The Palestinian Terror Wave and Moral Equivalency

The United Nations and the Obama administration's dual attack on Israel.

Jordan’s ambassador, Dina Kawar, called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC) last Friday (October 16, 2015) to deal with the escalating violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The session was televised on C-SPAN.  The UNSC is expected to issue a statement exhorting both sides “to show restraint.”  State Department spokesperson John Kirby expressed the Obama’s administration’s concern about Israel’s “use of excessive force.” He said, “We have certainly seen some reports of what many would consider excessive use of force.”  Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was quick to respond saying: “What do you think would happen in New York if you saw people rushing into a crowd trying to murder people? What do you think they would do? Do you think they would do anything differently than we are doing?”

When it comes to Jews and Israel, the double standard and hypocrisy were displayed again, this time by the 15 members of the UNSC.  Apparently, they expect Israeli Jews to submit to Arab Palestinian killers to “avoid excessive force.”  That would please the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and their western lackeys.  It would also fit with the long held role assigned to the Jews as people who do not defend themselves, as was the case for Jews in Europe and the Muslim world.

The speeches by the Permanent Members (U.S., Britain, China, France and Russia) echoed one another.  The essential message from all of them was “both sides must end the violence.”  In order not to anger the Arab-Muslim Bloc, the truth was discarded and replaced by formulaic verbiage that removed the context and the facts on the ground.  Moral equivalency was used instead. The facts are crystal clear.  Incited Arab Palestinians and Arab Israelis are murdering innocent Israeli civilians without provocation of any kind:  old people and young and civilians and soldiers are being targeted for only one reason - because they are Jews. Fortunately, Israeli security forces, and in some cases, individual citizens who were by-standers were close enough to prevent more murders by shooting the killers or incapacitating them. Under any universal law or code of justice, self-defense is permissible, and defending the unarmed and innocent civilians is in fact a civic duty.

Something more insidious occurred at the UNSC emergency session that should concern all people of good will who seek an Arab-Israeli peace.  The ambassadors of Malaysia and Venezuela shamelessly targeted only Israel – ignoring the Arab-Muslim perpetrators of violence.  They compounded anti-Israel bias with unabashed falsehoods, accusing Israel of “70-years of occupation of Palestine.” This has to be a new angle in the attempt to de-legitimize the Jewish state.  It rejects Israel even within the June 4th, 1967 lines, and its very existence when they considered the pre-1967 Israel as “occupied” Palestinian territory.  At the UN though, lies and distortions by dictatorial regimes are fully permissible and encouraged.

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Taye-Brook Zerihoun (of Ethiopia) provided the briefing prior to the delegates speeches.  He reported on the latest violent incident in which a large group of Palestinians set fire to the compound containing the holy site of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.  “Zerihoun said “Fortunately there were no reported injuries but the site sustained major damage.” He added, “There were also three stabbing and ramming attacks on Israelis, leaving 10 Israelis injured and three Palestinian suspects wounded.”  Consistent with the general tenor of the UN, he concluded by saying, “We have seen that the impact of social media and irresponsible rhetoric has played a dramatic role in escalation.  On this count both sides have much to be blamed for, but I welcome efforts by leaders in the past days to tone down their statements. I call on community, religious and political leaders on all sides to calm the language they use in this regard and work together to de-escalate the situation.”

Most of the non-permanent members of the UNSC, (Angola, Chad, Chile, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, and Spain) employed moral-equivalency in their speeches.  Jordan, (representing the Arab League) presented a one-sided view, while Malaysia and Venezuela displayed downright hostility toward Israel. The most hypocritical statements however, were made by the alleged “friends” of Israel, particularly the ambassadors of Britain and France, and U.S. ambassador Samantha Powers.  

France’s ambassador Francois Delattre called for international action to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  It sounded like something akin to an “imposed solution.” He said that France is drafting a council statement that will appeal for restraint by all parties and maintaining the status quo at Jerusalem’s holiest site.  Israel never changed the status quo and by his emphasizing the matter, he pandered to the Arab-Muslin bloc. “Restraint by all parties” implied that Israel must restrain itself and not protect its citizenry.  The reluctance of western powers to put the blame for the violence on the perpetrators constituted the worst kind of moral equivalency.  

The British ambassador Matthew Rycroft best expressed the moral equivalency so typical of the UN.  In his opening remarks he stated, “The British government condemns all violence, whether committed by Israelis or Palestinians.”  No distinction was made in his statement between the attacker and the attacked.  Nor, for that matter was the motivation of the Palestinian attackers presented, which is simply to kill any Jew.  Those Palestinian killers have been motivated by hateful incitement coming from Mahmoud Abbas, the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel led by Raed Salah, Hamas and disseminated through social media. Neither the British ambassador nor the US ambassador Samantha Powers bothered with that “small detail.”   

Samantha Powers repeated again the over used phrase of the “cycle of violence.” What could be reasonably assumed from her remark is that if Israelis will not defend themselves, there won’t be a “cycle of violence.” Powers also emphasized “Israeli settler violence,” which had no relevance to the situation at hand.  Moreover, Israeli “settlers” have not attacked innocent Palestinians with knives and meat cleavers.  Powers also urged both parties to “condemn the violence,” once again using moral equivalency and falsehood.  She was clearly aware that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu condemned the violence and called for an unconditional meeting with Abbas to deal with the situation.  Instead, Abbas made inflammatory speeches that heightened the violence.  These distinctions however, were not recognized by Powers.

Washington Post veteran columnist Charles Krauthammer called President Obama “the most unfriendly president to Israel since the founding of the state.”  He added, that “U.S. President Obama is drawing moral equivalency between habitual Palestinian incitement to terrorism and extremely infrequent Israeli reaction, thus downplaying the severity of Palestinian actions.”  Krauthammer’s comments were in response to Obama’s remarks on Friday that “It is important for PM Netanyahu, and Israeli elected officials, and Palestinian Authority President Abbas and other people in a position of power, to try to tamp down rhetoric that may feed violence or anger or misunderstanding.”

It is apparent that none of the main actors in the international community be it the UNSC, the Quartet, the EU, or the U.S., are willing to honestly and forthrightly address the real issue fueling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:  the Palestinian culture of hate and intolerance.  Hate guides Palestinians from childhood to adulthood through the educational system, the mosques, and the Palestinian media.  Only remedial education that focuses on coexistence, tolerance, and the value of peace can end Palestinian indiscriminate and barbaric terror.