After last week’s terrorist attack on the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv, in which 4 Israelis were killed, Tel Aviv’s mayor, Ron Huldai “clearly” understood the motivations of the terrorists and wasted no time in bestowing of his wisdom to us plebs. It was all, he expounded, “because of the occupation“:
Speaking on Army Radio a day after the attack at the Max Brenner cafe, which claimed the lives of four people, Huldai said Israel was “maybe the only country in which another people is under occupation and in which these people have no rights.”
“Our leaders through the years have said that the lands [on which settlements are built] are the basis on which a future [Palestinian] state can be built. The problem is when there is no terror, there are no discussions, and when there are talks, we say there can’t be terror attacks,” he went on.
“We can’t keep these people in a reality in which they are occupied and [expect] them to reach the conclusion that everything is all right and that they can continue living this way,” said Huldai, a member of the opposition Labor Party.
The mayor said Israelis must ask themselves if they play a role, “if there’s anything we can do to decrease the levels of loathing between the two peoples.
“On the one hand, we are marking 49 years to the occupation, of which I was a part [as a fighter pilot in the 1967 war]. I know the reality and understand that leaders with courage need to aspire to reach [an agreement] and not just talk about it.
“The facts are that we [as a nation] are suffering [after terror attacks] does not lead us to really understand what needs to be done,” he said.
A change in the situation will come when Israel will show its neighbors that it has true intentions of reaching a peace deal, he argued.
It is quite mind-boggling that someone who faced the enemy when Israel was its tiniest and most vulnerable, and risked his life while fighting for the the liberation of our indigenous lands from the hands of the Arab occupiers, can be so obtuse as to now think that we are the ones occupying our own land!
He is also outright wrong that the Palestinians are occupied. The vast majority are not living under Israeli rule or “occupation” but live under Palestinian rule, which may be corrupt and brutal, but it is what was agreed between Israel and the Palestinians at the Oslo Accords.
Furthermore, Huldai is implying that Israel hasn’t taken enough “risks for peace”. If these words came out of the mouth of a European I would be outraged. Coming from the Mayor of Tel Aviv I am deeply saddened and horrified by his ignorance, not to mention amnesia. Has Huldai forgotten Ehud Olmert’s offer of 93% the territories, with only minor land swaps? Has he forgotten Camp David, where President Clinton blamed Yasser Arafat for making a fool of him and rejecting the very generous offer of land for peace made by Israeli PM Ehud Barak? Is he ignoring the Israeli disengagement from Gaza? How many more “risks for peace” should Israel make, short of committing suicide?
Sheri Oz in Jews Down Under notes an additional blunder by Huldai:
Correcting the First Fallacy: If Israel was an occupier, it would NOT be the only one.
The most famous examples are northern Cyprus that is occupied by Turkey and Tibet that is occupied by China. If Huldai does not know about these, then, . . . well . . . that leaves me speechless.
There are also Japanese islands occupied by Russia, Eritrea occupied by Ethiopia, parts of the Crimea and Ukraine occupied by Russia, and parts of the western Sahara occupied by Morocco. Just because there are other occupiers would not make an Israeli occupation okay.
However, that brings us to the second falsehood told by Huldai.
Correcting the Second Fallacy: Israel is NOT occupying anyone.
I will not go into all the legal issues here regarding why our gaining control over Judea and Samaria does not constitute occupation. If you want more information regarding the legal aspects you can click here.
Huldai is also ignoring Hamas’s welcoming of the attack and its announcement that Ramadan is to be the “month of jihad” in which we can expect more attacks. No mention of “occupation” or “settlements”, not to mention the peace process, as the prime motivator of the attack. Just plain old Jihad.
Ron Huldai’s head-in-the-sand syndrome is echoed to an even greater extent over the ocean.
In the wake of a horrific attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 50 people were killed and another 50 injured by a home-grown American jihadist, President Barack Obama flatly denied that Islamic State (ISIS) had anything to do with the attack, calling it “domestic terror” and “an act of hate” – even as ISIS was claiming responsibility! From this second link:
The Islamic State terror group claimed the gunman who killed 50 people at an Orlando nightclub Sunday was “one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America,” in a radio broadcast Monday.
The IS-linked news agency Amaq said Sunday without providing evidence that one of its fighters carried out the attack, and an FBI source said Mateen had called the agency before carrying out the attack claiming he was a follower of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
US officials were already investigating possible links of Mateen to radical Islamism, including suspicions he may have been an Islamic State operative.
It certainly looks like the US security services dropped the ball on Mateen:
Mateen purchased at least two firearms legally within the last week or so, according to Trevor Velinor of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Mateen was a security guard with a company called G4S. In a 2012 newsletter, the firm identified him as working in West Palm Beach. In a statement sent Sunday to the Palm Beach Post, the company confirmed that he had been an employee since September 2007. State records show that Mateen had held a firearms license since at least 2011.
A law enforcement official said the gunman made a 911 call from the club in which he professed allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
While Mateen’s family denied any religious link they did admit that he held anti-gay views:
But relatives interviewed by US media on Sunday said Mateen, who had a wife and young son, was not especially religious.
They did, however, describe a man who had anti-gay views.
His father Mir Seddique told NBC News his son may have been motivated by homophobia, insisting: “This had nothing to do with religion.”
But of course it had everything to do with religion. While all the three monotheistic religions strongly disapprove of homosexuality, only one religion actively calls for – and carries out – the murder of gays. That religion is Islam.
John Podhoretz slams President Obama for refusing to admit that Islam had any connection to this gruesome murder:
So determined is the president to avoid the subject of Islamist, ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed terrorism that he concluded his remarks with an astonishing insistence that “we need the strength and courage to change” our attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
That’s just disgusting. There’s no other word for it.
America’s national attitude toward LGBT people didn’t shoot up the Pulse nightclub. This country’s national attitude has undergone a sea-change in the past 20 years, by the way, in case the president hasn’t noticed.
An Islamist terrorist waging war against the United States killed and injured 103 people on our soil. We Americans do not bear collective responsibility for this attack. Quite the opposite.
The attack on the Pulse nightclub was an attack on us all, no less than the World Trade Center attack.
Podhoretz draws the necessary conclusions from Obama’s remarks:
He called it “terror,” which it is. But using the word “terror” without a limiting and defining adjective is like a doctor calling a disease “cancer” without making note of the affected area of the body — because if he doesn’t know where the cancer is and what form it takes, he cannot attack it effectively and seek to extirpate it.
To suggest we must look inward to explain this is not only unseemly but practically an act of conscious misdirection on the president’ s part to direct out attention away from Omar Mateen’s phone call.
A president who cannot name the enemy even as he anthropomorphizes the weapon the enemy is a president unable to bring anyone to his side who’s not already there.
These comments can be extrapolated to the case of Ron Huldai and his blaming of “the occupation” for the jihadist murder of Jews for the crime of being Jews. If he hides his head in the sand and can’t or won’t name the real enemy, he won’t be able to fight it and win.
This is a vital, even existential lesson for all of us fighting the scourge of radical Islam.