by Vic Rosenthal
The 179 pages of the report positively reek with self-righteous pomposity, and include quotations from the Tanach and even the Talmud! It's impossible to deal with this bizarre document systematically, but here are some random notes.
The authors' historical vision comes entirely through the eyes of Arab and extreme left-wing commentators, like Ilan Pappé and Avraham Burg, as well as anti-Israel NGOs. For example, they portray the creation of the Arab refugees as entirely
One of these psycho-traumas is the Holocaust in which 6 million European Jews were annihilated at the hands of the Nazi party, its state apparatus and allies. The other trauma is the forced displacement of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948 from their ancestral homeland by the Israel Haganah [the pre-state militant force that was the precursor of the Israel Defense Forces]. [p 30]
The report ignores the actions of the Palestinian and Arab leadership before, during and after the 1948 war, the repeated attempts at reconciliation by
There's a creative take on the 1967 war, too:
In June 1967,
They don't do much better with more recent events. They actually wrote this sentence to describe the bloody 2007 coup in which Hamas overthrew the Palestinian Authority in
Violence erupted, thought by many to be aided and abetted by the
Violence erupted! Shooting Fatah operatives in the knees and throwing them off tall buildings erupted! Setting people on fire erupted! And the US and
And here's their analysis of the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons:
While this growing fear [of the Iranian bomb] is a deep concern, an equal concern is the number of nuclear warheads that
The only just and peaceful solution to this growing concern is to work for a nuclear-free Middle East in both
Really? It's "an equal concern?" The Israeli nuclear capability is the reason that it hasn't already been attacked with chemical weapons, and may well be one of the main reasons that there still is a Jewish state.
Should the Palestinians be criticized for resorting to terrorism? The Presbyterians see it as a response to violence by
Inexcusable acts of violence have been committed by both the powerful occupying forces of the Israeli military and the Jewish settlers in the
There's no distinction between terrorism and self-defense, either:
Distressingly, all too often violence is used as a means of reacting to injustice or as a means of inflicting a country's will on another people. Violence, whether by tanks, attack helicopters, F-16 fighter jets, rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, antipersonnel bombs, white phosphorous, rockets, bombs of any kind including suicide bombs, is reprehensible and is a crime against humanity. [p 70]
The writers choose their facts selectively:
Consider the case of Ghassan Kanafani, a Palestinian journalist, novelist, and short story writer, who was assassinated along with his young niece, Lamis, on July 12, 1972, by Israeli agents in a car bomb explosion in
Oh, the humanity! But CAMERA points out that Kanafani was the right-hand man of George Habash, head of the ultra-violent PFLP, a group responsible for numerous murders and hijackings. Kanafani met with the Japanese Red Army who perpetrated a vicious attack at Lod airport, killing 26 and injuring 80. Who says that intellectuals can't also be men of action?
So why is
This sense of historical victimization creates for some Israelis a compensatory reflex to choose power and armament; to reject the claims and critique of others; and the adoption of a philosophy that the "end justifies the means," even if that means the loss of human rights, life, and the dignity of others. [p 31]
In addition, despite dozens of references to Israeli policy as 'immoral', there doesn't appear to be a single mention of the policy of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to educate their populations, especially children, to hate
Indeed, the report describes Hamas — an organization whose charter preaches the violent destruction of
The implication seems to be that resisting the occupation and recovering lost lands applies to the occupation of 1967. But of course, for Hamas, the occupation started in 1948. So "most Gazans" and the Western governments don't disagree about Hamas' intentions! The statement about Hamas' resources is ridiculous and is unsourced.
Overall, the report could not possibly be more one-sided. It is a sustained indictment of
This historically and morally upside-down, hateful document will be considered by the PCUSA's General Assembly this week.
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