They ALL Have Blood on Their Hands By David Collier and Appeasing Extortionists: The Coalition in Action By Mati Tuchfeld and Jerusalem Day: Correcting a Historical Injustice By Amb. Dore Gold - and ‘Wrong Side of History’: Israel Condemns Iraq’s Anti-Normalization Legislation
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
The Three are Rabbi Yehuda Glick, famous temple mount activist, and former Israel Mk, and then Robert Weinger, the world's greatest shofar blower and seller of Shofars, and myself after we had gone to the 12 gates of the Temple Mount in 2020 to blow the shofar to ask G-d to heal the world from the Pandemic. It was a highlight to my experience in living in Israel and I put it on my blog each day to remember.
The articles that I include each day are those that I find interesting, so I feel you will find them interesting as well. I don't always agree with all the points of each article but found them interesting or important to share with you, my readers, and friends. It is cathartic for me to share my thoughts and frustrations with you about life in general and in Israel. As a Rabbi, I try to teach and share the Torah of the G-d of Israel as a modern Orthodox Rabbi. I never intend to offend anyone but sometimes people are offended and I apologize in advance for any mistakes. The most important psychological principle I have learned is that once someone's mind is made up, they don't want to be bothered with the facts, so, like Rabbi Akiva, I drip water (Torah is compared to water) on their made-up minds and hope that some of what I have share sinks in. Love Rabbi Yehuda Lave.
They ALL Have Blood on their Hands By David Collier
Photo Credit: courtesy author
Across the anti-Zionist activist space (and this includes media, academia, politics, and NGOs) there are people who portray Zionists as sub-human evildoers. The lies these people tell and the hate that they spread has real-world consequences. These people have the blood of innocents on their hands.
The blood flows on Israeli streets
Last month, fourteen Israelis were murdered by Arab terrorists. Let me just begin with the obvious statement: those directly responsible for the terrorist attacks in Beer Sheva, Hadera, Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv are the terrorists who carried out the brutal slaughters.
But terrorism is never as simple as one man with a weapon. Nobody just wakes up in the morning and thinks they should go and slaughter civilians – unless they have been primed to do so within an ideologically twisted environment. Terrorists always believe that their horrific crimes are justified.
And this key fact is so relevant when discussing Israel. Because behind the bullets and knives, behind those slaughtering innocent civilians in Israeli streets, even behind the radical Islamist terrorist groups – sits a well-oiled industry of Jew-hate – with international factories that are churning out endless material that is enabling, empowering, and providing justifications for the monsters that wish to kill Jews.
Millions of people far removed from the actual conflict zone, also consume this hatred – and go on to spread and promote lies and demonizing propaganda about Israel. In the end, all this anti-Jewish disinformation combines to create an evil atmosphere that rationalizes the murder of innocent Israeli civilians.
This does not mean that without the lies and constant demonization, there would be no terrorism at all against Israelis, but there would certainly be a lot less of it. The situation has become so twisted these days, that radical Islamist terror groups often play to a western audience.
And we all understand this concept, wherever we sit on the political spectrum. When Jo Cox was murdered, the finger of blame was pointed far wider than just at Thomas Mair. And when Patrick Wood Crusius slaughtered 23 people in a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, the New York Times wasted no time in blaming the atmosphere created by Donald Trump.
Language matters. Truth matters.
The dark truth
The Israel-hating Guardian understands the cause and effect only too well, frequently referencing the hate-filled atmosphere that contributes to murderous violence – but just like the NYT (who are equally guilty of demonizing Zionism) they are only able to see this linkage when there is political mileage in it for them:
"Far-right terrorists feed off the hatred that is often fanned by elites when it suits them."
Given that the Guardian is one of the more noteworthy media outlets in the UK obsessing about Israel, spreading disinformation, and demonizing Zionism, rarely has a complete lack of self-awareness been more apparent than in the quote above.
There are some players in this industry at whom we already point the finger. The PA's Pay for Slay, which encourages and rewards acts of terror against Israel, is perhaps the example that is most frequently mentioned. Let's face it, if you actually reward the terrorists and their families – you can hardly argue that you do not have blood on your hands.
But the truth is far darker and involves far more than just those promising the terrorists and their families financial security.
What about those in the West that promote the Palestinian Authority as moderates (the PA are behind Pay for Slay)? Or the nations who fund the PA – or fund UNWRA – the UN organization which was created to perpetuate the conflict and which actually uses school classrooms to teach anti-Jewish hatred to Palestinian children.
Or we can look far closer to home. Because Jew-haters are constantly hungry, there is a myriad of NGOs, journalists, and activists (all pretty much the same thing these days), putting a microscope on the Jewish state, and holding it to an inspection that no nation on earth would survive. To help them along, the Palestinian children are dutifully sent to confront the soldiers, with the rock throwers behind – and 100 cameras all trying to capture the most deceptive angle.
Almost every article on Israel, every report, that emerges in the west these days is rooted in skewed reporting and deliberate fictions.
Amnesty International spreads hate
Take Amnesty International. The NGO has spent decades demonizing the state of Israel. Just recently they wrote a report falsely claiming Israel practices 'Apartheid'. Go online and you will see their report shared as 'truth' in every social media thread about Israel.
But Amnesty's report is nonsense. The internal Amnesty information supply chain is full of Palestinians with nothing but a long history of promoting extreme anti-Israel rhetoric in their CVs. One of their key employees, who was even at the press conference that launched the report, used to have images of Palestinian terrorists in his Facebook profile.
Too many of Amnesty's staff obsess about Zionism and Israel, even if they are employed to be the eyes of the NGO elsewhere. All this bias is absurd, frightening, and clearly embedded in anti-Jewish racism and it means that anything that the Amnesty factory produces is stained with deep-rooted antisemitism.
This leaves Amnesty International spreading spiteful and demonizing fake news about Israel's character. Lies that are explicitly created to stir people emotionally. Amnesty puts these lie out there precisely to incite anger.
A fact: – Terrorists have murdered more civilians in pre-1967 Israel in the two months since Amnesty's Apartheid Lie than in many years. Coincidence? – Perhaps.
A world full of lies
Misunderstanding the conflict and misreading Israel's enemies is not a defense. Ignorance driven by obsessive antisemitism is not an excuse. Amnesty put vast resources into publishing hate and spreading the lie that the only democracy in the MENA region is an evil regime. You would have to be stupid to claim these lies do not have real-world consequences.
At the most basic level – donations give a clear example – people who buy into the lies are more likely to donate to a cause carrying the Palestinian flag than those who don't. Gazan beggars using Facebook to connect with activists to receive help 'to feed their children are more likely to be rewarded. Very little of the money reaching Palestinian hands is actually used to make lives better – tragically the opposite is true – it is almost all used to bolster the very industry of hate that creates the fake news that led to the donation in the first place.
Imagine a world that told the truth. A place in which Palestinian terror had no apologists in the west and no audience to whom to play. A world in which Palestinian propagandists posted decontextualized images – and nobody shared them. Imagine a world in which Israelis were treated as human beings.
There can be little doubt that the level of violence would greatly diminish. Once you strip away the industry of hate that has supported and sustained the violence – the entire conflict falls apart. How many lives would this have saved? On all sides? Countless.
But the opposite is true. Just look at what is taking place online. Israelis are demonized and portrayed as 'evildoers' using the same type of language always reserved for the Jews. 'Zionists' are 'vermin', 'sub-human' 'monsters' and uniquely 'evil'.
This is not taking place in some hidden secret group. Israelis are turned into sub-human evil monsters on our campuses. State funded environments in the 21st century in which Jews often feel the need to hide their identity. And in our schools, church groups, and unions. Some artists even get involved – making sure their fans are 'told the truth' about what the 'Zionists' are doing. Then there is the cesspit of social media. Suddenly – with Ukraine – everyone recognizes 'Russian propaganda'? Where have they all been for the last few decades?
The support this generates on the street feeds back into the conflict itself – not to normal Palestinians living in Ramallah or Jericho – but into the activist space – the ones spreading the lies out in the first place. An activist like Mohammed El Kurd probably cannot believe his luck. He can say anything – however outrageous – and people will swallow his lies and applaud him – they even pay him thousands of pounds to turn up at their campus to tell the students in person.
From Trocaire in Ireland to CAABU in the UK or SJP in the US. They are all involved. And this is even before we mention the 'solidarity groups' like the PSC, SPSC, IPSC or JVP.
So too, the politicians who obsess about Israel and regularly share hate-filled outlets such as Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada with their constituents. These people are pushing this antisemitism onto the streets and deeper into the societies in which they live – where it acts like a virus.
This is partly caused by the elephant in the room. The rise of Islamism in the west and the impact that this is having on our streets. Islamists see Israel as 'Islamic land' and are engaged in a religious battle to retrieve it. There are MPs in Westminster today who would not dare defy the growing Islamist infuence in their constituency and the rhetoric of these politicians grows ever more anti-Zionist. And what is happening in Westminster is just a fraction of what is taking place at the council level in some areas. We see it best on campus, where the new President of the NUS has pushed genocidal anti-Jewish rhetoric in the past. She is but one of many extremists active in our universities today. This is a subject too few openly want to discuss.
All of this doesn't just make life difficult for Jewish people in the UK or US. 'Victory to the Intifada' is not just a badge for sale at hard-left events. 'Global Intifada' is not just an empty phrase. The words 'Khaybar Khaybar' mean something. And it all sends out a green light to the radical Islamic terrorists.
This normalization of anti-Jewish hatred in the west may not have directly committed the recent acts of violence that murdered 14 Israelis. But from Amnesty and the BBC to the NYT – they are all playing their part in the demonization of Zionism. So when the atmosphere they help to shape results in dead Israelis – then they all have the blood of innocents on their hands.
As more time passes, the more the Israeli government's conduct resembles a struggle for survival. This past week, for example, the offices of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid were too busy to manage the country's affairs, because they were wrapped up in the attempt to salvage their coalition.
From the directors-general and senior advisers (those who are left) to the department heads, secretaries, clerks and spokespeople—all are on a single mission: to prevent the fall of the government. From their perspective, this is nothing less than a national imperative, on behalf of which all the country's resources can be committed—from money to security. Everything will be sacrificed on the altar of political survival.
The major question that now looms before the coalition pertains to the budget. Approval of a national budget is a major issue for the parties in the opposition, and cooperation with the government in this area is a near-impossible proposition for those who want it to fall. That said, certain compromises can always be reached for the right price.
The current government has shown it is willing to pay, and a lot. The Haredim are on the sidelines as Avigdor Lieberman continues to hit them with reforms and other policies that are not in the interest of the Haredi sector, and there's no doubt that some of them would be happy to have it all stop in exchange for cooperation with the government. The more Lieberman pummels them, the more a single Haredi member of Knesset will be credited as the one who saved the day. By the way, not all the Haredi factions are necessary in this regard. It's enough for one MK to abstain, and the coalition will have a majority.
The budget could also wear the government down if the coalition breaks its own record for payments and concessions to extortionists. In the meantime, it continues to appease the Knesset's Arab representatives. As of now, most of the partners in the coalition would rather bite their tongues than come out against the Arab MKs—whether their allies in the Ra'am party or those in the Joint List who provide them with a safety net.
When Ahmad Tibi called MK Merav Ben-Ari the "scum of the earth" after she refused to express remorse over the death of AlJazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, Lapid—who is her party chairman—said on Twitter that "Merav is the best," but didn't say a word about Tibi.
In a discussion at the Knesset's Education Committee, New Hope MK Sharren Haskel removed Yoseph Hadad—an Arab Israeli activist for coexistence who is proud to wave the Israeli flag, serve in the IDF and support the country—after he was called a "collaborator" and "traitor to his people" by MK Aida Touma-Sliman of the Joint List. This is how the List views an Arab who wants coexistence and supports IDF service. These are the people with whom the current government has chosen to do business. Haskel, who ran the meeting, heard the slanderous remarks and did nothing. Hadad was escorted out by security. Sliman remained in her seat, safe and sound.
How are we to understand the meaning of Jerusalem Day, when we commemorate the reunification of our historical capital? In 1997, I served as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations and I asked for instruction from our foreign minister at the time, Ariel Sharon. He sent me back to the speech our first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, gave to the Knesset on Dec. 5, 1949.
Ben-Gurion was taking a historical decision at the end of the first Arab-Israeli War. He decided to move Israel's capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion was told by Israel's closest friends not to undertake this move. According to UN General Assembly Resolution 181, Jerusalem was supposed to be a "separate entity" – a corpus separatum in the language of the UN.
But what occurred in the war was that Jerusalem was surrounded by a coalition of Arab armies and bombarded by their artillery. The Jewish Quarter of the Old City was ethnically cleansed. Its great synagogues, some dating back to the 13th century, were leveled. What the war had proven was that if Jerusalem would not be under Israel's sovereignty and protection, the consequences would be catastrophic. Ben-Gurion told the Knesset:
Had we not been able to withstand the aggressors who rebelled against the UN, Jewish Jerusalem would have been wiped off the face of the earth, the Jewish population would have been eradicated and the State of Israel would not have arisen.
Ben-Gurion had a message to the world about Jerusalem:
A nation which, for 2,500 years, has faithfully adhered to the vow made by the first exiles by the waters of Babylon not to forget Jerusalem, will never agree to be separated from Jerusalem.
In the last decade with religious sites under assault across the Middle East, another aspect of Israel's control of Jerusalem has become clear. Only a free and democratic Israel will protect Jerusalem for all the great faiths. From 1948 to 1967, the Jewish people were denied access to their historical capital city. Jerusalem Day is a day in which that wrong was corrected and Jerusalem was made whole once more.
Israel condemned the decision by the Iraqi parliament to pass legislation that criminalizes normalization with Israel and that imposes the death penalty on one who has contact with Israel.
"This is a law that puts Iraq and the Iraqi people on the wrong side of history and disconnected from reality," the Foreign Ministry stated on Friday.
"The changes in the Middle East and the peace and normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states, which are bringing stability and prosperity to the peoples of the region, are the future of the Middle East," the Foreign Ministry declared.
"Leaders who choose a path of hate and incitement hurt their own people first of all. We call on the Iraqi people not to support this extremist position," the statement added.
The State Department stated Thursday that the US is "deeply disturbed" by the Iraqi Parliament's passage of the legislation and noted that "in addition to jeopardizing freedom of expression and promoting an environment of anti-Semitism, this legislation stands in stark contrast to progress Iraq's neighbors have made by building bridges and normalizing relations with Israel, creating new opportunities for people throughout the region."
The US will "continue to be a strong and unwavering partner in supporting Israel, including as it expands ties with its neighbors in the pursuit of greater peace and prosperity for all," the State Department stated.
Iraq has officially been at war with Israel since 1948.
The United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain shortly after it, announced in August 2020 the normalization of relations with Israel.
Sudan was next to announce the normalization of relations with Israel in October, Israel's third peace treaty in two months.
Morocco was the fourth country to join the Abraham Accords with Israel. The two countries announced the normalization of relations in December 2020.
The Abraham Accords, the first pact between an Arab country and Israel in 25 years, is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.