Palestinian" self-inflicted suffering. The "Palestinians" are architects of their own demise. ("Palestinians" have not suffered for 60 years- since there haven't even been a "Palestinian people" for 60 years! The term "Palestinian" only began being used to refer to the Arabs of Israel after Israel liberated Judea, Samaria and Gaza in 1967.) If millions of Arabs would not have fled Israel at the behest of invading Arab armies in 1948, there would be no refugees. Before the founding of the State of Israel, close to a million Jews lived in Arab lands. They were expelled, losing billions of dollars of property, leaving behind homes in which they had lived for centuries or millenia. Israel did not allow them to languish in camps but took them in and integrated them. Somehow, the Islamic world, which stretches from Indonesia to Morocco and is rolling in petro-dollars, could not find place to settle a couple hundred thousand Arab refugees. Rather, they kept them in camps to be used as pawns against Israel, to flood the Jewish state and to destroy it demographically. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A 60 YEAR OLD REFUGEE!!
For decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It is easy to point fingers - for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel's founding and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.
Arab rejectionism goes too deep. Both the "moderate" Fatah and Hamas have the elimination of Israel as its goals, as enshrined in their respective charters. The Arab goal has never been a "Palestinian" state but rather the destruction of the Jewish one. If that was the case, why didn't the "Palestinians" declare independence when Judea, Samaria and Gaza were under Jordanian and Egyptian control before 1967? Why did the Arabs reject the UN partition plan in 1947? Why did Yasser Arafat walk away from Ehud Barak's offer of a PA state in close to 99% of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, with a capital in East Jerusalem? Why didn't Abbas accept control of half of Jerusalem, when Ehud Olmert claimed to have offered him "even more than Barak ever did"?
That is in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest, and the world's interest. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience that the task requires. The obligations that the parties have agreed to under the road map are clear. For peace to come, it is time for them - and all of us - to live up to our responsibilities.
It is hardly in Israel's interests to set up a terror state a few miles away from Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, to expel hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes and to uproot Jewish communities. It is not in US interests to allow Iranian proxies a puppet-state which will be a base of terror and will destabilize the region. It is not in US interests to destroy the region's only democracy to set up a backwards Arab thug state. It is not in US interests to reward terror with independence and to give a state on a silver platter to the same people who danced when they heard the news that the US had been attacked on 9/11. As for "Palestine's" bests interests- they are as fictional as the best interests of Atlantis, El Dorado or Valhala.
Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from eastern Europe to Indonesia. It's a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.
The comparison between the "Palestinians" and American blacks is absurd and ridiculous. Israel is forced to implement these measures to protect its own civilians from being blown up in cafes, restaurants and buses. Clearly, an Arab's right not to be inconvenienced outweighs and Jew's right not to be blown to smithereens on a Jerusalem bus. As always, the poor Arabs are the victims, never responsible for their own choices, their rejection of Israel, their support of violence and hatred, their choice to go to war against Israel 7 times and to have lost each time.
Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of its people.
People have been calling upon them to do that for years. They have never heeded the call. Mortimer Zuckerman and others spent $14 million to give them Israeli greenhouses during the Gaza turnover, so they would have a way to make a living. They turned those greenhouses into weapons smuggling tunnels.
Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, and to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist.
Don't hold your breathe for Khaled Meshal to sing and dance kumbaya with Jews on the White House lawn.
At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.
Insane moral equivalence. Israel liberated Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem in a war which the Arabs initiated and lost. In the word of Yehuda Z. Blum, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, speaking in 1979: "Anyone who asserts that it is illegal for a Jew to live in Judea and Samaria JUST BECAUSE HE IS A JEW, is in fact advocating a concept that is disturbingly reminiscent of the 'JUDENREIN' POLICIES of Nazi Germany banning Jews from certain spheres of life for no other reason than that they were Jews. The Jewish villages in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza district are there as of right and are there to stay." There is no difference between saying that Jews cannot live in Hebron or Maaleh Adumim in Judea and Samaria, or saying that a Jew cannot walk on a certain sidewalk or sit on a specific bench in Germany or Poland.
It takes a certain amount of gaul for someone living on stolen Iroquois land to turn around and tell Jews that they cannot live in their biblical homeland.
Israel must also live up to its obligations to ensure that Palestinians can live, and work, and develop their society. And just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel's security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.
Which humanitarian crisis?
Too many tears have flowed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.
Only under Israel has freedom of religion in Jerusalem been guaranteed. During the 19 year illegal Jordanian occupation, from 1948 to 1967, every single Jew of the Old City was expelled, synagogues were desecrated and turned into warehouses, Jewish cemeteries paved over and used as latrines and Jewish prayer banned from the Western Wall. Jerusalem is Israel's undivided capital. When London was still forest and Rome still a collection of villages on the Tiber, Jerusalem had already been King David's capital for hundreds of years, seat of the Jewish kingdom, and site of the Holy Temple. It will never again be divided. I highly doubt that Obama would divide up Washington and offer it to al-Qaeda, no matter how strong his desire for "reconciliation".
Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition.
More historical myth. Even Maria Rosa Menocal, in her extended whitewash of Muslim Spain called The Ornament of the World, admits that the laws of dhimmitude were very much in force in the great Al-Andalus. She says: "The dhimmi, as these covenanted peoples were called, were granted religious freedom, not forced to convert to Islam. They could continue to be Jews and Christians, and, as it turned out, they could share in much of Muslim social and economic life. In return for this freedom of religious conscience the Peoples of the Book (pagans had no such privilege) were required to pay a special tax — no Muslims paid taxes — and to observe a number of restrictive regulations: Christians and Jews were prohibited from attempting to proselytize Muslims, from building new places of worship, from displaying crosses or ringing bells. In sum, they were forbidden most public displays of their religious rituals."
So much for that "proud tradition of tolerance." Also, historian Kenneth Baxter Wolf observes that “much of this new legislation aimed at limiting those aspects of the Christian cult which seemed to compromise the dominant position of Islam.” After enumerating a list of laws much like Menocal’s, he adds: “Aside from such cultic restrictions most of the laws were simply designed to underscore the position of the dimmîs as second-class citizens.”
If Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together peaceably and productively only with Christians and Jews relegated by law to second-class citizen status, then al-Andalus has absolutely no reason to be lionized in our age. Obama should know that the laws of dhimmitude give his claim of a "proud tradition of tolerance" the same hollow ring as the stories of prominent American blacks from the slavery and Jim Crow eras: yes, Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington were great men, but their accomplishments not only do not erase or contradict the records of the oppression of their people, but render them all the more poignant and haunting. Whatever the Christians and Jews of al-Andalus accomplished, they were still dhimmis. They enjoyed whatever rights and privileges they had not out of any sense of the dignity of all people before God, or the equality of all before the law, but at the sufferance of their Muslim overlords. (From Jihad Watch)
It is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward; to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There is also one rule that lies at the heart of every religion - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This truth transcends nations and peoples - a belief that isn't new; that isn't black or white or brown; that isn't Christian, or Muslim or Jew. It's a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the heart of billions. It's a faith in other people, and it's what brought me here today.
Suppress gag reflex...
We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.
The Holy Koran tells u: "O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another."
The Qur'an says a lot of things. Like "slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them" (Q 9:5). Or that non-Muslims must be humiliated and made second-class: "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." (Q 9:29)
The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace."
Obama could very well be a Reform rabbi, choosing which parts suit him and lopping off the rest. Remember the part where G-d promised the Land of Israel to the Jews?
The Holy Bible tells us: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
Jesus the Palestinian said that?
The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now, that must be our work here on Earth. Thank you. And may God's peace be upon you.