From Bill Sutter’s Desk May/Jun 2011
Blatant attempts to defame Israel as illegitimate and deny the Jewish state its rightful place among the countries of the world have been painfully obvious to those of us who stand with and support, from a biblical perspective, what God has planted in the Middle East.
It disturbs us that the UN treats Israel as an outcast while elevating sponsors of terrorism, like Libya and Syria, to seats on the Security Council. Compounding Israel rejectionism at the UN is a steady stream of anti-Israel resolutions and releases by fact-finding commissions and councils all aimed at denying Israel’s validity as a nation. Meanwhile, the UN glosses over the abominable actions of the world’s worst human rights abusers, countries like Iran and Libya, and accepts them as “respectable” members of the international community.
Time spent considering charges against Israel constitutes a hugely disproportionate amount of the “business” of this world body that Anne Bayefsky, an attorney and senior editor of the Hudson Institute’s Eye on the UN project (eyeontheun.org), properly describes as the world’s chief purveyor of anti-Semitism.
Also troubling are the annual college campus rites-of-spring events against Israel known as Israel Apartheid weeks. Now in their 17th year, these recurring calls for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel have expanded from one week to two and from a handful of U.S. campuses to more than 55. Friends who have traveled with our Up to Jerusalem tours know firsthand that the Jewish state’s relationship with its Arab minorities is the opposite of anything that could be considered apartheid.
Israel’s Arab citizens, numbering some 1.5 million, benefit from the same freedoms and protections as Israel’s Jewish citizens. Israel Apartheid weeks merely fan the flames of anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism, both of which Jewish college and university students experience in abundance. In some cases, their Christian friends experience it as well. Hate-filled propaganda has been carefully crafted to challenge the Jewish state’s very right to exist.
Another development in the campaign against Israel is reflected in the results of a nine-week study conducted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, as reported by Jonathan Schanzer in “What Palestinians Are Saying Online” in the Middle East Quarterly’s winter 2011 edition. Even as the dominant news outlets in the United States are quick to blame Israel for the peace process’s lack of progress, the study reveals that Palestinians almost uniformly agree that violence against the Jewish state is justifiable as a religious obligation.
Wrote Schanzer: “Indeed, most users on a broad spectrum of Palestinian sites viewed violence as a legitimate alternative to negotiations and rejected Israel’s political and territorial claims.” He also said, “Palestinian Web users show a distinct lack of interest in peace. The language of rejectionism remains prevalent, commentary on peace talks is overwhelmingly negative, and potentially positive diplomatic steps are generally ignored.”
The number of people and organizations that deny Israel’s legitimacy and want to destroy the Jewish nation is staggering. So much for blaming Israel for the lack of peace. And so much for optimism over the peace process.
On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel made two dramatic appeals in its Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. They stand in stark contrast to Israel rejectionism and the continuing attacks on its legitimacy:
WE APPEAL—in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months—to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.
WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, 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.
Israel’s peaceful offers still stand.