Noblesse Oblige

Another major attempt to destroy Israel in 1973 ended again with the defeat of the aggressors.

June 23, 2013 21:59
European cranes at Agmon Hula

Agmon Hula nature reserve 521. (photo credit: Liat Collins)

It was Theodor Herzl’s friend Max Nordau who said, “Jews are not hated for their mistakes, but because they are Jews, mistakes are found for them.”

Whilst this irrational hatred has applied for generations, our detractors now have another reason to denigrate us: Israel has become “the Jew” of the nations of the world.

Although the achievements and contributions of this small country during its short existence are hardly ever mentioned, hostility is on the rise. Anti-Semitism – “ascribing to the Jew cosmic ambition generally to do evil” – today is extended to Israel, due to the warped perception of this country’s treatment of its neighbors and its own citizens.

How is it possible that the admired David of 1967 has become the ogre of today – from the apex in 1967 to the nadir in 46 years? How did this topsy-turvy position come about, and what is the answer? The question and answer are interlinked. A total lack of information and of presenting our case is the overriding reason which can and must be rectified. We have a powerful and under-utilized weapon – the written word.

The Jerusalem Post and other committed newspapers in this country must launch an educational drive and encourage other friendly media in the West to tell the truth about Israel. An all-out effort to enlighten the vast majority of uncommitted people is vital to improve our standing in the world.

We have lost the friendship of the uncommitted majority because it is a psychological fact that “recency” and “frequency” overshadow old, forgotten and nonrepeated “reality.” Our detractors use the former; we hardly use the latter. Due to the ongoing lack of interest, incompetence and arrogance of successive governments, we find ourselves in a position which can only be described as incomprehensible.

Thus we have a ministry for senior citizens but no ministry of information. On a personal note, at 87, I do not need the former but like all of us need the latter.

Information has been lost in the cracks between foreign and Diaspora affairs, with tragic results.

We have won every battle, but have not won a war, i.e.

are unable to impose our will on the losers. Why? Our enemies do not have to submit as they have the sympathy of most of the world due to their efficient propaganda/information depicting themselves as victims which is hardly ever challenged by our authorities.

It is for this reason that the nongovernmental sector, including the media, must be convinced to do the vital job the government is incapable of doing. First, we must remember that citizens of other countries, and regrettably some of our own, do not know or cannot be expected to remember the historical sequence which has brought us to this state of affairs.

In 1897, it was Herzl and a few visionaries in Basel who decided to translate the messianic dream into a political reality. In 1920 in San Remo, the victors of World War I dismantled the Turkish empire into independent Arab states or mandated territories. Palestine then included Trans-Jordan, and had never been independent since the destruction of the Jewish state by Titus. It was given as a mandate to Great Britain for one reason and one reason only: “the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.” This is significant as an answer to those critics who maintain Israel was founded as a result of the Holocaust.

Fully aware of the convoluted and tragic years that followed, in 1947 the United Nations nevertheless voted by an over two-thirds majority for the partition of a much reduced area, which the Jews accepted. But to this very day, the Arabs and the Muslims in general reject the existence of Israel, and in defiance of UN Resolution 181, some have been in a state of war with us ever since.

When the British left in May 1948 and David Ben- Gurion declared the Jewish state, our five neighbors attacked – not to change borders but to destroy us.

They were defeated, but in the process, according to the United Nations, induced just under 600,000 Arabs to flee despite Ben-Gurion’s advising them they had nothing to fear.

In 1967, again Egypt, Syria and Jordan tried to destroy Israel, although there was no excuse of settlements.

Again the war resulted in Israel’s military victory, with the reunification of Jerusalem and the forced capture of Judea, Samaria, the Golan and Sinai. Once again, there was an armistice but no fixed borders.

Another major attempt to destroy Israel in 1973 ended again with the defeat of the aggressors. The world should be aware that Israel has never attacked its neighbors, and that despite the defeats, our neighbors have not given up on terrorism, suicide bombings and every form of chicanery to hobble the successful Jewish state.

Today this includes approximately 1.5 million Arab citizens, having grown from fewer than half a million in 1948. The time is long overdue for Israel to use every means of communication to convey these pertinent facts to the world and that as a consequence, there can be no negotiations until the following minimum requirements are met: 1) The Muslim countries must recognize the existence of the Jewish state of Israel (since a non-recognized entity cannot negotiate).

2) There never have been 1947-1967 borders. These were armistice lines pleaded for by the aggressors, i.e. they set these lines in order to stop the fighting. At the same time, it is the announced and unrepentant policy of Hamas and Fatah to eliminate the state.

Just one example of each: The Fatah Constitution, never amended, in Article 12, calls for the “complete liberation of Palestine and eradication of the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence,” whilst the Hamas leader in Gaza on February 11, 2012, declared, “The West wants us to stop resistance and acknowledge Israel. I hereby announce this will never happen.”

Dear reader, the message is clear and what we now require is for our media to perform the mitzva of spreading the facts far and wide to help ensure that Israel is appreciated and the justice of our cause, which will benefit all humanity as mentioned in the Bible, will come to fruition.

The writer is a retired South African businessman active in all facets of Jewish life now living in Israel.

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