Last week a delegation of three British Parliament members, representing three different parties, including the Tories, came to Israel on a «fact-finding mission about the abuse of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories». In the framework of the program they had enough chutzpa to visit the Knesset in search of these “facts”, bringing along their local guides – representatives of Christian Aid, a viciously anti-Israel organization headed locally also by Britons and devoting its considerable resources to aiding Palestinians in their lawsuits against Israel.
I crossed paths with this noble company only briefly: they came to the office of MK Dr. Yuri Shtern (National Union) who heads the newly formed Christian Allies Caucus. Apparently, Christian Aid had misunderstood the name: this body was created to strengthen cooperation between the Knesset and Christian Zionists, the best friends Israel has in the world. I would argue that not only are they our best friends, but they are the only true Christians, for the simple reason that The God of Israel is a Zionist, and if they follow His Messiah, they have to be Zionists, too. By contrast, Christian Aid is Christian in name only; it is not just their attitude to the nation of Christ, but it is their total indifference to the fate of their co-believers – the Christians of Palestine.
By coincidence I happened to be at Shtern’s office to talk about the study conducted by the Jerusalem Summit on the plight of Christian Arabs in Bethlehem after it was transferred to Arafat. The facts are appalling: Moslem PA has set out to deliberately destroy Bethlehem’s Christian Arab community (consider just this: in 1970 there were 5 mosques in Bethlehem; now there are 72) . When the guests arrived (untypically for the British, they were half an hour late), I was already about to leave. Dr. Shtern kindly allowed me to speak first, and I drew the attention of the Parliamentarians to this study. They glided over it by saying that “two wrongs do not make a right”. I.e., the abuse of Christians’ rights in PA is certainly bad if it exists, but they are here to investigate the abuse of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories by IDF.
Dr. Shtern noted that the only right address in the Knesset for their inquiry should be the architects of Oslo, who, without asking the Palestinian people, had imposed on them the corrupt and despotic gang of Arafat. The latter came from Tunis in order not only to trample on the human rights of Palestinians and abuse the rights of their children by brainwashing an entire generation into zombies dreaming of becoming suicide bombers, but also to unleash a terror war against Israel after the most generous offer any country could give. And if there are any inconveniences Palestinians encounter at the road blocks, they are the consequences of that war orchestrated by PA.
I had to leave, nagging myself for having wasted a chance to deliver them the message. Indeed, talking about how awful the PA is to Christians sounded apologetic. Look, they also do bad things. Something is wrong with us, I thought as I left the Knesset; we instinctively start to apologize. Instead, this is what I should have told them:
Ladies and Gentlemen, you arrived here to find facts about the abuse of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories.
Each word in the stated goal of your visit is an abuse of moral clarity.
There are 22 Arab countries. And then there is a tiny Jewish country that occupies less than 1% of their combined territory. And this tiny country has to give up its land in exchange for their peace. Let us try the reverse view: imagine there are 22 Jewish states with a combined territory slightly greater than that of the US, and they demand the partition of a single tiny Arab state to create a Jewish State Number Twenty-three, since this single Arab state has a Jewish minority. The whole world would be up in arms: Those greedy Jews, why can’t you leave the poor Arab state alone! If you have Jews there, too, why can’t you resettle them in your 22 states: you have plenty of land and oil dollars.
Do you really think, gentlemen, that the world would support these 22 Jewish states that call the existence of a sole Arab state an “act of occupation”? (I borrowed this argument from Morton Klein of ZOA.)
If you are not persuaded by plain logic and common sense, and you insist on international law, then, in formal terms, this land is either a territory allotted by the League of Nations to create a Jewish national home, or, in an extreme case, disputed territories. Then, gentlemen, why was this “occupation” not mentioned in 1948, when these territories were seized by Jordan, but only in 1967, when they were retaken by Israel in the course of a defensive war?
Second: human rights? A person who wants to kill me doesn't have rights. I respect the rights of the person who walks past this window only until he tries to kill me. If he is, then he doesn't have any rights. This argument was presented more than 70 years ago by Vladimir Jabotinsky. It's tragic that it should still be relevant… well, as relevant as the arguments of the Bible.
Third: a British delegation? Parliamentarians of Britain that closed the doors of Israel to Jews, dooming them to be incinerated by Hitler? Britons who violated the mandate of the League of Nations to restore the national Jewish home in the ancient Land of Israel? Who rejected the vision of their own prophets, Lord Balfour and others, who saw in it the greatest honor bestowed on Christian Britain by the Lord of Israel? Britons who sold this honor and commandment of faith to Arab sheiks, partitioned the Holy Land and created this terrible problem?
From Britain we could accept a delegation of repentance.
And finally, gentlemen: a Knesset delegation has more of a right to come to the British Parliament to investigate the abuse of human rights of Irish nationals which took place while fighting Irish terrorists… You see, I choose the words with moral clarity. While fighting terror. Because anyone with basic decency understands that population that breeds and harbors terrorists can suffer some inconveniences (call it human-rights abuses), like rudeness of soldiers at the checkpoints where they try to catch the so-called «best sons» of that population. I said «while fighting terror», though if I had the same moral compass as the one that led you today to the Knesset, I could write «during the continuing British occupation of Northern Ireland». And even to that I have much more of a moral right: after all, the cradle of your civilization is not in Northern Ireland, as is ours in Judea and Samaria...
The irony, of course, is that I thought of these arguments only after I left the Knesset. But I don’t think this was the last meeting with European PLO-yalists, either for me or for you, my friends.
Will they change their minds, if they hear it? Well, at least a tinge of shame might sneak into their hearts. Shame makes a man’s life uncomfortable in the face of the God of Israel. Since people dare not revolt against Him, they attack His people, as the involuntary witnesses to their perversion. They are trying to numb the shame that is burning their insides by various drugs. Once upon a time they used “Avenging the Savior”, blood libel, Aryan philosophy. Following the WWII, the decadent Europe, its consciousness still roiled by the Holocaust, prescribed itself another drug – PLOpium – which consists in supporting the poor tyrants and cannibals of the Third World.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this drug will kill you. Perhaps you’re too hooked to give it up and thus are doomed. The God of Israel, however, gives every human being a chance till the very last moment. As in any dependency, the first step in going clean is to admit your sickness. Say it. Confess. Whisper it into His ear. And then, perhaps, He’ll help you to step away from the abyss.
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