The article below originally appeared here: http://www.kritiknetz.de/ and here: http://spiritofentebbe.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/10-gute-entgegnungen-auf-10-damliche-phrasen/
“The weaker the factual knowledge is the stronger the critic of Israel will present his opinions. All to often s/he bothers his/her surrounding with alleged certainties, which are idiotic but epidemically wide-spread. We remain calm, as we have the better arguments on our side. Each of the anti-Israel platitudes can be knocked down in the twinkling of an eye- with answers that would in a condensed format look somewhat like the ones listed in following.
‘Israel does not want peace’
Bullshit. Israel wants a true peace and not a ceasefire according to the idea of Arabic tyrants. The Declaration of Independence already included a peace-offering towards the Arab states (which was answered with attacks from five Arab states the day after the state was founded). Following the Six-Days-War Israel offered to return the territories (except Jerusalem) – answered with three No’s from Khartoum. Israel made peace with Egypt (clearing Sinai) and Jordan and it had agreed upon a “Land for peace“ with the Palestinians in Oslo too. The withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho as well as from larger cities in the West Bank was answered by a wave of terrorism unheard of before. The withdrawal from South Lebanon and pull-back from the Gaza strip including the evacuation of all 7.000 settlers was followed by a rain of rockets on Israeli towns. Only a fool would assume that a complete retreat from the West Jordan and Jerusalem would bring about peace. Israel is a small country with a civil army, each soldier dying in combat has to be justified by the ones in government. The military budget consumes vast amounts of money that are direly needed elsewhere, for example the integration of new immigrants. Nevertheless the country has to remain fortified as long as it’s brute surrounding exists. Israel is not neighbouring Denmark, the Netherlands, or Switzerland, but countries like Lebanon and Syria and a bit further away Iraq and Iran. In the Orient a give-and-take attitude is often seen as a sign of weakness – this explains why terror and hate have been on the rise more than ever especially since the peace agreement of Oslo. Everybody trying to approach the Mid-East-Conflict with a European mindset has already lost. “I am okay, you are okay” – that may, if anywhere, work in Helsinki or Bern, but it certainly does not in societies ruled by despots and terrorists. Israel is willing to make sacrifices for peace and has already made a lot of them, cleared territory, evacuated settlements. For this it earned more terror, there’s no changing that. Hence, the peace movement that was able to mobilise hundreds of thousands in its good days, is largely insignificant today: one came to the realisation that it cannot continue like this, that there is not a partner for peace (yet).
The place of “Shalom achshav“ has by now been taken by obscure groups that against better knowledge and disregarding all experience claim that peace is not failing due to Palestinian terror. It are always the same individuals recruited from Women in Black, Machsom, Betselem, Avnery’s Gush Shalom etc. Within the heterogeneous and argumentative society, they lead an outsider’s life and are mainly recognised by the odd editor of Ha´aretz’s feuilleton. They are only heard by the ones, who want to hear precisely, what they are voicing. What is the picture on the other side? There is no Palestine peace movement and there never was one. A person publicly declaring that peace is failing due to the Palestinians would be branded a traitor or collaborator and would have to fear for his or her life. Over decades the Palestinians have heard their leaders say that “inalienable rights“ cannot be given up, hence compromise is a taboo. Who leans out of the window too much, cannot draw back – a trap all Palestinian leaders to this date have found themselves in. 100 per cent West Bank & Gaza plus Jerusalem and “The right to return “ (to Israel!) for all Palestinians, who had escaped 60 years ago – as well as their children, grandchildren and grand grandchildren. Beneath that they will not concur and on this ground a peaceful solution is doomed to fail for the time being. Facing the choice between gaining a state in the territory of Gaza and 97 per cent of the West Bank, billions of aid from abroad and the perspective of a peaceful and liveable future for generations to come – or insisting on the maximal demand with the consequence of remaining empty-handed, the Palestinian leadership has decided to once again opt for the latter. The fact that a commonly agreed upon and infamously known “Hardliner“ like the Likud-prime minister embodies the Israeli consensus, who – under the premise of establishing security- accepts the creation of a Palestinian state and still bangs his head against a brick wall as far as the gruff Palestinian authorities are concerned, should give some food for thought. Conclusion: It is the Palestinian leaders, who do not want final negotiations – because they do not want to reach a compromise and not even secretly hope for a continued conflict after a state has been founded as they can thrive with the current situation (they are provided for and are still able to complain verbose and gestural) and because they are afraid of the day when they have to take care of garbage removal themselves. Such are the revolutionaries.
‘The Palestine ‘terror’ is legitimate resistance’.
Horseshit. Terror has no legitimate grounds and the particularly brutal Palestinian terror even less so. It primarily aims at civilians (first and foremost school buses, kindergartens, schools, cafés, shopping malls), but also at Jews abroad (massacres in the Viennese or Istanbul synagogues, Rome’s airport etc.). Through choosing its victims terrorism, whether committed by Hamas or by branches of Fatah, tries to spread fear and horror. As assaults on Jews have been taking place for 90 years now, this brutal method seemingly does not pay off evidently, unless the murdering of Holocaust survivors during a Pesach festivity or off Jeschiwa-pupils in the library or of students in the university’s cafeteria or of two boys playing in Tekoah is already seen as a good act. That the Palestinian authorities are still holding on to this method nevertheless, seems to support the latter theses. As a strategic measure or as a continuation of politics by other means it is pointless, the more brutal the terror the worse the Palestinians will find themselves being off eventually. The moral damnability of killing a baby in its pram (Shalhevet Paz) or or of a pregnant woman (Tali Hatu´el) and her four little daughters, should not be up for discussion. That the Palestinian terror, of all things, escalated in intensity and cruelty, during the “peace process“, speaks volumes. If there is a ground for hope, despair cannot be used as a motif. The fact of the matter is for one that suicide bombers are always (!) enlisted, armed and send off to the site of crime by one of the terrorist organisations. On the eve of the mass murder, they often video record a message announcing how proud they are to enter paradise as martyrs. After the action, the family will declare how proud they are of their dead son or sometimes even their dead daughter and the murderer attains the status of a hero. Children exchange collectible pictures with the portrait of the murderer and if he killed a remarkable number of Jews they may even be naming a street in his honour.
‘The wall is a hindrance for peace’
Nonsense. The Israeli rampart is first of all a hindrance for terrorists. The whole purpose of said construction is to properly prevent terrorists infiltrating Israel from the West Bank and it performs this task. No longer have suicide bombers managed to blow themselves to smithereens in Netanya, Chadera or Tel Aviv. That is the main thing. That the high tech limes brings about inconveniences for Palestinian abutters at some places (single cases are often denounced as pars pro toto from Israel’s enemies), is regrettable, but human lives take priority over the right of being able to cover the distance between A and B in suchandsuch minutes. Also aesthetical considerations have to step back in this regard. Given that 1,4 million Arabs are living on the Israeli side of the construction, one cannot really speak of an “apartheid wall” and what the intent to keep suicide bombers out of ones cities and apartheid have in common, will probably remain the sole secret of the anti-Zionist screamers. The sometimes heard claim the wall is there so one cannot see what is going on on the other side is likewise sheer nonsense. It does not quite sound logical, if “Stop the Wall“-activist propagate that the facility is a means of stealing territory, quite the contrary one can assume that Israel, who once had administered the whole of the West Bank after all, has already written off all territory on the other side off the border wall. Which is not just a little, as with three exceptions the fence does not extend into the West Bank for more than two kilometres at any point and does not run “right through it”. The course is primarily based on security reasons and more or less represents the border between Israel and the prospective Palestine state, what could be noticed positively by the other side, unless one does not want a border and is still on the make for Haifa, Yafo and Ramle. Lastly: people blown to pieces remain dead, whereas the course of a border facility can be changed again, as it has happened several times so far as well as the fact that even the whole construction could be dismantled again. The fence, however, will remain in place as long as the reasons that lead to its erecting are not alleviated.
‘The issue of settlements is the core of the Mid-East-Problem’
Rubbish. Who says so has no clue that the Arab refusal of a Jewish state is the core of the Mid-East-Conflict – to this day. There was no peace before the state was founded and between 1948 and 1967 either – when Egypt occupied the Gaza strip and Jordan the West Bank and no Jew lived in these regions whatsoever. If the word “ethnic cleansing” is of any use in the Mid-East, then for the expulsion of all Israelis from the territories occupied by the Arabs – including the historic centre of Jerusalem. (Re-) establishment of settlements only happened since the late 60s, when there was no prospect of peace anyway and Israel was preparing for a steady presence in the seized territories. Most settlements primarily had a strategic value, ideological reasons played no role at all initially, even though Judea and Samaria are the core region from a biblical point of view (or as the settlement activist Elyakim Haetzni said it “Tel Aviv, that is the coastal plane, the land of the Philistines“). Later the development of settlements in or close to cities like Hebron (where a Jewish community had always existed and which had been the victim of a pogrom in 1929 long before the foundation of the state) or Schchem/Nablus and supported by the Likud-government in particular. Whether or not the settlements are legitimate is a matter of differing opinions (some, to some extent rightly so, argue that these are “debatable territories“ under international law, as they have previously been under mandate or occupied and annexed by Jordan in an unlawful manner), whether it was politically a wise decision, is yet another question. The reason for the Mid-East-Conflict it is not.
There was terror and refusal of Israel before, during and after the foundation of Jewish communes. Even when they have been stopped as Yamit/Sinai during the late 80s and 2005 in the Gaza strip, it did not keep Palestinian fanatics to shoot rockets into Israeli cities. They are not concerned with the settlements, but with Israel at large, whether the Worker’s Party is in charge or Likud or Kadima, they don’t care. For them Tel Aviv is an “illegal settlement“ too. The Palestinian leaders, who are currently turning down any negotiations, of course have an interest to turn the issue of settlements into the crux of the matter, so they have a cheap excuse for their rejecting attitude. They insist on the eviction of all Jewish communes within the West Bank, thus wiping out all Jewish presence therein, meaning an ethnic cleansing as aforementioned and put into practice once before. This will not happen. The largest share of settlers (80%) lives in one of the four settlement blocks, which Israel will not give up, for which it is however willing to enter a land swap. The territory that would have to be annexed this way amounts to three or four per cent of the West Bank. With some good will a solution for this could be found. This, however, is not to be seen anywhere on the Palestinian side even 16 years after the “peace process” was initiated.
‘One has to talk with Hamas’
Nope. With a gang that is recognised as a terrorist organisation by all serious states, one needs just as little talking as with the BNP. What about anyway? Hamas does not hide its anti-Semitic agenda (see their Charta) and who claims that one needs to talk with them should also say about what. Maybe the modalities of dissolving Israel? The argument that Hamas, while having a ‘militant wing’, is also engaged in politics and charity, cuts no ice. The Nazis based their power on SA, SS and Wehrmacht, and along the way organised neat summer camps for the youth and ‘strength through joy’ trips for stressed out Volksgenossen, and yet they remained criminals. Who tries to belittle the islamo-fascist Hamas as a charity with an added hunting club, only aims at earning them some undeserved legitimacy. This however, serves nobody except the bearded warriors of god themselves, who derive their right to exist from their fight against Israel and as their name evidences are as welcome in the “peace process” as a paedophile in a nursery. Who wants to do some good unto the Mid-East boycotts Hamas (or even more so takes them out of service altogether); who tries to make them presentable is interested in continuing the conflict until hell freezes over, that’s for sure.
‘Israel is isolated within the UN, only America extends his protective hand over this country’
True. This, however, does not speak against America, but rather against the United Nations, an organisation, which is incapable and corrupt, long dominated by countries that cannot be bothered with the UN-Charter and always offers a stage for mass murderers, dictators and opera presidents, that even lets its own Human Rights Council be alienated by rogue states for all too obvious reasons, namely to divert attention from their own violations of human rights. The one being railed against is the geek with the glasses: Israel, the Jew amongst the nations. In the general assembly there is always a majority for a resolution against Israel and bills condemning Israel for its reactions towards attacks from Hezbollah or Hamas, without even mentioning their aggressions, would actually be rubber-stamped if the USA would not have the courage to repeatedly but a halt to this farce in the World’s Security Council. England and France are often too gutless, Russia and China have even less eligibility than other UN member states to act up as Israel’s’ judge.
This is not remotely dealing with morality, the UN are the sum of their member states, not more and not less and they are seldom enough democracies. If tyrants agree to turn a democracy into a pariah, majorities are of no use – the endeavour remains immoral and shameful for the world organisation. It is high time that this worthless event, which is of course also and even largely so paid for by the USA, gives way to a league of democratic states. This club will not be joined by everybody, but quality comes before quantity. There is no reason to accept that Burkina Faso, Bhutan or Somalia are allowed to decide, whether a military operation in Lebanon or Gaza is justified or not. Israel is a sovereign state, ironically enough the only one, whose foundation has been legitimised by the UN (unthinkable in the current constellation of majorities), and it has not been called into being so that others can decide over the fate of the Jews. To claim a minimum of credibility the United Nations should also consider the reasonable grounds that affected Israel’s decision to fight a war in Gaza, in insisting on the principle land for peace (the famous resolution 242!). They won’t do that and thus their one-sided condemning of Israel of all states are ludicrous and thank goodness not binding. The automatic majority against the Jewish state has been morally disqualified long ago.
‘Nobody suffers like the Palestinians’
Gibberish. This claim is downright obscene. Umpteen millions of refugees all over the world are truly suffering and they do not have the option to change their fortune overnight by being willing to agree on a compromise. There is one UN refugee relief organisation for all the refugees the world over and a second one for Palestinians alone (UNRWA). They are also the only ones who are allowed to inherit their refugee status and the only ones where everything is done so that they remain refugees. Their subsistence and education is paid for by the world community; the lion’s share thereof being covered by the so often bedevilled USA, the Arabic states, some of them being loaded with money and whose lip services for the Palestinian cause are plenty, contribute less than 5% to UNRWA’s budget. Unlike the 650.000 Jews that have been driven out of Arabic countries, the Palestinian refugees have solely been integrated in Jordan. By a way of comparison the Palestinians are living under miserable conditions in Lebanon, whereas there isn’t a single refugee camp in the whole of Israel. The Arabs there, who didn’t flee in 1948, are Israeli citizens. Even in the ‘blocked’ Gaza strip life is far from being hell on earth. West Jordan, being delivered from hundreds of checkpoints due to the improved security situation, is booming (growth in 2009: 8%), and who takes a look around Jenin, Bethlehem and especially Ramallah, may see a lot, but certainly no “humanitarian catastrophe” This is just a cheap fighting term from the arsenal of anti-Israeli propaganda nothing else.
‘Jerusalem has to be the capital of both states’
Not at all. Firstly, this would be a novelty in the world’s history. Why should it be successful at the most controversial places off the planet? Jerusalem was never the capital of an Arab state – not even under Jordanian rule – and a state of Palestine could well exist with a capital Ramallah. Or Abu dis. Under Israeli administration Jerusalem turned into a prospering and impressive metropolis and is now following centuries of neglect of importance again. The Jews are becoming more and the Arabs are becoming even more (and not less!) and the city is worth living in for all its inhabitants. Only Israel guarantees free passage to the holy sites of all religious groupings. Between 1948 and 1967 Jews were not allowed access to the Western Wall and the Palestinians would not handle this differently from the Jordanians. They neglect the historical importance of Jerusalem for Jews today and could not be put in charge of the city for this reason alone, it would be a catastrophe for all of Jerusalem’s citizens – Jews or Arabs. Concerning a split of the town, the people of Berlin could probably tell a lot of the impact thereof. Is anybody really longing back to the wall and barbed wire? Maybe some of the ones who are outraged by the building of new housing units in the Gilo district, while a massacre in Congo leaves them unimpressed; those, however, would have to face some judgements regarding their understanding of human rights. . A return to the status quo ante would in no case be as counter productive as in Jerusalem. As common sense knows ‘What’s gone, is gone!’ and that is exactly what is the case.
‘Only through a Palestinian state Israel will gain a stable security’
Certainly not. The opposite would probably be the case – given that the Palestinians would gain a state that continues its demands, that is allowed to ally with anti-Israeli states armed to their teeth. The next armed conflict would only be matter of time with Israel’s borders particularly hard to defend, especially if the PLO or even Hamas are sitting in the heightened territories or at the coastal planes. A nightmare that would not bear any good for Israelis or Palestinians. Therefore Netanyahu’s government rightfully excludes this horrific option. Who endorses the all-or-nothing attitude of the Palestinian authorities does not want peace. Looking at the front row of Palestine’s friends, this is not too surprising. Furthermore there is the reasonable ground to worry that a Palestinian state would look like almost every Arabic state, probably even more dubious. Whether governed by Hamas or Fatah, this would not be a democratic state, as for that one needs more than “free“ elections, but also democratic parties, which neither of them is. Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab journalist, working for the Jerusalem Post, rightfully compares them to rivalling mobs, which have their power struggles out on the back of the general population. The possibility that Palestine would be another failed state not needed by the world is extremely high. Such a state would be dangerous for its own citizens as well as for its neighbours. One only has to remember the destabilising role played by Arafat’s PLO in Jordan and Lebanon.
‘Once the Israeli-Arab conflict is settled, there will be peace in the Middle East’
Wishful thinking, if anything. The Muslim Brotherhood and thus political Islam with its Jihadist programme is much older than the Middle-East-Conflict, and if Bin Laden’s Al-Qaida attacks a skyscraper and a ministry in New York and Washington, if Islamists commit bloody assaults in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco, Egypt, Indonesia, Yemen and other countries, it doesn’t have the slightest bit to do with Israel’s actions or inactions. Just like the conflict in the Western Sahara, the genocide in Sudan, Egypt’s war in Yemen during the mid-60s, the civil war in Lebanon since the middle of the 70s, the struggle for power between PLO and Jordan’s king Hussein, Iraq’s war against Iran, against the Kurds, against Kuwait, the war in Afghanistan et cetera et cetera. The region is as it is, and this is certainly not due to a 20.000-square kilometres-state, which has been defending it’s own skin for 60 years now. This is a really terrible joke.”