Posts filed under ‘Things not mentioned in the press’
A humanitarian solution for
Judea, Samaria and Gaza
Last week we held the third talk in our series on “Setting the Record Straight”. The guest speaker was Dr. Martin Sherman, well-known columnist for The Jerusalem Post, lecturer, policy adviser and political and strategic analyst. His subject was “Rethinking Palestine – what would Sherlock Holmes have said?” 90 people filled the hall at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
As the title of Martin Sherman’s talk suggests, it is a highly controversial subject. Rethinking Palestine, according to Martin Sherman, entails scrapping the two-state solution because, in his opinion, it has clearly proved to be a dangerous non-solution and indeed a recipe for catastrophe, both for Israel and the Arabs of Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank).
Martin Sherman quoted Major-General (reserves) Giora Eiland, former head of Israel’s National Security Council, who in 2009 had cautioned that, “The maximum that any government of Israel will be ready to offer the Palestinians … is much less than the minimum that any Palestinian leader can accept.”
Interestingly, 14 years before that, in his last speech to the Knesset before he was assassinated in 1995, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said that Palestine should be an entity which is less than a state, which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority.” He added, “The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.” He also said, “We have committed ourselves before the Knesset, not to uproot a single settlement in the framework of the interim agreement, and not to hinder building for natural growth.” These are sentiments that today, in his Labor Party, would probably be met with angry calls of “right wing extremist!” How perceptions have changed!
To illustrate even further the shift in perceptions, Rabin’s associate in seeking peace, Shimon Peres, known to be even more willing to make concessions to the Arabs and still to this day urging the relinquishment of more territory, had concurred that the 1967 lines “constituted almost compulsive temptation to attack Israel from all directions …” and warned that “without a border which affords security, a country is doomed to destruction in war.”
Clearly, the desire to reach a peace agreement has been so strong in Israel, that it has brought about a willingness to concede more and more territory, but at the same time, a resolve has emerged on the other side of the political divide to prevent these concessions by holding on to as much territory as possible.
Martin Sherman says that two imperatives dictate the survival of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews: The demographic imperative and the geographic imperative. Geographically, the two-State Solution poses critical security dangers for Israel, because of the longer borders that would result from the various pockets of Jewish and Arab population concentrations and the proximity of Israel’s main urban and commercial centers, power stations, military headquarters, highways and airport to an entity that, despite the proposals for demilitarization, will undoubtedly be armed to the teeth and in all likelihood be summarily taken over by Hamas or a more virulent form of extremism.
On the other hand, the One-State Solution, proposed by right-wing groups posits serious and obvious demographic risks that will generate even more inter-communal turbulence and instability than now, and dangerously erode the Jewish proportion voting for the Knesset – heralding the possible end of Israel as a Jewish state.
To offset both these predicaments, Martin Sherman suggests something which at the outset would upset many people – funded relocation. Many people immediately make the accusation of: “Ethnic cleansing!” Or “Transfer!”
Martin Sherman builds up his premise in a neat modular form, comprising three humane components. Firstly, he says, “End the discriminatory treatment of the Palestinian refugees by abolishing the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), or bringing it into line with international practice for all other refugees on the face of the globe. Every refugee on earth is under the auspices of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – except for the Palestinians. For them a separate institution exists – UNRWA. Strange, but true!
If the universally accepted UNHCR criteria for refugees were applied to the Palestinian case, the number of “refugees” would shrink from close to 5 million to fewer than 200,000. That’s because refugee status, according to the UNHCR lasts only one generation, and a concerted effort is made to integrate the refugees under its care, into other host countries, where they are expected to eventually receive citizenship. Under UNRWA, once a refugee – always a refugee until … return to their original homes. i.e. Israel!
The second humane component in Sherman’s paradigm is to end discrimination against Palestinians in the surrounding Arab countries and abolish the prohibition they face of acquiring citizenship of these countries in which they have been resident for generations. In most of the Arab countries refugees from the wars with Israel endure grave discrimination, with severe restrictions imposed on their freedom of movement, employment and property ownership.
The third component that Sherman proposes is to provide generous relocation financing directly to the Palestinian breadwinners resident across the 1967 Green Line, so as to enable them to build a better future for themselves and their families in foreign countries of their choice.
Countering the claim that this would arouse great opposition by local Arab leadership and the rest of the Arab world, Sherman says the procedure would not require the agreement of any official Arab organizations or states in order to effect implementation. Since the envisaged compensation would be large enough to allow recipients to comply with immigration criteria in numerous countries – not necessarily Arab or Muslim – and since they would be coming as adequately funded private individuals, quite a few countries would be happy to accept them. All that it requires is for the individual family heads to accept help on an individual and private basis.
Countering the charge of “ethnic cleansing” or “transfer” Sherman claims that the number of international migrants today is approaching a quarter of a billion, and is growing rapidly. Although this is partially a byproduct of wars, political conflicts and natural disasters, it is predominantly motivated by economics. Why should Palestinians be uninterested such motivations and why would it be morally wrong to offer them a better life for themselves, while helping to lessen the turmoil in the region?
There is compelling evidence that a desire to seek a better life elsewhere is widespread among the Palestinians, even without the availability of generous relocation grants. Numerous opinion polls vouch for this. The sense of national pride that obviously prevails in Palestine society, would probably be marginalized if a generously funded exit to other lands was made possible.
As for the overall cost, according to Sherman, it is easy to show that the price of the proposed plan would be comparable to any alternative under discussion, involving the establishment of a new independent Palestine, developing its infrastructure, and presumably absorbing a large portion of a relocated Palestinian “diaspora” within its constricted frontiers.
It should also be remembered that for the prospective host nations, the plan has a distinct economic advantages. The Palestinian immigrants would not arrive as destitute refugees, but as relatively wealthy immigrants in terms of average world GDP per capita. Their absorption would bring significant capital inflows to the host economies – typically around a billion dollars for every 10,000 families given citizenship. Clearly it would be a long-term process.
In his talk, Sherman also discussed the issue of Palestinian nationhood, claiming that they are the only group whose manifest raison d’etre is the not primarily the establishment of their own political independence but rather the denial of that of others (Israel). The fact that Palestinians have shown they are capable of cohesive action against another collective does not prove they are a nation. Virtually their entire collective effort has been directed at an attempt to annul the expression of Jewish sovereignty rather than assert their own.
For over two decades after the Oslo Accords – despite more massive financial aid per capita and global political support than any other people, they have produced nothing but a deeply divided entity, crippled by corruption and cronyism and bedeviled by wars against their neighboring Jewish state and among themselves. The result is a dysfunctional polity unable to conduct even the semblance of timely elections, and a puny economy, comprising a minuscule private sector and a bloated public one, totally unsustainable without massive infusions of foreign funds.
Sherman says that In every meaningful aspect, the Palestinians claim to statehood has failed the test of history, as has the two-state endeavor.
Accordingly, the time has come for new, imaginative initiatives to defuse one of the world’s most volatile problems, one for which remedies hitherto attempted have proved sadly inappropriate.
Martin Sherman has a doctorate in political science and international relations and was a lecturer for 20 years at Tel Aviv University. He was a ministerial adviser in Yitzhak Shamir’s government and is the founder and head of the Israeli Institute for Strategic Studies. He has written books and numerous articles and policy papers on a wide range of subjects.
The aim of this series of talks, called “Setting the Record Straight,” is to present the public with the information to understand more clearly the serious challenges that Israel faces, so as to counter the misinformation, ignorance and bias.
To see the video recording of the talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpCEBjkkoC0
Our thanks to Dr. Les Glassman for recording it.
They’ve been getting a raw
deal for a very long time
By RALPH DOBRIN
A while ago I met a man from east Jerusalem who said his family hailed from Syria. Always keen to meet my adversaries and chat with them about our differences, I relished the opportunity to spar with a representative of one of the most hostile of Israel’s many implacable enemies. But when I referred to the conflict between Israel and Syria, the man reacted petulantly and blurted out: “My family might be from Syria, but we are not F***** Syrians. We are ASSYRIANS!” And then George (his name gives away his Christian affiliation) told me how his family had had to flee the massacres of the Assyrians during the First World War.
A few days ago, I found myself repeatedly sharing a thread on Facebook with a man called Chico Nooij – a very ardent supporter of Israel. He also posted a comment about the Assyrians. I am adding it at the end of this mail and I highly recommend you read it.
But first, I ask you to indulge me a few words about the Assyrians, which I have based on drastically condensed material from Wikipedia and from Ninevah On Line. (The name evokes a very ancient connection.)
The Assyrians (about four million) are the indigenous Aramaic-speaking descendants of the ancient Assyrian people, one of the earliest civilizations emerging in the Middle East, and have a history spanning over 6750 years. Assyrians are neither Arab or Kurdish, their religion is not Islam. The Assyrians are Christian, with their own unique language, culture and heritage. Although the Assyrian empire ended in 612 B.C., history is replete with recorded details of the continuous presence of the Assyrian people till the present time.
Assyria, situated in what was Northern Mesopotamia and the surrounding regions was partitioned after World War I by the victorious Allies, and is currently under occupation by Kurds, Turks, Arabs and Iranians.
Assyrians are a stateless nation and continue to be religiously and ethnically persecuted in the Middle East due to Islamic fundamentalism, Arabization and Kurdification policies, leading to land expropriations and forced emigration to the West.
So that’s a very brief background. Here is a section (slightly modified) of what Chico had posted on Facebook. As an ordinary human being and an Israeli, I was deeply moved by Chico’s words. This is what he wrote:
“Few people know that while the great, ancient Assyrian empire is gone, the nation is still alive. They have maintained themselves on the ruins of their ancient fatherland, and live in scattered communities throughout the northern part of the Middle East. But surviving wasn’t easy. And it’s becoming more and more difficult.
At the beginning of the 20th century, two-thirds of the Assyrian nation was massacred by the Ottoman Empire, but they recovered and rebuilt their nationhood. During the second half of last century, genocides and attempts at forced assimilation had forced about a million Assyrians to go into exile in North America and Europe. Here, Assyrians are slowly integrating and losing their own identity.
Those of their brethren that decided to remain in Assyria are losing their few remaining villages (due to Kurdish land appropriations) as well as their identity (as a result of Arabic forced assimilation). And many of them are being slaughtered by the rebel factions during the ongoing Syrian civil war.
The Assyrians need a homeland where they will be able to gain citizenship without any procedures, so that they can finally freely practice Christianity and speak their ancient tongue. Only an Assyrian state in northern Iraq can save Assyrian civilization from extinction. It must happen soon, though.
If we can strengthen the friendship between Jews and Assyrians, we can create a strong Assyrian lobby in Israel, so that Israel will support their restoration to the subcontinent. Similarly, a strong pro-Israel lobby would emerge in the Assyrian State. This would ensure a mutual commitment to each other’s national security.
Such an alliance would greatly weaken the Arab world’s fighting capability. The Sunni bloc would be forced to fight a two front war if it wishes to invade either of the two states. And Iran will have yet another powerful opponent to its west.
Assyria will be hated by the whole Muslim world. They will have to stand by the one country that faces the same problems. For the first time in its history, Israel would have a true partner. And so nearby, too!”
In this post Chico is calling Israel and the Jews of the world to support Assyrian independence. I don’t think matters whether people are Jewish or not, there should be universal support in order to fix a wrong wrought by self-serving colonial power struggles after the First World War. There are other nations yearning for independence such as the Kurds, constantly contending with vicious Turkish, Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian actions and the world ignores their plight as well, while the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, in the midst of generations of trying to weaken and snuff out Israel’s existence, continue to gain massive world support. Things should be seen in perspective. Chico is trying to get the world to focus on his nation’s long-lasting predicament and the horrible injustices inflicted against it. There are a lot of websites on the subject. For starters you can click on Assyria-Israel Alliance in Facebook.
That’s it – no more weddings
Last night I went to a wedding. Everyone seemed extremely happy. Or rather the bride and groom and all their young friends seemed to be pretty thrilled most of the time. It was a very lavish affair in one of those chintzy places that have sprung up in the last 25 years here in Jerusalem, in buildings that had been meant to be factories, before China and other Asian countries began to take over global industry and commerce.
Lots of lights, special effects, a boisterous DJ, lots and lots and lots of food and a large dance floor. And once again, after enduring a score of such events in the last few years, I vowed never again! For quite a few reasons. Firstly, while my wife Hazel and I like … or rather love to dance, the disco style or whatever it’s called nowadays becomes boring after three minutes of jumping up and down to the same beat, rhythm and stamping out the same steps. For anyone who dances salsa, samba, rumba, waltz, foxtrot, tango, rock and roll, pasodoble, etc, what they have at secular-style weddings is plain silly, boring and frustrating. Maybe it’s okay for the younger generation. But why do they completely ignore the generations of their parents and grandparents who loved those old dances – which are still in fashion in quite a few places abroad. It smacks of boorish disregard for the people whom, one would assume, had a big part in bringing them this far.
As far as the food was concerned, well Hazel and I normally don’t touch any of the stuff that was served. We don’t eat meat and they kindly provided fish. But it was very heavily spiced and not at all our usual fare. Salads and other offerings were doused and drowned in mayonnaise. Vegetables were ruined – at least for us – either by unduly long cooking and crudely done spicing. So we nibbled on a bit of sliced cucumber and tasted that perversion — chopped liver. Oh, I must acknowledge that sushi was served, but the rice was white and we normally don’t touch the stuff. One thing that was good was the bottled water, which we enjoyed.
But even that pleasure was somewhat diminished by the vast number of women clad in tight mini skirts which don’t even look appealing on those younger ones with appropriate attributes. But too many of the mini-clad females were obese with dyed hair, massively ungainly thighs and girths more in keeping with sumo wrestlers than females stomping to that disco.
All in all, these affairs are not for me. Maybe I’m just a stick-in-the-mud, old-fashioned, getting-on-in-years prude. So what? The point is, please, unless you’re going to have a quiet family wedding or a wedding for religious folks, where they still have dignified ceremonies and celebrations, for goodness sake, don’t put us on your invitation list. I don’t want to have anything to do with this ugly, ostentatious, unduly wasteful vulgarity.
Of course we wish the young couples well and acknowledge that at least they have gotten married and hopefully will raise a happy wholesome family in Israel. At least for that we are gratified.
FOLLOWING IN PAUL’S
By RALPH DOBRIN
Early one morning in May last year my wife and I were on a plane headed for Riga, Latvia. Flying always makes me a little anxious, so I usually take a good book or magazine. But the book that I had brought with me was in my overnight bag, which was in the rack above our seats. To get to it, I needed to ask the passenger next to me in the aisle seat, to let me get past. A middle-aged guy, suntanned and dressed very casually, he looked rugged and weary, and he stood up slowly to let me squeeze past him. I got my book out of the bag, which I returned to the rack. I thanked him, squeezing past him again and plonked down into my seat. I began to introduce myself but he had closed his eyes. I began reading my book, but after a few minutes, I realized that I suddenly needed to go to the toilet. Luckily, he opened his eyes and I gestured apologetically that I needed to get up. Again, he stood up tiredly and allowed me to clamber past him. When I returned from the toilet he was slumped with his eyes closed again. But he sensed that I had returned and let me get past, immediately getting low in his seat and closing his eyes.
But I had some sandwiches and dried fruit in my bag in that rack above our heads, that my wife and I had planned to eat early in the flight. He seemed to sense that I needed to do some clambering again and he opened his eyes. I smiled at him. He smiled back and stood up. We had established a rapport.
Sitting down with my bag of victuals, I offered him a sandwich, which he seemed happy to accept. “I’m Rafi,” I said and he responded, “I’m Stan!” We chatted in English. I couldn’t make out his accent.
“Do you live in Israel?” I asked. “Oh no,” he murmured wearily. “I live in Germany. But I’ve been traveling around Israel.” Now, over the years, I’ve encountered hundreds of folks who’ve just been traveling around Israel and I know how to ask all the appropriate questions.
But with Stan Malina, it was clear that my usual questions about “What did you see?” and “Where did you stay?” were somewhat incongruous. Stan had not traveled in the usual way by tour bus or hired car. Neither had he stayed at any hotels. Explaining his mode of transport, I understood his tired look! The man had ridden around the country on an old 7-speed bicycle. He had pedaled over a thousand kilometers up and down hill and valley, under the blazing sun, and he had pitched his tent most nights in fields, forests, camping sites and public parks.
An Apostolic pastor, Stan Malina was gathering material for his 5th book in a series called, “Cycling On All Trails of Apostle Paul,” published by Christian Publishing House. He had started this present route in Beirut, Lebanon, ridden south to Tyre and Sidon and back to Beirut (part of the return trip by minibus), before flying to Amman in Jordan, where he stayed for a night before descending to the Jordan Valley and crossing the Allenby Bridge into the Palestine Authority territory and then into Israel.
For eleven days he pedaled more or less in the wake of the trails of the Apostle Paul. He relied on leg muscles, great stamina and boundless faith. I use the word “faith” because, despite being part of a nation known for its ability to plan carefully and for preciseness, it seems that Malina did very little planning on a daily basis. He would set out each morning on the next leg of his journey, with one or two water bottles that might last him a few hours in the harsh Middle Eastern heat. Also, he carried very little food with him – sometimes just a packet of potato chips. Understandably, he wanted to cut down the weight of his luggage and provisions, which without food and water came to about 20 kilograms – a significant load to contend with when cycling hundreds of kilometers, often up very long, steep hills. But limiting his food and water supplies could have been very dangerous because he didn’t always know how far he’d need to ride before reaching a place to replenish his supplies or have a decent meal. In the Middle East, one can succumb to dehydration very quickly. That can be fatal if you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere. In addition to this easy-going approach, in the evenings, he would just rely on luck to find a suitable spot to put up his tent and have a few hours of slumber.
Malina describes heart-warming encounters with Muslim and Christian Arabs and Jews. Each time he needed advice on directions, or where in the middle of a deserted stretch, to find a store selling food or bottled water, or a place to pitch his tent, fortuitously, someone would always appear and answer his questions and sometimes even share a meal and a fireside in a park or offer a room for the night. He also writes about a number of times that he encountered kindness and consideration with Israeli soldiers.
Stan Malina had already written four books on the trails of the Apostle Paul and a number of other titles on the subject of belief. His wife Sandra, formerly from Durban, South Africa, has also written four books on similar topics.
He rode with a South African flag, in honor of his wife Sandra’s birthplace and the sponsorship he received from South Africans.
The trip took Malina to scores of places mentioned in the Bible. At each place he stopped to take photographs and contemplate. He was able to relish the experience or envision a biblical event or acknowledge that Paul had been there, with yet another aspect – the sheer beauty of some of these places. His itinerary, apart from his days in Lebanon and Jordan, commenced in Israel with an arduous 30-kilometer climb up to Jerusalem from the Jordan Valley, (scaling an altitude of 350 meters below sea level to 750 meters above).
From Jerusalem he took a bus to Haifa, and resumed pedaling from Acre to the Lebanese border at Rosh Hanikra, from where he began the ascent up the steep, seemingly endless hills of Galilee, presenting Stan with yet another daunting physical challenge. From there he headed for the Sea of Galilee, blue and calm and surrounded by abundant greenery, evoking numerous scenes from the New Testament. He rode through the Jezreel Valley, visited Megiddo, Caesarea and Antipatris; then on to Jaffa, Ashdod and Ashkelon. When he approached Gaza he felt relieved that the Apostle had evidently not been there, and mused: “The people of Gaza have a great need of Gospel, but who is going to bring it to them?”
In the last part of his trip Malina rode hundreds of miles through semi-desert and desert country, visiting Beersheba on his way to the Dead Sea, passing Massada, Ein Gedi and Qumran. Then he connected with the road from Jericho to Jerusalem, which he had heroically contended with at the beginning of his Israel visit. But this time he opted for a ride on an empty bus back to Jerusalem, where he spent a few days with a friend Yoel Mendel, touring the city and nearby Bethlehem, which he visited twice and where Sunday prayer service at the Immanuel Evangelical Church, turned out to be a highly edifying experience.
The book offers many insights. Written by a pilgrim who pedaled a thousand kilometers, much of the time alone with his own thoughts, he could savor the special lesson inherent in each biblical and historical site that he visited, although he suspected that many places where not on the exact spot referred to in the Bible. There are many fresh observations in this book. For instance, he writes at length about the Apostle Paul, about his earlier lessons by the great sage Gamliel who taught tolerance. Yet, despite these teachings, as Saul of Tarsus, he confronted the new Christians who initially had been his fellow-Jews, with great vindictiveness – until his conversion on the road to Damascus.
Malina is not naïve about the political realities of the Middle East. During his trip he had encountered a number protest demonstrations by Arabs. On several occasions he felt it prudent to distance himself from the angry crowds. Fairly well acquainted with the conflict, he says: “I felt irritated when I thought how the world only sees one side of the Middle East conflict – always accusing Israel.” He adds: “The Middle East conflict is like magnifying lens of world conflict, between ungodly and biblical.”
Three years earlier, Malina had toured Israel with his wife, Sandra. They had traveled around the country by car. On this trip, despite the grueling ordeal in pedaling hundreds of kilometers, sitting on a less-than-comfortable saddle, contending with thirst, hunger, heart-breaking inclines and relentless sun, he nevertheless concluded that touring by bicycle has many advantages. Perhaps only an avid cyclist or pilgrim can appreciate this sentiment.
“Tensions Around Israel” is easy to read, informational and replete with photographs and useful footnotes. It can be ordered at: http://www.malina-home.de/books where all Malina’s other books are also available.
When people accuse Israel …
By RALPH DOBRIN
Author of “How to avoid Armageddon”
Available through Amazon
Click: www.amazon.com type: how to avoid armageddon
When people accuse Israel of all kinds of terrible things, they’re actually indulging in inversion. When they speak about violence against innocent Arabs, they ignore the violence that began the cycle of violence against Jews over ninety years ago, launched by Mufti of Jerusalem and continuously escalating to the present day – violence that necessitates Jewish defensive measures, in which invariably it’s the Arabs who suffer worst.
When people accuse Israel of racism and ethnic cleansing, they invert the perennial aim of the Arabs to eliminate the Jewish entity in the Land of Israel; they ignore the fact that in many Arab countries Jews cannot visit and if they do, they dare not reveal their Jewish identity; detractors of Israel ignore the situation prevailing throughout most of the Arab world, where Jews face the direst discrimination or indeed cannot dwell for fear of their lives.
When people accuse Israel of acting like a Nazi state and committing countless crimes against humanity …again they indulge in inversion of facts and factors, such as what the Arabs have always wanted to do regarding the little Jewish state called Israel, and the numerous acts of savagery that they have perpetrated in the course of trying to fulfill their macabre ambitions, much of it in the name of redemption, revenge and Allah.
Most detractors of Israel either don’t know or choose to ignore the numerous forms of hostility spawned against the Jews of Israel, such as boycott, promoting international condemnation against Israel, trying to cut off its water sources and orchestrating scores of resolutions in the United Nations that condemn Israel, while overlooking the many repressive, murderous regimes in the world – significantly regimes where the worship of Allah is a dominant undertaking.
When accusing Israel of all the above supposed offences it’s like making an accusation that:
- Heart surgery is attempted murder because a sharp knife was thrust into another man’s heart.
- The extraction of a rotten tooth is mutilation of the mouth.
- The killing of a rabid dog is cruelty to animals.
- A tonsillectomy is child abuse.
- The consummation of a marriage, eagerly performed by both partners, is a physical attack against the woman or/and undue physical exertion for the man.
- Long term imprisonment for a dangerous, convicted criminal is cruel mental anguish.
- A person is filthy … because he defecates in the toilet.
Of course, all these examples are ridiculous. But they are parallel to the accusations against Israel – these accusations are largely ridiculous and represent the pinnacle of mendacity and falsehood.
To order “How to avoid Armageddon” click: www.amazon.com type: how to avoid Armageddon
Former slave sets the record
These are the words of SIMON DENG, a former Sudanese slave, in his address at the Durban Conference in New York.
I want to thank the organizers of this conference, The Perils of Global Intolerance. It is a great honor for me and it is a privilege really to be among today’s distinguished speakers.
I came here as a friend of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. I came to protest this Durban conference, which is based on a set of lies. It is organized by nations who themselves are guilty of the worst kind of oppression.
It will not help the victims of racism. It will only isolate and target the Jewish state. It is a tool of the enemies of Israel. The UN has itself become a tool against Israel. For over 50 years, 82% of the UN General Assembly emergency meetings have been about condemning one state – Israel. Hitler couldn’t have been delighted!
The Durban Conference is an outrage. All decent people will know that. But friends, I come here today with a radical idea. I come to tell you that there are peoples who suffer from the UN’s anti-Israelism even more than the Israelis. I belong to one of those peoples. By exaggerating Palestinian suffering, and by blaming the Jews for
it, the UN has muffled the cries of those who suffer on a far larger scale.
For over fifty years the indigenous black population of Sudan – Christians and Muslims alike – have been the victims of the brutal, racist Arab Muslim regimes in Khartoum. In South Sudan , my homeland, about 4 million innocent men, women and children were slaughtered between 1955 to 2005. Seven million were ethnically cleansed and they became the largest refugee group since World War II.
The UN is concerned about the so-called Palestinian refugees. They dedicated a separate agency for them, and they are treated with special privileges. Meanwhile, my people, ethnically cleansed, murdered and enslaved,
are relatively ignored. The UN refuses to tell the world the truth about the real causes of Sudan ’s conflicts. Who knows what is really happening in Darfur? It is not a “tribal conflict.” It is a conflict rooted in Arab colonialism well known in north Africa. In Darfur, a region in the Western Sudan, everybody is Muslim. Everybody is Muslim because the Arabs invaded northern Africa and converted the indigenous people to Islam.
But in the eyes of the Islamists in Khartoum, the Darfuris are not Muslim enough. And the Darfuris do not want to be Arabized. They love their own African languages and dress and customs. The Arab response is genocide! But nobody at the UN tells the truth about Darfur.
In the Nuba Mountains , another region of Sudan, genocide is taking place as I speak. The Islamist regime in Khartoum is targeting the black Africans – Muslims and Christians. Nobody at the UN has told the truth about the Nuba Mountains. Do you hear the UN condemn Arab racism against blacks?
But what you find on the pages of the New York Times, or in the record of the UN condemnations is “Israeli crimes” and Palestinian suffering. My people have been driven off the front pages because of the exaggerations about Palestinian suffering. What Israel does is portrayed as a Western sin. But the truth is that the real sin happens when the West abandons us: the victims of Arab/Islamic apartheid.
Chattel slavery was practiced for centuries in Sudan. It was revived as a tool of war in the early 1990s. Khartoum declared jihad against my people and thus legitimized taking slaves as war booty. Arab militias were sent to destroy Southern villages and were encouraged to take African women and children as slaves. We believe that up to 200,000 were kidnapped, brought to the North and sold into slavery.
I am a living proof of this crime against humanity! I don’t like talking about my experience as a slave, but I do it
because it is important for the world to know that slavery exists even today. I was only nine years old when an Arab neighbor named Abdullahi tricked me into following him to a boat. The boat wound up in Northern Sudan where he gave me as a gift to his family. For three and a half years I was their slave going through something that no child should ever go through: brutal beatings and humiliation; working around the clock; sleeping on
the ground with animals; eating the family’s left-overs. During those three years I was unable to say the word “no.” All I could say was “yes,” “yes,” “yes.”
The United Nations knew about the enslavement of South Sudanese by the Arabs. Their own staff reported it.
It took UNICEF – under pressure from the Jewish-led American Anti-Slavery Group – sixteen years to acknowledge what was happening. I want to publicly thank my friend Dr. Charles Jacobs for leading the anti-slavery fight.
But the Sudanese government and the Arab League pressured UNICEF, which backtracked, and started to criticize those who worked to liberate Sudanese slaves. In 1998, Dr. Gaspar Biro, the courageous UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Sudan who reported on slavery, resigned in protest of the UN’s actions.
Today, tens of thousands of black South Sudanese still serve their masters in the North and the UN is silent
about that. It would offend the OIC and the Arab League.
As a former slave and a victim of the worst sort of racism, allow me to explain why I think calling Israel a racist state is absolutely absurd and immoral.
I have been to Israel five times visiting the Sudanese refugees [seeking refuge] there. Let me tell you how they ended up there. They had fled Arab racism, hoping to find shelter in Egypt. How wrong they were! When Egyptian security forces slaughtered twenty six black refugees in Cairo who were protesting Egyptian racism, the Sudanese realized that the Arab racism is the same in Khartoum or Cairo. They needed shelter and they found it in Israel. Dodging the bullets of the Egyptian border patrols and walking for very long distances, the refugees’ only hope was to reach Israel ’s side of the fence, where they knew they would be safe.
Black Muslims from Darfur chose Israel above all the other Arab-Muslim states of the area. Do you know what this means [in terms of differences in culture, religion and language]? And the Arabs say Israel is racist!
In Israel, black Sudanese, Christian and Muslim were welcomed and treated like human beings. Just go and ask them, like I have done. They told me that compared to the situation in Egypt, Israel is “heaven.”
So, is Israel a racist state? To my people, the people who know the meaning of racism – the answer is absolutely not. Israel is a state of people who are the colors of the rainbow. Jews themselves come in all colors, even black. I met with Ethiopian Jews in Israel. Beautiful black Jews.
So, yes … I come here today to tell you that the people who suffer most from the UN anti-Israel policy are not the Israelis but all those people whom the UN ignores in order to tell its big lie against Israel: we, the victims of Arab/Muslim abuse: women, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, homosexuals, in the Arab/Muslim world. These are the main victims of UN Israel hatred.
Look at the situation of the Copts in Egypt, the Christians in Iraq, Nigeria and Iran, the Hindus and Bahais who suffer from Islamic oppression, and the Sikhs. We – a rainbow coalition of victims and targets of Jihadis – all suffer. We are ignored, we are abandoned. So that the big lie against the Jews can go forward.
In 2005, I visited one of the refugee camps in South Sudan . I met a twelve year old girl who told me about her dream. She wanted to go to school to become a doctor. And then she wanted to visit Israel. I was amazed. How could this refugee girl who spent most of her life in the North know about Israel ? When I asked why she wanted to visit Israel, she said: “This is our people.” I was never able to find an answer to my question.
On January 9 of 2011 South Sudan became an independent state. For South Sudanese, that means continuation of oppression, brutalization, demonization, Islamization, Arabization and enslavement. In a similar manner, the Arabs continue denying Jews their right for sovereignty in their homeland and the Durban III conference continues denying Israel ’s legitimacy.
As a friend of Israel, I bring you the news that my President, the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, publicly stated that the South Sudan Embassy in Israel will be built – not in Tel Aviv, but in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. I also want to assure you that my own new nation, and all of its peoples, will oppose racist forums like the Durban III. We will oppose it by simply continuing to tell the truth! Our truth!
We all lie or pander to lies
in some way or another
By RALPH DOBRIN
Author of “How to Avoid Armageddon”
Available through Amazon
There are probably very few people on the face of the earth who don’t on a regular basis, engage in some form of untruthfulness, falsehood or deception, or who consciously accept questionable claims and lies, or who fail to act appropriately to hazards and dangers, whether they are imminent or not. In other words, from time to time, most of us are participants in the realm of falsehood in some way or another.
Here are a few of the many forms of untruthfulness and falsehood:
EXAGGERATION: If I say I waited for a bus for half-an-hour, when in fact I waited for only 20 minutes, I was telling a lie. Admittedly a minor infraction, but nonetheless a lie. It distorts the reality of what I’m discussing by inflating figures (or deflating them) or by embellishing details about incidents and situations. Exaggeration can become a very habitual thing.
HALF TRUTH: A common form of deception, it constitutes the selective omission of relevant facts. There are many ways that this form of deception is practiced. It is often more deceptive than the outright lie because often, what is omitted is something of over-riding importance, which the listener won’t be aware of. Example: if I’m going into partnership with an existing business and my accountant checks the bank reports and other projections, which look sound. But the owner omits to mention that he owes a loan shark a sum of money far in excess of the value of the entire business, it is clear that I will be throwing away my money.
WISHFUL THINKING: Self-deception has many forms – wishful thinking; denial; clinging to old notions no matter how things have changed; refusal to heed anything that doesn’t tally with our perception of things. Example: A person has toothache, but is afraid of dentists and balks at the price of treatment. The person kids himself that he doesn’t need to go to a dentist. He’ll take a painkiller for the pain, and his teeth, he reckons will be okay. What a painful, expensive form of lying of lying to himself this wishful thinking can turn out to be for him for years to come.
AUTOMATICALLY REJECTING WHAT OTHERS SAY: Some people automatically reject or ignore anything, no matter how plausible or probable, if it doesn’t conform exactly to their point of view. Thus they often block out what might be the truth about something. This is especially so with anything that has a political connection.
AUTOMATICALLY AGREEING WITH WHAT OTHERS SAY: Sometimes we automatically agree with something even though it is questionable, unfair or obviously false. We agree, despite its falseness or unfairness, because it appeals to our political sentiments, pet theories or a prurient interest in cheap gossip.
DECLARING AN ASSUMPTION AS A CERTAINTY: When we say something with certainty even though we’re merely guessing or don’t really know what we’re talking about, we often spread false information. We’re engaging in falsehood.
SANCTIONING FALSEHOOD: People who hear a blatant lie and fail to oppose or question it. All the delegates at the U.N. who kept quiet or even applauded when the leader of Iran repeated the canard that the Nazi Holocaust never occurred, were actually participating in the lie.
FAILING TO ACT APPROPRIATELY ACCORDING TO A KNOWN OR PROBABLE TRUTH : People who keep the lights or air conditioning on unnecessarily in their homes, or who drive a gas-guzzling SUV for ordinary use, indicate that they’re ignoring all the warnings about pollution and global climate change. By doing this they are ignoring or rejecting what is probably the truth; they do not honor the truth at everyone’s peril.
It is through these aspects of falsehood, that most man-made problems in the world are caused and perpetuated – whether they are small or large. This incomplete list of ways of twisting, ignoring or manipulating the truth, or fostering falsehood, should be internalized by every person concerned about the future of our world, because by assessing his or her degree of untruthfulness we can all work on ourselves and raise the level of truthfulness in the world, and thereby in the long run, redeem it.