Hijacking at Durban
By Alan Perlman
September 2, 2001
The Durban conference is not the first instance of the Palestinians
hijacking something other than an airplane.
Many years ago, the National Organization of Women made
media darling Hanan Ashrawi its "Woman of the Year." It offered
Ms. Ashrawi a great opportunity to bring to public attention such
injustices against Palestinian women as forced "female
circumcision" and the murder of rape victims by their brothers,
husbands, fathers or sons because of the shame the rape brings
on the family. But Ms. Ashrawi had more pressing sexism to rant
about - how the Israeli occupation is oppressive to Palestinian
The Arabs ritually hijack every international conference organized
to deal with humanitarian issues, and use it as a club to batter
Israel. The current Durban conference against racism is no
different. Its draft resolution speaks against the "racist policies of
the Zionist regime in Israel" (article 39), and its "barbaric state
terrorism" (article 52). These charges of racism and terrorism are
leveled directly against the national character of Israeli society.
The question is: Do these charges really apply to Israeli society,
or do they actually apply to the Palestinian instigators of the
charges. Clearly, an examination of both societies, with regard to
these charges, is in order.
Which society is racist?
Those who believe that the Arab-Israeli conflict began when the
Arabs were forced to pay the price of an Israel established in the
wake of the Holocaust should consider the following: The
Palestinian pogroms against the Jews in Mandatory Palestine in
the 1920's and early 1930's preceded both the Holocaust and the
creation of the State of Israel. Long before the State of Israel,
the Arabs found the presence of Jews in the Holy Land
insufferable. And their goal has always been the same -- to
eliminate Jewish presence from the land.
During World War II, the Arabs of Palestine were enamored with
Hitler's plan to exterminate the Jews, and they aligned
themselves with the Nazi's. Their spiritual head, Mufti Haj Amin al
Husseini, was a welcomed guest of Hitler. They were comrades in
arms. (If you follow the pronouncements of the current Mufti of
Jerusalem, you can see that this man of the cloth is cut from the
very same cloth.)
All Arab wars against Israel were fought with one purpose only --
to destroy the State of Israel and to rid the land of Jews by either
killing or expelling them. The expression, or more correctly the
promise, to drive the Jews into the sea, is a uniquely Arab
This goal of eliminating Israel and its Jews was clearly spelled out
in the charter of the PLO. And since Oslo, the PLO, now
repackaged and accepted by the rest of the world as the PA, still
demands that Jewish settlements be dismantled to render the
land Judenrein. Official PA policy is to execute any Palestinian
found guilty of selling land to a Jew.
But the Palestinians went one step further. Instead of limiting its
fight to those Jews living in Israel, they target Jews the world
The case of Leon Klinghofer comes immediately to mind. Under
orders from future Nobel Prize winner, Yasser Arafat, Palestinian
"activists" murdered this wheelchair-bound American Jew in the
presence of his wife during a cruise, and then threw him,
wheelchair and all, overboard. This scenario has been repeated
countless times, and in all case the crime of the victim has
generally been the same: Being Jewish.
Today, guards must be posted at synagogues and Jewish
community centers the world over because of the threat posed by
a murderously anti-Semitic Palestinian and Muslim society. If
Israeli society is so savage, one must surely wonder why such
guards are not required at mosques and other Muslim meeting
On the diplomatic front, the Palestinians freely float blood libels
against the Jews. Baseless charges of poisoning Palestinian
children with poison gas, poison candy, and poisoned wells
abound. Mrs. Arafat even leveled a blood libel charge in the
presence of First Lady, Hillary Clinton.
Israeli society provides a lesson in contrast
The Arabs of Israel have Israeli citizenship and the same
protections under the law as Jews. They have the same access to
medical care, the right to vote, and the right to field their own
candidates in their own parties during elections.
There are some ten Arab members representing Arab political
parties in the Knesset. The two main Israeli parties, Labor and
Likud, have Arab Knesset members. Even the Sharon
government has an Arab minister.
Israeli society also has a bona fide peace movement that calls for
coexistence and a resolution to the Arab-Israeli through peaceful
means. This movement was of such tremendous size that, before
the current Palestinian war against Israel, it controlled the
Knesset and offered far-reaching concessions to the Palestinians
in an attempt at coexistence.
None of this characterizes a racist society. Yet, there are even
more contrasts that go to the very core of Arab/Muslim and
Arab societies were major purveyors in the slave trade and many
still permit slavery today. Contrast this with the fact that Jews
were at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement in America,
and that Israel went all out in order to rescue the black Jews of
Ethiopia and bring them to Israel.
Muslim society believes in the imposition of its religious beliefs on
others. Jews, on the other hand, have always believed in "live
and let live," and have never imposed their religion in any
country where they have lived.
Following Israel's war of Independence, the Arabs destroyed
almost 50 synagogues in the Old City of Jerusalem. In this past
year, the Palestinians gleefully destroyed the Tomb of Joseph,
and are currently destroying all Jewish artifacts under the Temple
Contrast this with the fact that Israel protects the places of
worship of all religions, even going so far as to allows the Wakf,
the Muslim religious authority, nominal control on the Temple
Mount, the holiest site to Jews.
The picture of which society is racist, and which society practices
ethnic cleansing, could not be any clearer.
Which society is terrorist?
Only a borderline psychotic could come up with the idea that
settlements and suicide bombings are moral equivalents. But
once the Palestinian media darlings uttered these words, they
were accepted as holy writ in world politic. It is not surprising,
therefore, that the world characterizes any defensive measure
taken by Israel as Israeli terrorism.
Whether Israel imposes a closure to keep out suicide bombers, or
kills suicide bombers and their handlers in pinpoint operations, or
destroys terrorist headquarters, Israeli defensive measures are
viewed as terrorism.
Part of the problem is that the world likes to view the military
power as the bad guy, and the military underdog as the good
guy; but reality is not that simple. Let's see which society is really
the terrorist society.
Following the Oklahoma bombing, many people's first thoughts
turned to Arab or Muslim terrorists. Very likely, no one's thoughts
turned to Jewish or Israeli terrorists. And an examination of daily
newspapers since the '60's will explain why. Simply put, when it
comes to terrorism, Arab and Muslim society is way ahead of its
closest competitors, and Jews are a non-starter.
That Europe has made a career of capitulating to Arab terrorism
to protect their airports, citizens, and oil interests, only
accentuates the fact that Arab terrorism is mainstream, not
How mainstream? A recent Palestinian poll shows that 76% of
Palestinians favor suicide bombers. Turnout at funerals of suicide
bombers and other terrorists often number in the tens of
thousands. This hardly represents a lunatic fringe.
And just whom do these suicide bomber target? Shoppers,
teenagers going to a disco, and families going for pizza are just
some of the many targets.
The PA runs summer camps, and broadcasts television programs,
where it teaches young children to become suicide bombers and
martyrs. It also pays a stipend to every parent whose child is
martyred, because dead children make for great media
coverage. Palestinian parents, for their part, send out their
children to stand in the line of fire between Israeli soldiers and
Palestinian soldiers (aka policemen). In any other society, those
who felt that a struggle for liberation was underway might
themselves go out and struggle, but they would leave their
children home. This society does the reverse.
This society also engages in, and justifies, lynch-torture. Hence,
two reservists who made a wrong turn were savagely tortured
and bludgeoned to death, as were two young boys out for a hike,
and a shepherd out with his flock. These acts were not
perpetrated by serial killers, but by everyday citizens who just
hate Jews with a passion.
Contrary to popular belief, the Palestinians are engaged in
terrorism, not guerilla warfare. They target civilian populations,
not the military. They engage in brutality that falls outside the
norm even for war. And they are training their children to be
Also contrary to popular belief, the higher number of Palestinian
casualties over Israeli casualties is not an indicator that Israel is
the aggressor in this conflict. It only indicates that Palestinians
choose victim-hood by provoking or joining battles. In contrast,
the Jewish victims have been people merely following their daily
routines -- driving to work, going shopping, eating in restaurants,
Israel targets only those people responsible for the terror. It has
even allowed itself to absorb major blows in its attempt to not
harm Palestinian civilians. Given Israel's military might, if Israel
was guilty of the charges leveled against it at Durban, Palestinian
casualties would be infinitely higher. It is only due to Israel's
restraint that Palestinian casualties in this yearlong war are so
As with the earlier resolution equating Zionism with racism, the
outcome of this resolution will have little impact on Israel.
Approval is nice, but Israel can live without approval. Ultimately,
these resolutions say nothing about Israel; rather, they speak
volumes about the rest of the world.
This conference could have, and should have, dealt with the
serious issue of racism. Instead, the Palestinians have turned it
into a litmus test of where the world stands on anti-Semitism.
Whatever your views on Israel's presence in the "West Bank,"
Israeli society is neither racist nor terrorist; Palestinian society