Thursday, August 11, 2005

  • Thursday, August 11, 2005
  • Elder of Ziyon
Joseph Farah again cuts through the bull.

© 2005

For a moment, just put aside all of your preconceived ideas about the Middle East.

The conventional wisdom of the U.S. State Department, the European Union, the United Nations, the international media and, of course, the Arab oil potentates suggests the root problem is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is suggested that Israel is not doing enough to help the poor, homeless Palestinian Arabs.

The truth is just the opposite.

Israel has done more for Palestinians than all the other countries in the world combined. It has built schools, infrastructure, provided jobs and extended full citizenship rights.

What have the Arab powers done?

* provided money for terrorism against Israel;

* paid bounties for martyrdom;

* instilled anti-Jewish hatred and incitement;

In Lebanon, now freed from Syrian military occupation, officials are still debating whether Palestinians living there should be permitted to practice the job of their choice. In the recent past, they have been denied the most basic civil rights, including the right to own property. Even today, to perform the most menial jobs, Palestinians in Lebanon must pay exorbitant fees for work permits.

Yet, the U.S. State Department, the European Union, the United Nations, the international media and, of course, the Arab oil potentates are all silent on these human-rights abuses.

It is apparently OK for Arabs to deny other Arabs their most basic civil rights. In fact, Arabs are denied their most basic human rights in every Arab country.

It is apparently also OK for Christians to be persecuted in the Middle East by the Muslim majority.

It happens in every Arab country, including the Palestinian Authority. The Christian population is dwindling throughout the Middle East. More than 2 million have fled the region in the last 20 years – and many more in the 80 years before that.

Yet, the U.S. State Department, the European Union, the United Nations, the international media and, of course, the Arab oil potentates are all silent on these human-rights abuses.

Meanwhile, in the next two weeks, several thousand Jews, many of whom have lived for a generation in thriving communities, showcases of prosperity and freedom for their neighbors, will be uprooted from their homes and businesses for no other reason than they are Jews.

And, of course, the U.S. State Department, the European Union, the United Nations, the international media and, of course, the Arab oil potentates are not only silent on these human-rights abuses, they are actively promoting this ethnic and religious cleansing as part of a "roadmap to peace."

It is so hard for me to understand why people are unable distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, up and down, right and left, when it comes to the Middle East. It is as if this part of the world is actually in some parallel universe where everything is backward or upside down.

As an Arab-American journalist who has covered this region of the world, I tell you what is happening in the Gaza Strip this month is a human-rights horror, a catastrophe of monumental proportions. It is akin to Robert Mugabe's mass demolition of homes in Zimbabwe, but worse – because this is not the work of some lone madman, it is part of a blueprint drawn up by the so-called "enlightened" nations of the world.

The so-called "disengagement plan" in Gaza represents an acknowledgement by the "civilized" world that it is all right to turn Jews out of their homes for some "greater good." Only 60 years after the Holocaust, once again, Jews are being forced at gunpoint to move because they are Jews.

Mark my words, it will not end here.

The reason these Jews are being forced out is to make way for a Palestinian state, a new country founded on a precept that no Jews are permitted to live within its borders.

This "disengagement" is an invitation for more expulsions of Jews, more restrictions on Jews, more ethnic cleansing of Jews.

It's time for a reality check: Who's victimizing whom in the Middle East?

I've mentioned before that I cannot see a long-term future for the Jewish communities in Gaza. But to retreat unilaterally is exactly what makes this appear to be a victory for terror. This is far worse than leaving Lebanon, an area on which Israel had no claim and no citizens living there. Appearances are everything in the Middle East, and a unilateral withdrawal is identical to a military surrender with the victor imposing the terms. A negotiated agreement (have Arab countries pay the expenses to move Jews elsewhere, for example; or Israel keeping a few square miles of Northern Gaza and annexing it, a non-aggression pact, a statement that Palestinians limit their "right to return", having the Arabs say "please" - anything!) would make it much harder for this to be perceived as a military victory by Hamas, and as such a reward for rocket attacks - and a clear invitation for more.

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