By Angela Bertz
The other morning, Sky news, in its infinite wisdom asked the following $65,000 question; “How can the international community stop the fighting”. My initial reaction was that this had to be a trick question, as something so trite didn’t warrant the dignity of a reply. In fact after mulling it over for a few minutes I came to the conclusion that it served as much purpose as asking whether it’s worth shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. That is, until I suddenly realized the parody between the international community and the ever worsening situation in this region, was in no small part caused, by them. For years, not only did they leave the stable door open, but let the horses bolt with their blinkers firmly in place.
The international community and its mostly blinded views on Israel can be summed up by three momentous events and the very ad nauseam views of three very different little women.
Almost 60 years have passed since November 29th 1947 when the United Nation passed resolution 181 calling for an Arab and a Jewish state in what was then Palestine. The Jews were jubilant. Haj Amin Al-Husseini who was the Mufti of Jerusalem summed up the Arab response very eloquently "I declare a holy war my Moslem brothers murder them all."
A few months later on May 14th 1948 the State of Israel was born and as part of its declaration, offered, not only equal citizenship to its Arab residents, but extended the hand of friendship to all it neighbors in the hope of establishing “bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.” The Arabs had already rejected the offer of their own homeland and Azzam Pasha, the Secretary General of the Arab League declared "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades”. In fact Israel barely had time to celebrate its newly founded statehood before it was attacked by five Arab States, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, none of whom had any inclination towards mutual cooperation.
Almost 19 years later to the day an ominous sequence of events took place. Between May 15th – 22nd Egypt moved its troops into the Sinai, expelled UN peace keeping forces and shut the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. By the 25th five Arab states, urged by Egypt, had yet again mobilized their troops on Israel’s borders. It was seen as an open act of hostility and President Nasser soon made their intentions known "Our basic goal is the destruction of Israel." Although Israel fired the first shot and has often been unfairly accused of starting the hostilities, war correspondent and since then staunch supporter of Israel, Winston Churchill Jnr (grandson to the former British Prime Minister) made Israel’s situation clear when he said "Like the cowboy of the old west, Israel did not wait for its opponent to fire. It saw the glint in his eye." Within six days Israel not only emerged victorious but remained true to its original charter and was prepared to negotiate over captured territory. Four months later at the Arab conference in Khartoum they issued the following statement. "No Recognition of Israel, No Peace with Israel, No Negotiations with Israel."
In December 1981, Marxist activist and star of stage and screen Vanessa Redgrave did not even have the good grace to call the now very established sovereign state of Israel by its official title, telling a reporter from the Arab Perspective that “The Zionist state is the cause of conflict and violence in the Middle East." Twenty three years later in 2004 this fading and mawkish movie star was back in the region acting as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Adding to her substantial talents as an actress and her uncanny knack of deciphering in-depth political analysis; she was now an expert on walls and used Israel’s capital city to vent her one sided criticism of its construction. It didn’t end there. Ms. Redgrave went on to astound the medical profession with her intimate knowledge of anatomy. Following a propaganda filled trip to the West Bank, her seemingly unquestioning mind came back with unsubstantiated, yet apparently true tales of how Israeli soldiers were using the skulls of Palestinian children for target practice.
In July 2004 a second British woman was at the centre of yet more travesty. This time that den of iniquity, the United Nations, was at the centre of it all. It managed to stoop, even by its own appalling standards when it comes to fair-mindedness towards Israel to an all time low level of hypocrisy. The Hague which houses the organizations ‘kangaroo’ court sat in judgement of Israel’s security barrier, voting unanimously (14-1) against its legality. It apparently considered the inconvenience of Palestinian farmers of more consequence than the lives of Israel’s civilian population who had been targeted by more than 100 homicide bombings and thousands more attacks of terrorism. Judge Higgins, of Great Britain, went as far as to make an absolute mockery of Israel and what it stands for, by declaring in her sanctimonious report that “Since 1948 Israel has been in dispute, first with its Arab neighbours (and other Arab States) and, in more recent years, with the Palestinian Authority”.
Almost a year later this doltish duo turned into a trio as it welcomed Sue Blackwell into it ranks. Instigator of the April 2005 AUT boycott ban of Israeli academics, Ms Blackwell turned up at the organization’s conference draped in a Palestinian flag and surrounded by keffiya clad goons from the dubious Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. To drum home her case for a boycott and to show her overwhelming support towards the poor plighted Palestinians, leaflets were handed out branding Zionism as a racist ideology and accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing”. She managed like her two counterparts to express yet again her total ignorance of the conflict “From its very inception, the state of Israel has attracted international condemnation for violating the human rights of the Palestinian people and making war on its neighbours."
These three little women, comprising as they do of a fading terrorist apologist movie star, a simpering neo-Nazi university teacher and a member of the legal profession, who would be hard put to judge anything more innocuous than an overgrown marrow in a tiny farming community in any of England’s pretty Shire counties, tragically typify a pretty diverse section of the so called international community. These women and their ilk comprise of anything and everyone from the BBC with its sloppy correspondents weeping buckets for the ailing Arafat, yet barely had a word for his policies that left more than a thousand Israelis dead, to his lovely pampered wife Suha living nowhere near a sewer in Gaza, but in the lap of luxury from the proceeds of Norwegian government aid money thousands of miles away in Paris.
Since the start of the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) in 2000 we have witnessed ad nauseam the worlds media spend approximately five minutes with a tear filled eye for Israel. Its victims are rarely portrayed in any other light than a statistic, certainly not as victims of terrorism, but in contrite terms popularized by the media of being bona fide targets of Palestinian militants, activists or resistance fighters as if this gives them some sort of legitimacy and turns them into brave romantic heroes. The ensuing diatribe usually follows a distinct pattern of painting Palestinians in the never ending light of hapless victims, with stern faced reporters shaking bemused heads and coming up with asinine comments like “The Palestinians are no match to the full might of Israel” as if this gave them some moral right to get on a bus strapped with explosives and blow up innocent Israeli children on their way home from school.
So yes Sky news were right to ask the seemingly useless question of what can the international community do to stop the fighting, however they should have rephrased it and asked what they could have done to have prevented the fighting in the first place. The obvious answer is had their even been any real effort from the media, the UN, EU, US and any number of misinformed foreign governments to lay blame on those that preach hatred 24/7 and whose policies of denial have demonized a whole generation of poor Palestinian children, not to long for the smell of flowers planted in there very own state, but to crave for the stench of blood and the pride of their mothers.
Maybe if the international community had ever taken off their blinkers and criticized those policies, instead of constantly parroting the Palestinian party line of blaming Israel for all the ills in the region, we would not be witnessing the terrible events that are now unfolding around us and causing the death of many innocent people on all sides of the border.
Still it would seem that like the unbolted stable door the international community really does behave like horses; you can certainly take them to water but you can’t make them drink, or in this case you can tell them the truth but you can’t make them print it.
Angela Bertz - Israel
Turn The WEB Orange!!!
Reprinted by permission.