Sephardi Chief Rabbi: Arafat wants another Holocaust

March 31, 2002

CONTENTS

1. "Sephardi Chief Rabbi: Arafat wants another Holocaust" (Jerusalem Post, March 31, 2002)
2. "Gunman opens fire on kosher butcher shop in France" (Associated Press, March 31, 2002)
3. Scottish church targets Israel in painting of dead Jesus for Easter
4. "Suicidal Lies" (By Thomas Friedman, New York Times, March 31, 2002)


"A HOLOCAUST AGAINST THE STATE OF ISRAEL"

[Note by Tom Gross]

Israel's Sephardi Chief Rabbi said today that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is trying to commit "a Holocaust against the State of Israel," and that the world's leaders do not seem to comprehend the nature of this attack.

In addition to news about this, I attach (below) Tom Friedman’s column from today's New York Times. He writes that the "war now under way between the Israelis and Palestinians is vital to the security of every American, and indeed, I believe, to all of civilization."

I also attach news from France of a third anti-Semitic attack over the weekend, when a gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher shop in southern France. (An article in the last dispatch, Passover 2002: Attacks from Lyon to Netanya (March 30, 2002), described the previous attack on a synagogue in southeastern France.)

There is also news from the Scottish church of a new painting of Jesus with Roman soldiers on one side, and modern-day Israeli troops on the other side.

(** These items are outside today's main news so far, the suicide bombings of a restaurant in Haifa – owned by Israeli Arabs – that has killed at least 15 Israelis and the suicide bombing aimed at an Israeli ambulance in Efrat **).

I attach four full articles (and also a summary of the Friedman article).

-- Tom Gross

 

SUMMARY

PALESTINIANS HAVE ADOPTED SUICIDE BOMBING AS A STRATEGIC CHOICE

"Suicidal Lies" (By Thomas Friedman, The New York Times, March 31, 2002)

…The world must understand that the Palestinians have not chosen suicide bombing out of "desperation" stemming from the Israeli occupation. That is a huge lie. Why? To begin with, a lot of other people in the world are desperate, yet they have not gone around strapping dynamite to themselves. More important, President Clinton offered the Palestinians a peace plan that could have ended their "desperate" occupation, and Yasir Arafat walked away…

Let's be very clear: Palestinians have adopted suicide bombing as a strategic choice, not out of desperation. This threatens all civilization because if suicide bombing is allowed to work in Israel, then, like hijacking and airplane bombing, it will be copied and will eventually lead to a bomber strapped with a nuclear device threatening entire nations. That is why the whole world must see this Palestinian suicide strategy defeated…

Further, we should make clear that Arab leaders whose media call suicide bombers "martyrs" aren't welcome in the U.S…

"The Spanish Civil War was the place where the major powers all tested out their new weapons before World War II," said the Israeli political theorist Yaron Ezrahi. "Well, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today is the Spanish Civil War for the 21st century. A big test is taking place of whether suicide terrorism can succeed as a strategy for liberation. It must be defeated, but that requires more than a military strategy."

The Palestinians are so blinded by their narcissistic rage that they have lost sight of the basic truth civilization is built on: the sacredness of every human life, starting with your own. If America, the only reality check left, doesn't use every ounce of energy to halt this madness and call it by its real name, then it will spread. The Devil is dancing in the Middle East, and he's dancing our way.



FULL ARTICLES

"ARAFAT IS TRYING TO COMMIT ANOTHER HOLOCAUST"

Sephardi Chief Rabbi: Arafat wants another Holocaust
By Etgar Lefkovits
The Jerusalem Post
March 31, 2002

Israel's Sephardi Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron said today that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is trying to commit "a Holocaust against the State of Israel," and the world's leaders do not comprehend this.

"He [Arafat] says clearly that he wants a million shihads [martyrs] to come to Jerusalem. Tomorrow they will say that the world stood silent," Bakshi-Doron said adding "we should take into account that tomorrow it will be a million shihads in New York and London."

 

GUNMAN OPENS FIRE ON KOSHER BUTCHER SHOP IN SOUTHERN FRANCE

Gunman opens fire on kosher butcher shop in France
The Associated Press
March 31, 2002
News update 16:15

A gunman opened fire on a kosher butcher's shop in southern France – the third anti-Semitic attack over the weekend – drawing pledges for increased security at Jewish sites and appeals for religious tolerance.

No one was hurt in the attack, which took place yesterday evening in the town of l'Union, near Toulouse, regional officials said.

The owner of the shop was inside, with his front gate partially closed, when an identified gunman fired two shots and sped off in a car, officials from the Haute-Garonne region said.

The attack came amid a rising number of anti-Semitic attacks in France and during the weeklong holiday of Passover.

Early Saturday morning, vandals attacked a synagogue in Lyon, in southeastern France, causing damage to the building but no injuries. The attack was apparently organized and premeditated.

In the attack against the synagogue, hooded vandals crashed two cars through its main gate and then rammed one of the vehicles into the temple's prayer hall and set it on fire.

Le Journal du Dimanche, a Sunday newspaper, reported that a Jewish couple in their 20s suffered injuries from an attack yesterday afternoon in the town of Villeurbanne, in the Rhone region. The woman, identified as pregnant, was reportedly hospitalized overnight.

A book published this month by a leading French anti-racism group and Jewish students chronicled about 400 recent attacks against Jews and their religious sites around the country.

 

DEAD JESUS SHOWN IN PAINTING WITH ISRAELI SOLDIERS IN BACKGROUND

Scottish church targets Israel in painting of dead Jesus for Easter

A painting showing Jesus lying dead in the arms of his mother as modern-day Israelis fight in the background has been unveiled at an Edinburgh church.

The artwork hangs on the side of St John's Episcopal Church in Princes Street, according to an article appearing in today's "Scotsman" newspaper.

Jesus is shown flanked by Roman soldiers on one side and Israeli troops on the other. His thorn of crowns is made of barbed wire and his cross has been broken in the conflict.

John McLuckie, St John's associate rector, said, "It's the traditional image of dead Jesus in the arms of his mother but it is meant to symbolise modern victims."

 

"THE DEVIL IS DANCING IN THE MIDDLE EAST, AND HE'S DANCING OUR WAY"

Suicidal Lies
By Thomas Friedman
The New York Times
March 31, 2002

The outcome of the war now under way between the Israelis and Palestinians is vital to the security of every American, and indeed, I believe, to all of civilization. Why? Quite simply because Palestinians are testing out a whole new form of warfare, using suicide bombers strapped with dynamite and dressed as Israelis to achieve their political aims. And it is working.

Israelis are terrified. And Palestinians, although this strategy has wrecked their society, feel a rising sense of empowerment. They feel they finally have a weapon that creates a balance of power with Israel, and maybe, in their fantasies, can defeat Israel. As Ismail Haniya, a Hamas leader, said in The Washington Post, Palestinians have Israelis on the run now because they have found their weak spot. Jews, he said, "love life more than any other people, and they prefer not to die." So Palestinian suicide bombers are ideal for dealing with them. That is really sick.

The world must understand that the Palestinians have not chosen suicide bombing out of "desperation" stemming from the Israeli occupation. That is a huge lie. Why? To begin with, a lot of other people in the world are desperate, yet they have not gone around strapping dynamite to themselves. More important, President Clinton offered the Palestinians a peace plan that could have ended their "desperate" occupation, and Yasir Arafat walked away. Still more important, the Palestinians have long had a tactical alternative to suicide: nonviolent resistance, a la Gandhi. A nonviolent Palestinian movement appealing to the conscience of the Israeli silent majority would have delivered a Palestinian state 30 years ago, but they have rejected that strategy, too.

The reason the Palestinians have not adopted these alternatives is because they actually want to win their independence in blood and fire. All they can agree on as a community is what they want to destroy, not what they want to build. Have you ever heard Mr. Arafat talk about what sort of education system or economy he would prefer, what sort of constitution he wants? No, because Mr. Arafat is not interested in the content of a Palestinian state, only the contours.

Let's be very clear: Palestinians have adopted suicide bombing as a strategic choice, not out of desperation. This threatens all civilization because if suicide bombing is allowed to work in Israel, then, like hijacking and airplane bombing, it will be copied and will eventually lead to a bomber strapped with a nuclear device threatening entire nations. That is why the whole world must see this Palestinian suicide strategy defeated.

But how? This kind of terrorism can be curbed only by self-restraint and repudiation by the community itself. No foreign army can stop small groups ready to kill themselves. How do we produce that deterrence among Palestinians? First, Israel needs to deliver a military blow that clearly shows terror will not pay. Second, America needs to make clear that suicide bombing is not Israel's problem alone. To that end, the U.S. should declare that while it respects the legitimacy of Palestinian nationalism, it will have no dealings with the Palestinian leadership as long as it tolerates suicide bombings. Further, we should make clear that Arab leaders whose media call suicide bombers "martyrs" aren't welcome in the U.S.

Third, Israel must tell the Palestinian people that it is ready to resume talks where they left off with Mr. Clinton, before this intifada. Those talks were 90 percent of the way toward ending the occupation and creating a Palestinian state. Fourth, U.S. or NATO troops must guarantee any Israeli-Palestinian border.

"The Spanish Civil War was the place where the major powers all tested out their new weapons before World War II," said the Israeli political theorist Yaron Ezrahi. "Well, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today is the Spanish Civil War for the 21st century. A big test is taking place of whether suicide terrorism can succeed as a strategy for liberation. It must be defeated, but that requires more than a military strategy."

The Palestinians are so blinded by their narcissistic rage that they have lost sight of the basic truth civilization is built on: the sacredness of every human life, starting with your own. If America, the only reality check left, doesn't use every ounce of energy to halt this madness and call it by its real name, then it will spread. The Devil is dancing in the Middle East, and he's dancing our way.


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.