I havn’t been blogging much the past few weeks, for personal reasons. Apologies. I hope to post occasionally over the next few weeks and return to business as usual thereafter.
There is a lot changing around the Jewish world at the moment, including our remote outpost of Perth. Yet the old addage goes – the more things change the more they remain the same.
We have had a wonderful season of Jewish holidays, which has provided much to reflect on. We have also had a surge of activities and community events. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up.
The global crusade to vilify Israel has only intensified. A generation of people, most of whom have no exposure or contact with Jewish communities, most of whom are historically ignorant, and most of whom have no understanding of modern Israel, are being fed a narrative that is nothing short of a modern blood libel. They see documentaries on TV that portray Israel as heartless killers. They read articles in the paper that assert Israel illegally occupies and settles Palestinian land. They do not get told of the existential threat that Israel endures.
It is only now that the Israeli Government is responding with Hasbara that is not in the form of apologetics.
The biggest issue that will unfortunately dominate discussion in the months ahead is the travesty of justice called the Goldstone Report. Without question this unfair document will be used to unfairly back Israel into a corner. Most free thinking citizens in most free thinking countries have no inkling that this report is an attack on their liberty. With Israel as the precedent, this shift in global injustice means that no country has a right to defend itself against terrorism.
It is our responsibility to remain informed. There are two resources that I encourage all JewglePerth readers to check out. The first is a webstie established by a group of my favourite bloggers at http://www.goldstonereport.org
The second is some commentary by the Israel Ambassador to Ireland, Zion Evrony, that is a stunningly articulate piece of commentary. I have reproduced some of this article that expresses my fear and sentiment in words far better than I could prepare:
Last January, speaking to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, I asked the question ‘What would you do?’ if Ireland found itself in a situation comparable to that of Israel at the end of 2008, following eight years of rocket and mortar attacks on its southern communities from Hamas-ruled Gaza. In the months since, nobody in Ireland has come forward with an answer to my question.
The Goldstone report indicates that, in practice, a democratic state confronted with terrorist attacks against its citizens must do nothing, effectively ruling that there are no legitimate means by which states may counter the terrorist techniques evolved by groups such as Hamas.
The Goldstone mission was mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, which has passed 20 resolutions censuring Israel in the three years since its founding, out of a total of 25 resolutions passed by the Council. Yet the Council, which includes paragons of human rights values such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Cuba, currently has nothing to say about the 400,000 deaths in Darfur for which Sudan is responsible, or the 1,000,000 displaced civilians in Somalia.
The UN had absolutely nothing to say during the years when 12,000 Hamas rockets – more than 7,000 since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 – landed on houses, streets, hospitals and schools, making a specialty of targeting the morning school-going period.
The Goldstone mission contained members who had clearly voiced their conclusions about Israel’s guilt well in advance. The mission did not ask its witnesses any questions relating to Hamas terrorist activity, the storage of weaponry in civilian areas or the launching of attacks from those areas.
Overall, the worst feature of the Goldstone report is the moral equation it makes between a democratic state seeking to put an end to attacks against its citizens, and the terrorist group responsible for those attacks. The motives and intentions of Israel are treated as inherently suspect, and its own scrutiny and judicial mechanisms treated as flawed and inadequate. At the same time, Hamas’ history of aggression is ignored, and its charter, calling for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel, similarly ignored.
Thank you Mr Evrony, and thank you to the Government of Benjamin Netanyahu that is finally asserting Israel’s rights as a Jewish State to build the Jewish nation and stand up to those who seek to abet its destroyers.