Friday, April 30, 2010

On the air waves - Palestinian Hate, U.S. Silence

An op-ed I have written discussing the continuing trend in the Palestinian Authority to pay tribute to mass murderers is now circulating in the Jewish press throughout the United States. As a result, I've been invited by Jay Bernstein of Shalom USA radio in Baltimore to be his guest on the opening segment of the Sunday morning radio program at 8:30 AM. You can hear the interview on the web here.

Here's the op-ed as it appears on-line:

Palestinian Hate, U.S. Silence

There they go again. Palestinian Media Watch reports that the official Palestinian Authority newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, announced Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan for an upcoming fencing tournament for youth named after terror chieftain Abu Jihad. You read right. Salam Fayyad, the man who is constantly touted by Western leaders as a "moderate" and a "peace advocate," is heading up a tournament that glorifies mass murderer Abu Jihad.

A founder and longtime leader of Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement, Abu Jihad (real name: Khalil al-Wazir) had a long resume of atrocities on his resume, including planning the hostage-taking at the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv in 1975 in which eight hostages and two Israeli soldiers were killed, until his career was cut short by an assassination in 1988.

Funny: The U.S. media played up ex-president Bill Clinton's warning about the dangers of hateful rhetoric here in America on the anniversary of Oklahoma City. But our pundits and policymakers don't seem to worry much about the PA's far more active promotion of violence.

PA newspapers, radio stations and school textbooks routinely characterize Jews as insects, animals, terrorists, Nazis and demons.

During Vice President Joseph Biden's visit to the region last month, the PA named a public square in the El Bireh neighborhood of its capital city, Ramallah, after the notorious terrorist Dalal Mughrabi. She was one of the leaders of a terror group that murdered Gail Rubin - a relative of the late former senator Abe Ribicoff - and 37 Israeli bus passengers in another attack devised by Abu Jihad.

That outrage was drowned out in all the furor over the Israeli announcement of construction in an East Jerusalem neighborhood the PA has its eyes on. Eventually, the Obama administration expressed some mild disapproval of the PA action. But while anger over the Israeli building generated lists of specific U.S. demands for Israeli concessions, the response to the Palestinians contained no demands, no deadlines, no consequences of any kind.

The square in Ramallah and the fencing tournament join a long list of schools, summer camps, streets, and computer centers named after terrorists in PA-controlled territory.

Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley said last week that the PA's policy of publicly glorifying terrorists "must end." Good words, but where's the beef? The deadline? The consequences for not going along?

Crowley made his statement the day after President Obama signed an order to continue U.S. financial aid to the PA - now more than $500 million a year.

"The words we use really do matter," Bill Clinton said last week. Yes, they do. The words of the Palestinian Authority - on its street signs, in its newspapers, on the banners at its fencing tournaments - really do matter. When will the Obama administration take meaningful steps to change them?

Stephen M. Flatow is founder of the blog Terror Victims' Voice. His daughter Alisa was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza in 1995.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Palestine Peace Distraction

Richard N. Haass writes in the Wall Street Journal about "how easy [it is] to exaggerate how central the Israel-Palestinian issue is and how much the U.S. pays for the current state of affairs." This runs contrary to President Obama's comments that resolution of the Middle East conflict is a national security interest and General David Petraeus's Congressional testimony that the conflict challenges America's ability "to advance our interests."

Haass writes,
"There are times one could be forgiven for thinking that solving the Palestinian problem would take care of every global challenge from climate change to the flu. But would it? The short answer is no. It matters, but both less and in a different way than people tend to think."

Why? Let's look at Iraq. The
"Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds are divided over the composition of the new government, how to share oil revenues, and where to draw the border between the Kurdish and Arab areas. The emergence of a Palestinian state would not affect any of these power struggles."

Don't forget Afghanistan. "Here the U.S. finds itself working against, as much as with, a weak and corrupt president who frustrates American efforts to build up a government that is both willing and able to take on the Taliban. Again, the emergence of a Palestinian state would have no effect on prospects for U.S. policy in Afghanistan or on Afghanistan itself."

And as for the main player itself, "any Palestinian state would materialize only amidst compromise." No return to the 1967 borders; a token right of return for Palestinians to Israel; Jerusalem will remain undivided and at most shared.

Not so cut and dry is it?

Read the full article here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ronald S. Lauder writes to President Obama about Israel

Ronald S. Lauder is the president of the World Jewish Congress. It's websites states its history as follows: "Founded in Geneva in 1936 to unite the Jewish people and mobilize the world against the Nazi onslaught, the WJC is the representative body of Jewish communities and organizations in over 80 countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe across six continents." In my book, it's a good organization.

It was heartening to me that Mr. Lauder wrote to President Obama on April 15, 2010. His letter begins:

I write today as a proud American and a proud Jew.

Jews around the world are concerned today. We are concerned about the nuclear ambitions of an Iranian regime that brags about its genocidal intentions against Israel. We are concerned that the Jewish state is being isolated and delegitimized.

Mr. President, we are concerned about the dramatic deterioration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel.

Lauder is right, many American Jews feel that the relations between the United States and Israel are deteriorating. And many believe, as I do, that the fault lies with the United States.

Read what Lauder says, in Letter from Ronald S. Lauder to President Obama.

What do you think?

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Raising children on the hate diet

Despite its obligation to eliminate incitement against Israelis and Jews from its TV programming, school curriculum, newspapers and mosques, the Palestinian Authority has raised the level. Witness the recent naming of a Ramallah square after a mass murderer and a street after a master bomber. See my comment Treating a Terrorist as a Hero.

Today's Jerusalem Post features an article by Fern Oppenheim that addresses Palestinian incitement and the effect it will have on children.

Incitement is defined as “stirring to action, attempting to persuade.” A good example of incitement in the PA would be a fiery speech against Israel by a politician or an imam. Indoctrination, on the other hand, is defined as “instruction in the rudiments of a belief system” or, more simply put, brainwashing. An example of indoctrination would be a Palestinian TV program that teaches young children that all of Israel is Palestinian territory, and that suicide missions are the highest form of martyrdom.
Both spell trouble for peace in the Mideast and Ms. Oppenheim's take on their effects is right on point.

Read the full article here.

Who out there thinks Ms. Oppenheim is wrong?