What if They Mean What They Say?
Many people thought Hitler's words were just words. They were wrong. If he'd had nuclear weapons, he would have used them. How is it possible to believe they do not mean what they say?
The U.S. generally makes allowance for verbal excesses from foreign governments, but if expressions of hatred and incitement to violence are actually harbingers of behavior, destruction and murderousness cannot be far behind.
At the UN Alliance of Civilizations [sic], Turkey's Prime Minister equated Zionism with crimes against humanity. The American response was swift; speaking for himself and the administration, Kerry called the remark "objectionable." But after expressing dismay, he called for nicer play. "That said," he commented, "Turkey and Israel are both vital allies. We want to see them work together to go beyond rhetoric and take concrete steps to change their relationship." A State Department official concurred, saying the comment was "particularly offensive" and "complicates our ability to do all the things we want to do together."
But what if Ergodan doesn't want what the U.S. wants him to want -- that is to say, he doesn't want a changed relationship with Israel? What if harsh rhetoric and open political and financial support for Hamas -- a U.S. designated terrorist organization -- are part of Turkey's regional Sunni Islamic ambition, which does not include Israel? What if Turkey's prior cooperation was a phase to allow it to acquire political and military benefits?
In a similar vein, a few weeks ago, a North Korean diplomat told the UN Conference on Disarmament, "As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction." He added, "If the U.S. takes a hostile approach toward North Korea to the last, rendering the situation complicated, [we] will be left with no option but to take the second and third stronger steps in succession." A North Korean general warned of the "miserable destruction" of the United States.
The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament called the comments "profoundly disturbing," and the Spanish ambassador said he was "stupefied." Why?
Beginning with President Carter, American administrations have treated North Korea's pursuit of nuclear capability as defensive: designed to keep South Korea and the U.S. from overthrowing the cultish regime of the North. The U.S. tells itself that since it harbors no plans for any such invasion, it can reassure North Korea on that point and thus lessen its determination to have nuclear capability – hence the U.S. offers food, fuel and a light water reactor, thinking those "gifts" will reassure North Korea of America's benign intentions. But what if North Korea is not defensive, but rather Kim Jong Un, like his predecessors, believes that the unification of the peninsula should happen under governance of the North? How then should we understand the diplomat and the general? And how should we understand North Korea's latest nuclear test?
The British ambassador said of the North Korean diplomat's remarks, "It cannot be allowed that we have expressions which refer to the possible destruction of UN member states." That is, of course, patently untrue. The UN tolerates and sometimes applauds Iranian representatives who have called not for the "possible" destruction of a UN member state, Israel, but for its outright annihilation.
"The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. "The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land… In the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists… Cancer must be eliminated from a body (the region)." For Qods Day last year Ahmadinejad told the Iranians, "Any freedom lover and justice seeker in the world must do its best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the path for the establishment of justice and freedom in the world."
The P5+1, the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany who are negotiating with Iran, still seem to presume that Iran is pursuing nuclear capability for some reason other than to use it, and that it can, therefore, be dissuaded from developing it. But what if "annihilation of the Zionist regime" really is topmost in the minds of the Mullahs? What if they believe Israel has to disappear and they can make it happen? What will happen, then, when they get nuclear weapons, if they still really believe that?
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas teach raw anti-Semitism in schools, and that "Palestine" must be "liberated." Terrorists are publicly honored -- last week it was members of the DFLP who massacred 22 high school students in Ma'alot in 1974. Successive American administrations have operated on the assumption that such teachings have no impact on the "peace process."
Egypt's Mohammed Morsi has said appalling things about Jews, although he has been constrained since taking power by his need for American aid and political support. The State Department condemned Morsi's rhetorical excesses almost exactly as it did Erdogan's. Victoria Neuland told reporters, "The type of offensive rhetoric that we saw in 2010 is not acceptable, not productive, and shouldn't be part of a democratic Egypt. That said," she continued, "we look to President Mursi and Egyptian leaders to demonstrate in both word and in deed their commitment to religious tolerance and to upholding all of Egypt's international obligations" (referring to the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty).
"That said." Having made her pro forma condemnation of rhetoric, she, like Secretary Kerry, wants nicer play. But what if Egyptian anti-Semitism is the reality and the Peace Treaty only a phase to allow Egypt to pile up political and military benefits from the U.S.? Like Turkey. It is not hard to believe that ideologically driven countries would do what the "civilized world" does not think logical or possible.
When Mein Kampf was published, many people thought Hitler's words were just words. They were wrong. Not only did he believe them, he put what power he had behind them; if he'd had nuclear weapons, he would have used them. How is it possible, then, to watch the acquisition of nuclear technology and more destructive means of terrorism by those who preach the annihilation of others – whether Israel, South Korea, or the United States is the object of their hatred -- and choose to believe they do not mean what they say?
Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center
Reader comments on this item
|What choice? [127 words]||Nodhimmi||Mar 5, 2013 14:14|
|↔ Always a choice [86 words]||Ethan P.||Mar 7, 2013 16:13|
|Trust [76 words]||Luke Taylor||Mar 5, 2013 13:46|
|Believe Them [47 words]||David Stern||Mar 5, 2013 11:04|
|No common ground left [133 words]||Ethan P.||Mar 5, 2013 06:46|
Comment on this item
by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.
by Debalina Ghoshal
Despite Chapter VII of the UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions, it seems that North Korea will continue developing its missiles -- and eventually weaponize them with nuclear warheads.
"North Korea's ballistic and nuclear threat is very much a near-term threat. ... Steady progression in their program is not harmless." — Victor Cha, Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
On March 26, 2014, North Korea reportedly test-fired medium-range ballistic Rodong missiles -- capable of reaching Japan and U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since February, South Korean officials claim that North Korea has confirmed at least 90 test-firings, among which ten were ballistic missiles.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.
by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.