Reaction: Murder Enablers

A Middle East expert gives the background to the media's treatment of the barbaric massacre in Itamar.

Gerald A. Honigman

OpEds Honigman


       So, I'm watching Fox News on March 14th, probably the most fair network reporting on Arab-Israeli matters, and come time for the update on the recent massacre of innocents in Itamar in Samaria on the "West Bank," the young lady reporter chooses to begin by emphasizing that the slaughtered were right wing settlers. Leaving out the barbaric details--such as the throats of a three-month old infant and two other young children were slit--she then bemoans Israel's pledge to build more in the disputed area, where Jews have thousands of years of history, in response.

       Some have already waxed eloquent on this tragedy in the face of routine, meaningless condemnations coming from far too many other circles. Indeed, many, like the reporter, sounded like they were blaming the victims themselves for their own murders.

        Unfortunately, this was all very predictable…for lots of reasons.

         Firstly, Israel itself is mostly to blame. It has been trying to please and appease others by literally baring the necks of its children to those who want it dead--regardless of its size--with the predictable consequences above. Unfortunately, this latest atrocity has plenty of company, and each time the Arab hero butchers have been virtually canonized by their own brethren.

         It is said that two members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' own official security forces were arrested in conjunction with this latest act of Arab bravery--those same forces which have received hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, equipment, and training from America. 

         Time after time, when Israel has tried to show flexibility in the name of peace-making (with those who really have no such idea in mind) by easing up on security measures like checkpoints and such, Jews have gotten slaughtered as a result…both within Israel "proper" (the 9 to 15 mile wide sub rump state, created by the '49 armistice lines,  that some of the world begrudgingly allows it) and  beyond the Green Line--other parts of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine where both Jews and Arabs were allowed to live, despite others' claims and demands.

         No reasonable mind can contemplate a map of Israel within its 1949, UN-imposed armistice lines ( find it on a world globe without a magnifying glass, I dare you) and not understand its need for the more secure, defensible, real borders promised to it by the final draft of UNSC Resolution 242 after the '67 War--a conflict which started, by the way, with an Arab blockade of Israel, a casus belli.

         The settlements' issue is all about Israel finally getting this buffer on a small portion of the territory it acquired after the Arabs' attempt on its life. It already gave back most of it with the return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, as part of a now very-endangered treaty of peace with that nation, and later unilaterally withdrew from Gaza as well. And we all know what kind of "peace" Israel got from that gesture…thousands of rockets and mortars landing in Israel proper.

         There is no doubt that Israel needs something far more concrete in any future dealings with Arabs--dealings which the "moderates" of the Arabs themselves merely call a Trojan Horse. And that "something" must include a meaningful territorial compromise (that will withstand torn up treaties of peace, hudna ceasefires, and such) in the disputed territories in Judea and Samaria. The latter were known by those names for thousands of years before British imperialism dubbed them the West Bank in the early 20th century--and elsewhere as well. Think Golan Heights…

          The very language being used today lends itself to problems in perception. And the young Fox news reporter has plenty of company in her ignorance--innocent or otherwise. The American State Department, the current occupant of the White House, and far too many others come to mind.

          In the eyes of such folks, Arabs and only Arabs have legitimate rights in the discussion.

          Indeed, that language was recently used by President Obama's UN representative, Susan Rice, when she repeated her boss's and the State Department's remarks referring to Jews living beyond the Auschwitz/armistice lines as illegitimate.

         So, you see, the recently slaughtered innocents really had it coming to them…

         How dare Jews go beyond the enclosed miniscule ghetto the world demands of them…even if it is to land their forefathers lived in thousands of years before the Arab conquest and in which they continued to own land and live in until their massacre by Arabs in the 1920s and 1930s.                   

         It is the same language which enables Arabs--who burst out of what is now Saudi Arabia some fourteen centuries ago and conquered, settled, slaughtered, colonized, and forcibly Arabized countless millions of non-Arab peoples on over six million square miles of territory--to still manage to gain most of the world's sympathy when they complain about Jews returning to the only land in history that Jews have ever claimed possession to. And even that place has already been partitioned, shared, and so forth. Arab Jordan sits on almost 80% of the original April 25, 1920 Mandate of Palestine.

        Unlike the above, what compromise has Arab nationalism ever made with the various non-Arab peoples suffering to this very day at the hands of Arab subjugators?

          Have a chat with some native Copts from Egypt, Kurds in Syria and Iraq, "Berbers" (especially the Kabyle and Imazighen ) throughout North Africa, black Africans in the Sudan and elsewhere, native "kilab yahud" (Jew dogs), and so forth.

          Scores of millions of Kurds, Copts, Imazighen, black Africans, native Jews, Assyrians, pre-Arab conquest Lebanese, and others daily still suffer the consequences of Arab imperialism--to the point where millions are not even allowed to practice their own native culture nor use their own native language. They are forced to use and accept those of their Arab conquerors instead…and are massacred when they protest.

        I  refer to a few revealing quotes which go a long way in explaining how things evolved as they did. As we've already seen, this includes the very language which the American State Department, President Obama, the Fox News reporter, and most of the rest of the world now routinely use. Please read them slowly and carefully.

         The first is a Special Dispatch of MEMRI on May 3, 2007 written by Belkacem Lounes of the World Amazigh Congress responding to the latest Arab despot making the news, Libya's Mu'ammar Qaddafi's denial of the very existence of the Amazigh people…

          The people of whom you speak...speak their own Amazigh language daily... live their Amazigh identity...What worse offense to elementary rights is there than denying the existence of a people...30 million in North Africa? You menace the Amazigh, warning that whosoever asserts his identity will be a traitor...identical problems in Algeria and Morocco...There is no worse colonialism than internal colonialism--that of the Pan-Arabist claim that seeks to dominate our people. It is surely Arabism--an imperialist ideology that refuses diversity--that constitutes an offense to history and truth...

         Next, consider these excerpts and such from the New English Review on January 18, 2008 and reported in on July 3, 2009 and Islamic Danger In History on July 20, 2009 (…

     In Algeria, Berbers were forbidden to use their own language, Tamazight...riots erupted, reported in France but ignored elsewhere in the West...America, of course, had been sufficiently subject to ARAMCO (the Arabian American Oil Company) propaganda, a payoff to the Saudis by Big Oil, to allow the latter to produce and market Arab oil. So, ARAMCO's message to America was that there is just an Arab world in this region in which there are no Copts, Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turkmen...and, of course, no Berbers and no Jews--they all came to Israel, you see, from Europe for everyone in this region is just Arab.

         So, right from the get-go, there has been a collusion between Arabs and those who cowtow to their demands, for one reason or another (be it petro-business or otherwise), to make the Arab cause--and that of the Arabs' alone--to be the only "legitimate" one in the region.

        Hence the "illegitimacy" of Judeans--Jews-- living in Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria, and so forth…

         Thus, huge numbers of Syrian Arab settlers coming into the Mandate of Palestine from elsewhere, setting up Arab settlements in Palestine, are legitimate, but Jews coming into the Mandate from Syria are illegitimate occupiers. Etc. and so forth.

         Okay. These are the realities today…So, what must Israel do about them? Not what it has been doing--for sure.

         Israel must be unambiguous to the world that it will insist on its own fair share of relative, minimal justice.

         The demand for a twenty-second state for Arabs--their second, not first,  in "Palestine" (the name Rome bestowed upon Judea after the second revolt of the Jews for freedom--well documented by the Romans themselves--to rub salt into the wound; the new name was for the Jews' historic enemies, the non-Semitic "Sea People" invaders from the Greek isles around Crete, the Philistines)--must not be realized at the expense of the one sole, resurrected state of the Jews.

        The reality is that there is no room in the land of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine for a third state to be set up there. A confederation with the Arab state already sitting on the lions' share of the territory since 1922 (Jordan) makes more sense--that is, unless you’re the Hashemite Arab ruler transplanted from elsewhere running the show.  Jews should not be expected to suffer because of it.

         The barbaric slaughter of innocents in Itamar should have yielded an outcry of rage. It did not.

         Instead, it has brought mostly more lectures from the Obama White House and State Department about Israel's need to cave in to all that Arabs demand.

        This will not change--at least not for another two years.

         It is thus time for Israel to act on its own and draw its own final borders according to the spirit and content of UNSC Resolution 242.

         The world will be outraged. But remember, that this is the same world which has largely been slaughtering and demonizing Jews for millennia.

         Arabs don't accept a 9-mile wide Israel. Waiting for them to accept anything bigger is absurd--especially given the stance of the Obama Administration. Previous American Presidents and other leaders (Johnson, Reagan, Shultz, etc.) are on record as stating that Israel would never return to the suicidal armistice lines of 1949. Obama insists that this must occur and trashes Israeli leaders and all others who differ.

        While a compromise over the disputed territories is in order, no amount of concessions by Israel--short of suicide--will make it more acceptable to Arabs who, by their own words, have been engaged in a destruction-in-stages game plan since the '67 War.

       When Israel takes itself more seriously, others may start to do likewise. If they don't, it will still be better off.

          Israel must then treat the next atrocity as an act of war and hold the Arab leaderships' feet to the fire. Merely playing tit for tat does not work well …