For the moment, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have stopped shooting rockets at Israelis and, in response, Israelis have stopped targeting weapons arsenals in Gaza. But the Long War on Israel isn’t over. It’s merely moving to other battlefields for a while.
For example, in Geneva on Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to establish an “indefinite Commission of Inquiry” – jargon for a permanent inquisition whose purpose will be to brand Israelis as war criminals.
The UNHRC also called for an arms embargo against Israel, signaling that the commission has no intention of recognizing that Israelis have the same right to defend themselves as do other peoples.
This bureaucratic offensive was instigated by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Let’s examine that.
To start, the Palestinian Authority has no authority in Gaza – not since 2007 when it was defeated by Hamas in the civil war that followed the departure from Gaza of Israelis — every soldier, farmer, synagogue, and grave.
Perhaps you wonder: If Israelis left Gaza in 2005, how can anyone assert that Gaza is “occupied”? Here’s the argument: Because Israelis, in response to Hamas attacks from unoccupied Gaza, have attempted (less than successfully) to prevent Hamas from importing munitions, Israelis are “blockading” Gaza — and a blockade is tantamount to an occupation. You buy that?
For Pakistan to take the point against Israel requires extraordinary chutzpah. Pakistan was founded as a homeland for Indian Muslims following Britain’s withdrawal from the subcontinent. Yet Pakistan’s leaders declare it unjust for Palestinian Jews to have claimed the same right to self-determination in part of their ancient homeland following Britain’s withdrawal from the Middle East.
Also: At Pakistan’s founding, religious minorities — e.g., Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Ahmadi Muslims — constituted close to a quarter of the nation’s population. Today, following generations of oppression, the minority population is down to 3 percent. By contrast, the Arab/Muslim minority population of Israel, is roughly 20 percent and growing, with those communities enjoying freedoms and rights Pakistan’s dwindling minorities can only dream of.
As for the OIC: It’s an alliance of more than 50 nation-states that self-identify as Muslim. Yet many of them — not all — agree with Hamas that one tiny Jewish state is one too many and that its existence, therefore, must be terminated.
That’s no exaggeration. The Hamas Charter, published in 1988 states: “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.” Hamas’ plainly stated goal: to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.”
A Hamas policy document written in 2017, often falsely characterized as demonstrating moderation, calls every inch of Israel “occupied territory” that must be conquered: “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.”
Hamas has consistently rejected a two-state solution, vowing “armed resistance” in pursuit of a final solution — the slaughter and/or expulsion of Israeli Jews.
Let’s be clear: If you support Hamas, that’s what you support. If you sympathize with Hamas, that’s the goal with which you sympathize.
The World Health Organization, another Geneva-based U.N. agency, turned its rhetorical guns on Israelis last week, too, voting to adopt a Palestinian resolution to prepare a “report” on health conditions in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in the Golan Heights which Israel took from Syria in the defensive war of 1967.
Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch, noted that the WHO adopted no resolutions on “Syria, where hospitals and other medical infrastructure are repeatedly and deliberately bombed by Syrian and Russian forces; not on war-torn Yemen, where 18 million are in dire need of health assistance; and not on Venezuela, where the health system is in a state of collapse and 7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.”
On Friday, a new member was elected to the WHO’s Executive Board. You guessed it: Syria.
Battles against Israel also are being waged on college campuses and in much of the media, not least the The New York Times, a formerly great newspaper where I once was proud to work as a reporter, foreign correspondent and editor.
The Times’ coverage of the Gaza conflict has been egregiously biased. Its front page on Friday displayed photographs of mostly Arab children killed during last month’s 11-day battle, implying Israelis are primarily to blame.
In truth, no military in the world goes to the greater lengths then the Israel Defense Forces to avoid civilian casualties, even when its enemies are using civilians — including children — as human shields, a practice unambiguously in violation of international and American law.
In truth, the evidence suggests that the vast majority of the approximately 250 Gazans killed in this most recent battle were Hamas fighters – some of whom were teenagers and therefore, in the Times’ telling, “only children.”
In truth, hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets failed to reach Israel, dropping instead on Gaza, killing, or injuring Palestinian non-combatant men, women, and children.
Abraham Foxman, the national director emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League, and a lifelong reader of The Times, was so appalled by Friday’s frontpage that he canceled his subscription to the paper, explaining: “Today’s blood libel of Israel and the Jewish people is enough.”
For centuries, such libels have precipitated anti-Jewish violence not unlike that now increasingly prevalent on American and European streets.
The Long War on Israel should be seen for what it is: the latest expression of an ancient hatred. Those fighting to exterminate Israel – whether with rockets, bureaucratic reports, or newspaper articles – are making clear that, to them, Jewish lives do not matter.
• Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times.
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