Before and after September

The moral collapse of the world order can best be seen in the Durban I and Durban II conferences.

By CELIA MICHONIK
August 29, 2011 22:59
4 minute read.
United Nations Security Council chamber

United Nations Security Council chamber 311. (photo credit: Patrick Gruban/WikiCommons)

Sixty-six years ago, at the end of World War II, the Jewish people in Europe were on the brink of extinction. The European continent suffered huge losses. An astounding 60-70 million people were killed. Forty to 52 million civilians perished from war-related causes. Military deaths totaled from 22 to 25 million, including deaths in captivity of about five million prisoners of war.

Enormous loses indeed, not to mention the physical destruction of entire cities. It seems that human nature is such that, in order to return to normal moral behavior, nations need to have an extreme disaster at which they can look back.

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The establishment of Israel took place at a time when governments saw the horror and injustice committed toward the Jewish people. The United Nations had been recently created, and was guided by the noblest principles. But with all the knowledge of the governments and the noble principles of the UN, the butchering of the Jewish people was to take place all over again. Israel, surrounded by the armies of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, plus contingents from Iraq and other Arab countries, had no chance of resisting the onslaught, or so the thought went. Israel miraculously came out victorious, as we all know, and learned an important lesson: No one will come to its rescue. Not then, when the horrors of WW II were fresh in people’s minds and the rightfulness of the Jewish state was unquestioned, much less now, when this no longer holds true.

The moral collapse of the world order can best be seen in the Durban I and Durban II conferences, where the worst human rights violators in the world bashed the only true democratic state in the Middle East, for real and alleged human rights violations against the Palestinian people, while ignoring the terrible crimes committed against the civilian populations of countries in Africa, Asia and the Arab countries. A few Western democracies condemned Durban for what it was, a “hate festival” against Israel, but they were a tiny minority.

What am I trying to say? That Israel’s most pressing danger is its isolation.

Countries like Switzerland, Norway and France are supporting a draft declaration that, most probably, will be approved next September at the Durban III Conference. Paragraph 6 asks for the continued engagement of the High Commissioner of the Human Rights Council to incorporate the implementation of the Durban I declaration into the mainstream of the UN. What is happening to free and democratic nations of Europe? Are their politics influenced by the –perhaps unconscious – legacy of historical anti-Semitism? Or by the voting power of the evergrowing Muslim population? Recently, seven Israelis were killed by Palestinian terrorists who had infiltrated into Israel from the Gaza Strip. To be sure, there were condemnations of the murderous attack, but they were tepid cond e m n a t i o n s .

Voices coming out of the UK, Spain, France, Holland and others – all of them countries that have suffered from Islamic terrorism – were heard more loudly after Israel retaliated, killing the leadership of the “Popular Resistance Committees” that had sent the terrorists on their mission. They deplored “the attacks and counter attacks,” “the cycle of violence,” and asked for “restraint from the parties involved.”

Get the picture? Countries that take this “naïve” position should think twice about it, because racist violence will rebound on them at the end.

A case in point is the city of Dearborn, in Michigan, US, where according to reporter Raymond Ibrahim, the FBI had a shootout with local jihadists, a former resident was indicted in a Hezbollah terror plot, and a Christian preacher was cowed by shouts of Allahu Akbar. This of course is nothing compared to what is going on in Paris, where there have been violent clashes between Muslims of North African origin and the police, or worst still, in Malmo, Sweden, where there are neighborhoods that even the police would rather not enter.

The European situation, Durban III, the “Arab spring” and the drifting of Turkey into the Muslim camp, should not be seen as isolated issues, because they are all connected in a complex web that restrains the Jewish state.

Where will it all lead? I don’t know, but perhaps this anecdote by Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini, a Franciscan priest who heads the Izmir archdiocese in Turkey and who has lived in the Islamic world for more than 40 years, might give a clue.

He recounts a conversation with a Muslim leader who told him: “Thanks to your democratic laws, we will invade you. Thanks to our religious laws, we will dominate you.”

The writer is chairperson of the World WIZO Public Affairs, UN & NGO Department.


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