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THE ISRAEL REPORT

January/February 2000
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THE REAL THREAT

by Haggai Segal
Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio
http://www.arutzsheva.org
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 "fictitious associations."

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 doorstep.

GRACIOUS HOST

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)

ENOUGH HYPOCRISY

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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