Israel Faces Death Once More
Translations of this item:
A delegation of American Jews was expelled last week from the African Union Summit, to which it had been invited. This happened because the delegates from Egypt, Iran and South Africa could not stand seeing the American Jews wearing the traditional Jewish skullcap. Did any of our leaders, including the president of the Spanish government, make the slightest venture of disgust or disapproval? No.
Never has any country had to fight its enemies simultaneously on so many fronts. The Jewish people have the right to live in peace everywhere and Israel has the right to self-defense to achieve peace.
First, sincerest condolences to the families of the three Israeli teenagers brutally kidnapped and killed by Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank on June 12, and whose lifeless bodies were found Monday near Hebron. Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were killed for being three Jewish boys in a land where the enemies of Israel only aspire to generate terror, where they only dream of destroying the Jewish state by force. In the enemies' twisted minds, killing Jews is a way to finish, if only a little, the State of Israel.
Israel knows all too well what suffering is all about. The anti-Jewish pogroms began almost a hundred years ago, well before the State of Israel was established, and before settlements, so hotly debated today, had begun to develop. If Jewish communities in Haifa or Hebron were under the threat of extinction in 1929, or in 1936 through 1939, it was because the Arabs have never accepted what the Bible and history teaches us: The Jewish people have roots in Palestine since time immemorial -- thousands of years before Yasser Arafat invented the term "Palestinian people" in 1967. It is the same reason that the Arabs would not accept the 1947 UN partition plan to have two states, one for Arabs and the other for the Jewish people – precisely because one of them was for the Jewish people. And it is the same reason that they have suffered so many wars, intifadas, terror attacks, immoral delegitimization campaigns against Israel's right to exist and repeated Iranian threats to "wipe Israel off the map."
Unfortunately these three new murders have taken place in an increasingly problematic context for Israel and many Jewish communities in the world. Israel is an island of freedom and prosperity in an increasingly menacing and turbulent region. ISIS black flags are present at Gaza funerals; the Syrian war is destabilizing Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq; Fatah and Hamas have formed a new Palestinian coalition government, and there is no firm or coherent world reaction against a Palestinian Authority that has allied with terrorism. Further, the agreement with Iran that President Obama is cooking up does not guarantee that Tehran will renounce its current capability to make a nuclear bomb.
At the same time, disinformation campaigns by Palestinians, hatred from a Left that does not understand Israel's religious significance and identity, and the traditional anti-Semitism of a reactionary Right have combined to fuel legal warfare against Israel in the form of complaints from individuals accusing IDF officers of crimes against humanity in a distorted abuse of so-called "universal jurisdiction". Economic warfare is also being waged in the form of cultural and economic boycotts, and lobbying so that scholars, artists and business leaders do not set foot in Israel. Never has any country had to fight its enemies simultaneously on so many fronts.
Outside of Israel, the kidnapping of the three teenagers has gone practically unnoticed. Many will say that there was other, more relevant, news, such as Iraq's collapse. However, I am convinced that it is just another excuse. To insult, intimidate, attack, and even to kill Jews has again become commonplace today. It is rarely denounced. For example, Belgian authorities tried to deny that the attack against the Jewish Museum in Brussels was an anti-Semitic terrorist attack.
The silence of the lambs is the product of fear. And in Europe, people are in fear -- a lot of fear -- of being seen as pro-Israel and pro-Jewish. A delegation of American Jews, for instance, was expelled last week from the African Union Summit, to which it had been invited. This happened because the delegates of Egypt, Iran and South Africa could not stand seeing the American Jews wearing the traditional Jewish kippah [skullcap]. Did any of our leaders, including the president of the Spanish government, make the slightest gesture of disgust or disapproval? No. There are too many interests in play, too many fears of being singled out by Arab countries, losing access to Arab markets, oil and gas; of becoming a target of Islamic and Palestinian terrorism.
A delegation of American Jews was expelled from the African Union Summit because the Egyptian, Iranian and South African delegations did not like their Jewish appearance. (Image source: African Union Commission)
Killing Jews should not go unnoticed or unpunished. And it is not something that can be left solely in the hands of Israeli authorities. The bodies found in Hebron have also been found in Brussels and France.
Today there is a new swastika, nested in both a far-Right fear grounded in the past, and an irrational far-Left fear fueled by atheists, pacifists and multiculturalists, and exploited by Palestinians, Muslim Brotherhood members, salafists and jihadists in Europe and everywhere – and that includes many American universities.
This is why the brutal and unjustifiable murder of three youths, whose mistake was to hitchhike back home, should not leave us indifferent. The Jewish people have every right to live in peace everywhere, and Israel has the right to self-defense to achieve peace. Seventy years ago, the world allowed the horror of the Nazi Holocaust. It is our moral obligation never to allow it to happen again. Our own interests should lead us to defend Israel against barbarity.
May the boys rest in peace and let us keep them in our hearts, our minds, and souls.
Rafael Bardají is Senior Advisor for international security to former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. He served in Spain's government as National Security Advisor from 1996-2004. Mr. Bardají is the Director of Foreign Policy at FAES, a think tank in Madrid, and the Executive Director of Friends of Israel Initiative.
Reader comments on this item
|Nice sentiments, but please check your facts... [160 words]||Phillip Slepian||Jul 18, 2014 14:31|
|Crime and Punishment [96 words]||Diane||Jul 7, 2014 02:20|
|The Left DOES understand Israel's religious signficance and identity! [81 words]||David Scholem||Jul 3, 2014 23:54|
|Expelled from the African summit [32 words]||Greta Wanyik||Jul 3, 2014 23:43|
|Hypocrisy of the news media [103 words]||alexa||Jul 3, 2014 08:01|
|decay of the West [78 words]||Andrew Schonberger||Jul 3, 2014 07:02|
|Re: Israel Faces Death Once More" [570 words]||Pamela J. Leonard||Jul 2, 2014 22:40|
|Ridiculous atheist slurs [190 words]||Jo-ell Delamere||Jul 2, 2014 18:45|
|Hypocrisy at its worst [153 words]||Max||Jul 2, 2014 16:04|
|history? [50 words]||Sue Hickey||Jul 2, 2014 12:53|
|South African reaction [49 words]||greg snow||Jul 2, 2014 09:57|
|American Jews [131 words]||Babaramram||Jul 2, 2014 09:42|
|↔ Why Jews vote Democratic [280 words]||Sigmund Derman||Jul 3, 2014 10:52|
|↔ Jews voting for Democrats/Obama [748 words]||Sigmund Derman||Jul 3, 2014 13:49|
|↔ RE: Why Jews Vote Democratic [943 words]||Babaramram||Jul 3, 2014 19:32|
|The Power of a Yarmulke [81 words]||Fred||Jul 2, 2014 08:59|
|Shame on the Organisers of the African Summit [99 words]||Lesley Ward||Jul 2, 2014 07:16|
|↔ Shame on the African Summit [36 words]||Dorothy Webb Davies||Jul 2, 2014 12:15|
|↔ Since when is Iran in Africa? [55 words]||cmuller||Jul 4, 2014 21:23|
|thanks for the nice words, but ... [29 words]||Michael||Jul 2, 2014 07:00|
|South African anti-Jewish stance [16 words]||Bob Lowe||Jul 2, 2014 06:29|
|double standards - of course [12 words]||Peter Brown||Jul 2, 2014 06:26|
|Well said [105 words]||Jim||Jul 2, 2014 06:06|
|↔ The Jews will always have to stand alone. [209 words]||Carl||Jul 2, 2014 08:58|
Comment on this item
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Pierre Rehov
For terrorists, the death of innocent children is irrelevant. In a society that promotes martyrdom as the ultimate sign of success, the death of innocent children can sometimes even be seen as a public relations blessing.
In every action, intent is paramount. There should never be a moral equivalence painted between the deliberate killing of civilians, and a retaliation that tragically leads to casualties among civilians.
There is, however, one small difference: in the Middle East, reporters are threatened, except in Israel. Their choice becomes a simple one: promote the Palestinian point of view or stop working in the West Bank. Keep the eye of the camera dirty or lose your job. This show should not go on.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Since 1948, the Arab countries and government have been paying mostly lip service to the Palestinians.
"They have money and oil, but don't care about the Palestinians, even though we are Arabs and Muslims like them. What a Saudi or Qatari sheikh spends in one night in London, Paris or Las Vegas could solve the problem of tens of thousands of Palestinians." — Palestinian human rights activist.
"Some Arabs were hoping that Israel would rid them of Hamas." — Ashraf Salameh, Gaza City.
"Some of the Arab regimes are interested in getting rid of the resistance in order to remove the burden of the Palestinian cause, which threatens the stability of their regimes." — Mustafa al-Sawwaf, Palestinian political analyst.
"Most Arabs are busy these days with bloody battles waged by their leaders, who are struggling to survive. These battles are raging in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and the Palestinian Authority." — Mohammed al-Musafer, columnist.
"The Arab leaders don't know what they want from the Gaza Strip. They don't even know what they want from Israel." — Yusef Rizka, Hamas official.
by Soeren Kern
European elites, who take pride in viewing the EU as a "postmodern" superpower, have long argued that military hard-power is illegitimate in the 21st century. Unfortunately for Europe, Russia (along with China and Iran) has not embraced the EU's fantastical soft-power worldview, in which "climate change" is now said to pose the greatest threat to European security.
For its part, the European Commission, the EU's administrative branch, which never misses an opportunity to boycott institutions in Israel, has issued only a standard statement on the shooting down of MH17 in Ukraine, which reads: "The European Union will continue to follow this issue very closely."
The EU has made only half-hearted attempts to develop alternatives to its dependency on Russian oil and gas.
by Shoshana Bryen
Proportionality in international law is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about [equality of] firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.
"Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime.... even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality)." — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.
"The greater the military advantage anticipated, the larger the amount of collateral damage -- often civilian casualties -- which will be "justified" and "necessary." — Dr. Françoise Hampton, University of Essex, UK.