Monday, December 12, 2011

Newt Gingrich and the ‘invented’ Palestinians



It’s a nasty game, politics.

Sick of sophistry and repulsed by lies, the people generally loathe and despise their politicians. But the moment you get one who provides even a modicum of truth, those same people spit and splutter as though the Pope had just beatified Mohammed.

The US presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich (and it’s not, let’s face it, an unreasonable hope in the Republican sea of mediocrity) has given an interview to The Jewish Channel in which he disclosed that the Palestinians are an ‘invented’ people.

That’s great for those who spend their cable-viewing hours engrossed in Srugim 17, Kippur, or James’ Journey to Jerusalem. But it hasn’t gone down too well with the rest of the world. (Yes, His Grace is fully aware that The Guardian doesn’t constitute ‘rest of the world’, but where Israel is concerned, it’s certainly around 99.98 per cent).

Mr Gingrich said: "Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it's tragic."

The thing is, of course, he’s right.

The indigenous peoples of the land known as Palestine are Semitic – both Arab and Jew. Religiously, they are Jewish, Christian and Muslim. It is a myth to talk of Palestinian ethnicity or indulge in historical revisionism to advocate a Jew-free Palestine.

Palestine’s Arabs are about as Palestinian as the Jews in the Judæan Mountains are Hebronite. There is no more a Palestinian race than there is a Gibraltarian one. And the state of ‘Palestine’ is a fabricated political entity designed to agitate for ever-increasing Arab sovereignty over Israel, the logical corollary of which is an ever-decreasing Jewish identity; an ever-diminishing Jewish presence; and the eventual eradication of Israel’s sovereignty.

As Mr Gingrich says, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, express ‘an enormous desire to destroy Israel’.

They do. It’s a fact.

But politics isn’t so much concerned with facts as perceptions. You’d think that any credible negotiated peace would acknowledge the facts, however inconvenient they may be. The problem is that the more these facts are raised, the more they may be scrutinised and shown for the sham they are. Yet it is Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (of ‘Palestine’) who has demanded that Mr Gingrich ‘review history’. He said: "From the beginning, our people have been determined to stay on their land. This, certainly, is denying historical truths."

From the beginning? So Allah bequeathed to them the land on the eighth day of creation, did he? The Palestinians have never had their own state: they have been ruled (often quite contentedly) by successive empires, most notably that of the Ottoman Turks. This, certainly, is historical truth. The tribes of Simeon and Judah actually predated the establishment of ‘Palestine’: the Jew was in Judæa long before the ‘invention’ of the Palestinian. After Roman rule, whenever Jews attempted to reclaim their homeland, their communities were destroyed and they were exiled. The pogrom continued under the Byzantines, Crusaders, Ottoman Turks, British, and the modern Egyptians. In all the heated talk of ‘occupation’ and ‘illegal Jewish settlements’, you rarely hear about the indigenous Jewish populations of Gaza and the West Bank: all sympathies are with Hamas, which is pathologically programmed (if not constitutionally pledged and theologically dedicated) to finishing what was begun millennia ago: the extermination of the Jews and the eradication of the State of Israel.

The history of this region is fiendishly complex and solutions to seemingly intractable problems will not be found in crass geopolitical policy objectives which only take account of the most recent shifts in territorial lines. Israel is an historic nation: Palestine is a recent invention. Only a sophist politician like Obama, ignorant of the history, steeped in moral relativism and with an eye on re-election, could reduce the existential threat faced by Israel to a trivial game of Risk.

But (and it’s an important ‘but’), while the notion of an exclusively Arab Palestinian identity is indeed ‘invented’, His Grace will say that it doesn’t help Newt’s presidential ambitions to label all Palestinians as ‘terrorists’. Some are: that is factually correct. We are indeed in a situation ‘where everyday rockets are fired into Israel while the United States – the current administration – tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process’.

And Mr Gingrich is right to declare: “Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth.”

The truth is that Israel is bombarded almost daily by missiles fired from Gaza. But not all Gazans are terrorists: some may murder, maim, and plot atrocities; some may teach terrorism in their schools. It might even be a majority. But let us not ignore the peaceful Arab in a land called Palestine who wishes to live in peace with his Jewish neighbour in the land called Israel.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

The problem with telling the truth is that it can appear awfully insensitive. An ‘invented’ people rapidly become a people with no rights. A people with no rights are not a real people. And when you deny personhood, you deny humanity. And when you deny humanity, you end up in Auschwitz.

But Newt says: “I spoke as a historian who has looked at the world stage for a very long time … I feel quite confident that an amazing number of Israelis found it nice to have an American tell the truth about the war they are in the middle of.”

His Grace speaks as a theologian and philosopher who dabbles in politics and has also looked at the world stage for a very long time. And he does wish Newt wouldn’t end his sentence with a preposition. No real president would do that.

39 Comments:

Blogger Dr.D said...

It is so very difficult to tell the peaceful Palestinians from the violent Palestinians; they all tend to look very much alike. One of the problems with warfare is that we usually end up killing the nice with the not so nice because we cannot tell them apart. If the peaceful Palestinians were dominant, the whole situation would be different, but we can say with confidence that it is the violent Palestinians that are in control. Therefore, if a violent solution is going to be the only solution, all will have to suffer and die in the process.

That does not really seem surprising. All of the muzlim Palestinians will be bound by the koran to wage war on Israel and the West, so even if they have not actively pursued that warfare, they are under a religious obligation to do so and thus are at least passive supporters of the present violence.

12 December 2011 at 05:03  
Blogger JamesD'Troy said...

Your Grace had me up until this line; 'And when you deny humanity, you end up in Auschwitz.'

Not only did you violate Godwin's law, from all the evidence, the only people denying the humanity of the Palestinians, are the Palestinians themselves. The West has played this Israeli-Palestnian game long enough. We've poured billions of dollars down the drain trying to come up with a peaceful solution and what have we gotten? Well, from the Palestinians, little more than hatred, contempt, lies, and violence towards the Israeli's not to mention grand-scale theft by the Arafatists in the PLO.

Look, I don't mean to be unsympathetic to the Palestinians but they've no one to blame but themselves. They've made mistake after mistake and enabled if not rationalized the worst behavior among themselves. They've voted a criminal gang into government, taught their children to hate Jews & martyr themselves through the use of Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny, and turned around and oppressed their own minority groups like homosexuals, women, Christians, et al. The Pali's made their bed, now they must lie in it. Preferably in Jordan.

At one point, the Palestinians & the Muslim world need to drop their Islamo-supremacist assumptions, join the rest of humanity living in the 21st C., and own up to the fact that most of their problems are self-inflicted and not a result of the evil Joos. I doubt this introspection will ever happen as long as they embrace Islam. Newt's analysis is spot on.

12 December 2011 at 08:24  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

If we read the "History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria", and particularly parts 11 and 12 (about the reign of Cyril III ibn Laqlaq), you get a powerful impression of the real Arabic view on this area of the map. It is, in fact, a debateable, frontier land, in which people like crusaders are always turning up and establishing kingdoms, and this is the normal state of affairs. It is never an Arab heartland at all.

12 December 2011 at 09:11  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

Isn't it nice, by the way, that someone has invented a way to stop us saying that Nazi-style policies are Nazi-style policies, with the phrase "Godwin's law"? Never was manipulation so naked.

What's the betting this ploy was invented by the people who shout "fascist! fascist!" at every available opportunity?

12 December 2011 at 09:12  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

If you go to most uni campuses and question the Pro-Palestinian-"stop-the-Gaza-holocaust"-Israel-is-a-terrorist-state morons and ask them where the borders of the country "Palestine" were before Israel, they have no idea.

The vast majority seem to believe there was a country called Palestine that was free & peace-loving until the Jews 'invaded' it & subjugated the "Palestinians".

When you tell them that there has never been a country called Palestine, that the Palestinians have a homeland called Jordan & that very many Palestinian Arabs live very peaceably in Israel ... they have now idea what to say, so return to their chants of "free free Palestine".

12 December 2011 at 10:35  
Blogger Richard Gadsden said...

Ethnicity, even more so than race, is a matter of self-definition. If there are a lot of people who call themselves "Palestinians" and agree with each other that they are all "Palestinians" then that is what they are.

This is the principle of self-determination, and is foundational for the entire concept of the nation-state. You can't base states on historical identity - you'd have to break up Italy and Germany and put Slovakia and Croatia back into the Kingdom of Hungary as they were for centuries.

All ethnicities are invented. Englishness (as distinct from Scottishness, or from the tribal Angle/Saxon/Jute/British/Norman/Viking identities) was invented in the period from Henry II to Edward I.

Jewishness was invented by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses.

Many Eastern European identities were invented in the nineteenth century (Czech, Slovak, Croat, Bosnian, Albania, Bulgarian are all essentially nineteenth century; Polish, Serb, Hungarian, Romanian and Greek are all older)

Noting that there wasn't a distinction between Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs in 1914 is an important historical point, but that doesn't mean that there isn't such a distinction now.

Of course the identity is invented. What matters is whether the people who have that identity believe in it.

Now, the other point - that the leaders of the Palestinians, who are supported, at least passively, by the majority of the Palestinian people, are perpetrators of atrocities - is certainly true. There seems to be an escalating tit-for-tat between both Israel and Palestine, in which there is little to be gained from identifying who is worse, but much more to gain in identifying who can stop the spiral. The Israelis, to their credit, have tried considerably harder than the Palestinians, which rather suggests to me that the ball is in the green court.

12 December 2011 at 10:56  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Do we know of an ethnicity which isn't invented? Including Americans and - like it or not - the so called "British"? Because at this juncture, the number of Scots who think of themselves as British first is about .001% of sweet Fanny Adams.

Let's get something straight - Isreal wasn't built by desperate holocaust victims with their ribs sticking out of their bellies. It was built by a bunch of racial supremecists who spent the war years killing British soldiers. Afterwards, they rolled into Arab lands, stuck them up at the point of a gun and murdered anyone who objected. That's all they did, so frankly, I don't blame the Palestinians for hating them.

12 December 2011 at 11:05  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Corrigan1 ... Keep telling yourself all that and eventually it'll become true, I'm sure.

Now you've finished typing, don't forget to return your fingers into your ears and repeat after me, "Free Free Palestine - wherever that is, you're free to define. Free Free Palestine - wherever that is, you're free to define."

12 December 2011 at 11:20  
Blogger Jon said...

I agree with Richard Gadsden, Corrigan1 and some of the original post. It doesn't seem terribly wise, should President Newt (!) ever emerge from the election, to approach the negotiating table by denying that one of the counterparties has any cause to be there. Surely this is a recipe for an unpalatable stasis rather than any kind of negotiated settlement?

Assuming that the US could persuade the palestinians that they were all actually Arabs, to which arab country would Israel happily cede responsibility for the people who currently think of themselves as Palestinian?

I just can't see how such "truth telling" by a US presidential hopeful advances the cause of either Israeli territorial integrity from rocket attacks or a more stable middle east as a whole. In which case, it is surely reckless and a pretty good indicator that the guy isn't up to the job?

12 December 2011 at 11:20  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 December 2011 at 11:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The Palestinians were invented as a weapon to be used against the Israelis. That's why they have been left to rot in refugee camps. They exist only to provide a 'people' who can make a credible legal claim to the land. One has to wonder what would happen to 'Palestine' in a Post-Israel Middle East once the regional Arab powers no longer have need of the weapon.

carl

12 December 2011 at 11:52  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Mr Cranmer said ...

"But let us not ignore the peaceful Arab in a land called Palestine who wishes to live in peace with his Jewish neighbour in the land called Israel."

Indeed.

And it will not help by denying the ethnic identity that people decide they have. I agree with much of Richard Gadsden's comment in respect of this. There is also some truth in Corrigan1's and Jon's remarks.

Whether 'Palestine' was ever a nation inhabited by 'Palestinians' 70 years ago is irrelevant now.
The fact is they were an Arab people living in the area under the Palestinian British Mandate and ways have to be found for them to live peacefully with their semetic Jewish brothers. The League of Nations assurred them of this right and the State of Israel was from their point of view a terrorist act.

I don't think 'Newt's remarks are helpful at all.

12 December 2011 at 12:02  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
How easily this could lead to wars and rumours of wars. I am all for the protection of truth and the maintenance of values but to 'end a sentence with a preposition' is unforgiveable.
Call out the prefects, we have a battle on our hands.

Seriously though, they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Here it is a case of a lack of knowledge brings disaster.

There's none so deaf as those who will not hear.

12 December 2011 at 12:08  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Put it in perspective Jon.

The "Palestinian" claim has been that the Jews are not really Jews, but are descendants of the Khazars, that they never had any presence in the Land of Israel, that their Temples never existed, that their ancient capital was never theirs, that Jesus was a "Palestinian," that Jews are illegitimate European colonialists with no rights to a single square inch of "Muslim lands" and that any "resistance," including bashing the brains of babies, blowing up teenagers in clubs and firing rockets at schools and playgrounds are acts of legitimate resistance. This is the message which is tolerated, propagated and greased with billions of dollars by the UN, by hundreds of NGOs, most EU governments, volatile leagues of enraged "anti-Zionist" jugend enforcers like our Corrigan here, and a good chunk of the mainstream media.

Yet when Newt points out the obvious, the obvious being even recognized and calmly discussed by the terrorist leaders themselves, we are to recoil in shock and wring our hands at the imaginary risk to an imaginary peace process? All that Newt has done is to break-up an enforced illusion and a quiet collusion and to kick-start a real debate over real facts and issues, without which no just solutions or viable peace deals can ever emerge.

12 December 2011 at 12:09  
Blogger IanCad said...

I have a particular antipathy for Mr. Toad, but on this issue I agree with him.
He is a cad and a bounder up with which I will not put.

12 December 2011 at 12:26  
Blogger graham wood said...

For much needed light and clarity on the issue - bloggers would do well to read Colin Chapman's small classic
'WHOSE PROMISED LAND - ISRAEL OR PALESTINE?'

or,

'ISRAEL - LAND OF PROMISE OR PROMISE OF LAND?' Graham Wood

12 December 2011 at 12:28  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo, you brought up the League of Nations. Now you need to read up on it, since you obviously have no clue what you're talking about. Are you going with the 1920 League of Nations mandate which assigns the whole of what is now Jordan (and then some) to the Jewish population, or do you prefer the 1922 version in which Britain created "Trans-Jordan," turned it into a pseudo-state and plonked a pseudo-king in there? Neither one of them includes the "West Bank."

12 December 2011 at 12:32  
Blogger Jon said...

Avi, I don't dispute the right of Jewish people to live where they live, but surely they aren't content to go on as they are suffering attacks from their neighbours?

Short of a horrendous war in which one side exterminates the other, or the decision by either party to simply up and leave the area, there needs to be discussions between cool heads at some point. I'm not disputing that both sides don't have some pretty awful characters amongst them, but saying so isn't helpful - especially not from someone who could reasonably be expected to help broker a peace!

12 December 2011 at 13:04  
Blogger English Viking said...

The sooner Israel takes the gloves off to deal with these 'people', the better.

12 December 2011 at 13:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Jon, what Mr Gingrich stated is, indeed, very helpful. At a time when the UN is blatantly funding and enforcing a racist and Islamist "Palestinian narrative" and the current president is attempting to establish, without even being initially asked by the ASrabs, judenrein areas in Israel and the Disputed Territories, someone needs to bring out the facts and to start an honest discussion. What you are essentially saying is that we shouldn't upset the Arabs, that we must accept all their "narratives," no matter how deceiving, hateful or racist...or else. That's been the case for decades and it hasn't worked. The Arabs have clearly dropped the idea that this issue can be resolved with (so far useless and harmful to Israel) peace discussions and bribing them with more concessions, the Sinai, a PA "administration" and a give-away of Gaza have only brought more terror and more demands for Israel to take "risks" and to make "sacrifices for peace." This stupidity is coming to an end and Newt is merely telegraphing the fact. Americans...and Canadians, I should add...are not stupid, they observe and draw their own conclusions, they don't have the European traditions of antisemitism and they resoundingly reject the Islamist, leftist and neofascist views on Israel and Jews.

12 December 2011 at 13:43  
Blogger IanCad said...

Avi wrote:

Americans...and Canadians, I should add...are not stupid, they observe and draw their own conclusions, they don't have the European traditions of antisemitism and they resoundingly reject the Islamist, leftist and neofascist views on Israel and Jews.

My observations exactly.

12 December 2011 at 13:52  
Blogger Jon said...

Avi, I'm sympathetic to what you say and your passion for this subject comes through in your writing. America does have some history of anti-semitism of course, but compared to Europe's, it's negligible.

My question to you is this - what is the end game? What do you want to see happen?

12 December 2011 at 13:54  
Blogger Anglican said...

Although the Arab people of Palestine may not historically have been called Palestinians, that is what they call themselves now.

A few years ago, when I visited Israel, our guide was - wait for it - an Israeli Lutheran Christian Palestinian Arab, married to a Roman Catholic Palestinian Arab. He was quite adamant that he was Palestinian (though an Israeli citizen) whatever his ancestors may have been.

This is not to deny that there is now, in the Holy Land, a legitimate Israeli State. The rest - which should include Jordan - is the home of the non-Israeli Arabs (both Nuslim and Christian). There seems no reason why this separate entity should not now be called Palestine. Our guide might, eventually, have dual nationality, if he continues to live in Jerusalem, where he was born.

12 December 2011 at 14:22  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Anglican

Your friends have a better chance of preserving their religious freedom in Israel than a Jew would have in any so called 'Muslim' land.

12 December 2011 at 14:34  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

Your characterization of politicians is spot on, but unfortunately this is more sophistry. You can't just define the Palestinians out of existence.

What happened to that useful mobile version of the site YG? seems to not be working any longer.

12 December 2011 at 15:20  
Blogger Larks Tongues in Aspic said...

"And they had a chance to go many places "

Other than their actual homes, one assumes.

12 December 2011 at 15:36  
Blogger JamesD'Troy said...

@Roger Pearse,

Puh-leaze.

If by your implication the Israeli's are applying the same 'holocaust'-style techniques they learned from one set of their oppressors-the Nazi's, then the Israeli's are making an absolute hash of it. Don't believe me? Then take it from the horses mouth;

"Population in the Palestinian Territory increased by 39% during the period 1997-2006,
reached 3.9 million in mid year 2006, of which 46% are less than 15 years."
Link:Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistiscs http://www.pcbs.gov.ps/Portals/_pcbs/PressRelease/pop_06e.pdf

In light of those statistics, if the Israeli's are conducting a 'Nazi'-style holocaust upon the Palesitnians, as you imply, then it is the lamest holocaust in history.

Of course, if the Israeli's wanted to imitate another set of their oppressors, they would make all Palestinians wear yellow crescent badges. Suprisingly enough, the Israeli's haven't done that either.

12 December 2011 at 15:36  
Blogger Anglican said...

Dreadnaught 14:34

I quite agree with your comment. Christians, it seems, have no future in muslim lands, and as for Jews.....

12 December 2011 at 15:40  
Blogger Oswin said...

Is it just me, receiving some pop-radio broadcast, rather than Gingrich's interview comments???

12 December 2011 at 16:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector, had he been a Palestinian Refugee (Wiki on those words for an interesting synopsis) would have long recognised he was a mere pawn in a game played by states. Solution – get out and find somewhere else to live. The resolution of the conflict has got never in mine or my children’s lifetime written all over it…

12 December 2011 at 18:02  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Jon, you asked, "My question to you is this - what is the end game? What do you want to see happen?"

In the short term, Israel will need to decisively defeat, isolate and impoverish the terrorists, be they old guard PLO secular "moderates" like the PA's Al Fatah, or the Islamofascist crazies, like Hamas, Hizbulah and various offshoots. It cannot allow a repetition of Gaza, a creation of another Islamist tyranny and a terror state aligned with the world's worst dictatorships to occupy the jointly and legitimately claimed Jewish heartland and Israel's strategic high grounds. The State of Israel's prime responsibility is to continue as the Jewish state in its historic lands and to protect its citizens from harm.

In the longer term, the disarmed Arabs in the disputed territories...whether they choose to call themselves Palestinians, Alawites or South Syrians (we don't actually know until we ask and they are free to answer)... need to be protected from domestic and imported terrorists well enough and long enough to establish a viable economy based on free enterprise, working civil institutions and a genuine liberal democracy with a multi-party system and all the freedoms we are accustomed to. Without such, there is no possibility whatsoever of any real peace. With such conditions, the solutions will unfold practically by themselves, because this is how free people and fellow democracies resolve things. There was a brief hiaitus in the 80s, before Arafat and his henchmen were invited into the West Bank, when thousands of tens of thousands of Israelis and hudreds of thousands of Territories Arabs travelled back and forth for jobs, restaurants, vacations, and joint manufacturing, agricultural and business operations. I was at university in those halcyon months and the Palestinian Association and ours had joint dinners, discussions, projects...and we, committed Zionsts even wore the white and black kaffiyehs we received from our new and friends as gifts. Some of us travelled to Egypt on Israeli Eged buses and were welcomed and hosted. From this brief little blip in history, we know that Jews and Arabs can coexist, but they can do that only when both sides, not just one are free. I still have my kaffyeh, Jon. At one time I threw it in the basement to be used as a rag and forgot about it, but years later I found it, dry-cleaned it and carefully wrapped and stored in the upstairs linen closet. May I be able to don it again in my lifetime.

12 December 2011 at 18:09  
Blogger Preacher said...

Gingrich is right, Palestine is being used as an excuse to attack Israel by the various terrorist organisations that want to destroy her.
Hamas & the rest are fuelled by hatred & it suits their leaders to stoke the fire. If Israel conceded every demand, they would still be attacked for any or no reason. As someone commented "I went to bed a Jordanian & woke up a Palestinian".
My prayers are for All the victims & innocents caught up in the conflict. IMO peace will only come when the Prince of Peace returns.

12 December 2011 at 19:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Preacher, for it is written HE will come again to judge the living and the DEAD. The sermon on mount Megiddo, anyone ? {INSPECTOR GULPS}

12 December 2011 at 19:30  
Blogger Jon said...

Avi - I hope you do get to don it again. I also hope that your vision of a liberal "palestinian" democracy can emerge - but does Israel have the means and, frankly, the ideological support within it and inside of the territories to "decisively defeat, isolate and impoverish the terrorists" and assist in the establishment of a liberal democracy - how long would this take?

I don't know what resources are available to Israel, but the UK tried isolation, internment and all sorts with the IRA, who were well funded by idiots in the US. The endgame there is well documented.

I suppose ETA has been starved of resources more by non- violent Basque nationalists, than by the spanish state. Perhaps that is a model? That is, if you can find secular forces who are uncorrupt enough to serve as a usable government in the palestinian areas and who aren't seen as Israeli puppets.

Every situation is different, but how will those palestinians trust that what they will perceive as an invading israeli force is there to disarm their oppressive religious overloads and to establish a working liberal democracy?

It's just depressingly circular to me - but I admire your aspirations.

14 December 2011 at 17:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Jon, neither the IRA or ETA have anything that compare to "Palestinian nationalism," which has always been inseparable from the goal of a total destruction of Israel and the expulsion or murder of Jews from the region. Without wishing to justify any form of terrorism, I note that the while IRA terror campaigns did often result in loss of civilians, civilians were not intentionally or systematically targetted. Neither did the IRA go out of its way to attack schools, bash the brains or cut the throats of babies and young children, disembowel pregnant women and captured soldiers, or blow up clubs and family celebrations. I cannot imagine even the staunchest supporters of IRA or ETA running out in the streets amidst happy, madly ululating crowds to hand out sweets after gruesome mass murders of civilians. Nor do I know of any Catholic or Protestant government or community celebrating murderers who targetted women and children, by paying them and their families with bonuses or by naming schools and squares after them. No, not all terrorists, nor all terror supporters are equal.

Before anything can happen between Israel and the Arabs, the terrorist establishment and its lairs in the Territoties and neighboring states, which are fueled not only by the Saudis and Iranians, but by the UN, EU and democratic Western states as well, must be totally defeated. Whether it's done by concerned and disgusted Arabs tired of being stuck between the Devil and the deep blue sea; through a concerted international effort to deligitimize, prosecute and starve the terrorists; or a decisive military destruction of terror havens along with a painful punishment of terror-engaged nations by a fed-up State of Israel is something that remains to be seen. In no case, though, would I agree with or partake in any conciliation, hopeless peace-agreements, useless international guarantees, and fraudulent land-for-peace formulas while things remain the way they are.

15 December 2011 at 18:30  
Blogger Jon said...

Hi Avi,

I'm not wishing to belittle the outrages committed against Israelis, nor to compare their size, but it's important for north americans to know that the IRA bombed a shopping centre in Warrington in 1993, and the Real IRA bombed a shopping centre in Omagh in 1998. Whilst it's probably fair to say that these things did no good for the armed republican cause's claim to occupy the moral high ground, this will have been little comfort to the civilians and their families who were maimed and killed. These murders will have been paid for in part by "Irish" Bostonians and their fellow travellers.

I think you're probably right about the rest though.

16 December 2011 at 18:40  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Jon, you're right about these things. I will say, though, that to the credit of the Irish people on both sides, they were able to recognize the damage terrorism inflincts on all and were able to step back from the brink. Fortunately, with the ceasefire, the anti-terrorism laws and operations and the reluctance by younger Irish Americans to have anything to do relating to terror, such funds are drying out.

18 December 2011 at 14:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "Fortunately, with the ceasefire, the anti-terrorism laws and operations and the reluctance by younger Irish Americans to have anything to do relating to terror, such funds are drying out."

I suspect it was 11/09 that did it. Suddenly, sponsoring terrorism wasn't glamorous anymore when people with whom you identify are on the receiving end of it.

19 December 2011 at 07:28  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Yes it was. I'm sure there is graph of the donations dip on 9/11 somewhere...a down-pointing "hockey stick."

19 December 2011 at 20:24  

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