December 2, 2008

Cooties

In Hostages to fear, Janet Albrechtsen writes:

That said, no one imagines Israel is free from fault. But its Government is not creating civil institutions that preach hatred and violence.

By contrast, an entire generation of Palestinian children is being raised on a full diet of hate education, on jihad and anti-Semitism. This is the long-term hurdle to peace in this generation, and the next. Look at the website of Palestinian Media Watch (http://www.pmw.org.il) where analysts have long tracked what the Palestinian leadership under Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is doing. Not what is said to Westerners in English or what they tell Israelis in Hebrew.

Look at what Palestinians are teaching their children in Arabic. Look at the geography books for Palestinian children that encourage children to see no Israel, books that feature maps of Israel in the colours of the Palestinian flag, and described as Palestine. Learn about the May 2008 soccer championships for young boys in honour of terrorists such as Samir Quntar and Muhammad al-Mabhuh. Or the July 2008 summer camp held for young girls named in honour of female suicide bomber Dalal al-Mughrabi, who hijacked a holiday bus in 1978, murdering 12 children and 25 adults.

Listen to Fatah-funded children's television where children are taught to continue the way of the shahids (the suicide bombers) and quizzed about Mughrabi. She is presented as "the beloved bride, child of Jaffa, jasmine flower". Or quizzes where children routinely identify Israeli landmarks, towns and ports such as Haifa, Ashdod and Eilat as Palestinian. Where children are taught that "Palestine" covers 27,000sqkm; in fact Gaza and the West Bank total 6200sqm. When the next generation of leaders is taught from childhood that Israel does not exist, how is future negotiation possible?

When supporters of Israel are questioned for not demanding that Israel "end the occupation" or failing to criticize the Israeli government for not being more forthcoming towards the Palestinians, this is what's not taken into account. If the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians were simply an issue of borders, it would have been settled long ago. However, the problem is that the fundamental problem is Israel's right to exist. The Palestinians are still hard pressed to acknowledge and utilize their civil institutions to deny Israel's legitimacy.

And this is a problem that's exacerbated by the Arab world. Egypt's most prominent cleric, Sheikh Tantawi finds it necessary to deny that he actually touched Israel's President, Shimon Peres at a recent interfaith conference.

Tantawi, who heads the Islamic Al-Azhar University, told Al-Masri al-Yom that he did not know the octogenarian Peres, who has occupied various positions in the Israeli government since its founding in 1948 and is a Nobel peace prize winner.

Those who published the pictures of the handshake were "a group of lunatics," he added.

"I shook his hand without knowing what he looked like," he said. "The handshake was in passing... because I don't know him to begin with."

This was at a conference promoting interfaith understanding and Egypt is the Arab state that has had peace with Israel for the longest time. And even under these circumstances, Sheikh Tantawi finds it necessary to say that he didn't touch an Israeli. (Tantawi has had problems dealing with Jews in the past too.)

UPDATE: Heh. Elder of Ziyon has more about Tantawi.

And of course, there's a world that, as Jeff Jacoby observes is all too willing to offer its moral support for this unremitting hatred in the UN's Obsession with demonizing Israel.

Like so much of what takes place at the UN, the obsession with demonizing Israel and extolling the Palestinians is grotesque and Orwellian. More than 1 million Israeli Arabs enjoy civil and political rights unmatched in the Arab world - yet Israel is accused of repression and human-rights abuse. Successive Israeli governments have endorsed a "two-state solution" - yet Israel is blasted as the obstacle to peace. The Palestinian Authority oversees the vilest culture of Jew-hatred since the Third Reich, and wants all Jews expelled from the land it claims for itself - yet Israel is labeled an "apartheid state" and singled out for condemnation and ostracism.

Jacoby doesn't stop there. He identifies the underlying problem.

Make no mistake: In likening Israel to apartheid-era South Africa, the UN is engaged not in anti-racism but in anti-Semitism. In the 1930s, the world's foremost anti-Semites demanded a boycott of Jewish businesses. Today they demand a boycott of the Jewish state.

One would think that in our enlightened times, when nearly every ethnic slight is actionable, it wouldn't be acceptable to hate Jews for being Jews. But that hatred persists. Yes, the more sophisticated practitioners of antisemitism sue the fig leaf of "anti-Zionism." However when you scratch the surface, it's clear that objection to Israel or its behavior are pretexts. What Israel has done (or is perceived to have done) in no way justifies the depth of the hatred directed towards it.

Israel the world's only Jewish state is hated not for occupation but for its existence. The longer the world justifies the hatred, the longer it will be before there is finally peace in the Middle East.

UPDATE: David Hazony concludes a post comparing two attitudes of hatred: one towards terrorists; the other towards Israel:

No two hates could be further in their nature from these: In one case, hatred is in the service of a moral standard, it is a reflection of the depth of our human response to evil; in the other, it is completely disconnected from any moral standard, in fact it appears as inherited, as an unalterable fate, in other words a repudiation of moral standards in general.

The hatred of Israel (and Jews) is the latter and too many people in the world accept the excuses that justify it.

Crossposted on Yourish.

Posted by SoccerDad at December 2, 2008 5:36 AM
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