My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Friday, October 15, 2010

Defenders of Israel need to go on the attack...

I was also at the Camera conference, and Bret Stephens was amazing...
Last weekend, I was a speaker at a huge CAMERA conference in Boston on the topic of the "war by other means", the global campaign of demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel.

CAMERA stands for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. The work it does in combating the media onslaught against Israel, through careful, calm and forensic exposure of the lies and distortions being promulgated about Israel, is of enormous value. But, for all the great work that it does, and for all the undoubted commitment of the conference's 800-plus participants, it seems to me that so many American pro-Israel Jews - like those in this country and doubtless elsewhere - are missing the big picture.

This feeling was amplified by remarks made by another conference speaker, Wall Street Journal columnist (and former Jerusalem Post editor) Bret Stephens. As he said, much pro-Israel advocacy isn't very smart because it is conducted from a permanent defensive crouch rather than an offensive position which sticks the accusations into Israel's attackers.

So, for example, such friends of Israel fret endlessly about whether or not Bibi will extend the moratorium on new building in Jewish communities in the disputed territories, rather than ask the much more germane question of what the Palestinians are offering as an equivalent concession. The answer to that one, said Stephens, is that they say they will keep the lid on terrorism. So their great concession is to stop killing Jews. Which kind of illustrates that, while the issue in contention for Israel is land, that for the Palestinians is mass murder.

Put the other side on the back foot. Change the narrative

But instead of accusing the Palestinians and their western supporters of this rejectionism - the true reason for the Middle East impasse - many self-professed "friends" of Israel position themselves on the very ground that Israel's enemies have chosen to conceal their real aim to obliterate it.

This ground defines the conflict instead as being about the boundaries of two states, Israel and Palestine. Hence the almost exclusive focus on the settlements and the territories, and on Israel's supposed obduracy on these issues as the major obstacle to peace. This is demonstrably absurd. The only obstacle to peace is the Palestinians' continued and open refusal to accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, and thus their continued objective to wage a war of extermination against it.

That is why, when the bulk of the territories was offered to them in 2000, their response was to start blowing up Israelis in buses and pizza parlours; that is why, when Jewish settlers were removed from Gaza, their response was to fire thousands of rockets at Israeli towns; and that is why "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinians will never accept Israel as a Jewish state.


Blogger Mary said...

SIGH! I just don;t understand why the Jews vote democratic! I have so many Jewish friends that I argue with all the time. What I boil it down to is this, I don't see Jews strapping bombs on themselves and blowing up Palestinians. I also tell them that I have many Jewish friends in Isreal that I care about, even though I am Irish. Great article, and I will look into CAMERA. There is another group I heard about in the John Bachelor show, it was Cristians supporting Isreal, but I have forgotten the acronym.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...fret endlessly about whether or not Bibi will extend the moratorium on new building in Jewish communities in the disputed territories..."

They aren't disputed terroritories, they are Palestinian lands, and the Israelis are slowly but surely stealing them from the Palestinians.

What more is to be asked of the Palestinians? Allow the land they live on to be stolen from under their feet, and be a good chap and have a smile on your face while this theft is taking place, hey what?.

Peter D.

8:00 PM  

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