Friday, November 5, 2021

The Reality About Arab Rock Throwers in Israel

It is inexcusable that when Arab terrorists assault innocent Jewish Israeli motorists with intent to kill, the mainstream media often either ignores the attacks or else provides such slanted reporting that a reader/viewer might be inclined to believe that the Jewish Israeli victims are at fault for having the audacity to dare live in their homeland. 

Cleveland Jewish News columnist Andrew Zashin, a self-described "politically liberal person," recently survived attempted murder committed in broad daylight by Arab terrorists while he and his family drove through Jerusalem, and he described this harrowing experience in this article:

But hey, what could go wrong with Jews driving a car with an Israeli license plate through East Jerusalem in daylight? After all, the world wants the West Bank to literally become a neighboring state with East Jerusalem as its capital, the two-state solution. Peaceful co-existence. How could this not work? Sitting thousands of miles away, it sounds like a no-brainer.

I am generally a politically liberal person. For years, I too thought this was a great idea. I still think it is a great idea. But figuratively, and now literally, in the words of political commentator Irving Kristol, I have been "mugged by reality." How exactly would, how exactly can, a two-state solution work?

As I have learned professionally in my career as a lawyer, for any negotiation to work, it takes both sides to get to yes. From Israel's creation as a modern nation state in 1948, it has tried to reach a peace, a compromise, with its Palestinian neighbors.

Since Israel survived its War of Independence in 1948 it has literally chased [its] neighboring Arab states and local Arab neighbors for compromises and peace deals until the present day. Yet, as the historian, statesman and former Labor Party Foreign Minister Abba Eban said, "The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." Sadly, when the locals sing and chant, "from the river to the sea," why should any Israeli, or Jew anywhere, not believe what they are saying? That there is no space in the land of Israel for Jews. The fact is, Arab states instigated a war in 1967 and again in 1973 (the "Yom Kippur War") and they lost. Israel won. Wars have consequences...

Once in East Jerusalem Oct. 11, rock throwers greeted us. The car we drove turned into the focus of a riot. The rioters turned into a swarm that closed in on us. The episode was no less than a full-blown terror attack against me, my son, my daughter-in-law and my mother. Apparently, according to their logic, we were provocative, having driven into their neighborhood. And for that we deserved death. That was exactly the plan...

Immediately after we survived and when we [were] safely in the hands of the border police, I could not get out to assess the damage to the car. Both because the police would not let me and because my door would not open. On the drive back to the police station in what was left of our car, escorted by the police, Jewish people on the road were aghast at what a sight we were. They asked us if we were OK, if they could do something for us, or shared words of kindness.

In contrast, the Arabs we passed pointed at us, laughed in high spirits with fists in the air, high-fived one another, mocked and jeered us. It was pathetic and sickening. So when people say this is "a problem of leadership on both sides" or try to find an equivalence between the sides, despite the various examples here and there, they are just wrong. This is a people problem.

It must be added that the reality that a Jewish person cannot drive safely in broad daylight in the Jewish State's ancient and eternal capital is a massive political and security defeat suffered by multiple Israeli national governments--both Left and Right--that have failed miserably not only to articulate Jerusalem's central importance to Jewish life but also failed miserably to protect the city's Jewish citizens and tourists. Can you imagine the justifiable outrage that would be expressed if a person who identified as American could not drive safely through Washington D.C.? Jews are not safe in the Jewish capital, and yet we are supposed to pretend not only that this is normal and OK but that in fact it is the Jews' fault that they are being attacked! When people keep violating your most basic rights--including the right to not be killed in your homeland--and your government blithely accepts this, at some point you have to not only blame your attackers but also blame your corrupt and ineffective government, but that is an internal matter for Israelis to address.

My focus in this article is on the media members who cover up terrorist attacks, and the political figures who support murdering Jews. When I read firsthand accounts of such attempted murders--and the even more tragic reports about terrorist attacks that took innocent lives--my thoughts invariably turn to the self-proclaimed "progressives" who relentlessly bash Israel. It is not an exaggeration to say that public figures who use their prominent status to spread lies about Israel are accomplices to murder and attempted murder, because their statements provide, aid, comfort, and support to terrorists. 

Much media attention is focused on antisemitism emanating from the Right--and such antisemitism is concerning--but the antisemitism spewed by the Left is downplayed, if not ignored. Even Jewish organizations that purport to fight antisemitism have far too often been silent about the Left's antisemitism, though there are tentative signs that--like Zashin--these organizations are slowly understanding that their constituents are being "mugged by reality," as I noted in Better Late Than Never: ADL Acknowledges the Dangers Posed by the Left's Antisemitism:

Far too many self-proclaimed "progressives" harbor antisemitic and anti-Zionist attitudes as core tenets of their belief systems, a subject that I have addressed in several recent articles, including The Pathetic "Progressive" Response to Hamas' War Against Israel. Some Jews have struggled to recognize--or at least publicly acknowledge--the Left's antisemitism because they have convinced themselves that fighting this antisemitism is somehow a betrayal of the Democratic Party, but antisemitism should be a non-partisan issue. Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, or something else, you should condemn antisemitism regardless of its source...

Antisemitism from the Right is just as troubling as antisemitism from the Left, but antisemitism from the Left is--in many quarters, including Congress and a number of media outlets--operating under protection, if not outright support, and that is why antisemitism from the Left has become an even bigger threat to Jewish safety and well being than antisemitism from the Right. 

The members of the self-proclaimed "Squad" are not just legislators who ineffectively articulate and represent the interests of their constituents, which is a matter hopefully to be remedied by voters in those jurisdictions, but they are provocateurs who spout crude antisemitic propaganda with impunity. They know that the major media outlets will protect them. When Ilhan Omar derisively dismisses the bond between democracies America and Israel as being "all about the Benjamins" she not only traffics in shameful antisemitic tropes but she sends a loud and clear message to the terrorists who tried to kill Zashin and Zashin's family: You have support at the highest levels of the American government; continue to attack Jews physically, while the self-proclaimed "progressives" undermine Israel and the Jewish people in the media and in the halls of Congress.

The antisemitism of the "Squad" and other self-proclaimed "progressives" is not new or original. The critical difference now is that there is a paucity of voices on the Left who have the courage to denounce antisemitism, particularly when that antisemitism is directed toward Israel. As I explained in The Pathetic "Progressive" Response to Hamas' War Against Israel, "When a person purports to care about human rights but is obsessively focused on slandering a democracy with a population of seven million while saying nothing about the atrocities committed by totalitarian states that person is not a progressive but that person is a hypocrite (or worse). When Kwame Toure (formerly Stokely Carmichael) spouted anti-Zionist rhetoric in the 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rebuked him for being antisemitic. Unfortunately, in 2021 there are many people like Toure but there is no modern-day Dr. King."

Under Josef Stalin's Soviet regime, political figures and media figures who did not follow the party line disappeared, never to return. If we are not careful in America, we will slide down that same path. It has become acceptable to publicly spew antisemitic vitriol, and in some quarters one risks being shunned or canceled if one denounces antisemitism. We do not have a physical gulag in America--yet--but right now we are living in a turbulent time after which we will either move away from the precipice or else fall over the precipice into the abyss.

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