Making Israel’s case

By Caroline B. Glick, JWR

Forty-three years after the Jewish people liberated Jerusalem, our capital has never been under greater assault. But it has also never been more energetically defended by an indignant Jewish people — in Israel and throughout the world.

Last week Makor Rishon reported that US diplomats have been “showing interest” in all Jewish construction plans in the capital. Ambassador James Cunningham and Jerusalem Consul General Daniel Rubinstein have met repeatedly with relevant government ministers to express US opposition to all construction in Jewish neighborhoods built since 1967. Bowing to this shocking US assault on Israel’s sovereignty, the government reportedly cancelled construction plans that had already been approved for 2,500 apartments in Ramot, Pisgat Zeev, Neve Yaakov, Gilo and Har Homa.

The US is also demanding that Israel take no action against illegal Arab construction in the capital. That is, the US is acting to undermine the rule of law in Israel twice. First, it seeks to deny Jewish Jerusalemites their property rights, and second, it is calling for Israel not to enforce its laws against Arab criminals.

The Obama administration’s attempt to weaken Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem is part of a larger move by the international Left to support the Islamic campaign to eject Israel from Jerusalem by denying Jewish rights to the city. The EU is so committed to subverting Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem that even in the midst of its financial crisis, with EU economies seemingly collapsing like dominoes, sources say that the EU mission to Israel has just pledged at least a million euro to Ir Amim.

Ir Amim is an NGO whose mission is to undermine Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. According to NGO Monitor, two thirds of Ir Amim’s budget comes from the EU and from the Norwegian, Swedish and Czech governments.

In their bid to undermine Israel’s sovereignty, US President Barak Obama and the Europeans are assisted by leftist, increasingly anti-Zionist Jews. Following the lead of the US pro-Palestinian lobby J-Street, earlier this month, prominent French Jewish intellectuals Bernard Henri-Levy and Alain Finkielkraut published a manifesto signed by hundreds of their cohorts attacking Israel for the absence of peace in the region and calling on the EU and the US to pressure Israel to surrender Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians.
On US campuses, far left Jewish students have taken a prominent role in undermining recognition of Israel’s right to exist. At UC Berkeley and on other campuses, Jewish students have collaborated with Muslim groups in their campaign to divest the university’s holdings in companies that invest in Israel.

At Brandeis, Jewish students organized a campaign to disinvite Ambassador Michael Oren from this year’s commencement ceremonies.

Not surprisingly, like other Jewish anti-Israel initiatives before, these moves in France and in the US have garnered significant media coverage and support. What received less coverage is the popular backlash in the European and Jewish communities against these initiatives.

After belatedly awakening to the threat of divestment from Israel, Jews at Berkeley and the surrounding community organized a massive and for now successful campaign to block the divestment drive. At Brandeis, thousands of students, faculty and alumni signed a petition supporting the university’s invitation to Oren.

And in Europe, Italian Parliament member Fiamma Nirenstein responded to the anti-Israel manifesto with a counter petition. Nirenstein’s petition notes that in their anti-Israel diatribe, Levy and Finkielkraut ignore the fact that the absence of Middle East peace is due not to Israel’s size but to the Arab world’s refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist. She further noted that by attacking Israel now, the signatories of their anti-Israel screed have diverted the public’s attention away from Iran’s nuclear program which today threatens not only Israel, but Europe.

Nirenstein’s position was echoed in a sister petition published by French Jewish leader Professor Shmuel Trigano. Together, the Italian and French petitions garnered twice the number of signatures as the Levy-Finklekraut declaration.

It is not just that the overwhelming majority of Jews in Israel and worldwide supports Israel and opposes any attempt to delegitimize Israel and Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. Jewish activists are responding to false denunciations of Israel’s rights by asserting the Jewish people’s rights to Israel generally and to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria specifically.

For instance, last month the European Coalition for Israel partnered with Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights and hosted a conference in San Remo, Italy. There they commemorated the 90thanniversary of the San Remo Conference which determined the legal status of the Ottoman Empire after its break-up in World War I. In 1920, the San Remo Conference determined that the legal title to the Land of Israel — including Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria belonged to the Jewish people. The San Remo resolutions were incorporated into international law through the mandates issued by the League of Nations and their legal force has never been cancelled or superseded by any subsequent treaty or binding international resolution.

The participants at the conference came from Europe, Israel and North America. Their message was clear. It is long past time for Israel and the Jewish people to begin asserting our rights to our capital city and our land. Our attempts to square circles by agreeing to compromise on our rights in exchange for promises of support and peace have brought us to the point where Israel’s very legitimacy is being called into question throughout the world.

Disturbingly, the instead of supporting efforts like the San Remo commemoration conference, and embracing staunch supporters of Israel from Rome to San Francisco to Jerusalem itself, the government is sitting on the fence. On the one hand, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declares daily that Jerusalem will remain Israel’s undivided capital and that he will make no concessions in relation to the city. On the other hand, the government’s actions bespeak a willingness to make massive concessions on Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.

Take the Temple Mount. The cradle of Jewish civilization is not mentioned in the government’s list of Jewish heritage sites. So too, despite the government’s protestations of devotion to Jerusalem, it has not lifted the bar on Jewish worship on the Temple Mount. Jews remain the only religious group that does not enjoy full freedom of worship in the city. In announcing the start of the so-called peace negotiations between the US and Israel and the US and the Fatah branch of the Palestinian Authority, the State Department claimed last week that the Netanyahu government has agreed to block Jewish construction in Ramat Shlomo for several years. The government has not disputed this claim.

In truth, the government’s very willingness to participate in the Obama administration’s phony peace process undermines Israel’s control over Jerusalem. Given the Obama administration’s obvious commitment to repartitioning the city, it is clear that the talks can only weaken Israel’s control over our capital city.

The government’s weakness on Jerusalem is a reflection of a wider unwillingness of Israeli diplomats to stand by Israel’s supporters and against Israel’s detractors worldwide. More often than not, the groups that receive the most enthusiastic support from Israeli embassies are those that seek to undermine Israel’s rights.
The behavior of the embassy in London is case in point. This week the embassy sent out an announcement to its mailing list urging the public to attend a lecture by former Peace Now director Gavri Bargil at the London School of Economics.

On the other hand, the embassy chose not to publicize a lecture by Minister Benny Begin on Yom Yerushalayim. Begin’s speech was sponsored by several major Jewish organizations. It is unclear who sponsored Bargil’s talk.

Late last year, Akiva Tor, Israel’s Consul General in San Francisco opposed a resolution put before the Jewish Federation board to boycott all groups that support boycotts and divestment from Israel. The resolution was put forward after the Federation-supported Jewish Film Festival hosted Rachel Corrie’s mother and screened a pro-Hamas propaganda film lionizing Corrie who was inadvertently run over by an IDF bulldozer while attempting to block IDF counter-terror operations in Gaza.

In a letter to the local Jewish paper, Tor claimed that Corrie’s mother was no different from “an Israeli terror victim.

In Los Angeles, Consul General Yaakov Dayan was interviewed last year on local radio show. He was unable to explain the legal basis for Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines. It took a local area Jewish activist who called into the station to explain Israel’s rights under the League of Nations Mandate.

The only government representative who attended the San Remo conference was Likud MK Danny Danon.

The government’s failure to take the lead in strengthening Israel and Jewish communities worldwide is not a new phenomenon. On Wednesday night, on Yom Yerushalayim in Ir David, the historic site of King David’s palace, the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism was given to three extraordinary leaders: Anita Tucker, Rabbi Yoel Schwartz and Brig. Gen. (ret) Dr. Aharon Davidi. All of them have strengthened Israel and the Jewish people through their pioneering work, often in spite of government opposition.

Tucker was among the founders of Netzer Hazani in Gush Katif in 1975. The community, built on Gaza’s barren sand dunes was one of the most successful agricultural communities in the world until it was destroyed by the government in 2005. Rather than breaking apart after her life’s work was destroyed, Tucker has been a central force in rebuilding Netzer Hazani and the 20 other communities of Gush Katif.

Rabbi Yoel Schwartz is the spiritual leader of the IDF’s Nahal Haredi unit. Schwartz bucked opposition from both the IDF and the fervently-Orthodox establishment and founded the crucial unit which brings Chareidi youths into the IDF in large numbers for the first time.
In the early 1980s, Brig. Gen Davidi completed a military service that began in 1944 and brought him to command positions in some of the post pivotal battles in the nation’s history. After retirement, Davidi decided that something had to be done to make Diaspora Jewry feel it was a part of the IDF. So in 1983 he established Sarel which brings foreigners to Israel to volunteer on IDF bases. Since its founding Sarel has brought more than 100,000 volunteers from thirty countries to Israel.

Tucker, Schwartz and Davidi are extraordinary individuals. But their success owes to the fact that they believe in Israel and the Jewish people. They understand that the Jews who seek to undermine the state are a tiny minority. Rather than try to appease them, they work with the vast majority to strengthen the country and its people.
It is impossible to reconcile the rights of the Jewish people and the demands of the Obama administration and the alliance of the international Left and the Islamic world it leads in their campaign to undermine Israeli control over Jerusalem.

The government must stop trying to play both sides of the aisle. Instead it should follow the lead of its extraordinary citizens and of Jews throughout the world in asserting the rights of the Jewish people to our capital and our country.

May 14, 2010 | 12 Comments »

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  1. “non-standard approaches”

    Is that what they are calling fellatio these days?

    I just can’t keep up with the lingo.

    In any event, Obama knows that physically preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons will hardly facilitate elimination of the region’s “historical mistake”, so non-standard approaches it must be.

  2. @ yamit82:

    Andy Young is well and kicking in US politics

    Three decades ago, a black preacher became Carter’s ambassador to the UN and tried “non-standard” approaches to the Middle East and African diplomacy. According to Andy, all problems could be resolved if leaders talk to each other like human beings in the privacy of their homes. Andy built great relations with Muslim dictators and African tyrants, legitimized the PLO and North Vietnamese communists, but failed to solve a single political problem.

    Since then, the simple lesson was forgotten: no amount of talking and ingenious approaches can solve the real political differences; they must be fought over.

    To everyone who followed the UN developments in 1970s, Obama is a carbon copy of Andy Young: same methods, same attitudes.

    After the Russians rejected sanctions on Iran, Obama had a phone conversation with Medvedev about “non-standard approaches” to Iranian problem. How about dropping this Harvard nonsense and just bombing ayatollahs in the most standard way?

  3. @ rongrand:
    rongrand Said:

    So, Israel moves more and more to the right and more and more to the religious spectrum.

    Not quite; Those I fear are most the black coats and white stockings crowd. That is no improvement over what we have now. They are parasitic

    dregs on our society, are non patriotic and mostly don’t serve in the Army. If it were up to me I would deport the whole lot of them to NY. At least in America they would be forced to work, live off of charity or starve, but then I wouldn’t have to pay for them.

  4. @ Bill Narvey:

    This piece would have better been titled Israel’s failure to make her own case and to act on that case.

    What case? We are not in a court of law making adversarial cases or pleas. If arguments could turn our detractors into supporters you might have some solid ground under you.

    I do agree with you re: Israel acting and do believe depending on what actions and their outcomes that this may be our best tool in changing minds and winning hearts. Maybe just scaring the Heebee-Jeebees out of them is enough

    If not screw em.

  5. @ yamit82:

    soon to be replaced by religious men and women intent upon keeping Israel Jewish, intent upon clearly defining and defending our borders, and clearly stating, once and for all, “Am Ysrael Chai!

    Uncle it’s nice to know good news for a change in Israel.

    So, Israel moves more and more to the right and more and more to the religious spectrum.

    All Israeli leaders need to get on board, this will lead them in the right direction.

  6. This piece would have better been titled Israel’s failure to make her own case and to act on that case.

  7. The War Has Already Been Won

    Sunday, May 2, 2010
    Seven Times More Religious Students Than Secular in Jerusalem Schools

    We already knew this was happening, and it is happening all over Israel. Not only do the seculars assimilate, but they either do not have children, or they have only one or two children. After all, they wouldn’t want new Jewish life to impact their lifestyle!

    So, Israel moves more and more to the right and more and more to the religious spectrum. No surprise here.

    Those old men and women in our Knesset represent a dying species, soon to be replaced by religious men and women intent upon keeping Israel Jewish, intent upon clearly defining and defending our borders, and clearly stating, once and for all, “Am Ysrael Chai!”

    This is why Obama and the EU are so frantic to get a “solution” (foul Nazi connotation intended) to the Mideast “crisis”–read, “situation where Israel won’t roll over and give everything to the arabs.”

    Right now, they have the secular self-hating Jews in the government playing politics with our heritage. Our enemies want these heretics to negotiate away our land before the demographic time-bomb hits.

    Too late.

    It has already hit.

    This is why Bibi finds it harder to knuckle-under than he did in the past. He actually has to pretend he wants to keep Israel together because the country has turned.

    However, now that he is feeling his oats by winning the Likud election, he will probably feel free to show his true nature in the coming weeks.

    I can only hope that he will quickly lose his coalition if this happens.

    I pray that Hashm will strengthen us just a few more years until we can get these old men and women out!

    I also fear that the newspaper is accurate and that this population increase is coming from the Haredim. I don’t think so. I think that the Jpost consideres anyone who washes for bread and keeps Shabbat as “haredi.”

    The reason I fear that the population increase is haredi and not national religious, that the haredim will neglect the defense of the land and the economic needs of the land of Israel.

    If they forget their obligations to defend the land and to make the land prosper, we will have another problem entirely.

    Right now we have the means but not the heart to make Israel a homeland.

    If the country becomes haredi, we will have the heart, but not the means.

    Both are dangerous.

  8. Seriously Felix,

    If you point your weapons anywhere then do include the American Governmental state, which is doing far more damage to Israel and Jews than is either Ahmadinejad or Abbas, because in the end these are the “babies” of US Imperialism.

    The truth of the matter Felix, is in the end, the enemy is socialism on a global scale.

    America is stepping down so power can be shared/consolidated globally; Obama has arrived to make sure of that. The imperialism you despise has all the while actually been social imperialism—not a national imperialism—an imperialism of leftism which fully intends to restructure the world system into a New World Order.

    There have been ambitions for a New World Order rooted in both parties—right and left—for decades. The struggle we have observed between the two sides has for the most part been over the ideology a New World Order should embrace—whether the Order should be founded upon Western democracy, or bound together by shared interests in a Marxist system. Either way, the idea has been that the most ‘intelligent’, an elite ruling class—Plato’s Philosopher Kings—would rule as an oligarchy.

    Well, the Leftists one worlders have won out; the Soros version has trumped the H.W. Bush version.

    It seems therefore, Felix, you are one of your imperialists. The Marxists hippies grew up—in body if not mind—and are now the politicians, finance managers, corporatists,etc… they control most everything. They are the new Establishment.

    My favorite term for this modern leftists movement is ideo-fascism, but the term liberal fascism works too.

    As for Palin, I don’t think they like her, otherwise she would be portrayed much differently by the government media complex.

    Filex, you have almost won, you should be happy—but then, this is not at all what you imagined leftist socialism would look like, is it?

    Well, this is it, socialism; and by the time it is over it will look a whole lot different. Then you will really really hate how it all worked out. But of course, they just did it the wrong way, right?—like every other time socialism has been tried.

    It is they way socialism will end every time, Nazism, Marxism, Obamism, Sorosism, whatever—every form, every time.

  9. Nationalism and race:

    There is a crucial part to multi-culturalism that is always ignored because it is too embarrassing to say:

    According to liberals, only white conservative christians and white Israeli Jews can be racist. Everybody else is a “victim” and cannot be a racist, no matter how racist his actual views.

    The standard stereotype is that if a criminal black goes into a white neighborhood and is beaten up, then the whites are automatically racist, and the black is the victim of racism. But a white who gets lost, ends up in a black neighborhood, and gets beaten up, “deserves it” because he was “stupid”. (Obama automatically labeled the white cop as “stupid”.) (Substitute Jew for white, and arab for black, and this applies equally to Israel.)

    So liberals watch the whites in South Africa and Zimbabwe, and the christians in the middle east, being slowly squeezed to death, and ignore it, while relentlessly ranting and raving against white Jewish Israel.

    And nationalism is apparently only evil when it is practiced by white christian conservatives or white Jewish Israelis. Only white Jewish Israel is the single nation in the world which is not legitimate. Only white Jewish Israelis can abuse human rights. Only white Jewish Israelis can be international war criminals for the mere act of defending themselves.

    The truth about liberalism is horrible; but the brainwashing and contol of the media is so complete that it goes unsaid, and the catch-22 is that anyone who does say anything against liberalism is automatically labeled a racist so that his words are not considered valid.

  10. Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars Multiculturalism und das Volk, May 12, 2006
    By The Dilettante “Dilly!” – See all my reviews

    This review is from: The Defeat of the Mind (Paperback)
    In this essay, French intellectual Alain Finkielkraut sketches an intellectual history of multiculturalism, and -surprisingly- finds its roots in two right-wing countercultural movements of the 19th Century: the volkisch ideology of German Europe (epitomized here by Herder), and the reactionary Catholic thought of writers like Joseph de Maistre and Donoso de Cortes. Both of these ideologies were explicitly anti-universalist and anti-democratic and both developed in reaction to the ideas of the Enlightenment and specifically the French revolution.

    Fundamentally, these thinkers all denied that Man is a universal category. Rather, each “volk” and its culture is unique. As such, cultural difference is ultimately more important than individual rights.

    (Is this starting to sound familiar?)

    In the words of de Maistre: “I do not know the Man as such. Never have. I have known Poles, French, English. Thanks to Montesquieu I am aware of the existence of the Persians as well, but I have never known the Man.”

    Finkielkraut convincingly demonstrates how these racist 19th Century ideas [This is absurd. The reviewer and Finkielkraut are saying that it is racist to be irish, or Scottish etc]corrupted 20th Century social science, and eventually led to the 21st Century ideology of multiculturalism. He suggests, persuasively, that this view of humanity as a collection of “peoples” is inescapably racist and collectivist, no matter how it is sugarcoated.

    It is very interesting that the above contains the key to these two traitors to the Jewish cause and perhaps to many more, and here I disagree with Caroline glick labelling this tendency as “Left”. That is very problematic but the core of the problem is that Finkielkraut denies the nation, nationalism, nationalism as a progressive force…which I am certain is NOT in the Marxist tradition.

    For example Marx paid huge attention tot he Fenians, while Engels had the closest of relations tot he Irish national people, visiting the country often, making studies of the celtic roots in the names of the various families, descended from clans, for example the McMahons of Monaghan.

    The position of Finkielkraut is both untrue and absurd.

    These traitors can be answered but it is not that easy, it requires time and resources.

    But it is interesting too that the little I know on the subject i am able to refute him.

    I return once again to Leon Trotsky especially in the 1930s, the last decade of his life was a reaffirmation of the Jewish people as a nation, as a distict people both historically and contemporaneously.

    The truthful study of history does undermine these people like Finkielkraut. it is a task which cannot be evaded, and this article by Caroline Glick affirms that, because uncontested they do show their faces, and politics, in the most crucial of situations.

    I mean anybody who is a Jew and is a traitor to Israel at this particular time is a very special type of traitor. But emotion is not sufficient in answering, the answer has to be a deep and thorough going theoretical answer