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First they came for the communists,
but I was not a communist, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the socialists
and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they
came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. And when they
came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoeller.
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|"Get the Hell out of Palestine" - Monday, June 07, 2010
“Get the Hell out of Palestine”
David C. Stolinsky, MD
The dean of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas, proclaimed that the Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go “home” to Germany and Poland. And when militants on a ship attacked Israeli troops with pipes, knives and guns, and threw one Israeli overboard, the world press and the U.N. condemned Israel for a “disproportionate” response. The troops were searching for weapons destined for Hamas in Gaza. What’s happening here?
I’ll tell you what’s happening. These two opposing principles are contending, and the second one is winning:
It [the right of self-defense] is not, neither can it be in fact, taken away by the law of society.
Jews are forbidden to possess weapons, by order of Reichsführer-SS Himmler.
When people are attacked with deadly force, they are entitled to respond with deadly force. If a man comes at me with a knife, I am entitled to shoot him. I am not required to turn my back, run to the kitchen and try to find a knife of exactly equal length. The right to life includes the right to defend it − otherwise the right is meaningless.
Israel gave up the Gaza Strip, which then was used to launch over 4000 rockets at Israel. As expected, Israel was condemned for a “disproportionate” response. But what would the American response be if Mexicans in Tijuana fired 4000 rockets into San Diego? In fact, what is demanded of Israel is a disproportionately small response − or better still, none at all.
● Independent nations control their borders − that is, except Jews. An alert Customs agent stopped the Millennium Bomber from bringing explosives across from Canada. When vans filled with illegal immigrants attempted to crash the border from Mexico, U.S. agents opened fire, wounding three in the vans and an innocent motorist. The U.N. did not call this “disproportionate.”
● After World War II, the Allies redrew the borders of Germany. Some Germans long for the return of eastern territory taken by Poland, but realists know that only winners of wars redraw borders – that is, except Jews. Israelis were victorious in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. But a four-to-nothing record does not entitle them to the rights normally accorded to victors. Why?
· Victors in struggles for independence are entitled to a homeland, as witness Ireland, India, Pakistan, and former Soviet provinces from Latvia to Kyrgyzstan. This principle applies to all peoples – that is, except Jews. Israel was established in 1948, but maps printed in Arab nations still fail to show it.
· No one questions whether Catholics should control the Vatican or whether Muslims should control Mecca. Religious groups have a right to control their holy places – that is, except Jews. Some insist that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem be under Muslim control, because the site also contains two mosques. Others push for U.N. control. But no one suggests that any other religion’s holiest site be under the control of others.
From 1948 to 1967, the Temple Mount was controlled by Jordan. No Jews were allowed, but the “world community” did nothing. Few cared about the Temple Mount until Israel took control, when it suddenly became a topic of interest.
· Jews have reason to resent Germany, but they do not claim that Bach and Beethoven were French. All peoples are entitled to their history – that is, except Jews. Hitler ridiculed the Old Testament as “Jewish chicaneries,” “Jewish filth and priestly twaddle,” and “Jewish mumbo-jumbo.” Now Hitler is quoted on an Islamic website.
Palestinian leaders claim there never was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Are we to believe the ancient Romans were Zionists, and that carvings on the Arch of Titus in Rome showing seven-branched candlesticks being carried off by Roman soldiers are bogus?
The pattern is clear: First deny that the Old Testament is genuine, then deny that Jews have a historical claim to live in their homeland, and finally deny that they have a right to live at all.
· England was settled by Normans, who displaced Saxons, who in turn had displaced Britons. The sad story of Native Americans is well known. It is accepted that most nations were settled by people who displaced the former inhabitants – that is, except Jews. It ill-behooves those who displaced other peoples to condemn Israelis for displacing Palestinians.
· About 1.2 million Arabs live in Israel, a fact that is taken for granted. About 187,000 Jews live in the West Bank, many of whom have lived there for decades. But the media describe them as “settlers,” not residents, living in “settlements,” not towns. (One pictures bearded miners in tents.) Turks live in Germany. Germans live in France. Koreans live in Japan. Even unpopular groups live among other groups – that is, except Jews.
The avowed aim of Muslim leaders is that “their” land be “cleansed” of Jews – judenrein the Nazis termed it. The model for “Palestine” − that is, all of Israel − is Gaza and Saudi Arabia, where there are no Jews. The map of “Palestine” in Abbas’ office includes all of Israel. Those who support the creation of a state where Jews are forbidden to live are racists, whether they admit it or not.
· In 1947, India was split into largely Hindu India and largely Muslim Pakistan, which had never existed before. Millions of Hindus, finding themselves in a Muslim state, fled to India, and millions of Muslims did the reverse. What occurred was seen as a tragedy, but as a mutual resettlement, not a unilateral expulsion.
Something similar occurred in 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled from areas that became Israel. And hundreds of thousands of Jews fled from Muslim lands. As with India and Pakistan, what occurred was an exchange of populations. Yet one hears only about Palestinian refugees, never about Jewish refugees. Apparently refugees and their descendants have a right to resettlement – that is, except Jews. Israelis are told they “stole the land,” but Pakistanis never are. Why?
· Assume that Palestinians who claim to have been dispossessed since 1948, and their descendants, have refugee status. Let’s go back a few more years. Recall that Hitler first merely wanted the Jews to leave, “…for all I care, on luxury liners.” But no nation wanted the refugees, except for a pitiful few. A Nazi newspaper gloated, “Nobody Wants Them.” Only then did the Nazis implement the Final Solution and exterminate every Jew they could.
Do all those who now insist that Israel accept responsibility for the refugees of 1948-1967 also agree to accept their responsibility for the refugees of 1940-1945? Of course not. Why is it that refugee status lasts long enough to impose obligations on Jews, but expires just in time to absolve anyone of obligations to Jews?
If the nations had accepted Jewish refugees, there would have been no Holocaust – and probably no Israel. The descendants of those who fled from Hitler would now be living in America, Canada, Australia, Britain and Russia. And with no Israel, there would be no Palestinian refugees. Those nations that turned their backs on Jewish refugees are thus indirectly responsible for Palestinian refugees − and in a poor moral position to make demands on Israelis.
· Americans who support claims by Palestinians would not give their property to Native Americans or Mexicans whose ancestors were dispossessed in years past, nor would Europeans give their homes or businesses to descendents of the Jews who lived there before the Holocaust. They do not hold themselves to the same standard.
Nobody is expected to give up his or her home or workplace to the descendants (or alleged descendants) of those who were dispossessed generations ago – that is, nobody except Jews.
Years ago, miners took canaries into mines. Canaries are sensitive to toxic gas, so if they died, the miners knew there was danger. Jews are like canaries. They are often the first to die – but never the only ones. This was true in the Nazi era, and it is still true in the era of Muslim extremism.
Terrorists bombed Israeli buses, markets and pizzerias, and the world yawned. But then came 9/11, Madrid, London, Bali and Mumbai. The world should have paid attention when the canaries started dying.
To deny people the right to defend themselves is to imply that they do not deserve to live. When the dean of the White House press corps tells the Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” and go “home” to Germany and Poland, you know that anti-Israel sentiment has morphed into frank anti-Semitism, and that anti-Semitism is again socially acceptable.
Meanwhile, Hamas denies Israel’s right to exist, Hezbollah proclaims it intends to murder every Jew on Earth, Ahmadinejad builds nukes and announces he will wipe Israel off the map, and the “world community” does nothing − while Neville Chamberlain Obama sits in the Oval Office, vacillating on the best way to appease aggressors by abandoning an ally. The calendar may say 2010, but it’s 1938 all over again.
If I am correct, and this is a rerun of 1938, it means that we must choose sides. But if you say you intend to remain neutral, I will reply that to remain neutral is to become an enabler of tyranny. And I will remind you of a quotation from John Kennedy:
Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.