THE ISRAEL REPORTJanuary/February 2001
Disheartening, Surreal, Sad and ImmoralOne of the most distressing aspects of the Palestinians' ongoing campaign of violence and propaganda against Israel has been the response of the western world.
Palestinians and their advocates attempt to rid Jerusalem of any link to its Jewish history, yet the West remains silent.
The Palestinian educational system teaches young children to hate and to murder Jews, even as Palestinian clerics urge their worshippers to kill Jews, yet the West remains silent.
As noted writer and essayist Cynthia Ozick recently pointed out in an article in the Wall Street Journal, the de-Judaization of Jerusalem is also its de-Christianization. "If Judaism has no roots in Jerusalem, then Christianity was never bornŠ" Yet no mainstream Christian authority has stepped forward to challenge this latest tawdry tactic by the Palestinians. Nor has any mainstream Christian authority stepped forward to condemn the hate-based, hate-filled pedagogy of the Palestinians or the "religious" exhortations to kill Jews.
The disconnect between the response that was reasonably, minimally, expected from the West and the silence that has, instead, been its response, has been as painful as it has been incomprehensible.
Last weekend, a different though related disconnect appeared in the Saturday Globe and Mail. Under a bold, one-inch headline "Unveiling Iran," an entire page was dedicated in the Travel Section to encouraging tourists to visit Iran. The article written special to the Globe and Mail by Cam McGrath, innocuously makes the point: "In Tehran, once a canvas for official anti-West graffiti, the epithets and slogans on the sides of buildings are slowly fading away, not to be replaced. The small overtures bespeak a new Iran, an Iran under the progressive leadership of President Mohammad Khatami.." (Our emphasis)
There is absolutely no evidence for McGrath's frilly conclusion that "As hardliners make way for moderates, and mullahs yield to literates, Iran warms to the West." In fact, the evidence is to the contrary. Iran is where Jews are harassed, live in constant fear for their safety and never know whether, at any moment, they will be charged with a fictitious crime and convicted in a pre-arranged phony trial.
Iran is where the leaders fund, train, support and dispatch Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad to strike at Israel and other western targets. Iran is where the religious establishment constantly, relentlessly, calls for the destruction and annihilation of Israel and its people.
And yet, as if this aspect of "progressive" Iran were nothing more than a minor, inconvenient detail, the travel writer urges us all to visit there, spend our money and just have ourselves some plain old fun.
The disconnect is disheartening, surreal, sad and immoral.
©Canadian Jewish News - November 30, 2000
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