Op-Ed: Iran and the Jewish Anti-Semites: Amoz Oz et al
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.
The State of Israel is facing its most diffficult decision since 1948: bombing Iran or bunkering.
Nobody would like to be Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, the two who will have to make “the” decision.
The fate of the Jewish people in Israel is in their hands.
Only fools could expect that left-wing ideologues would embrace such a preemptive strike. But what the Israeli literary doyen Amos Oz and his friends did is beyond the conceivable.
Oz and others writers sent a legal ultimatum to Prime Minister Netanyahu, demanding that he state publicly that he will not order an attack against Iran without a receiving the cabinet’s approval first. Oz and the other writers originally gave Netanyahu until Thursday, August 16, to do so or face legal action.
Amos Oz is not trying to indict an Iranian regime at the International Penal Court for calling the Israelis “a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians,” “an insult to human dignity,” a “stinking corpse,” a “wild beast”, a “scarecrow", “filthy”, “bacteria", "impure", “unhygienic” and “contaminated". No, Oz is trying to indict the leaders of the Jewish people during the most dramatic time for Israel in years.
The late Uri Dan, the brave journalist and confidant of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, once called Amos Oz a “Bolshevik”. It seems as though Oz symbolizes much more than that.
Oz is the embodiment of a secular, leftist, establishment intellectual. He is the darling of those who have taken over the designation "peace camp", and embraced a form of Jewish anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Speaking in 1989 to the peace-movement multitudes in Tel Aviv’s Malchei Yisrael (now Rabin) Square, Oz described the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria in language Josef Stalin would have envied. “A small sect, a messianic sect, obtuse and cruel, emerged a few years ago from a dark corner of Judaism, and it is threatening to destroy all that is dear and sacred to us, to impose on us a wild and insane blood ritual ... They are guilty of crimes against humanity, their Jewishness is of the Hizbullah kind, their Zionism is like Abu Nidal’s”.
This is a blood libel of the kind one used to expect from Kremlin anti-Semites, not from an Israeli writer. By encouraging the rioters in the alleys and on the roads, Oz's words endangered the "settlers”, pioneers on the front lines of defence, a group whose spirit and power is to be lauded, people of learning and of labour who are able to bear suffering, who are devoted to their homes, their people, their State and their land.
During the first days of the “intifada war”, while Oz was pontificating about dividing the land, the settlers were the shield of Israel. They absorbed the blows, the disasters, the dead.
Politically, Oz has always had a defeatist agenda. In 1967, Oz added his name to an ad published in Ha’aretz opposing “unilateral annexation” of Judea and Samaria. In 1973, he ran unsuccessfully on the Knesset list of Moked (New Left/Communist Front). For him, Menachem Begin's victory - after 29 years of Labor Party hegemony- meant that “evil days are upon us... “.
In 1978, Oz was instrumental in founding Peace Now. He then opposed the Israeli efforts to crush the PLO in Lebanon, calling the 1982 Operation Peace for Galilee a “typical Jabotinskyian fantasy”. His explanation of the Oslo accords? "...it will be militarily easier for Israel to break the backbone of a tiny, demilitarized Palestinian entity than to go on breaking the backbones of... stone-throwing Palestinians".
When in 2002 Ariel Sharon sent forces into Judea and Samaria to defeat the terrorists, Oz went to help the Palestinians with their olive harvest.
Last year he contacted Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian terrorist leader convicted of murdering five Israelis and planning several terrorist attacks. The Israel Prize recipient sent the Palestinian prisoner one of his books with a personal inscription wishing him a speedy release from prison: “This story is our story. I hope you read it and understand us better, as we attempt to understand you. Hoping to meet soon in peace and freedom".
Perhaps one day Oz and his distinguished Arafatian colleagues will summon up enough courage to admit that their opponents' view of Israel's totalitarian enemies, including the PLO, has been far more accurate than their own.
Perhaps they will stop advocating the establishment of a totalitarian Palestinian state a mere eight kilometers from their homes.
Perhaps they will stop appeasing an Iranian genocidal regime whose atomic bombs will reach Tel Aviv in eight minutes.
Perhaps. But it may well be too late. Amos Oz and his friends have gone too far. They have put the entire Jewish people in danger.
A friend told me that "Hashem will forgive him". Perhaps.