The US abstention from a recent vote against Israeli settlements at the UN Security Council topped the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s annual list released Tuesday of 10 worst outbreaks of Jew-hatred and anti-Israel incidents.
Since 2010, the human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center has been publishing the annual „Top Ten Anti-Semitic / Anti-Israel Slurs“ which have reached wide public acceptance and therefore, according to the Center, „threaten world peace“.
This year’s top winner is the Obama administration. Congratulations!
The Simon Wiesenthal Center states:
“The most stunning UN attack on Israel in 2016 was facilitated by President Obama when the US abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for settlement construction. It reversed decades-long US policy of vetoing such diplomatic moves against the Jewish State.”
On December 23, 2016, when houses are being destroyed and people killed in Syria, the United Nations condemned Jews because they are building houses. The condemnation of Israeli settlement policy, coupled with the demand for a stop to Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem, was passed with 14 votes and an abstention from the USA. The United Nations rejected Israel’s settlement policy without a clear „no“.
Can the whole world be wrong? Yes, it can! When it comes to Jews, the whole world was wrong before! With its top placement this year, the Simon Wiesenthal Center points precisely to that fact.
Whoever thinks that Jewish settlements are the greatest obstacle to peace in the Middle East should simply replace the word „Jewish“ with „Muslim“, „Christian“ or „Arabic“, then ask why of all the settlers in Judea and Samaria only the Jewish settlers represent a problem.
Jews had settled Judea and Samaria long before Christians and Muslims even existed. The name Judea is quite clear in origin. That’s why those who think Jews are illegal there say West Bank instead. Independent of the territory’s name, at present, the area doesn’t belong to any national state.
The area once belonged to Jordan, a country which now comprises over 80 per cent of Palestine and, unlike Israel, does not offer full citizenship to Palestinians. Prior to that, the territory was administered by the League of Nations. Before that, the area belonged to the Ottoman Empire, before that the Roman Empire and originally to a Jewish empire, as the name “Judea” proves. The Jewish people are the oldest people still existing in the Middle East. Jews are the natives of the Middle East!
Although the territories of Judea and Samaria do not belong to any state today, people live there. Some live in houses, others in tents. There are Arab, Jewish, stateless and many other kinds of settlers, who all live in an area which remains controversial because there is no state structure governing it. But why should only the Jewish settlers be seen as the problem?
Only the Jewish settlers are called „illegal“! The problem these accusers have with just these settlers is the fact of them being Jewish!
The massive construction of entire neighborhoods with high-rise buildings is strangely not considered illegal. The Palestinians are building in many parts of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem without building permits and adequate planning, or minimal regard to building safety requirements. The only intention of the Palestinians is to create irreversible facts.
The question remains: who is financing these settlements and why? The journalist Bassam Tawil suspects that the PLO along with some Arabs and Muslims as well as the European Union is behind the construction initiative. These are the same people and institutions who call this kind of behavior „illegal“ when Jews are involved. Tawil explains:
„Palestinian construction takes place for the most part in Area C in the west bank, which should be under the exclusive control of Israel according to the Oslo Agreement. In other parts of the city, buildings are also springing up like mushrooms, and even entire towns are being created to the north, east and south of Jerusalem, leaving the city only one option: to expand westwards. This gigantic collar of concrete, which encroaches on Jerusalem, aims to squeeze the Jews out of the city.”
The Palestinians claim to have built an estimated 15,000 illegal housing units around Jerusalem in recent years, but the United Nations does not condemn them because only Jewish homes are termed „illegal“. While the European Union finances illegal construction activities in area C, construction in Jewish settlements is damned as illegal. The European Union places Palestinian construction work in the category of „humanitarian aid“ and is thus permitted under international law. Bassam Tawil explains further:
„The hypocrisy and malevolence of the EU and the rest of the international community on the subject of the Israeli settlements is all too clear. At the same time, we are also experiencing hypocrisy in the Western mainstream media whereby dozens of correspondents who see with their own eyes how Palestinian settlements are shooting up right and left of Jerusalem, but still prefer to report only on Jewish construction activities.“
The double standards are particularly disgusting when one recalls that radical Hamas, in its founding charter, declares the annihilation of all Jews as the duty of all Muslims. Fatah is likewise convinced of this duty. On the 47th anniversary of Fatah, Mufti Muhammad Hussein, who was personally appointed by Mahmud Abbas as the „spiritual leader of Palestinian autonomy“, reaffirmed the idea that peace can only be attained when all Jews are exterminated. Whoever demands Jews must be annihilated can never conclude peace with them. Whoever shouts „Jews, get out of my country, my city, my neighborhood“ doesn’t want peace with Jews, but to be free of them. There are two forms of peace in the Middle East: one peace is a peace with Jews. The other peace is a peace without them.
The desire for a peace without Jews is omnipresent in the Arab world. When the Gaza Strip was handed over to the Palestinian administration in 2005, all Jews were expelled from Gaza within a few days. On the morning of September 12, when the last Jews left the area at the Kissufim border crossing, Arabs celebrated frenetically with gun shots in the air and motorcades. Abandoned synagogues were torched. It was a real “Gaza Kristallnacht“. Gaza signed for a peace without Jews, not with Jews. In the following years, Hamas fired countless rockets at Israel with the intention to kill as many Jews as possible.
A Hamas minister summed up his position in 2010 with the following words:
“They (Jews) want to present themselves to the world as if they have rights, but, in fact, they are foreign bacteria – a microbe unparalleled in the world. It’s not me who says this. The Koran itself says that they have no parallel: ‘You shall find the strongest men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews.’ May He annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience. I condemn whoever believes in normalizing relations with them, whoever supports sitting down with them, and whoever believes that they are human beings. They are not human beings. They are not people. They have no religion, no conscience, and no moral values.”
Those who demand that Jews must disappear will never strive for peace with them.
Jewish settlements are, therefore, seen as an obstacle to peace for those who want a peace without them. For those who want to conclude peace with Jews, a Jewish settlement is not a problem but a solution to a problem, because only in the acceptance of Jewish settlements there is an inherent acceptance of Jews as neighbors and fellow citizens.
Jews who settle and build houses shouldn’t be a problem. They’re not a problem in Israel, not in America and not in Europe. And they shouldn’t be a problem in the Middle East. There are Jewish settlements and neighborhoods in various countries. In Germany, there are Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. Very few consider Jews a hindrance to peace. Most people regard Jews as a cultural enrichment and are seen as supportive of peaceful coexistence, as they promote diversity, tolerance and acceptance. In Cologne, there is the predominantly Muslim Keupstrasse neighborhood and in Paris the Marais in the third and fourth arrondissements, in which Jews have settled. In Israel, there are many Muslim neighborhoods and settlements. Nearly twenty percent of all Israelis are Muslims. For Israel, Muslim settlements within and without Israel don’t represent a hindrance to peace, rather the embodiment of a lively democracy.
Arab governments in the Middle East should also respect Jews as any other citizens with all the rights and obligations in regard to building houses and settlements, or they will never be able to conclude peace with Jews.
Both Fatah and Hamas, however, emphasize that peace will not come „as long as (they) have not destroyed the Jews.“ They’re quite serious about that. The Gaza Strip, for example, where Hamas rules, is „judenrein“ (free of Jews). Gaza has accomplished where Hitler had failed.
However, Hamas places demands on its archenemy, Israel. Israel is supposed to donate water, provide them with medicine and food. The absurdity of it all is that Israel is already doing all that. But, instead of praising Israel for such humanity, the World criticizes Israel because they’re supposedly not supplying enough water. Really, which country feeds its enemies? The Israeli government is the exception! Israel still has faith in the people of Gaza and can’t look on idly, while Hamas takes the Arab people hostage. If Fatah or Hamas were as compassionate as the most conservative Israeli government, there would be peace in the Middle East right away.
The Israeli people feel for their Arab neighbors no matter how brutal their governments may be, because Arabs and Muslims are part of the Israeli people! There are over 8 million citizens living in Israel, of which 1.6 million are Muslim Arabs. According to a current study, 77 percent of these Arabs don’t want to live anywhere else than in Israel! Israel is even preferred over Germany.
Those critical of Israel should look at how Muslims live in Germany. Wherever a mosque is planned, thousands of Germans go to the streets in protest. In Germany, many Muslims live in undesirable neighborhoods. Muslims are subject to permanent discrimination in Germany. There are regular demonstrations against Muslims in German cities such as Dresden and Leipzig, where tens of thousands of Germans demonstrate against Muslims. In the German Parliament, Muslims are underrepresented. In Israel, however, Muslims account for 20 per cent of the population. Muezzins sing from minarets. There are mosques on every corner. There are lively and livable Muslim neighborhoods. Muslims are represented in the Israeli parliament. Even in the Supreme Court of Israel there are Muslim judges. I would bet that a majority of Muslims would prefer Israel over Germany. I would even say that a majority of Jewish settlers have a better opinion about Muslims than a majority of Germans!
The Israeli Arabs are the only Palestinians who have a prime minister who is elected legitimately within a democracy. Although Mahmoud Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005, his legislatorial period ended on 9 January 2009. Since then, he holds power without any legitimacy. Jordan is a monarchy with Islam as the state religion based on Sharia law. Jordan cannot possibly be considered a democratic nation, alone for the fact that Palestinians who are not Muslims are second-class citizens according to law. In Syria, disenfranchised Palestinians are held in camps. In January 2014, the Syrian army encircled one of those camps and let the Palestinians starve. In Gaza, Hamas rules. They were elected, but right after the elections they initiated a program of state terror. Hamas prevails in Gaza without legitimacy. Nowhere are Palestinians so brutally suppressed as in Gaza.
In Israel people are free. The only government executive who can claim to have been elected in free elections by a Palestinian people is the Prime Minister of Israel!
Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the people can choose their government and, above all, rid themselves. In Israel, all religions are equal. This is precisely what bothers governments the likes of Hamas. They insist that Palestinians cannot be Jews. They want to „free“ Palestine from the Jews, as the Nazis once wanted to „free“ the German people. It’s no coincidence that Hezbollah and Hamas greet each other with the Hitler salute. Arising from this despicable ideology arises the dichotomy, „Israel – Palestine“. But, what is Palestine?
The designation Palestine originated in ancient times when there was not yet Islam or Christianity. Judaism is thus the oldest still practiced religion in Palestine. The term „Palestine“ even has a Hebrew origin. The first known written source of „Palestine“ is the Septuagint. The word was used as a derivative of the Hebrew term „Pleschet“. Pleschet was originally the designation of a plain where the Philistines resided. The Philistines, as a cultural group, no longer exist, but every child knows the Philistine, Goliath.
The term Palestine, introduced by the Romans after they had defeated the Jews, refers merely to a geographical area and is not connected to an ethnic group. The Romans did not speak of Judea or Israel, but of Palestine, in order to extinguish any link between the land and the Jewish people. There never were a self-constituted Palestinian people.
There is neither a Palestinian language nor an independent Palestinian culture. Instead, people of different faiths and nationalities are united only by the fact that they live in a geographical area called Palestine. By far, the largest part of Palestine is located in present-day Jordan. Other territories of Palestine are the Golan Heights, the Gaza strip, the West Bank and areas of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Only a very small part of Palestine is located in present-day Israel, but all who live in the territory of Palestine, whether they are Jordanians, Israelis, Arabs, Jews, Christians or Muslims, are all Palestinians!
In modern times, the term „Palestine“ designated an area which had no government after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after WWI. Palestine was the geographical term used by the League of Nations, which administered the territory since 1922, for a region populated by Christians, Muslims, Jews and pagans. Today, the area is divided into several diverse countries, but only one of them is democratic: Israel! In 1948, Israel was founded by mostly Jewish Palestinians. They worked together on the creation of a peaceful democracy in the Middle East. In the Declaration of Independence of Israel one can read the following:
„WE EXTEND our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.“
On the day on which this statement was made public, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria unified in a war of extermination against the small country of Israel. As part of this war – still continuing until this day – , 500,000 people left their homes in the belief of promises made by the Arab nations, that after the destruction of Israel, they would then return as victors. However, Israel offered all people within its new boundaries to remain in order to build a united democracy where all Palestinians would live according to self-determination. 160,000 Arabs accepted the offer and remained. Presently, over 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Arab. The Israelis, independent of their origins or beliefs, are the Palestinians with the most freedom!
Israel is a democracy in which criticism, even the most ignorant and the most brutal, is permitted and even articulated. Every Palestinian can freely express his opinion in Israel. That’s democracy! In Jordan, Syria, Gaza, West Jordan, however, Palestinians do not share these rights. So why aren’t these people supported?
There is the Nakba. However, it did not take place in Israel. It takes place every day in Gaza, Syria, Jordan and the West Bank. The murderers are the minions of Hamas and Fatah.
Many people who pretend solidarity with the Palestinians, in reality, have no interest in the Palestinians. They are just against Jews! Therefore, they ally themselves with the enemies of the Jews. In the sixties of the 20th century, the PLO decided that Jews could not be Palestinians, just as the NSDAP had decided a few decades earlier that Jews can not be Germans. The German concept of the NSDAP was finally rejected, but the PLO’s concept of Palestine still applies today, whereby only Jewish settlers can be considered illegal. Therefore, Jew-haters prefer that term.
Unfortunately, the United Nations has a lot of members who have adopted this concept of Palestine. They speak of „illegal settlers“ as if it were beyond any discussion that Jews may not reside in certain parts of the world. They tend towards peace without Jews, and are frighteningly close to Hitler’s idea of peace with the Jewish people.
I strongly recommend a peace which includes the Jews! There are Muslims in the Middle East who have made peace with the Jews and accept the several thousand year presence of Jews in the Middle East.
There are Muslims who simply accept the fact that there are Jewish settlements and ensure that no citizen is denied his or her rights only because he or she is a Jew. There mustn’t be a settlement stop for Jews only! The destruction of Israel and the expulsion of Jews cannot be the basis of debate. I wouldn’t negotiate with a person who wishes to exclude me or my family! A two-state solution isn’t possible with any party calling for the destruction and expulsion of Jews! We need people for whom Jewish settlers are not more or less a problem than any other settlers.
Jewish settlements are a hindrance to a peace settlement only for those who desire a peace without Jews. For a peace with Jews, Jewish settlements are a guarantee for peace!
There are even left-wing squatters in Europe who speak of „illegal Jewish settlers“. When people who actually squat in buildings accuse Jews of being occupiers in areas where Jews have lived longer than any other group, then there’s something extraordinarily contradictory!
What is so damnable about the Israeli settlements? Israeli law applies in every Israeli settlement. Thus, in every Israeli settlement in the Middle East is a place where I won’t be persecuted as a homosexual, can belong to any religion, and can freely express my opinion.
I am in favor of Israel, not because I believe somebody long ago was first to put his foot on some piece of land, or a god invited a bearded man for a coffee to discuss dividing up the world, but because Israel is the only country in the Middle East where women and men have equal rights, homosexuality is recognized by the state; where there’s freedom of expression, art and science, no religion is discriminated against, and where Jews are classified neither better nor worse than all other people.
Each square meter in the Middle East which emulates Israel is a win and every square meter that falls to Hamas or Fatah is a loss! Why should I criticize those settlements which would allow me to lead my life as I wish as opposed to those territories where I’d be persecuted for what I am?
Basically, Barack Obama and his government are advocating for more places in the world that would persecute me? Therefore, the top placement in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Worst Global Anti-Semitic/ Anti-Israel Incidents is justified!
(Translation: William Wires)