Several Arab members of UNESCO recently proposed (on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs) that the Western Wall be declared a part of the al-Aqsa complex and therefore a Muslim holy site. The vote was supposed to take place Wednesday, but the proposal was withdrawn at the last moment, presumably as a result of US pressure.
Like most UN bodies, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has an automatic anti-Israel majority. So if it had come to a vote, the proposal certainly would have passed, despite being a ludicrous inversion of history (as it is, UNESCO decided that Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are Muslim sites).
This is the way things are at the UN, where a resolution that the world is flat and the Moon made of cheese would pass if it somehow could be presented as pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.
The UN was established after WWII in order to provide a way to prevent war and to keep humankind on the path of progress. There are a lot of reasons that it hasn’t worked out; one of these is that the founders apparently didn’t envision the rise of the non-aligned bloc consisting of mostly Muslim countries, many of which were fragments of former colonial entities, that would not be responsive to the desires of the great powers.
It’s interesting the way the Palestinian issue, of all the possible grievances – including others involving Arabs or Muslims – that the UN could deal with, has managed to capture so much of the UN’s time, resources and personnel. No other issue has as many committees, working groups, divisions, or “special rapporteurs” devoted to it; and no other issue by far is the subject of as many reports and resolutions of the UN’s multifarious fora and agencies. And of course nothing soaks up as much money. This is despite the numerous wars and genocides that have occurred since the UN’s founding which the UN has been unable to prevent.
It has gotten to the point that the UN is so dysfunctional that it no longer has a reason to exist. I have on several occasions suggested that those agencies which still provide useful functions (possibly WHO, ITU, and a few others) and haven’t become simply branches of the Palestinian cause be spun off as independent entities and the UN abolished. This would save billions of dollars, probably promote peace, and improve the parking situation in Manhattan immeasurably.
But it has occurred to me that the UN is only one example of a more general phenomenon: that of Palestinism invading and occupying almost any kind of institution, monopolizing its resources, and preventing it from fulfilling its originally intended function. Instead, affected organizations pass BDS resolutions, sponsor anti-Israel events and speakers, support bogus ‘research’ and ‘academic’ studies, and in general engage in pro-Palestinian anti-Israel political advocacy.
Consider, for example, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and other liberal religious groups, the American Studies Association, student governments, various trade unions and political parties – the list is endless. Even the Jewish community is not immune, with Palestinism – in the form of Ameinu, J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, Open Hillel, the New Israel Fund, and others – injecting itself into organizations like the Jewish Federations and JCRCs, campus Hillel groups, and even the World Zionist Congress (which includes representatives of some of the left-wing groups listed above).
But simple counterexamples can be found to the idea that the “pro-Palestinians” are actually motivated by support for Palestinian Arabs. For example, Bashar al-Assad has starved and murdered hundreds of them in ‘refugee camps’ in Syria; and now they are being attacked by ISIS. Little, if anything, has been done by the world – or by any of the above-mentioned Palestinian cheerleaders – to help them. In 1991, some 200,000 Palestinian workers were persecuted and expelled from Kuwait, an action which in the words of Steven Rosen, was “largely ignored by the international community with neither the U.N. Security Council nor the General Assembly doing anything to assist the newly displaced refugees and punish their ethnic cleanser.”
I don’t think I have to explain this. The truth is that the impetus for the spread of the Palestinian movement in so many venues does not truly come from sympathy with Palestinian Arabs, except in one respect: their national project to destroy Israel.
The international community’s love affair with the Palestinian Arabs is actually a “hate affair” with their enemy, the state of Israel. I’m sure that if anti-Zionist Martians were to land on Earth tomorrow, they would be immediately welcomed at the UN and on many university campuses. This is the only way to explain why the devotees of human rights at the Presbyterian Church (USA) have settled on Israel to boycott rather than, for example, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and other countries that so egregiously violate human rights.
But we need to take the analysis one step further. What is it about Israel, among all nations, that makes it such a hate magnet? I can tell you that it is a wonderful country, which goes far out of its way – even to the point of endangering its existence – to do the right thing for minorities, especially including Arabs.
No, the problem is not that Israel is objectively deserving of hate. It is because Israel is a Jewish state, and there is nothing that gets the world’s goat more than the despised Jew being successful and thriving. Pharaoh didn’t trust us and made us slaves in around 1800 BCE, the English expelled us in 1290 and the Spanish in 1492. Whenever the Jews start doing too well, the nations start to worry and act against them.
That’s why Jews were kicked out of country after country, why Hitler and Stalin murdered them, and why students at Berkeley – even Jewish students – flock to join Students for Justice in Palestine. Today, thanks to the Internet and Al-Jazeera, Jew-hatred has been globalized.
The Western attitude has little to do with ‘Palestine’ and Palestinian Arabs. It is all about Israel and Israeli Jews. The West doesn’t want to see us strong and vigorous; our good economy, high birthrate and scientific and cultural achievements are a reproach to them. They prefer the Palestinian Arabs with their cruelty, intolerance and misogyny, perhaps because they can feel superior to them.
If nations had psychologists, this behavior would be considered so irrational as to imply a mental disorder.
The world’s support – via European NGOs, unrelenting American pressure for concessions, Iranian rockets, UN money, and media and academic pogromists everywhere – has had the effect of enabling, excusing and even justifying the extreme savagery of today’s “knife intifada,” in which the Arabs are daily expressing a degree of Jew-hatred unmatched since the Nazi era. Only their lack of means and our armed strength prevents another genocide. The Palestinian Arabs hold the knives, but the world cheers them from the sidelines.
How should Israel act in such an environment of irrational hate?
- Defeat our enemies. Nobody will help, but on the other hand, if we act decisively (and quickly) nobody will intervene effectively either. Stop trying to fight wars without hurting anyone.
- Humor the neurotic West, but do not become entangled in its initiatives.
- Don’t talk about how moral and just we are, or how great our contributions to society. This makes them hate us more.
- Make them respect us or even fear us if possible. We will not get their love.
- Don’t explain too much and don’t apologize.
- Reduce our participation in international organizations to the minimum possible. They only work against us.
- Try to improve relations with pragmatic regimes like Russia, China, India and Eastern European countries. Nothing can be done with Western Europe and the US.
- Understand that we can’t be as open, liberal and democratic as we might like. But we mustn’t compromise on the Jewish nature of the state, because if we lose it, we lose the state in its entirety.
We are about to enter a very difficult period of history, the proverbial ‘interesting times’. The rules will be different from those that sustained the Jewish people for the last 2000 years. We’ll survive only if we can adapt.