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Holocaust Memorial Day and the Pathetic Palestinians

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Children waving PLO banner.

“The demands, conditions, stipulations, and decisions pouring out of Mahmoud Abbas’s office in the last month or so have persuaded everyone concerned that the Palestinian’s mind is in a total muddle,” opined an April 24 Israeli-based news-wire Debka File. It reported that Israel’s Prime Minister, Binjamin Netanyahu, had broken off peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA), also known as Fatah, after Abbas, its leader, had announced Fatah would unite with Hamas, another Palestinian group with which it had been at odds since 2007.

Confusing? You’re not alone. As Debka File put it, “No one in Jerusalem or Washington can figure out what he wants. And even his closest aides believe that he doesn’t know his own mind and are afraid of what he may dream up next.”

As Israel commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day which began at sundown on Sunday, Abbas grabbed international headlines by declaring that the Holocaust was the “most heinous” modern crime, but seemed to equate what happened to Europe’s Jews during World War II with Palestinians today who, he said, “suffer from injustice, oppression, and are denied freedom and peace…” The fact that they and the Arab League have refused for over six decades to accept Israel’s right to exist went unmentioned. Now that’s chutzpah!

“In Gaza City, meanwhile,” reported Debka File, “his Fatah and the rival Hamas celebrated their umpteenth unity pack in nine years, although not a single clause of any of the foregoing documents was ever implemented.”

If the Palestinians as a whole and the two organizations that self-identify as representing them seem unable to function in a rational fashion, that is a fair conclusion.

This is what the Israelis have been dealing with before and ever since Yasser Arafat created the Palestinian Authority in 1959 directing it until his death in 2004. Its original purpose was the destruction of Israel, but Arafat modified that on occasion to give the impression of legitimacy and to seek ways to return Israel to its original borders in 1948 and later 1964. In 1987 he launched a prolonged Palestinian uprising known as the Intifada, killing many Israelis. And you wonder why Israel has built high walls and fences in some areas?

Hamas is closer to Arafat’s original goal, having been openly dedicated to the destruction of Israel since its formation in 1987 during the Intifada. It is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and has controlled Gaza since June 2007, having forcibly driven out Fatah representatives. It has been deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. since 1997, as does the European Union, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, but not by Iran, Turkey, and China. In 2005 Israel turned over the Gaza strip to the Palestinians as a gesture of peace which has been rewarded by constant rocketing launched from there ever since.

Sarah Stern, the founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) said on April 25 that “Since September 13, 1993, the Palestinian Authority has been playing a double, duplicitous and highly dangerous game of ‘good cop/bad cop.’ While the Palestinian Authority ended their diplomatic isolation in the community of nations by signings Oslo, Wye, the Roadmap for Middle East Peace, and all subsequent agreements, they have used their enhanced diplomatic status to wage a nonphysical war against Israel through systematic campaigns of distortion and dehumanization of Israel and the Jew in the international court of public opinion.”

EMET condemned the Palestinian Authority for supporting terrorism against Israel “regularly applauding suicide bombers and calling on children to become martyrs…it is time to stop giving American’s taxpayer dollars, to the tune of more than $600 million a year, to the PA.”

One has to ask why Secretary of State John Kerry has wasted months trying to secure peace between the Palestinian Authority and Israel when the former has never demonstrated any real effort to engage in peace beyond the formalities of treaties it has routinely ignored. The announcement that it would join with Hamas is testimony to its dedication to destroying Israel in its quest to declare control of the disputed area. Since 1948, Israel has been a sovereign state. All previous efforts by the U.S. have ended in failure.

Lately, the PA, designated a United Nations “observer”, has been applying for membership to 15 UN bodies. The UN has demonstrated its support for the PA for years, even annually celebrating a day devoted to the Palestinian “refugees”, the oldest such “refugee” group in history, due in large part by the refusal of Arab nations to extend citizenship to them. The UN has maintained UNRWA, its Relief and Works Agency, since 1948 when Israel was attacked and defeated its neighbors. In subsequent wars it expanded its borders to include the Golan Heights and the West Bank.

If the Fatah-Hamas unity effort is successful, it will further isolate the Palestinians who have few, if any, friends left in the Middle East and it renders the United Nations, presumably devoted to peace, as pathetic as the Palestinians.

The restraint that the Israelis have demonstrated over the past 66 years has been quite extraordinary. They are not, however, going to accept several generations of Palestinians to “return” into their nation where many have never lived since 1948.

The Palestinians have not given Israel any reason to have any confidence in what they say publicly for world consumption and the latest “unity” announcement at least confirms their bad intentions. In addition to Hamas, the Iranian pawn, Hezbollah, composed largely of Palestinians, gives Israel even less reason to regard them as anything than enemies.

And while this goes on, the Israelis must make plans to respond to the failure of the U.S. effort to get Iran to stop enriching uranium to make their own nuclear weapons. When it is declared dead, they will have no other option than to attack Iranian facilities.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

France joins the League of anti-Semitic Countries?

Last Sunday upwards of 50,000 engaged in the “Day of Anger” mass rally in Paris with groups shouting anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial slogans; “Jews, France does not belong to you” and “Faurrison is right”and “the Holocaust was a Hoax”.   The more vocal protesters were supporters of anti-Semitic comedian, Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala  and followers of French Holocaust denier, Robert Faurrison.  France passed a law in 1990 prohibiting both anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.  According to Michel Gurfinkiel, noted French conservative journalist, commentator and head of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute in Paris, “this was an additional warning to France’s Jews that things are getting very unpleasant for them in this country”.  We caught up with Gurfinkiel, with whom we had just completed an interview for the February 2014 New English Review on the topic of “Is There a Future for French Jews?”

Gurfinkiel found it “shocking” that no one, the rally organizers, demonstrators  nor  bystanders intervened to remove anti-Semitic protesters in violation of French hate speech laws; not even the police.    Further, he noted ominously “this is the first time since the end of World War Two you had compact groups shouting explicit and violent anti-Semitic slogans on the streets of Paris”.  He said, “France a founder of the Eropean Union may be joining the league of fringe anti-Semitic countries in the EU; Romania, Hungary and Greece”.   “The majority of the country was shocked. However France  harbors an anti-Semitic minority”. He indicated this episode raises the question about the ability of French democracy to control the problem.

Some people, Gurfinkiel said, are “starting to consider leaving the country”. He drew attention to the comments on the Facebook page of a young French Jewish writer and philosopher, who said she used to go out publicly wearing a Jewish Star of David and that her children were safe attending public schools.  She never she hear anti-Semitic slogans on the streets of France until last Sunday.  Now “she is losing faith in humanity and faith in this country”.  Gurfinkiel said it was “very revealing of the present mood”.

He said the police had estimated 20,000 protesters in Sunday’s “Day of Anger” rally. The rally organizers alleged estimated more than 100,000. Other sources said 50,000. Nevertheless, Gurfinkiel indicated that Sunday’s “Day of Anger” rally was a significant big protest.

Watch this JN1 TV news video of the Day of Anger rally:

He described in our interview how the “Day of Anger” protest rally was spawned. Last year there were a number of anti-gay marriage protests organized by Catholic groups, but on a non-political basis. They were “hijacked”, according to Gurfinkiel, by a far right  grass roots, Far right, non-partisan group, “French Spring” which he considers “up to a point similar the Tea Party movement “here in the US.  Other protesters including the Anti-Tax groups in Brittany and the Red Bonnets had arisen in the fall and winter protesting a “totally absurd” ecological tax against French farmers.  There were also protesters against the Hollande government over economic issues, as well.  The Day of Anger rally protesters had issued a national call to many organizations to join Sunday’s rally in Paris.  The Red Bonnets and the Brittany anti-Tax protest groups elected not to join Sunday’s “Day of Anger” contingents.  Sunday’s mass rally was joined by several hundred supporters of Dieudonne whom Gurfinkiel observed probably may have been the source of the anti-Semitic and holocaust denial slogans. Gurfinkiel considered the assembly a veritable “galaxy of left and right wing groups.”

One group conspicuous by its absence was the far right National Front.  Its leader, Gurfinkiel said, Ms. Marine Le Pen, has distanced herself from” explicit expressions of anti-Semitism and racism”.  The National Front had also not participated in last year’s anti-Gay marriage protest rallies.  Gurfinkiel believed that Le Pen viewed the organizers of the “Day of Anger” rally as “competitors”.  One follower of Dieudonne, who had once been close to her, “she saw as a competitor within her party”, had been ejected from the National Front.

Today, Gurfinkiel reported that French police had invaded an apartment of Dieudonne and found nearly $1 million dollars in undisclosed cash and other questionable financial items.   The BBC reported the basis for the police seizure of Dieudonne’s property:

He is suspected of a fraudulent declaration of bankruptcy, money-laundering and abuse of company assets.

The government has vowed to make him pay fines for hate speech.

According to French media, he has transferred 400,000 Euros (£331,000; $547,000) to Cameroon since 2009 while failing to pay fines totaling 65,000 Euros.

Dieudonne has been convicted six times of hate speech against Jews and popularized a gesture called the “quenelle”, widely regarded as an inverted Nazi salute.

Gurfinkiel, noted in the coming weeks, there will be local municipal elections in France.  “Perhaps”, Gurfinkiel opined, “a few cities may be taken back by the classic Right”.

Clearly, the future for France’s Jews, the largest community in Europe, is uncertain.  Read our NER interview with him in the February edition to find out more. Listen to our recorded interview with Gurfinkiel on the “Day of Anger” protest rally, here.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.