With the approach of Yom Kippur,
our day of remembrance and repentance, we remember the trauma of 1973 when Egypt
chose the Jewish High Holy Days to launch a surprise attack
that nearly succeeded in destroying the state of Israel. That existential crisis inflicted not only massive casualties but also a wound that still reverberates in the Israeli psyche. Today, at the outset of the New Year of 5770, Israelis are once again under multiple attacks - not only from bombs and bullets, but also from diplomatic bombast and “poison pill” prescriptions falsely promising peace.
Israel’s tribulations, which affect Jewish communities everywhere, are the product of a multi-pronged, global campaign to undermine the Jewish state’s status as a member in good standing of the international community:
- Diplomatic Blitz: UN interlocutor Richard Goldstone’s report
on Israel’s December response to 8,000 rockets from Gaza’s Hamastan since 2005. Redefining self-defense as “war crimes,” Goldstone demands that the Jewish state either convict its soldiers and commanders or turn over the job to the International Court in The Hague for the crime of fighting a terrorist group that deploys its infrastructure among civilians, homes, and hospitals.
- From on High - The World Council of Churches: In the WCC’s 60-year tradition of demonizing Israel, General Secretary Samuel Kobia treats Israel as the “Jew” among the nations, declaring Israel guilty of a “sin against God” for expelling “no less than a million people . . . from their homes at gunpoint.”
- On the Union Front: Britain's 6.5-million member labor federation, the Trade Union Congress, is calling for a consumer-led boycott
and sanctions campaign against Israel, urging the British government to condemn the “Israeli military aggression and the continuing blockade of Gaza.” No mention of Hamas’ relentless terror war on innocent Israelis.
- Updating the Medieval Blood Libel: Sweden, currently president of the EU, steadfastly refuses to condemn the revival of the medieval blood libel by its leading daily, Aftonbladet, which falsely accuses
Israeli soldiers of harvesting Palestinian organs to sell overseas.
Today attacks on Israel’s
very legitimacy as a democratic Jewish state regularly reverberates in the flagship of American media. That Palestinians - and not 700,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries during and after 1948 - are the only legitimate “refugees” has become a staple of the New York Times’ op-ed pages. Last January that great post-Lockerbie humanitarian Muammar Gaddafi touted the “One-State Solution” in a piece demanding that the Jewish state commit national suicide by absorbing what the Palestinians claim are four million refugees.
While the goal of official US policy, reiterated by the Obama Administration, remains what President George W. Bush stated - “two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security” - it’s Gaddafi’s vision
that was highlighted this summer by yet another high-profile Times’ op-ed, coauthored by Robert Malley (Bill Clinton’s former special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs), opining that “The Two-State Solution Doesn’t Solve Anything.”
And now comes “How to Put Pressure on Netanyahu,” by Pierre Razoux - an anti-Israel ideologue billed “a senior research adviser on Middle Eastern affairs at the NATO Defense College in Rome.” Razoux is full of such “constructive” suggestions as US cease blocking anti-Israel resolutions in the UN Security Council, cut loan guarantees to Israel, reduce US-Israeli military cooperation, and “freeze the Israelis out of the negotiations with Iran,
informing them neither of the status of discussions nor of their content.” With the implicit backing of the Times’ editorials, the EU’s Javier Solana suggests that the world may have to impose an Israel-Palestinian “solution” - one in which the Palestinians get their state even if they refuse to make reciprocal concessions to Israel.
Meanwhile, in far-off Waristan, Osama bin Laden on the eighth anniversary of September 11 uses the Arabic word Mustad’aaf to call the American president a “victim” of Jewish conspiracies. He urges Americans to read and rely on the ramshackle arguments of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. This anti-Israel book’s thesis caused David Remnick to joke that - if only the US would distance itself from Israel - maybe “bin Laden will return to the family construction business,” even re-erecting the Twin Towers with Saudi financing!
As President Obama headed for the UN, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
only reluctantly abandoned his insistence on a total Israeli settlement freeze as a precondition to meeting
with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the president - a joint appearance reminiscent of the historic 1993 Arafat-Rabin-Clinton handshake at the White House. But forgive Israelis if they are skeptical of another “peace” photo- op when neither PA president Abbas nor Hamas
are preaching peace to their constituents and when the UN General Assembly yet again rolls out the red carpet for the Holocaust denying,
genocidal rants of Mahmoud “Wipe Israel From the Map” Ahmadinejad.
To move forward prospects for peace this week at the UN, President Obama will have the tall order of slaying pernicious “one-state” fantasies while advancing a truly even-handed approach that not only opposes new West Bank settlements but pressures Palestinians and the Arab and Muslim world to end anti-Israel incitement, accepts Israel’s “Jewish character,” and provides the Israeli people with the confidence that they'll never have to face another Yom Kippur War.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Dr. Harold Brackman, a historian, is a consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center