For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
The Gaza Flotilla failed. Only one boat reached the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Most of them could not even leave their ports of departure. An attempt to replace the fleet with a flytilla of demonstrators on a plane to Tel Aviv failed miserably.
It would, however, be dangerous to consider this failed attempt more than a limited and short-lived victory. Pro-Palestinian organizations in Europe and the United States continue to spread their venom and are already preparing for their next battles : the quest for a U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders , and the organization of the Durban III summit on September 22nd in New York.
These organizations must be seen for what they are : instruments in a war against Israel that has never stopped since 1948, and that has simply undergone a change in tactics.
Israel's enemies initially resorted to conventional armies fighting on behalf of the « Arab nation ». Each time, they were defeated.
They then decided to resort to terrorism, propaganda and disinformation. They created movements to carry out attacks; bloody and deadly attacks took place. These attacks only stopped when Israel undertook security measures -- such as a long, electronic barrier – that reduced to almost zero the possibility of successfully carrying them out. Propaganda and disinformation, however, have not stopped.
We have now reached the next phase : the effects of propaganda and misinformation. These are firmly anchored in the minds of millions, and have begun to take root in reality,
The aim is still to wipe Israel off the map, but to do it by using other means: demonization, suggesting that Israel is a criminal state whose demise is perhaps even necessary; exploitation of prejudices; boycotts that, if pursued literally, would only deprive the boycotters of medicine and technology that they they have no intention of going without; willful blindness over both the history and the facts of the growth of the state of Israel, and falsifications leading to other falsifications.
No one had heard of a Palestinian people before the mid-1960s. They did not exist. Israel under the British Mandate until Israel' s Independence in 1948 was called Palestine. All Jews who were born there until 1948 had the word Palestine stamped on their passports. The current Palestinians are those Arabs who, for a variety of reasons, decided to leave the land during the 1947 War of Independence, when five countries - Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq - attacked the 600,000 people in the fledgling state of Israel the day after its birth, hoping to kill it in the crib. After all five countries were stopped, repelled and defeated, and after the Arabs who had fled asked to return, they were told that as they had not stayed to help fight, they were regarded as a fifth column, and were therefore not welcome. The Arabs who did stay are the Israeli Arabs who live there now, and who comprise 20% of the population, or over a million and a half out of seven million people. They live freely among the Jews ; freely elect members of Israel's parliament [Knesset]; operate their own independent political parties ; hold judgeships on Israel's Supreme Court; practice as physicians alongside Jewish doctors in Israeli hospitals and as professors in Israeli universities ; and often volunteer to fight alongside Jews in the Israeli army, even though they are not required to join Israel's defense forces.
At this moment, however, multitudes are certain that a Palestinian people have existed for centuries; were dispossessed of their rights and are now engaged in a national liberation struggle to free themselves from their oppressors. The fact is : there has never been an independent Palestinian State or any Palestinian territory – the word comes from the Philistines of the Bible who sailed up from what is now North Africa. But those who are sure that a Palestinian people exists, however, are also sure there are Palestinian territories occupied by Israel but that used to belong to the Palestinian people, and must therefore be returned to their legitimate owners.
The idea that millions of human beings were driven by force from the territory of Israel and therefore have a full right of return may easily be deduced from that fictitious version of events. The idea that the day Israel was created was a catastrophe (naqba) for the Palestinian people may be deduced from it as well. It then become simple enough to add that the Palestinian people are victims of a genocide committed by the Israelis.
The fact that Jews have lived for over two millennia in Judea-Samaria and throughout the city of Jerusalem is erased from memories and history books. Also erased is the ethnic cleansing that banished Jews from the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1947-48. And in the name of the rights of the Palestinian people, a new ethnic cleansing -- banishing the Jews again from the West Bank and East Jerusalem -- may perversely be considered a moral imperative, and anyone who disagrees may perversely be called an extremist.
Leaders of terrorist movements who never renounced terrorism were given a quasi-State, the Palestinian Authority, which is now treated in may countries throughout the world as a legitimate entity.
Leaders of Hamas, who openly call for a holy war [jihad], from their Charter on down, and who created a totalitarian regime in Gaza, recently nearly made an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, but no one in the West seems to worry. No one dares say anything : Palestinians are almost universally regarded as the epitome of the wretched of the earth -- without anyone asking why the Arabs should not be blamed for insisting they be penned in camps, or the United Nations, which not only keeps them penned in these camps, but also reinforces and promotes the Palestinians' revisionist version of events -- so that with this tonnage of disinformation, the Palestinian cause is almost unanimously considered as holy.
Meanwhile, in several European countries, Israeli politicians are subject to prosecution for alleged war crimes, which seem mainly to consist of efforts to defend themselves from people pledged to their destruction.
Israel is compared to South Africa in the apartheid era or to the Third Reich.
The electronic security fence, erected to keep terrorists out and protect Israelis' freedom, is recklessly and maliciously compared to the Berlin Wall, erected to keep East Germans in and deprive them of freedom.
Despite massive evidence to the contrary, the blockade of the Gaza Strip is described as a means to prevent the entry of food and medicine into Gaza ; it is said to create unbearable suffering. The fact that the border between Gaza and Egypt was recently opened -- but then closed by Egypt again a few weeks later - - is totally ignored. Why are there no flotillas demanding that Egypt open its border to Gaza ?
Boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns are being organized around the world against Israeli companies, against the sale of Israeli products, and against Israeli academics, artists and scientists.
The results are evident in Europe. In surveys conducted year after year, Israel is regarded as the most dangerous country for world peace and as the main cause of unrest in the Middle East. During televised debates in France and Germany, voicing the idea that Israel is a parenthesis in history or a mistake that must be corrected, is no longer taboo. Books that viciously denigrate Israel and cast doubt on the existence of the Jewish people become best sellers. One of them, The Invention of the Jewish People, by Shlomo Sand, received a prestigious literary prize, the Prix Aujourd'hui, in France in 2009.
Polls showing that a huge majority of the Palestinian people are murderously anti-Semitic and want Jews annihilated are never quoted in the press ; if there are any mentions of such views, they are carefully sanitize to seem more benign than they actually are.
The situation is not as catastrophic in the United States, but is deteriorating ; it could continue to deteriorate unless strong vigilance comes into play and the intelligence community face realities they would rather not know about.
The failure of the Gaza flotilla and the flytilla should not be allowed to conceal the pro-Palestinian agitation that goes on, and that the aim of the agitators and those they support remains unchanged: They are at war; they want the destruction of Israel; they will not stop. They create a hatred of Israel that never ceased to grow, and that looks as if the agitators are hoping for a return to all kinds of attacks.
Arsenals are growing fast in Lebanon and Gaza. Iran, extremely unstable, may soon have nuclear weapons. The Syrian regime is engaged in a crackdown suitable to that government's hazardous decisions. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is at the gates of power. In the Gaza Strip Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which took over political control within a few weeks of being democratically elected by throwing PLO and Fatah sympathizers off the top floors of high buildings, is eager to take over the West Bank should the opportunity arise.
A war ends only when there is a winner and a loser. For now, Israel's enemies have not lost. But Israel has not yet won.
If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page. .
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"