Thursday, April 28, 2022

Kalman Liebskind Explains the Harsh Reality that Israel--and the Rest of the World--Must Face

An article by Kalman Liebskind in the Israeli newspaper Maariv brilliantly explained concepts about Israel, antisemitism, and anti-Zionism that far too many people are unable or unwilling to understand.

The truths that Liebskind bluntly describes are important, and they are truths that many Jews are afraid to speak and many non-Jews refuse to admit. For example, he declares, "Our fear of calling the enemy by its name, our fear of him in general, and the confusion that freezes the backbone for too many of those who control the country, are what bring us, again and again, to the same situation. Anyone who does not know how to define the enemy and is not willing to fight and defeat him, will find himself, every few months, helpless, not understanding why this is happening to him. Therefore, an entire country, with its security forces, holds its breath every year, to see what the Muslims have prepared for us this time in Ramadan. Will there be lynchings of Jews this time too? Will Jews be stoned in the streets of Jerusalem? Will bus riders in the capital city be injured? And perhaps they will burn synagogues again?"

Liebskind's blistering criticism of the evasive, meek language used by Israeli ministers to describe Arab/Islamic terrorism against Jews also could be applied to the various ways that many media members distort the truth. Liebskind wryly notes that Yair Lapid invented the "game" of "how to explain why the Arabs murder Jews, without saying 'Arab' and without saying 'Jews.'" Americans are familiar with this "game" that is also played by the Associated Press, CNN, The New York Times, and far too many other media outlets.
Liebskind minces no words with his analogy about the calls to banish Jewish worship at the Temple Mount because Arabs attack Jewish worshipers: "Since there are men roaming the streets who harass women, it is best that women remain at home. This will prevent the pretext for harassment." Can you imagine a self-proclaimed "progressive" uttering such nonsense regarding women? Yet, that is exactly what they expect of innocent Jews who are attacked by Arabs---stay home to "prevent the pretexts for harassment."

The notion that there is no such thing as objective truth--that everyone has his or her own "truth"--is a dangerous seed that could sprout into a malignant growth that destroys Western civilization. It is interesting that the same people who assert that Critical Race Theory is not being taught, does not exist, and is not dangerous also argue that there should not be any laws against teaching CRT to young children. If it is not being taught, does not exist, and is not dangerous, then why would anyone object to laws clarifying that it should not be taught? At worst, such laws would be superfluous, but it is not clear how such laws could cause harm.
Obviously, CRT exists and its influence is increasingly being felt throughout our society whether or not it is being explicitly taught in every school. One of the many dangerous ideas that it promotes and that is gaining currency is that there is no such thing as objective truth and thus the concept of objective truth is a tool of oppression used by the majority (read: white people). Founders of Critical Race Theory admit that CRT rejects foundational concepts of Western civilization, as Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic explain in their book Critical Race Theory: An Introduction: "Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism and neutral principles of constitutional law." The sound principles that Critical Race Theory seeks to subvert and destroy are what separates this country from such failed and failing states as the Soviet Union, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Cuba. Those sound principles are also the thinking tools that help someone understand why it is "poshlust" to make assertions such as "America is no better than Russia" or "We all share in Germany's guilt"--or, pertaining to Israel's existential fight for survival versus Arab/Islamic terrorist states and terrorist groups, "One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter." It is tragic that academics, media members, and politicians often act as if there is no difference between George Washington and Yasser Arafat.
Israel's failure to come to grips with the desperate reality of her situation--and the willingness of the rest of the world to ignore or even encourage anti-Jewish terrorism--potentially threatens not only Israel's existence but the viability of the West in the face of determined opposition from evil forces such as Putin's Russia, Communist China, and the various tyrannical Arab/Islamic states (including but not limited to Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia--three countries that have American blood on their hands).
Here is a link to Liebskind's original article in Hebrew:

This English translation of Liebskind's article is provided by Women for Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green), one of the few organizations that speaks the truth about Israel and defends the right of the Jewish people to live in peace in Israel:

"The day will come when we will have courageous leadership here, who will say: Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is entirely ours"

by Kalman Liebskind April 23, 2022

At the end of this week, we must say a big thank you to the Arabs. Again and again, we have neglected to explain to ourselves what we are doing here, and what Jerusalem is for us. Again and again, they do not allow us to ignore it. On calm days, we must admit, it is easier for us to ignore. On such days, we can tell ourselves that if only Jenin was not "occupied," and if only we didn't upset the Palestinians, and if only we did not want to go up to Eviatar or inhabit Homesh, this place would be all calm and relaxed.

But then, just when we think that the formula we've invented is proving itself, the Arabs come and remind us of what Shlomo Zalman Zoref, Joel Yosef Solomon's grandfather, understood, who was murdered by Arabs back in 1851, for his activity in building Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the heart. It is the center. It is the reason of reasons. Our ancestors, in the East and in the West, dreamed of it, in Morocco, in Poland and in Ethiopia.

And we, who have the privilege of being here, what do we do? We assist in the enemy's propaganda. We explain that when the Arabs burn Jewish property in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood, it is because a Jew poked his finger in their eye. And when they have massive riots and attack the building of the Ministry of Justice, it is because we did not act correctly when we did not allow them to sit on the steps of the Nablus Gate. And that marching in our capital city with the national flag, a few hundred meters from the municipal building, it is a provocation. And when the ELAD or Ateret Cohanim NGO redeems land, they are radical settlers, and all they want to do is to set the Middle East on fire. And especially, when there is no "occupation" and a Palestinian state is finally established, the Arabs will leave us alone.

But then, every time we get confused, the Arabs come–from Umm al-Fahm to Ramallah, from Taibeh to Gaza–and scream "al Aqsa." Do not deceive yourselves. They are warning us. Do not tell yourselves stories. The battle is over Jerusalem. For the Temple Mount, which is in the heart of Jerusalem. For the place which is the historical and national justification for Jewish existence here.

And we, for our part, can continue to bow before them in the hope that they will spare us. To allow their inciters to enter the Temple Mount freely, waving the Hamas and Isis flags, and praise the "martyrs" and turn the mosques into bases for attacking officers of the Israel Police and the Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall. We can also continue to harass the Jews who ascend to the Mount, as if they were the ones causing the problem. But none of this will relax the Arabs, until it becomes clear to everyone that our holiest place--is theirs. And as mentioned, they push us to the wall and force us to decide. It may not happen soon, but it will happen. The day will come when we will no longer have any choice, and we will have to tell ourselves what brought us specifically to this place, after the long exile, and what the Holy City is for us.

And when that day comes, and we have courageous leadership, not leaders who humiliate themselves by submissive visits to the King of Jordan, requesting him to help us manage our holy place, we will make clear to the world what should have been obvious. Jerusalem is entirely ours, and the Temple Mount is entirely ours, and from this stance, and only from this stance, of sovereigns, we will allow every Muslim to pray as he pleases.

And on that day, we will also need to make clear what should have been simple and obvious. Which is that whenever the place of Muslim prayer serves violence and terror, the Temple Mount will be closed to Muslims and open to Jews. Only to Jews. Because when there is violence and terror, as strange as it sounds in the present situation, it is the violent ones who will pay the price, not the victims of the violence. And we also must make it clear that this idea, that a calm place is where there are no Jews, was tried in Europe and we have no desire to do the same thing here, in the Jewish State.

Language Laundering

Just so I won't be misunderstood, I totally admire Channel 12 News for dedicating two and a half minutes at the start of its program to this event. Why so? Such events, tainted with antisemitism, occur here in Israel on a daily basis. Sometimes the Arabs attack Jews with rocks, sometimes with Molotov cocktails, sometimes they set cars on fire and sometimes they beat haredim on the light rail or on their way to the Western Wall. These events almost never receive coverage on the news. Not on Channel 12 or the other channels.

And then the question arises--why is antisemitism important to that journalist only when it happens overseas? One explanation might be, I assume, that this is the norm. A Jew that is attacked here in Israel is just part of the boring routine. A Jew that is attacked in New York arouses curiosity. There are, of course, other explanations, and I would like to suggest one of them here. When a Jew is attacked in New York, we all can all allow ourselves to express a clear position on what has happened to him without getting into a political argument. On the other hand, constant reporting on Arabs attacking Jews on a daily basis in the Land of Israel would force us to reflect on their hatred, their terror and the illusion that it is possible to live side by side with them in peace. All of these are things that news editors are not always happy to publicize.

Here is a small example. At the end of the first Passover holy day I listened, in the car, to the 22:00 o'clock news on Channel 2. The news opened with a report on "a terrorist armed with a knife, a resident of the village of Silwad," who was caught near the fence of the town of Beit El. The news editor was careful not to use the word "Arab" in the description of the detainee, although this detail was important but we will not hold the editor to account for this. After all, when they tell us "terrorist," we all understand which group he belongs to.

The next item reported that the Magistrate's Court in Haifa extended the incarceration of a 15-year-old girl, a resident of the city, who had stabbed a 47-year-old man for nationalist reasons. This is already more disturbing. We know that the young woman is Arab and that the person who was stabbed is a Jewish man and that this is, actually, the reason for her act. So why not tell us these simple facts? Wait--there's more. Later on in the same news broadcast there was another report, which spoke of a 22-year-old man, a "resident of the Negev," being arrested for throwing rocks at a vehicle on the Arava Road. A check the next day confirmed what any listener might have assumed, that it was a young man who was part of the Bedouin diaspora. If so, why not tell us this explicitly?


This is not a media story. This story is a story about the country, the government, the police and the judicial system, which are not capable of saying who the enemy is out loud. Why? Because it is unpleasant for them. Because it doesn't sound good. Because it sounds racist to say that there is a war for this Land, and that the enemy is an Arab and a Muslim. It is easier and more pleasant to think that the Palestinians want peace, except for a few terror organizations that get in the way, and that Israeli Arabs desire co-existence and calm, except for those who join ISIS from Sakhnin and who join ISIS from Umm el Fahm, who make everyone else look bad.

In one of my recent columns, I mentioned the how-sounding texts that senior members of the present government publish after attacks, in an acrobatic attempt to condemn the attack without saying who did it, why he did it or against whom he did it. This is so for Minister Amar Bar-Lev, who is convinced that the terrorists' goal was to "harm our attempts to celebrate the Spring holidays." Minister Merav Michaeli, who is sure that the terrorists only want to harm "peace and normalization" wrote similar things. It was the same with Minister Nitzan Horowitz, who, after the attack in Hadera, wrote that terrorists are "a common threat to Jews and Arabs." Yair Lapid as well, invented the game of "how to explain why the Arabs murder Jews, without saying 'Arabs' and without saying 'Jews.'"

In previous attacks, he explained that the terrorists' intention is to harm us "in our fabric of everyday life" and cause us "to hate and be angry with one another." This week, a member of his party, Vladimir Beliak, tweeted that he tried to mock everyone that was critical of the fact that the Shura Council holds the fate of the government in its hands, while living in peace for years with a right-wing government "that were totally dependent on the council of Torah Sages and the rebbe from Gur."

MK Beliak, who chose this comparison, just after the Islamic Council decided to boycott the coalition because of the police action against violent Arab rioters, seems, as mentioned, like an excellent student of his party's leader. From his point of view, it does not matter if it is Jews or Arabs, on our side or on the enemy's side. If there are two councils and both are religious, then we are dealing with similar organizations.

So it is correct that when there is a battle between us and the terrorists, one council causes a political crisis as a result of a terror attack and the other council recites psalms for our success, but from the point of view of the MK from Yesh Atid, they are both the same. Or, as Yair Lapid summarized this week: "The riots this morning on the Temple Mount are inexcusable and against the spirit of the religions that we believe in." Understand? There are a few religions here, we are not specifically connected with any one of them, we have no preference for any one specifically, we are not fans of any of the groups, and the government of Israel is like the referee who is sent to make sure that the game is played by the rules.

Just like Ehud Olmert, who this week explained on Galei Tsahal, that "There should have been a courageous and responsible decision--when there is tension, Jews should not ascend to the Temple Mount during Ramadan. There will be no disaster, and it will prevent the pretext that jihadists seek to set fire to the area." Or, in clearer language, from other worlds: Since there are men roaming the streets who harass women, it is best that women remain at home. This will prevent the pretext for harassment.

Our fear of calling the enemy by its name, our fear of him in general, and the confusion that freezes the backbone for too many of those who control the country, are what bring us, again and again, to the same situation. Anyone who does not know how to define the enemy and is not willing to fight and defeat him, will find himself, every few months, helpless, not understanding why this is happening to him. Therefore, an entire country, with its security forces, holds its breath every year, to see what the Muslims have prepared for us this time in Ramadan. Will there be lynchings of Jews this time too? Will Jews be stoned in the streets of Jerusalem? Will bus riders in the capital city be injured? And perhaps they will burn synagogues again?

Stop being Understanding

Therefore, it seems to me that the formula has to change. The myths that except for a few terror organizations, the Palestinians desire peace, must be put to rest. We must do this as well regarding the stories about Israeli Arabs--that except for a few weeds, they desire serene co-existence.

After tens of thousands of Israeli Arabs fought us in the events of 2000, after the masses that participated a year ago in the lynchings and rock-throwing and attacks and arson. After dozens of terrorists, who came from Israeli towns, after this public voted time after time for people who support the murderers of Jews, and who see themselves as representatives of Palestinians in the Israeli legislature, the time has come for a change of concept. To see Israeli Arabs as people who identify with our enemy's battle. A small number of them go out and kill themselves, some applaud silently, others go out in demonstrations and wave the enemy's flags and others simply declare that they view themselves as Palestinians and expect us to understand.

Therefore, we must stop being understanding. This understanding costs us in blood, and causes us the scenes that we saw in Lod and Acre a year ago, and the scenes from Be'er Sheva a month ago, and the scenes of throwing rocks in Nazareth and Umm el Fahm and Bir al-Maksur and Jerusalem this week. True, we must not generalize and those who object to terror and desire co-existence must be treated accordingly, but for all the rest, there is no choice but to be suspicious of them. What do we do with this insight? First of all, we change our opinion and conclude what we must. There is a difference between someone who demonstrates against vaccines or for an increase in benefits for the handicapped, and those who demonstrate with a Palestinian flag in Haifa. True, they are all demonstrating, but only one of them is an enemy.

Who is a Terrorist?

And it is interesting to examine this matter. A few weeks ago, I wrote here, that "not all Arabs are terrorists, but all terrorists are Arabs." Some readers, among them journalists, tweeted, expressing amazement at these words. After all, while it is true that for every thousand Arab attacks on Jews, there is one Jewish attack on an Arab, it is impossible to ignore even this one attack. Therefore, how can one say that "all terrorists are Arabs?"

So there are two groups who are puzzled. One of them is composed of people who are naïve but confused. The others choose to remain neutral in the battle between us and the enemy. For both groups, here is the simple explanation. The expression "terrorist" is not intended to describe a person who committed murder or attempted to commit murder. We all know of heinous murders where no one thought of labeling the murderer a terrorist.

Thus, for example, a person who murdered the girl Rose Pizem and threw her body in a suitcase into the Yarkon River, committed a shocking act, but it is not terror. Who is a terrorist? A terrorist is someone who harms a Jew/Israel as part of his battle against the State of Israel/Zionism/the Jewish People. The murderers who fired shots in Hadera a few weeks ago are terrorists. The murderer who stabbed people in Be'er Sheva is a terrorist. Ami Popper, who murdered seven Palestinians, committed a horrific act, but he is not a terrorist. He was a criminal who committed terrible and horrible crimes, but this does not make him a terrorist.

This is the story of a state that was established in the homeland of the Jewish People, and the enemies who are trying to fight it, its citizens and Jews in general. Whoever is part of this fight is a terrorist/enemy. Others are not and this has no connection with the severity of their acts.

I suspect that a person who labels as terrorist, anyone who harms a person of another religion or another ethnicity, does not do so because he is not sufficiently linguistically sophisticated, but because he wants to see our fight here as someone with no position, observing the events from the sidelines, like a fan of the Barcelona team watching the Tel Aviv Derby. There are Jews, there are Arabs--each side harms the other. If it began and ended with a few leftists and a few journalists, it would be okay. But when you understand that this is the view of the police, the judicial system and some senior ministers in our government, you understand more easily how we got into this situation.
Further Reading

The above article is an excellent summary of international law pertaining to the Land of Israel, but if you just want the layperson's summary without the accompanying documentation here it is: "If the Arabs ask now why we were given the Land of Israel, we will ask why they were given the rest of the Middle East, because it was a combined partition resolution, and if the Jewish part of the partition is called into question, then the Arab part of it must inevitably be called into question as well." 
In other words, a person living in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, or any other country created in the 20th century after the fall of the Ottoman Empire is in no credible position to question the legal basis of the modern rebirth of Israel; not only are the ancient Jewish ties to the Land of Israel indisputable, but the legal process by which Israel was created mirrors the same legal process that created the Arab/Islamic countries bordering Israel.

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