by Haggai Segal
Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio
originally published in Ma'ariv on February 8, 2000 - Adar Aleph 2, 5760
In This Article:
1. At Our Doorstep
2. Gracious Host
3. Beilin's Uncompromising War
4. Enough Hypocrisy
AT OUR DOORSTEP
Shulamit Aloni, Meir Shilo, and other distinguished personalities of a
particular political camp gave a real boost to Israel's ethical foundations
when they called Israel's frenzy over Austrian Joerg Haider's rise to power
"hypocritical." In their merit, the instinctive consensus among Israelis -
that Haider's electoral success is an ominous development for the Jewish
people - has been broken. This development has in turn given license to the
Israeli right-wing license to refrain from the current festival of fury
with Vienna - but for its own reasons: Our national camp perhaps
legitimately suspects that the Haider saga is just another one of Barak's
Our Prime Minister apparently has a real need to project virility and
strength, and he is satisfying this need at the expense of the distant
Austrians. Not that Austria is blameless for its current predicament, but
there are elements closer to home deserving of greater condemnation. Before
we pour out our wrath on an irrelevant European state, and before we pledge
to obliterate every manifestations of "Haiderism" throughout the world, it
may be advisable to combat the anti-Semitism that is, literally, at our
For years now, Syria has hosted Eichmann deputy Alois Brunner and sundry
other Nazi war criminals. It is also the only country on earth, aside from
Austria, that has expressed public support for Haider's right to join the
Austrian government. Haider himself is undoubtedly delighted when he
peruses translations of the various anti-Semitic articles published in
Assad's Tishrin newspaper.
Incidentally, unlike the modern Austrians, the Syrians are not content with
engaging in theoretical anti-Semitism; they are also actively killing Jews
in southern Lebanon. Regardless, Ehud Barak just cannot contain himself -
he must make peace with Syria! After striking a deal with Assad, Barak
could even decide to reassign Israel's now-unemployed ambassador to Austria
- to Damascus.
BEILIN'S UNCOMPROMISING WAR
Yossi Beilin declared last Friday that Israel's recalling of its ambassador
to Vienna is evidence of our country's "uncompromising struggle against
every manifestation of racism throughout the world."
Is that a fact?
Although the Palestinian Authority serves up classic anti-Semitism in
healthy portions, it's hard to detect Israel's "uncompromising war" against
the PA media. Beilin barely batted an eyelash at the recent announcement
that Hitler's "Mein Kampf" is number six on the Palestinian autonomy's
best-seller list. For the Palestinian press, the Jews are "the enemies of
Allah," money-grubbing, corrupt, chronic violators of agreements, liars
from birth, and oppressors of the weak. Although Itamar Marcus' Palestinian
Media Watch publishes translations of PA Jew-hatred on a daily basis, the
Israeli government has yet to recall one of its ambassadors to Gaza. Just
the opposite: it maintains cordial relations with Arafat even when his
official paper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, publishes a caricature of a dwarf
wearing a Star of David, with the caption, "Disease of the Century"
(28.12.99). While Israeli eyes carefully seek out any trace of European
anti-Semitism, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida expects its readers to fill in "Yad
Vashem" as the answer to the following crossword puzzle clue: "The Jewish
Center for perpetuating the Holocaust and the Lie." (18.2.99)
Haider never called us the "offspring of Satan" - Arafat's television
programs do. Nor has Haider claimed that we "poison" people's "groundwater"
- Suha Arafat has made such a statement. Haider has never announced that it
is a moral duty to violate agreements signed with Jews - Yasser Arafat has.
Enough hypocrisy: Arab anti-Semitism endangers Israel today more than any
Vienna Hitler youth group or some despicable Holocaust denier in London.
First let's deal with the real threat. Then - and only then - can we turn
our attentions to Joerg Haider.
Haggai Segal, head of Arutz-7's News Department and the author of several
books, is a regular columnist for Ma'ariv.
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