The Palestinian Liberation Organization has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The PLO wants to UN member states to table a resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity. In a statement, the PLO said the rise in settlement activities is “proof of a dangerous Israeli government plan to undermine the two-states solution.”
The majority of UN member states will no doubt relish the opportunity to help the PLO condemn the Jewish state. But it is a common misperception that the building of settlements is an impediment to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
In truth, the primary obstacle to peace is the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and the unwillingness to allow a Jewish minority in a Palestinian state.
The legal status of the West Bank
In 1920, the San Remo Conference assigned to Britain a mandate to establish a Jewish national home on territory covering what would become Israel, Jordan and part of the Golan Heights. In early 1921, Britain made a distinction between Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people, and Transjordan as a home for the Arabs.
The Mandate of Palestine, which was confirmed by the League of Nations in 1922, formalized the creation of a Jewish national homeland, as well as Transjordan. The Mandate incorporated the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which endorsed the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” The Mandate legalized the immigration of Jews to Palestine and encouraged close settlement of the land.
Two years after the Second World War, the British handed the Mandate to the UN, which recommended (rather than enforced) the partition of Palestine between Jews and Arabs. The Jews accepted the partition but the Arab states rejected it and declared war on the Jewish homeland, which resulted in the annexation of the West Bank by Jordan. At the insistence of the Arabs, the 1949 armistice line was “not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary.”
In 1967, Israel won control of the West Bank after a war of self-defence. UN Security Council Resolution 242 recommended Israeli withdrawal from territories in return for the right “to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” Unfortunately, the Arab states once again rejected the UN’s proposal. Moreover, the second article of the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable to the West Bank because it pertains only to cases of occupation of a sovereign entity. Jordan was never a recognized sovereign of the West Bank, which means Israel is not an occupier.
The legality of the settlements
Legally, the West Bank is unclaimed Mandate land and should be referred to as “disputed” territory. As such, the settlements are entirely legal as long as they are in the parameters of the 1922 Mandate, which has never been superseded in law, not even by the 1947 partition plan. Israel’s capture of the West Bank in 1967 merely restored the territory to its legal status under the Mandate of 1922. The settlers are simply enacting this mandate.
Even if it could be proved that Israel is an occupant, many of the Jewish settlements are still permitted under international law. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Protocol does not prohibit Israeli civilians from acting on their own initiative by settling among the Palestinian Arabs. Other settlements are there for security reasons. Building up the areas around east Jerusalem reduces the risk of the capital falling to an Arab army invading from the east. Again, this is permissible under the Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Protocol.
The fact that the Palestinians and the Arab states collaborated with Hitler, and then proceeded to invade Israel on three occasions between 1948 and 1973, seriously undermines any moral claim to establish a state on the West Bank. Besides, the West Bank, traditionally known as Judea and Samaria, is historically and religiously Jewish. It is home to several sacred sites and two of Judaism’s holiest cities (east Jerusalem and Hebron). Jerusalem was under Islamic control for centuries, but on no occasion did any Muslim entity declare it as their capital.
Moreover, non-Jewish powers cannot be trusted to protect Jews or Jewish sites. Until 1948, Jews had lived in Judea and Samaria for hundreds of years. During the Jordanian occupation, the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated and synagogues destroyed. In addition, Jews were forbidden from praying at their holiest place – the Western Wall. And let’s not forget that Hebron was ethnically cleansed of Jews by the Palestinian Arabs in 1929. Following the 1967 war, many Jews were eager to commemorate the massacre by settling in Hebron.
An impediment to peace?
Between 1948 and 1967, there was not a single settlement in Gaza or the West Bank. But the Arab states refused to make peace with Israel. Nor did the Arab states attempt to establish a Palestinian state on the West Bank and in Gaza between 1948 and 1967. Furthermore, the dismantling of Jewish homes and the withdrawal of Israelis from Gaza in 2005 should have led to a cold peace. Instead, the Palestinians elected Hamas, which resulted in an upswing in terrorism. In short, a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has never been about the settlements.
Of course, it is a reasonable assumption that the settlements will play a part in final negotiations. And if a two-state solution is reached, it must be possible to allow a Jewish minority to remain in a Palestinian state, in the same way that one in five Israelis are Arabs. After all, many of the Jews in the West Bank were born there. As such, Palestinian demands for UN condemnation of the settlements is both racist and illegal.
King’s Church in Manchester and London are due to hold a pro-Palestinian event this weekend.
Both branches of the church have allowed the Palestinian Forum in Britain to host '8th Annual Palestine Day’ on June 23rd and 24th.
The Manchester church has agreed to ban several speakers, but the event itself is still going ahead.
However, the London church has so far resisted calls to ban Muhammad Al-Shareef, Azzam Tamimi and Abdel Bari Atwan from making an appearance.
Al-Shareef, who refers to Jews as “apes and pigs,” endorses terrorism against Israeli civilians. Azzam Tamimi also supports suicide bombings against Israelis. In 2007, Abdel Bari Atwan said he would “dance with delight” in Trafalgar Square if Iran attacks Israel.
Even if the London church follows Manchester’s lead and bans the speakers, the fact that the events are taking place at all is worrying.
The Palestinian Forum in Britain has connections with the Muslim Brotherhood and radical clerics such as Raed Salah, who endorses the conspiracy theory that Jews use the blood of children to make Passover bread.
The forum is also a proxy for terrorist organisation Hamas, which denies the Holocaust and calls for the destruction of Israel.
King Church’s complicity in the propagation of anti-Semitism and terrorism is a major blow to Jewish-Christian relations. Not surprisingly, the British Israel Coalition is urging King’s Church to cancel the events.
But I doubt King’s Church will have the courage to call a halt to the proceedings.
There is a lot of talk these days regarding the contemporary identity of the biblical Amalekites and whether or not the Palestinians fit the description.
The Amalekites were descendants of Amalek, the son of Esau's first-born son Eliphaz. The Amalekites are notorious for attacking the Hebrews at Rephidim in the Sinai desert and again at Hormah.
According to tradition, the Amalekites are the antithesis of the Jewish people and are present in every generation. Anti-Semitism is also the antithesis of Jewish identity and has been stubbornly present in every age.
Anti-Semitism is perhaps the best example of a meme, an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. A meme self-replicates, mutates and responds to environmental factors.
Anti-Semitism is what I would call a grand meme. That is to say, it is an overarching idea that encompasses several sub-memes. One of these sub-memes is Israelophobia, the most up-to-date manifestation of amalekism.
Israelophobia is a neurosis and can be defined as the hysterical and irrational fear or hatred of Israel. This unhealthy fixation is an aspect of the “new anti-Semitism,” which is the demonization and delegitimization of Israel.
As with all irrational prejudices, Israelophobia is reactionary and obsessional.
Although there are numerous instances where malicious intent is involved, Israelophobia is quite often a consequence of groupthink or intellectual laziness.
Nonetheless, Israelophobia is a disease of the mind and should be challenged at an intellectual level. Unfortunately, because the media is in such a state of moral decline, rational arguments are often displaced by hysterical stories about Palestinian hunger strikes or the latest Jewish settlements.
The internet is also problematic. The web is the modern-day arena of public discourse, but it is awash with amalekist gibberish. But there are also many websites and blogs that do a fantastic job of defending Israel.
Rather than get disheartened by the amalekist onslaught, defenders of Israel must continue to shield the Jewish state and slay a few of Amalek’s descendants in the process.
There is nothing legitimate about Islam’s claim to be the original faith. Similarly, there is nothing legitimate about the Palestinian aspiration for nationhood.
The Islamic desire to eradicate the Jewish people can perhaps be explained by the following proposition: Muslims subconsciously recognize that Islam is an inferior and destructive imitation of Judaism.
Rather than seeking to emulate the goodness of the Torah, Muslims have instead subverted and sabotaged the Jewish faith, and this has had dire consequences for Jews.
The towering figures of the Tanakh, which include Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Aaron and David, have all been claimed by Muslims to suit their own agenda. Indeed, Muslims downplay the importance of Isaac by claiming it was Ishmael who was taken up to Mount Moriah. Ishmael, of course, is considered to be the ancestor of the Arabs.
Examples of imitation abound. Islamic dietary laws mimic Kashrut. Muslims circumcise their children, just like Jews do. The Temple Mount, revered by Jews as the place where God chose to rest the Divine Presence, is now home to the Dome of the Rock, a caricature of the Jewish temple. And it is because of the Dome of the Rock that Jews are unable to build the Third Temple.
Muslims claim the Quran is the word of God recited by an angel to Mohammed, despite the fact that it is merely a mishmash of stories from both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament. The Torah, however, is revered by Jews because it was/is the ultimate manifestation of God’s will. And unlike the Quran, the Torah is the bedrock of Judeo-Christian civilisation.
Although the Christian New Testament does contain some anti-Judaic statements, the Quran is far worse. Islam is mired in anti-Semitism because of its ambiguous relationship with Judaism. Several verses in the Quran describe the transformation of Jews into apes and pigs as punishment for breaking the Sabbath or “worshipping evil.” Before ordering that every adult male of a particular Jewish tribe be killed, Mohammed referred to the Jews as “brothers of monkeys.” So it is no surprise that today’s Islamists refer to Jews as the “descendants of apes and swine,” or why Hamas says that Jews are sub-human.
What’s also pernicious about Islam is its claim to be the original faith of Adam and Abraham, and that the Jews (and Christians) perverted God’s true intentions for mankind. All the major figures in the Tanakh (e.g. Noah, David, Solomon etc) are appropriated by Islam and turned into Muslim prophets. From the very beginning, Islam was an ideology designed to delegitimize Judaism. So it is hardly surprising that Muslims today seek to delegitimize the State of Israel by claiming the land is part of the Islamic caliphate.
This habit of appropriating Jewish identity and then seeking to destroy it perhaps explains why Palestinian nationalism is so unstable. The Palestinian Arabs did not seek to establish a homeland until after the formation of the State of Israel, and even then they were more concerned with destroying the Jewish state than actually focusing on how to build their own democratic institutions.
Once it was clear that the Arab states could not defeat Israel, the Palestinians had no choice but to invent their own nationalism, which is quite obviously a parody of Zionism. Palestinian nationalism came into being because the Jews did it first.
Indeed, some Palestinians go further by claiming they are descendants of the biblical Jebusites and Canaanites. According to this narrative, the Palestinians have been occupied and usurped twice – first, by the Israelites and then by the Zionists.
But this is wishful thinking. Arabs are not indigenous to Eretz Israel. They are ethnically and culturally identical to Arabs living in Jordan, Syria, Egypt etc.
Arabs occupied Eretz Israel in the 7th century during the Muslim conquests. In contrast, Jews have lived on the land for the past 3,300 years. Jerusalem has always been considered the focus of Judaism and Jewish identity. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity.
Likewise, Jerusalem is mentioned at least 700 times in the Jewish scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. It is unlikely that Muhammad ever went to Jerusalem. Moreover, Jews pray facing Jerusalem, while Muslims pray with their backsides toward Jerusalem. This is surely a tasteless caricature of Judaism.
The Palestinian desire to appropriate the land of Israel is simply the latest manifestation of the ongoing attempt to emulate Judaism by subverting and ultimately destroying Jewish identity. Therefore, it is important to keep reminding the world that the Jewish people have a much stronger claim to Judea and Samaria. There are many political and legal reasons why the State of Israel is entitled to the “West Bank.” But at the heart of the matter is the Jewish right to fulfil Israel’s destiny as keeper of the land, which was, after all, promised in the Torah.
The internet is arguably one of the most important tools for pro-Palestinian groups, terrorists and the Left, all of whom are working hard to wage a Kulturkampf (“culture war”) on Israel.
Israel’s critics and enemies are very adept at using the internet as a tool for spreading disinformation, anti-Semitic conspiracies and organising anti-Zionist activities. Unable to defeat Israel militarily or through terrorism, the internet is deemed the best place to carry out attacks on Israel – a kind of electronic intifada.
Israel’s enemies also use the internet to hack into Israeli security and banking systems, although the Jewish state now seems to be taking the initiative and launching pre-emptive cyber-attacks on Iran.
So much for the downside of the internet.
For Israel advocates who do not reside in the Jewish state, the internet is an important medium for the development of transnational Zionism, allowing us to create a kind of virtual Greater Israel.
Unable to meet in person, the internet allows Zionists – Jews and non-Jews – to converse, swap ideas, locate information and openly challenge and subvert the media war against Israel. In short, the internet allows us to be unofficial Israeli diplomats and ambassadors.
As Amir Gissin, the Israeli public relations guru, said: "The internet's become a leading tool for news, shaping the world view of millions.”
Zionists have got to make sure the internet does not become the property of Israel bashers but is an instrument for lovers of Zion to put the record straight and dismantle anti-Israel propaganda.
Holocaust denial is a disgusting industry and its only purpose is to delegitimize Jewish suffering.
But the astonishing rise in anti-Semitism in the past ten years, which masquerades as anti-Zionism, is indicative of a new phenomenon: Holocaust amnesia.
The truth is we may as well live in a world where the Holocaust never happened. What is so awful about the fact that anti-Semitism is at its highest since WW2 is that the decimation of European Jewry seems to matter so little.
Furthermore, the Palestinians have effectively repackaged themselves as the ‘new Jews.’ Gaza is the new Warsaw ghetto and the Israelis are the new Nazis. Israel is so evil that it is also the new South Africa.
Accusing Israelis of committing genocide or comparing the Jewish state to South Africa is not only deliberately offensive, it is indicative of a depressing decline in moral and intellectual standards. Words like ‘apartheid’ and ‘genocide’ are fast becoming empty signifiers, cut loose from the horrors they are supposed to define. Predictably, some Palestinians now refer to their plight as a ‘holocaust.’
This is testament to the Palestinian disinformation machine, which has managed to outwit Israel’s public relations department at every turn.
The Palestinians are well-versed in historical revisionism, media manipulation and downright lying, and it is proving rather successful in the West, which is looking for any excuse to exonerate themselves of Holocaust guilt.
But I wonder if ‘guilt’ is the right word. Perhaps Westerners are trying to rid themselves of Holocaust resentment. By blaming the Israelis for the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, Westerners are able to offload that resentment by turning the victim into the oppressor.
This resentment is not new. It was identified in a survey conducted in 1989. The study found that nearly half of all West Germans believed reparations paid to Israel and/or Jews were too high or should stop altogether.
The compilers of the survey concluded in their report that present-day anti-Semitism “is essentially tied to memories of Nazism, feelings of guilt, and the desire to end discussion of the past and return to normalcy."
This may explain why in the past few years, anti-Zionism has become a socially acceptable way of expressing anti-Semitism in Germany and beyond.
The manic obsession with the Palestinians and the hateful demonization of Israel, while ignoring the Tibetans or the Burmese or the millions of oppressed Muslims from Iran to Saudi Arabia, seems to hint at something dark in the Western psyche.
The fact that the Palestinian crisis is largely self-inflicted and/or the fault of neighbouring Arab states and UNWRA is of no interest to the West.
The obsession with blaming Israel taps into an age-old bigotry. Once upon a time the Jews were accused of killing babies and poisoning wells. Now the Jewish state is accused of killing babies and poisoning wells. Israel truly is the Jew among nations.
The power of the Holocaust to genuinely shock people is fading, which may also help explain why Judeophobia is increasingly acceptable on the Left and in the liberal media. Europe, it seems, is reverting to type.
The Jewish historian, Tony Judt, who is no friend of Israel, said: “The Holocaust may lose its universal resonance. We must hope that this will not be the case and we need to find a way to preserve the core lesson that the Shoah really can teach: the ease with which people—a whole people—can be defamed, dehumanized, and destroyed.”
Muslim colonisation of European political discourse is largely to blame for the upswing in irrational Israel bashing. It has got so bad that some UK schools are afraid to teach pupils about the Holocaust because Muslim pupils might be offended or express anti-Semitic sentiments.
Islamic anti-Semitism has taken its toll on Jewish communities for centuries. But these days, Judeophobia is justified as political criticism of Israel. But take a look at the editorial cartoons in the Arab, Turkish and Iranian press and you will see undiluted Nazi-influenced Jew-hatred.
This nasty streak of anti-Semitism, combined with the refusal to recognise Israel, is wreaking havoc in the Middle East and in the West, and is prolonging the jihad against the Jewish state and Jews everywhere.
Europe, which is wallowing in post-colonial guilt and cultural relativism, has failed to address the problem of resurgent anti-Semitism, probably because it so captivated by the absurd narrative of the Palestinian underdog and the Israeli oppressor.
The internet, too, is partly to blame. The web is a hotbed of neo-Nazi conspiracy theories, bizarre YouTube videos, weird allegations, slurs and lies, that are all too reminiscent of the anti-Semitism in the decades preceding the Shoah.
What is also reminiscent of the pre-war situation is the growing boycott movement. Apart from the fact that it is hysterical and entirely unnecessary, it is eerily reminiscent of the boycott of Jewish shops Nazi Germany in the 1930s, which was also supported by the Arab world.
Israel advocates continue to work hard to challenge public misconceptions. We know that the Palestinian leadership has repeatedly rejected the opportunity to establish a state of their own in the hope of acquiring the entire land of Israel. But the rest of the world is either ignorant of the Palestinians’ true intentions or is deliberately choosing to ignore it. I think it is the latter. And this is more worrying because it is indicative of humanity’s recurring rebellion against progress, conscience and free will– all of which are gifts from the Torah. In short, the hatred of Israel is synonymous with animosity towards the Jewish God. Or to put it another way, it is metaphysical anti-Semitism.
I’m firmly convinced that the vast majority of global anti-Israel activity is anti-Semitic. If I’m right, how on earth do you reason these people, who are at best in need of some education and at worse completely unhinged? Somewhere in the middle are the people who are intellectually dishonest and this includes newspapers like the Guardian and the Independent.
The answer is, you can’t reason with these people. Because the culture war being waged against Israel is inherently unreasonable. And that it why Israel must remain strong, defiant and independent. It must not be disheartened by the boycott movement, nor must it make concessions that would endanger its security.
Moreover, Israel does have many friends it can count on for moral support. The US, Canada, the Czech Republic and Australia are among the handful of nation states that Israel can count on. And there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of organisations, activists and freelance websites around the world which advocate on behalf of Israel.
We may be outnumbered by a billion Muslims, the EU, the liberal media and socialist agitators, but we have right on our side. As Churchill said: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
Coincidentally, Honest Reporting has published an article which also focuses on German resentment of the Holocaust. See…
“When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.” (Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel)
Muslims have been killing Jews in huge numbers for centuries. When they weren’t massacring them, they were oppressing them and making their lives unbearable.
Not only that, they participated in Hitler’s programme of extermination and then proceeded to launch a full-scale, multi-pronged attack on a nation of Holocaust survivors.
Since then, the Arabs and the Muslim world in general have refused to accept Israel as a political reality, preferring instead to terrorise the Jewish state and employ useful idiots in the West to do its dirty work.
But should there ever come a day when peace comes to the Middle East, will the Israelis be able to forgive their Muslim neighbours?
Forgiveness can only come when the Palestinians and the wider Muslim world admit their role in the Holocaust. Will they then apologise and seek to make amends in the same way some Catholics and Protestants did after the Holocaust?
The offenders must express remorse and be genuinely repentant. And some recognition and recompense for the 800,000 Jewish refugees forced to leave Arab lands after 1948 would be nice.
But I just can’t see the Muslim world and the Palestinians, in particular, ever giving up their jihad against Israel.
And this means more deaths of Israeli civilians and soldiers, more frightened children cowering in bomb shelters, and the ever-present threat of a second Holocaust.
In the latest round of cultural violence against Israel, an anthology of Middle Eastern women’s writing has been shelved.
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas had intended to publish the anthology as a tribute to a colleague who died in 2008.
However, one of the contributing writers threatened to withdraw her work from the book unless the publishers omitted the work of Israeli writers.
The publishers rightly refused her demand on the grounds that excluding the Israelis did not meet academic standards.
It became clear that that publication of the book would have to be cancelled when more than a dozen Arab women authors withdrew their work.
It is ironic that the contributors boycotted the book when Israel is the only place in the Middle East where women have equal rights.
It reminds me of another act of self-defeating cultural violence that took place in the UK last month.
Israel’s Habima theatre, which was in London to perform the Merchant of Venice at the Globe, was publicly shunned by several well-known television performers, including Emma Thompson.
The performance went ahead, although there some protests and interruptions.
Habima’s crime was to have played a couple of dates in Ariel, a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Of course, the fact that Habima has an Arab-Israeli theatre in Jaffa is of no interest to Israel bashers.
I was surprised to find two copies of Gilad Atzmon’s infamous The Wandering Who? A study of Jewish identity politics in my local library in Manchester, England.
A weird mixture of conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic allegations, the book has been condemned by Zionists and anti-Zionists alike. Following its publication in 2011, ten anti-Zionist authors wrote to the publisher to complain that "the thrust of Atzmon’s work is to normalise and legitimise anti-Semitism.”
The author, an Israel-born musician, refers to himself as a “proud self-hating Jew”. He's got nothing to be proud of. He is infamous for denying the Holocaust and endorsing the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He has claimed that Jews are in the business of trafficking body parts and that American Jews were responsible for Hitler’s anti-Semitism.
Jewish scholar Alan Dershowitz has written that “hard-core neo-Nazis, racists, anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers” endorse Atzmon.
Even Palestinian groups have distanced themselves from him because of his anti-Semitic views. A number of Palestinian intellectuals wrote to Atzmon, saying: "We reaffirm that there is no room in this historic and foundational analysis of our struggle for any attacks on our Jewish allies, Jews, or Judaism; nor denying the Holocaust; nor allying in any way shape or form with any conspiracy theories, far-right, orientalist, and racist arguments, associations and entities.”
The book contains a number of startling assertions:
· The Iraq war was carried out at the behest of the Zionists, with the US Army cast in the role of an “Israeli mission force.”
· American Jews in positions of power are the “enemy within.”
· Jewish bankers “have gathered the reputation of backers and financiers of war and even one communist revolution.”
· The credit crunch was the fault of one Jew in particular i.e. Alan Greenspan, who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006.
· Everyone who identifies himself as ‘a Jew’, including anti-Zionist Jews, are racist.
· Circumcision is a “Jewish blood ritual."
· Israeli youth who visit Auschwitz return home to “mimic SS barbarity.”
· Judaism is “tribal barbarism, a representations of the banal, non-universal, monotheistic merciless God, the killer of elder and infant alike.”
· The “Jews have no origin in Palestine whatsoever.”
· There is no such thing as anti-Semitism because the Jews “are not a race.”
· The Holocaust is a “new Jewish religion”, the “most sinister religion known to man.”
· The British government was funded by the Jews to attack Iraq in order to "erase one of the last pockets of Arab resistance to Zionism."
· One day people “may be bold enough to argue that "Hitler was right after all."
· The ancient blood libel – that Jews made Passover bread out of gentile children’s blood – may have some truth in it.
· Hamas rockets “are nothing but love letters.”
· Jewishness is driven by “racial supremacy.”
On the back of the book, there is a recommendation by political analyst James Petras, a well-known left-wing anti-Semite. Petras labels American Zionists "Israel's fifth column” and stereotypes the American Jewish community as “primarily defined by their entrepreneurial capacities" and "upholders of a doctrine of offensive wars.” He has also blamed the global economic crisis on Zionists and accused the American-Jewish community of being “bloodthirsty” for war and controlling the media.
It is extremely alarming that self-proclaimed progressives think it is acceptable to employ such terminology. The inability by many on the Left to confront this problem calls into question their judgement on any political issue.
Atzmon’s book is an example of what Irving Louis Horowitz has described as left-wing fascism: the tendency to find faults "everywhere and always in an imperial conspiracy of wealth, power or status.”
To paraphrase a well-known philosopher, one had better put on gloves before reading The Wandering Who?
I've just finished watching the 2003 documentary, Checkpoint. It was made by Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir and shows the everyday interaction between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians at checkpoints throughout the West Bank and Gaza.
The documentary highlights the frustration and boredom of the young Israeli soldiers and the seemingly arbitrary restrictions placed on the Palestinians, who suffer a great deal of humiliation. The trouble is, the film lacks context. During the three years this documentary was made, there were more than 100 terrorists attacks, in which 800 Israelis were killed and 5,000 were wounded. The film also fails to show the many instances when suicide bombers were stopped at the checkpoints. Some of those stopped included women and children.
Checkpoint is a revealing portrait of the frustration and tedium of life in the West Bank, but by manipulating the viewer’s feeling and failing to reveal the big picture, the film does a disservice to the men and women of the IDF.