Rwanda: Impaka Kuhafungiwe Col Byabagamba na Gen Rusagara

Rwanda: Impaka Kuhafungiwe Col Byabagamba na Gen Rusagara

Col Tom Byabagamba na Gen. Frank Rusagara Mu Rwanda, umucamanza mu rukiko rw’ubujurire yirinze kuvugira mu ruhame ibyo yabonye mu iperereza yakoze kuri gereza ifungiwemo Col Tom Byabagamba na Gen Frank Rusagara. More »

Ingagi yo muri Nigeria iracyekwaho kumira hafi miliyoni zirindwi

Ingagi yo muri Nigeria iracyekwaho kumira hafi miliyoni zirindwi

Umwe mu bakozi yabwiye radio yaho ko iyo ngagi ari yo yakwegekwaho ayo mafaranga yabuze (ifoto yo mu bubiko) Abategetsi babwiye igisata cya BBC gitangaza ibiganiro mu rurimi rwa Pidgin ko inzu More »

Mu Rwanda ‘hadutse indwara idasanzwe’ mu bigo bimwe by’amashuri

Mu Rwanda ‘hadutse indwara idasanzwe’ mu bigo bimwe by’amashuri

Iyi ndwara ifata mu mavi imaze kwibasira ibigo bibiri by’abakobwa, uyu ni umwe mu bayirwaye Mu Rwanda haravugwa indwara idasanzwe imaze kugera mu bigo bibiri by’amashuri yisumbuye mu burengerazuba no mu burasirazuba, More »

Ubuhanuzi: Aba LGBTI b’impunzi bo mu Rwanda, u Burundi, Kongo…bavuga ko bari mu kaga i Nairobi

Ubuhanuzi: Aba LGBTI b’impunzi bo mu Rwanda, u Burundi, Kongo…bavuga ko bari mu kaga i Nairobi

Intsinda ry’impunzi zivuga ko ziva mu Rwanda, u Burundi, Repubulika ya Demokarasi ya Kongo, Uganda, na Tanzaniya barangwa n’imigirire mpuzabitsina inyuranye (LGBTI) rivuga ko ryirukanywe aho ryari ricumbitse i Nairobi kubera kwangwa More »

 

Female Genital Mutilation: Multiculturalism Gone Wild by Khadija Khan

  • The “religious-freedom” plea unwittingly exposes the false claims made by prominent Muslims — such as Iranian-American religion scholar/TV host Reza Aslan and Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, who have insisted that female genital mutilation (FGM) is “not an Islamic practice.”

  • According to National Health Service statistics, at least one girl each hour is subjected to this excruciating procedure in the United Kingdom alone — and this is nearly 30 years after it was outlawed there.
  • FGM is no less appalling a crime than rape or slavery, yet self-described feminists in the West — including Muslims such as Linda Sarsour and non-Muslim activists on a crusade against “Islamophobia” — are either silent when it comes to barbaric practices or deny their connection to Islam. Does she also support slavery, another practice supported by Islam?

Attorneys for the defense of two Michigan doctors from India, and one of their wives, who were indicted by a grand jury on April 22 and charged with mutilating the genitals of two seven-year-old girls, intend to put forth a religious-freedom argument on behalf of their Muslim clients.

The defendants are members of Dawoodi Bohra, an Islamic sect based in their home country. In the federal case, the first of its kind since female genital mutilation (FGM) was banned in 1996, the defense team is claiming that the practice is a religious ritual and therefore should be protected by U.S. law.

Their plea unwittingly exposes the false claims made by prominent Muslims — such as Iranian-American religion scholar/TV host Reza Aslan and Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, who have insisted that FGM is “not an Islamic practice.”

Female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, is the cutting or removal of the clitoris and/or the labia, as a way of eliminating a girl’s sexual desire and pleasure, to guarantee that she be a virgin before marriage and remain faithful to her husband afterwards. According to the World Health Organization:

FGM has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of girls’ and women’s bodies. Generally speaking, risks increase with increasing severity of the procedure.

Procedures are mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and adolescence, and occasionally on adult women. More than 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk for FGM annually.

More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated.

The influx of immigrants and refugees from these parts of the world into Western countries has led to a dramatic and dangerous increase of FGM in Europe, Britain and the United States. According to National Health Service statistics, at least one girl each hour is subjected to this excruciating procedure in the United Kingdom alone — and this is nearly 30 years after it was outlawed there.

In addition, a European Commission report revealed that around 500,000 women in Europe have undergone FGM, while many others are at risk of being forced to undergo it. In Germany, for example, a clinic was opened in 2013 to provide both physical and psychological treatment to victims of the procedure; an estimated 50,000 women in the country had been affected by it, with approximately 20,000 in Berlin. Called the Desert Flower Center, the endeavor was spearheaded and funded by Somali-born supermodel/actress Waris Dirie, a prominent anti-FGM activist.

Somali-born supermodel/actress Waris Dirie, a prominent anti-FGM activist, spearheaded and funded the Desert Flower Center, a clinic in Germany that provides physical and psychological treatment to victims of female genital mutilation. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

On May 15, in the wake of the case of the FGM doctors in Michigan, the Minnesota House of Representatives and Michigan Senate approved legislation that would extend in the those states the existing federal anti-FGM laws to the parents of the girls subjected to the ritual. After all, it is the mothers and fathers who force their daughters to undergo it — or, as in the instance of Somali-born author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, her grandmother.

In a 2013 interview with the UK’s Evening Standard, Hirsi Ali — a former Muslim who rejected her faith and became an outspoken critic of Islam and Sharia law, particularly as it affects women — explained why it has been hard to prosecute family members involved in FGM:

“It was done to me at the age of five, and 10 years later, even 20 years later, I would not have testified against my parents,” she said. “It is a psychological issue. The people who are doing this are fathers, mothers, grandmothers, aunts. No little girl is going to send them to prison. How do you live with that guilt?”

The larger issue, however — which must be tackled alongside legislation — involves Western multiculturalism gone wild. Take, for instance, the decision on the part of New York Times health and science editor Celia Dugger in April to stop using the term “female genital mutilation” on the grounds that it is “culturally loaded.”

“There’s a gulf between the Western (and some African) advocates who campaign against the practice and the people who follow the rite, and I felt the language used widened that chasm,” she wrote.

FGM is no less appalling a crime than rape or slavery, yet self-described feminists in the West — including Muslims such as Linda Sarsour and non-Muslim activists on a crusade against “Islamophobia” — are either silent when it comes to barbaric practices or deny their connection to Islam. Does she support slavery as well, another practice supported by Islam, and still practiced today in Saudi Arabia, Libya, Mauritania and Sudan, as well as with Islamic State and Boko Haram?

This is why anti-FGM legislation, no matter how crucial, is insufficient. The time has come to be vigilant not only against practitioners and parents, but to expose and discredit anyone who tries to protect this brutality.

Khadija Khan is a Pakistani journalist and commentator, currently based in Germany.

FDLR yagambaniwe na Twagiramungu Faustin.

Nk’uko twabibatangarije mu cyumweru gishize y’uko bamwe mubanayapolitike batavuga rumwe na leta yagatsiko kabicanyi ka fpr,kiganjemo abanyarwanda bo mu bwoko bw’Abatutsi baturutse mu gihugu cy’Ubuganda,amakuru afite gihamya atangwa nabantu bpo mu nzego zo hejuru,batashatse ko dushyira amazina yabo ahagaragara,baravuga yuko ngo umunyapolitike Twagiramungu Fausitin ngo nawe yaba amaze gucakira akayabo ka mafaranga aturuka kumwakagara Paul Kaga.


Ibi bije nyuma yahoo Gen.BEM Habyarimana na Rwaka nabo bababye abambere mugucari akayabo kamadollar kugez’ubu ataramenyekana umubare wayo,Twagiramungu bikaba bivugwa yuko yahawe misiyo yokuzagurisha fdlr igihe izaba imaze kugera kubutaka bw’uRwanda aho amahanga ategereje ko imishyikirano ya fdlr na leta yagatsiko kabicanyi ka fpr bashyira mubikorwa ayo masezerano atagomba kurenza igihe cy’amezi (6);fdlr ikaba yamaze kugera kubutaka bw’uRwanda.

Bwana Twagiramungu akaba yahawe misiyo yo kutazataha kugirango fdlr izabure abanyapolitike bazayihagararira mu rwego rwa politike kugirango itazagira imbaraga,amakuru avuga ko,bahawe amafaranga atubutse badashobora kuzakorera igihe cyose basigaranye kubaho kwisi.

Mwibuke ko,twababwiyeko amadollar yateguwe guhabwa abanyapolitike batavuga rumwe na Kigali agera kuri milioni $ 15 y’America,ayo akaba ariyo azahabwa abanyapolitike bo mu bwoko bw’Abahutu bonyine kugirango batifatanya nabatutsi bo muri RNC bityo bakarushaho kugira imbaraga.

Umugambi wa fpr akaba ataraho ugarukira,ahubwo bararimbanije kwinjira mu ihuriro nyarwanda kugirango bashakemo abanyamuryango bazakoreshwa mugucamo ibice iryo huriro rya RNC ryashinzwe na Gen.Nyamwasa Kayumba na nyakwigendera Col.Patrick Karegeya,kugirango havukemo amacakubiri bityo abanyarwanda batangire kurivamo bakuremo akabo karenge.

Akaba ariyompamvu ikinyamakuru imirasire.com gihora cyandika amakuru y’ibihuha cyane kumuhuza bikorwa wihuriro rya RNC bwana Dr.Rudasingwa Theogene,bamusebya ko,yibye amafaranga yabanyamuryango,ubundiko yibye inkunga yatanzwe na Dr.Paulin Murayi,nibindi byinshi ibyo barabikora barimi gutegura umugambi mubisha wo kwivugana abayobozi ba RNC.

Ibyo bibaye nyumayaho uwo muryango RNC ushyiriye ahagaragara ishyirahamwe ry’urubyiruko rwitwa INTAGANZWA kugez’ubu zimaze kwiyemeza kubohaza uRwanda cyangwa gutabara abanyarwanda babakura mukanwa ka satani umunyagitugu Kaga Paul kugez’ubu wamaze gufata abanyarwanda ho’ingwate.

Ubuhanuzi buvuga iki?kuri fdlr?buvuga ko,fdlr izagirana imishyikirano na fpr,ariko abayobozi babo bazabagambanira aho bazarya intonorano bakagurisha fdlr ibyayo bikazaba birangiriye aho,nyuma yibyo akaba ariho intambara izatangira mu gihugu ngibyo ibimenyetso mubikurikirane uko byose byahumetswe n’umwuka w’Imana binyuze mukanwa kabahanuzi.

Gusa uko byagenda kose ibyavuzwe n’Uwiteka bizasohora kuko ntacyabihagaragara imbere ngo bidasohora,ibyavuye mukanwa kayo,no gusohora ntakabuza bizasohora,mwikomeze ku Mwami Mana,kugirango igihe gisigaye kuko arigito cyane muzabashe kugirirwa ubuntu n’Uwiteka Imana ahari mushobora gutabarwa!.

inyangenewseditor@gmail.com

Father Naddaf: Beacon of Light to the Christians of Israel by Susan Warner

  • Chapter one of this story began when Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest in Nazareth, started to speak up for the idea that it was time for Christians to embrace their homeland, Israel, and their Jewish roots.”Christian Arabs are hostages.” — Father Gabriel Naddaf.

  • “We have a joint fate in this land [Israel], because whatever happens to the Jews here will happen to us.” — Father Gabriel Naddaf.
  • “On what authority does President Abbas claim that Jesus was a Palestinian? The Bible says that He was born in the Jewish city of Bethlehem to Jewish parents from the city of Nazareth and was circumcised on the 8th day as a Jew and presented to the Jewish Temple by His parents according to the Mosaic law.” — Father Gabriel Naddaf.
  • Father Naddaf has been providing leadership to unite Christians and Jews; a rapidly increasing number of Christians see him as offering them the opportunity to envision and build a tremendous future.

When Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest in Nazareth, Israel, launched his campaign to convince Israeli Christians to enlist in the Israel Defense Force (IDF), he unwittingly ignited a firestorm between opposing forces within and around Israel’s Christian and Muslim communities.

His decision, born of his love and respect for his native land — combined with his acknowledgement of Judaism and Israel as the cradle of Christianity — perhaps has set the stage for a long overdue reunification in Israel between contemporary Christians and Jews.

In the short term, Father Naddaf’s decision has polarized the Christian community, a large part of which has aligned itself with the Arab-Palestinian narrative — a narrative engineered by forces behind Yasser Arafat in the 1960s — and designed to obliterate Israel as a Jewish nation.

In the long term, however, Father Naddaf’s decision could facilitate an opportunity for Christians to focus on the value of Israel as its most important friend and partner. Naddaf’s journey has the potential to model the way in which Israeli Christians relate to each other, to their homeland and to their Jewish neighbors.

Perhaps by announcing his support of Israel and by boldly acknowledging Christianity’s roots in Judaism, Naddaf took one small step towards decoupling contemporary Israeli Christians from their current misplaced identity of themselves as “Arabs,” as “Palestinians,” and as a kind of fifth column within Israel.

As a Times of Israel article by Mitch Ginsburg asserts:

“Naddaf wants to carve out a new identity and a separate community. He believes that in the coming years he can rally 50,000 Arabic-speaking Christians in Israel to align themselves with the Jewish people and with Israel. The first order of business on the path toward that new identity, he said, was ‘breaking the fear’ that has gripped the community. He likened the Arabic-speaking Christians in Israel, the minority of the minority, to the Jews of the Diaspora: good grades, pretty good jobs, few troubles. ‘Christian Arabs are hostages,’ he said, adding, ‘the only time they feel free to identify as Christians is when they are castigating me.’

How Christians in the region began to identify as Arabs is a complex puzzle; Christian history from 30 CE until the Siege of Jerusalem in 637 CE was not Arabic at all, but rather Jewish and Roman.

Early Christian anti-Semitism, evidenced as early as the second century CE, certainly played a large part in separating Christians from their Jewish roots. Another wedge was the seventh century invasion of the region by Arab Islamic armies, which turned the region into an Islamic colonialist stronghold where Christians lived largely as dhimmis (second class, “tolerated” citizens who had to follow a humiliating set of laws and buy protection) until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1916 and the end of World War I.

Father Gabriel Naddaf is now at the forefront of what one side sees as a hopeful unity movement and what others loudly decry as a political plot to fragment the Arab-Palestinian political cause.

Chapter one of this story began when Father Gabriel Naddaf, then a newly appointed priest of Greek Orthodox Church, started to speak up for the idea that it was time for Christians to embrace their homeland, Israel, and their Jewish roots. At the time, the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, Iranaeus, rejected the idea as too controversial.

Mitch Ginsberg’s article points out how unique and extraordinary is Naddaf’s decision:

“[A]n Arabic-speaking Christian clergyman, Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest, has done the unthinkable: He has issued a call for Christian Arab citizens of Israel to reassess their Arab identity and to consider themselves indigenous Christians, of Greek and Aramaic origin, inextricably linked to the Jewish people and the Old Testament, and to fortify that bond by serving in the Israeli army.”

Chapter two launches the remake of an identity. It starts in 2007 when a member of the Maronite Christian Church from the Northern Israeli town of Jish (Gush Halav), IDF Captain (res.) Shadi Khalloul met with soon-to-be member of Knesset (MK) Yariv Levin. Out of that meeting came a new term from an ancient saga — Arameans. It also became a cause of interest for Levin, who, when elected MK in 2009, began to advocate on behalf of Israeli-Arameans.

Arameans, considered by historians a lost civilization, are of Semitic origin. The Aramaic language — a language similar to Hebrew — was a common trade language throughout a large swath of the Middle East during the Second Temple period. Jesus and his Apostles spoke the Aramaic language, which, at least until recently, was still spoken in towns throughout Syria — long after its ethnic origins had disappeared.

The term “Aramean” has not yet caught on with the news media which continues to call the Christians in the Middle East “Christian Arabs” — a confusing term, in part because “Christians” from many different streams of Christianity, and “Muslim Arabs” have been thrown into the same convenient pot.

Typically, and for reasons that can only be speculated on — the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox denominational streams have aligned themselves with the Palestinian-Arab and Muslim politico-religious agendas. Similarly, some Protestant denominations, which have aligned themselves with Palestinian Arabs, have joined the chorus against Israel.

Father Naddaf’s ideas run counter to some Christian theologies today that seem less religious than politically motivated. Christian “Palestinianism,” for example, is a manipulative and erroneous theology linking Jesus with the Palestinian Arab political cause.

It is not too surprising that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has jumped on this bandwagon citing the “Palestinian Jesus” narrative as a rallying cry for its cause, but submitting to a radical Islamic replacement theology would negate archeology and history, as well as Christianity.

In a 2015 article for Breaking Israel News, Ahuva Belofsky writes:

“In response to repeated statements by Palestinian Authority (PA) officials that Jesus was a Palestinian, Israeli Christian leader Father Gabriel Naddaf denounced the claims. ‘On what authority does President Abbas claim that Jesus was a Palestinian?’ Naddaf wrote. ‘The Bible says that He was born in the Jewish city of Bethlehem to Jewish parents from the city of Nazareth and was circumcised on the 8th day as a Jew and presented to the Jewish Temple by His parents according to the Mosaic law.'”

Chapter three captures Father Naddaf’s sense of destiny for Christians hand-in-hand with Israel as a Jewish State. A day came when Naddaf realized that he did not identify at all with the epithet “Arab Christian” and that it neither applies to him nor to his Greek Orthodox followers. “We have a joint fate in this land [Israel], because whatever happens to the Jews here will happen to us,” he asserted in a recent statement.

Since those early days, he has been working continuously to differentiate himself from the “Arab” label attached him by the media, by religious tradition and until recently by the Israeli government, which has now formally recognized Aramean as an official “minority group” eligible to receive benefits from the Israeli government.

Naddaf’s work to enlist Christian youths into the IDF started quietly at first. In 2014 the Jerusalem Post reported that the IDF, which does not require Christians or Muslims to serve, began to send official enlistment notices to Christian youths of military age, inviting them voluntarily to enlist for duty. From an inconspicuous start, now more than 100 Christian youths each year are volunteering to serve, and Naddaf believes the number will increase rapidly. Through the IDF, Christians will be able to assimilate more easily into Israeli society.

However, life for a visionary is never easy. According to Ginsburg in his 2014 article in Times of Israel:

“He knows that his life is in danger. He has been called a traitor. His car tires have been slashed; bloody rags have been left outside his apartment building. He is regularly threatened over the telephone and, last year, his son was attacked outside his home by a youth wielding an iron club.”

News reports do not make it clear who the attackers are, but a billboard near his church in Nazareth, put up after his son was attacked, leaves little doubt:

The large billboard in the center of Nazareth warning Christians against slandering Allah, photographed January 2014.

The Israeli government has unfortunately been slow to prosecute the perpetrators of these attacks; evidently there are few fingerprints. But Naddaf is committed to this path, even while others of his friends and allies have abandoned the project due to threats from the religious hierarchy and elsewhere.

Many theologians, both Jewish and Christian, identify Israel as the center of God’s world — the “apple of God’s eye,” it says in Zechariah 2:8. But there are many Christians for whom the Bible is less an “authoritative” historical document and more a book of poetry or inspiration. There are also those Christian groups (some say a majority) who follow “replacement theologies,” which have written off Israel altogether. This widespread but erroneous version of Christianity transfers the covenant promises God made with Israel to the Christian Church.

In a similar vein, a common Muslim narrative says that Islam replaces both Christianity and Judaism. There are many in the Muslim world intent on rewriting the history of the Middle East; they have vowed to blot out the name of Israel and the Jews altogether. In some circles, these two groups have been in collaboration with each other. As we have been seeing recently in Nigeria, Syria and Iraq, after the Jews are targeted, the Christians are targeted next: “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people, ” goes the saying in the Middle East.

Father Naddaf, by contrast, has been providing leadership to unite Christians and Jews. A rapidly increasing number of Christians see him as offering them the opportunity to envision and build a tremendous future.

Susan Warner is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of Gatestone Institute and co-founder of a Christian group, Olive Tree Ministries in Wilmington, DE, USA. She has been writing and teaching about Israel and the Middle East for over 15 years. Contact her at israelolivetree@yahoo.com.

Fatah Knives and ISIS Knives: Palestinian Child-Sacrifice by Bassam Tawil

  • Instead of educating our children, as they do in the West, to be part of the Startup Generation, we follow the lead of darkest Africa, where children are armed with assault rifles and sent out to kill other children.


  • If the Palestinians really want to pick a fight with Israel, why do they send children to fight a “holy war” instead of fighting it themselves, like men?

  • The only difference is that the members of ISIS go out themselves to kill; the Palestinians send their young. Why are these not “war crimes”?

  • We sacrifice our sons and daughters in the name of Allah, as though Allah were a pagan statue with an altar and had to be appeased with the blood of children.

  • Here, the Islamists want to “liberate” Jerusalem from the infidel Zionist-Crusader occupation. Next, they want to “liberate” occupied Spain, once Muslim Andalusia, and return it to the bosom of Islam. After that, they want to occupy the Vatican and establish the Islamic Emirate on the ruins of Christianity.

Recently, more and more young Palestinian men, women and children have left their homes and gone off to stab Israelis. Palestinian Authority (PA) officials claim our children make this decision independently and that no one sends them to carry out terrorist attacks. But in reality, every Palestinian knows that behind these supposedly “independent,” “spontaneous” attacks there is organized, deliberate incitement, some from politicians and some from fatwas [religious opinions] issued by clerics.

One such cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, sits far away in the safety of Qatar and sends Palestinian children to their deaths. The mosques and schools in the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip, as well as their social media, often unashamedly exploit Palestinian children – perhaps emotionally a bit lost, and who long for admiration for a grand, “heroic act” in a grand romantic “cause.”

Tragically, as Israeli forces often do not let such attackers get away, many murders these children commit also end up as needless “passive” suicides.

Our perverted leaders do not only encourage young Palestinians to commit murder. When these children are killed in the act of committing murder, both the PA and Hamas claim that that Israelis “executed” them. They then call our kids martyrs (shuhadaa), glorify them and turn them into role models for other loser kids. Then they pay their families enormous bonuses.

They send minors to do their dirty work, while knowing full well they will likely be killed by the Israeli security forces. How can we justify this to ourselves? What have we allowed to happen to the good minds that Allah gave us? Whatever happened to our sense of morality?

It is agonizing to see how these youngsters are turned into bargain basement castoffs. It is child sacrifice by a cynical Palestinian leadership that fosters a dark culture of murder and death.

If the Palestinians really want to pick a fight with Israel, why do they send children to fight a “holy war” instead of fighting it themselves, like men?

No good has come — or is even expected to come — from these deaths on either side. Has the situation of Al-Aqsa mosque “improved?” Is it no longer “in danger?”

The problem is, Al-Aqsa mosque never was in danger. There were also never were any poison-resistant rats, supposedly released by Israelis, as claimed by the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, to drive Arab residents of Jerusalem out of their homes. As one Arab reporter dryly wrote, “It is not clear how these rats were taught to stay away from Jews, who also happen to live in the Old City.” There was also never any chewing gum supposedly laced with an aphrodisiac by the Israelis to corrupt our men and women. Has one meter of Palestinian land ever been liberated? Are the Jews really fleeing “in terror” from Israel? On the contrary, the Jews of Europe are fleeing to Israel. Ironically, while the Jews seem divided and at each other’s throats, we have only been driving them closer together.

Somehow, the Israelis always seem to overcome the abductions, suicide bombers, murders and general terrorism we Palestinians throw at them. They never retreat; they advance.

There are, then, two jobs that seem urgent. First, we need to decide, and quickly, if we really want another armed conflict with the Israelis. Second, we really need to get our kids away from our killing fields. Anyone who sends young people — many of them probably with emotional problems — to kill and to be killed, is a murderer himself and will be destroyed in the end.

Palestinian society seems to be regressing towards the dark era of the jahiliyyah, before Islam brought us into the light. Instead of educating our children, as they do in the West, to be part of the Startup Generation, we follow the lead of darkest Africa, where children are armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and sent out to kill other children. We have become no better than the Iranians, who sent children, armed with plastic “Keys to Paradise,” to dismantle land mines during the Iran-Iraq War. Why are these not “war crimes”?

Every day, our children drink from the poisoned well of the internet and learn how to behead and crucify and slit throats. We return to the jahiliyyah and sacrifice our sons and daughters in the name of Allah, as though Allah were a pagan statue with an altar, and had to be appeased with the blood of children. That is roughly the situation of Palestinian terrorism today. Those who neglect the education of their children need to remember that unprotected girls who today leave their homes without their parents’ knowledge to go stab an Israeli today, might tomorrow bring dishonor to their home. Such a society will not frighten the Jews or anyone else. We will probably end just up raising throat-cutting fundamentalists and destroying ourselves.

We live in a sick society now, in which the laws of self-preservation demand murder and vengeance. On holidays, our children watch as we slaughter sheep, so they become accustomed to the use of knives, slit throats and flowing blood. They see videos of live people burned and drowned in Iraq and Syria. They see ISIS. Nothing shocks them. In the West, the death of a household pet, even a goldfish, brings a child to near collapse. Our kids watch sheep screaming in their last agony, and do not bat an eyelash

Islam forbids the killing of women, children and the aged, but the Palestinians receive fatwasfrom radical Islamists telling them to murder them anyway — as long as they are Jews, even infants. “Tomorrow they will be soldiers,” Palestinians say.

Fatwas such as this distort and twist the very foundation of our Islam in sending children to their deaths. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and ISIS — all the radical terrorist organizations — festered in and grew out of the same Muslim Brotherhood Petri dish. The knives of the Palestinians are no different from the knives of ISIS. They behead children, journalists, impoverished workers and other innocent victims — all in the in the name of Allah, and then go to carry out terrorist attacks throughout the rest of the world. The only difference is that the members of ISIS go out themselves to kill; the Palestinians send their young.

Anyone who thinks he is constructing the future of Palestine on the backs of child murderers is not only on the way to destroying Palestinian society, but on the way to hellfire as well.

The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) and his companions also beheaded infidels — but that was in the seventh century. There are more and more voices of devout Muslims calling for reform.

Just last week, the distinguished author, Professor Ibtihal Al-Khatib of the Kuwait University,said on television, “If we do not reform ourselves, we will become extinct. Nations which stick to principles that are at odds with the progress of civilization will come to an end. Such nations will not survive. Any attempt to justify or to legitimize terrorism is a terrorist idea; the idea and the act are equally dangerous.”

Al-Khatib’s statement instantly showed her to be light years more advanced than U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who idiotically blurted out that some terrorist attacks had “a legitimacy… a rationale.” For this pronouncement, he was roundly and befittingly ridiculed. The excuses the terrorists find to justify murdering the innocent are infinite in number, unlimited in depravity, and they corrupt our societies.

These voices calling for reform often are held back by those who fear that their power, influence and golden jobs — held only thanks to your zakat [tithe] — might then be under threat. Most of us do not like to lose comforts and conveniences. Many Muslims still do not want to give up having slaves — not only in Mauritania, but at the top tiers of the Muslim community.

But there is no justification for terrorism. The French, who so easily justify terrorism against Jews in the Middle East, now face the same situation at home. The only surprising thing is that they were surprised.

The picture of global Islamic terrorism is coming into focus. Here, the Islamists want to “liberate” Jerusalem from the infidel Zionist-Crusader occupation. Next, they also want to “liberate” occupied Spain, once Muslim Andalusia, and return it to the bosom of Islam. After that, they want to occupy the Vatican and establish the Islamic Emirate on the ruins of Christianity, as they did in heir “Golden Age” when they captured Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium.

While the Jews excel at improving agriculture, winning Nobel Prizes, inventing life-saving medicine, founding startups and in general advancing cutting-edge global science and technology, we Palestinians, hurtling back toward jahiliyyah, have given the world nothing but terrorism and death.

Even before the Palestinian Abdullah Azzam became Osama bin Laden’s mentor, the Palestinians were waging a global terrorist campaign. Palestinian terrorism got into gear in the 1970s. In May 1972, passengers on the ground in Israel’s Lod Airport (now Ben Gurion International Airport) were massacred. In September 1972, they slaughtered Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. In May 1974, they slaughtered Israeli children in Maalot. In 1976, they hijacked an Air France plane on its way from Tel Aviv to Paris, and singled the Jewish passengers out. In 1978, on the Israel’s Coastal Road, they massacred civilians in a bus. In 1985, they hijacked the ship, the Achille Lauro, on its way from Egypt and threw a 69-year-old, wheelchair-ridden invalid “heroically” overboard.

The list goes on and on — from suicide bombings in buses, cafés, hotels, kindergartens, shopping centers, and discotheques, most often targeting the civilian population — to today’s current wave of attacks on Israelis on the streets, in their cars and at worship.

And now what? Our Palestinian leaders defend these underage knife-wielders by explaining that they try to kill Jewish civilians because of the “occupation,” or because “Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger” — false claims finally put to rest by a Palestinian poll last week.

Even as our children are manipulated into killing themselves, there are still Fatah leaders, such as Abbas Zaki, a senior activist in the Fatah organization, who delude themselves into thinking there is some benefit to be gained from another useless intifada or from ending security coordination with Israel. He and those like him might do well to recall that, as most Palestinians know perfectly well, security coordination with Israel is first and foremost in their interest. It keeps the Palestinian Authority from collapsing: it protects our leaders from assassination at the hands of Hamas, as was the fate of Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip. It is the only guarantee we have of the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.

We also might do well to remember the results of the first two intifadas. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Palestinians died, but the Israelis did not move a meter. We carry out terrorist campaign after terrorist campaign, and the violence gets us nowhere and brings us nothing — not from Israel and not from the international community.

If we really want to have our Palestinian State, we can have it tomorrow. All we have to do is change our image as terrorists.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East

False Moral Equivalence as a Tool to Demonize Israel by Manfred Gerstenfeld and Jamie Berk

  • False moral equivalence is one of a series of major fallacies. False moral equivalence comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis was used by several prominent social-democratic politicians, including French President François Mitterrand, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme and Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou.

  • Another example of false moral equivalence is calling Israel an Apartheid State. Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter made this comparison in his 2006 book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid — which incorporates the false moral equivalence in its title.
  • The false comparison between Zionism and racism has been repeated countless times through United Nations and UN-sponsored declarations and conferences.
  • Another category of moral equivalence pretends that the intended murder of innocent civilians is equal to the accidental deaths of civilians in targeted assassinations.

Among the many tools mobilized for the demonization of Israel, one frequently used is a mode of argument known as false moral equivalence. The term “moral equivalence,” originates from a 1906 address by American philosopher William James.[1] It is the claim that there is no difference between two actions of greatly varying character. It is frequently used to emphasize similarities between two otherwise dissimilar acts. False moral equivalence undermines norms and values in a society, blurring the lines between good and evil also right and wrong.

False moral equivalence comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis was used by several prominent social-democratic politicians, including French President François Mitterrand,[2] Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme[3] and Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. [4]

When two dissimilar realities are linked such as Israel and Nazism, use of one side of the equivalence will eventually automatically bring to mind the other – however distorted the comparison may be. Subsequent repetition results in an acceptance, where the false moral equivalence is no longer countered or questioned.

False moral equivalence should not be confused with moral relativism. The latter lends itself to the justification of behavior by claiming that they are acceptable in a certain culture’s values or were common practice during certain periods of history.[5]

Moral equivalence embodies comparisons, defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as: “The act or process of comparing: as the representing of one thing or person as similar or like another, or the modification of an adjective or adverb to denote different levels of quality, quantity, or relation.”[6] Comparisons innately lend themselves to frequent abuse.

CATEGORIES OF MORAL EQUIVALENCE

False moral equivalence used against Israel may be categorized into nine main groups, shown below. These groups are:

  • The false moral equivalence between Israel and Nazi Germany;
  • Israel and South African apartheid;
  • Zionism and racism and its sub-categories Zionism and colonialism/imperialism, as well as Zionism and fascism, the Holocaust and the Nakba (Arabic for “The Catastrophe,” of 1948.)
  • False moral comparisons of murder and accidental death, comparisons of targeted killings of terrorists with intentional murder of civilians;
  • Equivalencies drawn between kidnapping of soldiers and imprisoning terrorists;
  • Presenting moral equivalence between Israel’s actions as a legitimate sovereign state and the illegitimate actions of terrorists.
  • A ninth category, “others,” includes demonization of Israel in ways which do not fit into the above categories, such as the moral equivalence drawn between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and the perceived parallels between Nazi brutality and the actions of their Allied opponents.

CATEGORY 1: ISRAEL AS A NAZI STATE

One widespread example of false moral equivalence is the comparison of Israel’s behavior to that of the Nazis, and suggests that Israel’s actions are equivalent to those of the perpetrators of the world’s largest genocide. In Western societies, Nazi behavior has become the contemporary equivalent of absolute evil.

A poll published in 2004 by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation asked Germans if they agreed with the statement “What the State of Israel does today to the Palestinians is in principle the same as what the Nazis did during the Third Reich.” Many respondents (23.9%) partly agreed with the statement and 27.3% of respondents totally agreed. When a similar poll from the same foundation was published ten years later, with the same question, 16.6% of respondents partly agreed, and 10.5% totally agreed.[7]

When a Bertelsmann foundation poll put the same question to Germans in 2007, 30% of respondents agreed. However, by the time the question was asked yet again in 2013, the number of German respondents agreeing with the statement had risen sharply to 41%, a figure much higher than the findings of previous polls.[8] The multiple polls show that the false moral equivalence is a well-proven phenomenon even though the actual numbers may differ.

The first comprehensive study investigating the attitudes of Norwegians toward minorities was carried out in 2011 and 2012 by the Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities at the request by the Norwegian government. The study found that 38% of Norwegians agree with the statement that Israel behaves toward the Palestinians in the same way that the Nazis acted toward the Jews.[9]

One element that can be learned from these figures is how important belief and thoughts are in addition to speech and actions. These people did not come forward and say Israel is a Nazi state. It was not even known that such a large number of Europeans held this belief until they were asked. The many people holding extreme false views about Israel provide the societal infrastructure that enables anti-Israeli inciters to succeed.

In 2009, for example Trine Lilleng, a first Secretary in the Norwegian embassy in Saudi Arabia, sent an email from her Ministry account juxtaposing pictures of slain children in Gaza with “photos of Holocaust victims in seemingly correlating situations.”[10] After these emails were covered by the Norwegian and Israeli press, she faced no reprimands, and may have even been promoted, according to a Haaretz reporter who contacted the embassy a few months following the incident.[11]

David Harris, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, wrote an answer to Lilleng’s email: “You’ve been in Riyadh since 2007. If you’re so anguished by human rights violations, perhaps you could have begun by devoting some of your attention — and email blasts — to what surrounds you. Or were your eyes diplomatically shut?[12]

In April 2002 the Portuguese Nobel Prize-winning writer José Saramago, using the allegory of David and Goliath, wrote in the Spanish daily El País describing his view of how Israel has become a Nazi state:

“From the point of view of the Jews, Israel can never be brought to trial because it was tortured, gassed and cremated at Auschwitz. I wonder if those Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps, those who were persecuted throughout history, those who died in the pogroms, those who were forgotten in the ghettos, I wonder if that vast multitude of unfortunates do not feel shame on seeing the heinous acts committed by their descendants. I wonder if the fact that we endured does not constitute the best reason not to hurt others.[13]

To Saramago, Israel, while supposedly using the Holocaust and pogroms as justification, acts as a Goliath toward the Palestinians.

According to Belgian historian Joel Kotek,

“there is in fact evidence that across the board, from the far right to the far left, there are those who take advantage of the ‘opportunity’ offered by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to unleash anti-Semitic utterances long suppressed precisely on account of the genocide. Thus, it seems to us, that anti-Zionism would appear to have become a means of drowning a feeling of vague guilt on the part of the West toward the Jews not long since abandoned to barbarity. a neat way of making up for the cowardliness and abandonment of the past by taking up an unambiguous and virtuous position on behalf of the victims of major contemporary injustices.” [14]

CATEGORY 2: ISRAEL AS AN APARTHEID STATE

Since the democratization and end of apartheid in South Africa, Israel has faced a new false moral equivalence, the comparison of its policies to those of the former South African white-only regime. Ignoring that much of the West Bank is under Palestinian National Authority control whereas all of South Africa was under the control of the undemocratic Apartheid regime, these opponents try to create the false comparison that Israel is an apartheid state.

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter made this comparison between Israel and apartheid politics in his 2006 book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid — which incorporates the false moral equivalence in its title.

Within the book, Carter writes of the ways in which Israel may change the status quo. His “option two” states the possibility of

“A system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights. This is the policy now being followed although many citizens of Israel deride the racist connotation of prescribing permanent second-class status for the Palestinians… An unacceptable modification of this choice, now being proposed, is the taking of substantial portions of the occupied territory, with the remaining Palestinians completely surrounded by walls, fences, and Israeli checkpoints, living as prisoners within the small portion of land left to them.'”

Alex Safian, the assistant director of CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, proved that even when giving his book a title rooted in moral equivalence, Carter perhaps did not fully comprehend himself that his claims that Israel is an apartheid state simply are not true. Safian remarked that “[Carter] routinely misstated the definition of the word ‘apartheid’ saying that it was not based on racism. Yet the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines apartheid as ‘inhumane acts … committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group.”[15]

Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a former anti-apartheid activist in South Africa, in a letter written in 2002 to The Guardian, at the height of the Second Intifada, is one among many examples of Tutu using his own past as an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa to justify this false comparison. He wrote:

“What is not so understandable, not justified, is what it did to another people to guarantee its existence. I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about.”[16]

Like Carter, Tutu confused systems of apartheid under a single government in South Africa with Israel and the PA’s dual-control of the region. What is most striking about this statement — and countless others by Tutu decrying apartheid in Israel — is that unlike Carter, Tutu’s focus on Israel at that time did not come from personal observation and travel in the region. His last visit to Israel prior to his 2002 letter was in 1989, four years before the Oslo Accords and creation of the Palestinian National Authority.

“Israel,” wrote Robbie Sabel, professor of law at Hebrew University, “is a multi-racial and multi-colored society, and the Arab minority actively participates in the political process. There are Arab parliamentarians, Arab judges including on the Supreme Court, Arab cabinet ministers, Arab heads of hospital departments, Arab university professors, Arab diplomats in the Foreign Service, and very senior Arab police and army officers. Incitement to racism in Israel is a criminal offence, as is discrimination on the basis of race or religion.”

In addition, Sabel wrote, “The real goal behind the Apartheid campaign is the denial of the legitimacy of the State of Israel and the determination that the only status the Jewish population in Israel can hope for is that of a ‘protected’ ethnic minority in an Arab Palestinian state.”[17]

CATEGORY 3: ZIONISM AND RACISM

The moral equivalence of Zionism and racism is a false moral comparison, apparently initially fabricated to further a political agenda. Prior to the mid-1960s, there was little mention of Zionism or the ethno-nationalist movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland as being a racist ideology. The singling out of “Zionism as a form of racism” was a device created by the Soviet Union to justify its refusal to condemn anti-Semitism. Soviet leaders felt that condemning anti-Semitism would anger its Arab world allies.[18]

The strategy initially was to try to expel Israel from the United Nations. When it failed, the Soviet Union, its satellite states and Arab allies instead succeeded in passing UN resolution 3379, defining Zionism as a form of racism, in 1975.[19] During the same year, the World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination in Durban, South Africa also determined that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”[20] This resolution remained in place until the General Assembly officially revoked it in 1991, after the fall of the USSR. [21]

This false comparison has also been repeated countless times through United Nations and United Nations-sponsored declarations and conferences. In the NGO-sponsored forum at the 2001 UN Conference against Racism, held in Durban, a strategy focusing on delegitimizing Israel was adopted.

Although initially attendees, the United States and Israel, after receiving for consideration the text of the Durban NGO forum, much of it equating Zionism directly to racism, withdrew from the first Durban Conference. The NGO Declaration referred to Israel as an ‘apartheid state,’ guilty of ‘racist crimes against humanity including ethnic cleansing, acts of genocide,’ and called for ‘comprehensive sanctions and embargoes’ as well as ‘the full cessation of all links.'”[22] The text of this forum was presented to the Durban organizing committee for consideration.[23]

The Durban NGO Forum later led to the US, Israel, and seven other nations boycotting the 2009 Durban Review Conference in Geneva.[24] Although since the fall of the Soviet Union no UN-affiliated body has passed a declaration that “Zionism is racism,” calling the world’s only Jewish state racist is a direct moral equivalent of this statement. The same logic, however, repeated itself during the Durban II conference, as well as the Goldstone Report in 2009, through many other false moral equivalences such as the comparison of Israel to an apartheid state.[25]

Zionism is Colonialism/Imperialism

Another popular moral equivalence used is the idea that Israel represents a “colonial power” in the Middle East. Proponents of this theory argue that Zionism, like colonialism and imperialism, justifies the colonization of people of color in their own land by white people, who then rule the entire population and exploit their resources.

The claim that Zionism and Israel are inherently imperialist, representing a colonial power in the Middle East, is largely present in the world of intellectuals and academics.

The academic discipline, “Post-Colonial Studies,” suggests that current trends in former colonies be viewed through the lens of their colonial legacy, in particular in terms of the power structures and Western influence on these nations. A distorted version of this discipline, however, tries to implicate Israel.

In practice, much of modern postcolonial studies is built on a distorted concept of the discipline presented in Edward Said’s book, Orientalism. He argues that nearly all Western influence on the developing world has been negative and destructive, with Western colonizers imposing their culture and attitudes on colonized populations while treating them as if they were primitive peoples.[26]

Proponents of this distorted view draw a parallel between indigenous people of color colonized by Westerners for centuries, and the Palestinians. They incorrectly argue that Zionism “justifies” the colonization of people of color in their own land by white people, who then rule the entire population and exploit their resources.

A few examples illustrate this. The Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, in his article, “Zionism as Colonialism: A Comparative View of Diluted Colonialism in Africa and Asia,” argues that the rise of Zionism in the late 19th century can be directly linked to the Age of Imperialism in Europe:

“Zionism was not, after all, the only case in history in which a colonialist project was pursued in the name of national or otherwise non-colonialist ideals. Zionists relocated to Palestine at the end of a century in which Europeans controlled much of Africa, the Caribbean, and other places in the name of ‘progress’ or idealism not unfamiliar to the Zionist movement. It happened in a century when French settlers colonized Algeria, claiming an atavist and emotional link to the Algerian soil no less profound that that one professed by the early Zionists with regard to Eretz Yisrael.”[27]

American writer and activist Alice Walker also developed this theme, comparing Israel to apartheid-era South Africa, segregationists in the United States, and Nazi Germany. She drew false equivalence of Zionism and European imperial powers in her book, The Cushion in the Road. In her description of apartheid South Africa, she stated that

“… poor Europeans, though, to save themselves, learned to speak proper English, supported as they were by a system that favored whites. Advancement for them, as for the Jewish settlers in Palestine, was unlimited, if they could blend in, accepting the spoils of war against the indigenous and enslaved, with those in power.

“This is an old, old story and it is a terrifying one. Can people who hunger so desperately for what other people have ever have enough? One thinks of Hitler, of course, and Napoleon; of the American generals who fought wars of conquest against Mexico and Cuba and the Philippines. Guatemala. Iraq. Afghanistan. And countless other places we’ve never heard of.”[28]

Historian Richard Landes exposed the hypocrisy of Walker’s moral equivalence on his website, “The Augean Stables.” He wrote about the benign nature of Zionist settlement in Ottoman and British Palestine, sharply contrasting Walker’s own misconceptions about Zionist settlement in Israel with the imperial aspirations of European powers at that time.

Landes wrote, referring to Walker’s comment about Hitler, Napoleon, American generals and more, that

“behind this rather blandly stated remark lies the path to a real assessment of Israeli ‘colonialism’ and ‘imperialism.’ All (other) colonial projects (e.g., Spanish in Latin America, British in South Africa, French in Algeria), occurred in the wake of a conquest. The only way that the new colonists could make claims to the land was by conquest, by (at best) driving away the inhabitants, and establishing overwhelming military superiority. Political power came from victory in war. In so behaving, the European imperialist-colonialists conformed to the international norms of millennia.

“The Zionist project of colonization worked in a markedly different manner. Rather than arrive as zero-sum military victors, the Zionists arrived as positive-sum neighbors. Granted they had no ability to conquer, and granted they built up their defenses against predatory attacks from both Arabs and Bedouin inhabitants of the land, but they nonetheless made peace with most of those who dwelled there by offering the benefits of civil society: hard productive work made everyone better off.”[29]

Martin Kramer, President of the Shalem Center describes claims that Zionism is colonialism as

“a very great lie, and it is a self-serving lie. Those who believe it can sustain in their hearts the hope that in any given span of a few years, Israel will disappear. America will decide to dismantle it, or the Jews will decide that it is too costly to maintain, and so will go to other countries that are safer and more comfortable. For colonialism is something that is transient and lasts only so long as it is cost-effective. But authentic nations are forever, the ties of nations to their land are never really severed, and nations are bound by ties of solidarity that cross the generations.”[30]

Colonialists conquered other countries in order to lay claim to their resources and exploit them. They funneled money and value out of the colonies. The Zionists brought money and skills into the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate of Palestine and afterwards into Israel. Israeli Arabs also significantly benefitted from this. Their current average income per capita is a multiple of that of the inhabitants of the neighboring countries. If the Palestinian Arabs had not followed their leaders’ road to violence, they too would have benefited similarly.

Zionism is fascism

The false moral equivalence, “Zionism is fascism,” is a fallacy linking the ideology underpinning the establishment of the State of Israel to the violence justifying fascism.

When speaking at the Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Vienna in February 2013, for instance, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated, “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.”[31]

This statement was immediately criticized by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s office released this statement addressing Erdogan’s speech, “This is a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world.” Erdogan did not retract his comments even after this international pressure, and did not issue an apology.[32]

CATEGORY 4: THE HOLOCAUST AND THE “NAKBA”

In 2008, 59 British Jews, including popular writer and entertainer Stephen Fry, signed a letter published in The Guardian urging their Jewish peers not to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary. They stated that

“in May, Jewish organizations will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. This is understandable in the context of centuries of persecution culminating in the Holocaust. Nevertheless, we are Jews who will not be celebrating. Surely it is now time to acknowledge the narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-Semitism and Hitler’s genocidal policies. As Edward Said emphasized, what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Nakba is to the Palestinians.”

The letter then cites a number of Nakba incidents as justification for this moral equivalence, including the statement that “thousands of Palestinians (Israeli citizens) were expelled from the Galilee in 1956”[33] — despite no evidence of any such expulsion.

Archbishop Tutu has also drawn a moral equivalence between the Holocaust and the subsequent treatment of Palestinians. Tutu toured Yad Vashem in 2009 with the “Elders,” a peace activists group of retired global leaders, including Jimmy Carter. In an interview with Haaretz after the visit, Tutu said that

“the West was consumed with guilt and regret toward Israel because of the Holocaust, as it should be. But who pays the penance? The penance is being paid by the Arabs, by the Palestinians. I once met a German ambassador who said Germany is guilty of two wrongs. One was what they did to the Jews. And now the suffering of the Palestinians.”[34]

In response, Dr. Robert Rozett, Tutu’s museum guide and director of Yad Vashem Libraries, published in Haaretz:

“certainly it is the Jews who paid for the Holocaust with the blood of some six million innocent victims – not the perpetrators, not the bystanders and not Arabs in Palestine or anywhere else. Saying that the Palestinians are paying for the Holocaust falsely presupposes that the Jewish tie to the Land of Israel became significant only in the wake of the Nazi attempt to eradicate the Jews. It overlooks the ancient and ceaseless connection of the Jewish people to Israel, and the modern Zionist enterprise that returned an exiled people to their ancestral home.”[35]

Though compared numerous times in public discourse, the Holocaust and Nakba are far from equivalents. Tutu’s fallacious arguments blaming the Holocaust for Palestinian suffering are yet another distortion leading to the obfuscation of the factual events. The Palestinian Nakba was a direct result of the war initiated by the Arab states and Palestinians against Israel to massacre Jews.

The fallacious arguments of South Africa’s retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, blaming the Holocaust for Palestinian suffering, are yet another distortion leading to the obfuscation of the factual events. The Palestinian Nakba was a direct result of the war initiated by the Arab states and Palestinians against Israel to massacre Jews. (Image source: World Economic Forum)

Like claiming the moral equivalence of Zionism and racism, the equivalence of the Holocaust and Nakba was a Palestinian strategic political maneuver. Tel Aviv University’s Meir Litvak and Esther Webman in their book, From Empathy to Denial: Arab Responses to the Holocaust, state that

“the Arab governments and public discourse rejected the linkage between the solutions of the Jewish problem and the Palestine problem, and presented in its stead a link between the Holocaust and the Palestinian catastrophe, introducing two parallel human tragedies. The Palestinians strove to gain recognition of their tragedy, with all it entails for rights of self-determination and restoration of justice. This striving for victimhood status constituted the backbone of the narrative from which various motifs developed, starting with the equation of the extent and gravity of the tragedies, through denying the tragedy of ‘the other’ and turning him from victim to perpetrator.”

In addition, they wrote that “the Nakba, epitomizing the Palestinian suffering, was being reconstructed as a founding myth in the Palestinian national identity, fulfilling, wittingly or unwittingly, a similar role to that of the Holocaust, the epitome of Jewish suffering, in Israeli society.”[36]

CATEGORY 5: DELIBERATE MURDER AND ACCIDENTAL DEATHS

This category of moral equivalence pretends that the intended murder of innocent civilians is equal to the accidental deaths of civilians in targeted assassinations. Those who use this moral equivalence compare Israeli military operations intended to kill only terrorists, to premeditated cold-blooded murder.

Israeli military operations have frequently been targeted for criticism by Western pseudo-humanitarians. They are now also trying falsely to compare Israel’s response to the wave of individual Palestinian terrorist knifings and ramming attacks to cold-blooded murder. Sometimes such comparisons are even made by prominent officials, overlooking that they took place during the attempted murder of Jews by terrorists.

The philosopher Jean Bethke Elshtain pointed out the dangers of false moral equivalences:

“If we could not distinguish between an accidental death resulting from a car accident and an intentional murder, our criminal justice system would fall apart. And if we cannot distinguish the killing of combatants from the intended targeting of peaceable civilians, we live in a world of moral nihilism. In such a world, everything reduces to the same shade of gray and we cannot make distinctions that help us take our political and moral bearings.”[37]

By way of illustration, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry compared the three civilians murdered in the 2013 Boston Marathon to the nine killed by Israeli soldiers on the Mavi Marmara ship in the flotilla that attempted to bring help to the Gaza Strip in 2013.[38] Kerry falsely mischaracterized these flotilla passengers as innocent activists and bystanders, much like the truly innocent Boston victims, killed by bombs hidden in backpacks.[39]

False moral equivalence of this incident does not have any foundation in fact. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs proved that acts of violence had been planned by some of the passengers on the Mavi Marmara before any Israeli troops set foot on the ship. Video footage shows an Israeli soldier being thrown overboard, and other soldiers being attacked with metal pipes and chairs immediately after boarding, leaving no time to negotiate with passengers.[40] Kerry ignored all of this.

Catherine Ashton, former European Union Foreign Policy chief, provided another extreme example of false moral equivalence. In 2012, she compared the deaths of innocent people by serial killers and brutal dictators such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to accidental deaths of civilians due to Israeli actions in Gaza. In a speech to Palestinian youths in Brussels, Ashton said:

“When we think about what happened today in Toulouse [the murder of four Jews by the Muslim terrorist, Mohamed Merah], we remember what happened in Norway last year, we know what is happening in Syria, and we see what is happening in Gaza and other places – we remember young people and children who lose their lives.”[41]

Such false moral comparisons encourage terrorism.[42] Islamist terrorism in particular has increased greatly since Ashton and Kerry made their remarks. While the Israeli army has made more effort to instill combat morality in its soldiers than any other armed force,[43] the opposite can be said for terror organizations setting out to murder civilians, or with the Mavi Marmara’s violent activists intending to attack soldiers.

CATEGORY 6: TARGETED ACTIONS AGAINST TERRORISTS AND DELIBERATE MURDER OF CIVILIANS

The media have frequently claimed that targeted actions by the Israeli military against terrorists have also included the deliberate murder of civilians. It is, however, the Palestinians who specifically target Israeli civilians. While mainly Arab terrorists attack Israeli and Jewish civilians in Europe and elsewhere, Israel targets terrorists to prevent their future murderous acts.

The Los Angeles Times set up false moral equivalence in an April 2013 article entitled “2 killings shatter relative calm between Israelis, Palestinians.” In this article, journalist Edmund Sanders reported the stabbing of an Israeli settler civilian by a Palestinian terrorist. The terrorist then stole the civilian’s gun and attacked nearby soldiers before being arrested. The image used in this article is an unrelated and undated picture of Israeli soldiers firing tear gas in Nablus.

In the article’s next paragraph, Sanders writes about a completely unrelated killing in Gaza that occurred the same day, that of terrorist Haitham Ziad Ibrahim Mishal, and remarked that “separately, the government said that Israel Defense Forces killed a Gaza Strip-based militant accused of participating in rocket attacks, including one earlier this month that struck the Israeli resort city of Eilat from the Sinai Peninsula.”

The killing by the Palestinian was the cold-blooded murder of a civilian by a terrorist.[44] In the other case, the IDF targeted Mishal while he rode a motorcycle with another passenger in an isolated area to limit civilian casualty.[45]

The November 16, 2012 front page of the print edition New York Times utilized visual manipulation to achieve moral equivalence. The cover story displays two photographs of equal size, both from funerals. The first photo is of the Gaza City funeral of Ahmed al-Jabari, a Hamas military commander killed by an Israeli airstrike at the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense. The second image is of the funeral of Mina Scharf, an Israeli civilian killed by a Hamas rocket during the campaign.

Writing about Jabari and Scharf’s respective backgrounds, Tablet Magazine’s Adam Chandler, says in an editorial, that “Jabari was killed for being a Hamas strongman, who directed terror activity for a decade and was one of the central figures in the planning of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping. Beneath his picture is the picture of the body of Mina Scharf, a 25-year-old mother of three, who worked for Chabad in New Delhi, India and who was one of three civilians killed when a Hamas rocket struck a residential building in Kiryat Malachi.”[46]

In a Huffington Post opinion piece on the same topic David Harris asks, “In the same spirit, would equal and abutting space have been given to photos of the funerals of Osama Bin Laden and one of his victims?”[47]

The 2015 report compiled by the UN Human Rights Council in response to Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza created a similar moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. Israel has, for its adversaries, a system of advanced warnings, including radio announcements, the dropping of leaflets, and “roof knocks” to announce airstrikes on weapons depots and other terror targets, so civilians will have time to leave the premises. The report claims that Israeli warnings were not adequate because of “the fact that many places considered safe were already overcrowded; and the poor conditions in shelters, which themselves came under attack.”[48]

The report implies that Israel, which targeted weapons or terrorists is equivalent to Gaza’s terror groups which launched rockets at Israeli civilian centers, because in a single mentioned case, the terrorists gave warnings. The report argues that “in some instances, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza reportedly attempted to warn civilians in Israel of imminent attacks. For instance, on 20 August 2014, the Al-Qassam Brigades warned communities near Gaza to avoid returning home or to remain inside shelters.”[49] However, the report does not mention the means taken to ensure the effectiveness of this warning, such as whether, for example, it was translated into Hebrew. It also does not differentiate between the intended targets under threat, which in this case were civilian, not military, as opposed to Israeli airstrikes, exclusively on Gaza’s terror targets.

CATEGORY 7: KIDNAPPING SOLDIERS VERSUS IMPRISONING TERRORISTS

NGOs often advocate for the human rights of imprisoned terrorists and terror suspects. Even when writing brief statements about the human rights violations imposed on a kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, when he was imprisoned by Hamas terrorists for over five years, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports chose to draw a false moral equivalence between Shalit and Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails.

In October 2011, at the time of the exchange of Gilad Shalit for 477 Palestinian terrorists, the expression “prisoner exchange” was frequently referenced. Amnesty International, titled its press release, “Israel-Hamas prisoner swap casts harsh light on detention practices of all sides.” In response to the prisoner exchange, Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Director, stated that “this deal will bring relief to Gilad Shalit and his family after an ordeal that has lasted more than five years. Many Palestinian families will feel a similar sense of relief today when they are reunited with their relatives, many of whom have spent decades under harsh conditions in Israeli detention.”

This statement was one of the few published by Amnesty International about Shalit, and made only on his release. Twelve paragraphs of the seventeen-paragraph text concern conditions in Israeli prisons for Palestinian detainees, while requests for Shalit’s basic rights under the Geneva Convention, such as Red Cross visits, contact with his family, and information about his condition, were repeatedly denied. Despite this, Amnesty International also set up a false moral equivalence between Shalit’s situation and that of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails by comparing the situation of the Shalit family to family members of Palestinian prisoners because some struggled to obtain travel permits to visit Israeli jails.[50]

In a similar press release from Human Rights Watch (HRW) about Hamas’s violations of international law, three paragraphs were devoted to the moral equivalence of terrorists under Israeli control. HRW, nevertheless, did include that the ban on Gazans visiting relatives in Israeli prisoners was because of the 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza. Amnesty in its press release had omitted this. HRW, however, also wrote that “Israeli authorities have repeatedly detained Hamas members, including elected members of parliament, without charge in the West Bank in apparent retaliation for Shalit’s detention.” There was no reference to Hamas’s status as a terrorist organization intent on the destruction of the State of Israel.[51]

U.S. law professor Alan Dershowitz writes that “Every single prisoner held by Israel has judicial review available to him or her and some have won release. Every one of them has access to Red Cross visitation, can communicate with family, and has a known whereabout. Kidnapped Israeli soldiers on the other hand are kept incommunicado by criminal elements, are routinely tortured, often murdered, and have no access to the Red Cross or judicial review. Moreover, the prisoners being held by Israel are terrorists—that is, unlawful combatants. Many are murderers who have been convicted and sentenced in accordance with due process. The “women” and “children” are guilty of having murdered or attempted to murder innocent babies and other non-combatants. The soldiers who were kidnapped are lawful combatants subject to prisoner of war status.”

Hamas or Hezbollah, Dershowitz states, would not treat the Israeli soldiers the way Israel treats its prisoners, because “they are terrorist organizations who do not operation within the rule of the law.”[52]

Humanitarian racism, a term for a little recognized type of racism, was coined several years ago by Gerstenfeld. He wrote: “This racism is a mirror image of the white-supremacist variety. Humanitarian racists consider—usually without saying so explicitly—that only white people can be fully responsible for their actions; nonwhites such as the Palestinians cannot (or can but only to a limited extent).”[53]

Humanitarian racism is present in the NGO statements about Shalit and Palestinian prisoners. All of these statements also attack Israeli prisons, using them as a tool to shift the emphasis in their articles away from the blatant violations of Shalit’s human rights, thus creating a false moral equivalence between the treatment of an Israeli soldier kidnapped by terrorists in Israeli territory and legally-imprisoned terrorists.[54]

CATEGORY 8: ACTIONS OF ISRAEL AS A LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT VERSUS ILLEGITIMATE ACTIONS OF TERRORISTS AND TERROR ORGANIZATIONS

When releasing statements about Israel and its terrorist enemies, officials from across the world have drawn equivalencies between Israel’s legitimate government and the leaders of terror organizations that are illegal according to international law.

At the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, the declarations of officials representing Russia, India, Turkey, and Sweden put Israel and Hamas on the same level.[55]

Erdogan, speaking to a gathering of the Eurasian Islamic Council, commented that “those who speak of Muslims and terror side by side are turning a blind eye when Muslims are massacred en masse.” He added that “those who turn a blind eye to discrimination toward Muslims in their own countries, are also closing their eyes to the savage massacre of innocent children in Gaza. … Therefore, I say Israel is a terrorist state.”[56]

Harris commented: “Erdogan has branded Israel a “terrorist state” for having the audacity to defend itself against a group that seeks its destruction. He has vociferously denounced Israel’s use of military force, while never condemning the hundreds of missile attacks against Israel this year alone… Yet Erdogan has the audacity to assail Israel mercilessly for merely exercising its right to defend itself against those who would destroy it.”[57]

CATEGORY 9: OTHERS

There are some forms of false moral equivalence toward Israel and the Jews that fall outside the above categories. These include for instance the moral equivalence of murder and vandalism, and the comparison between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

The false moral equivalence between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia compares the problems facing Jewish populations across Europe with those of Muslims. This comparison is distorted in part because many Muslims are anti-Semites and because the most extreme persecutors of Jews in Europe have come out of Muslim communities. All anti-Semitic murders of Jews in Western Europe in the current century have been committed by Muslims.

Furthermore, while both groups face adversity in modern Europe, the scope and nature of this persecution could not be more different. Anti-Semitism has its origins in many centuries of religious and ethnic hate propaganda. Islamophobia derives from perceived aggression. At the same time there is a weariness with Islam because of the actual violence supported by many in the world of Islam.

False comparisons are also frequently used by Holocaust deniers. They try to minimize the horrors of the Shoah by comparing it to the actions taken by the Allies in the Second World War to defeat the Axis powers, in particular pointing to the airstrikes on German and Japanese targets. Although some of the actions taken, such as the internment of Japanese civilians by the U.S. and in particular the use of the atom bomb against civilian targets, were inhumane, they did not reach the magnitude of the Holocaust, the largest genocide in history, intended to cleanse Europe of the Jews.

False moral equivalence was also used by Adolf Eichmann during his 1961 war crimes trial in Jerusalem. He claimed that there were no basic differences between the Allied and Axis powers. Judge Benjamin Halevi responded to Eichmann: “you have often compared the extermination of the Jews with the bombing raids on German cities and you compared the murder of Jewish women and children with the death of German women in aerial bombardments. Surely it must be clear to you that there is a basic distinction between these two things. On the one hand the bombing is used as an instrument of forcing the enemy to surrender. Just as the Germans tried to force the British to surrender by their bombing. In that case it is a war objective to bring an armed enemy to his knees.

“On the other hand, when you take unarmed Jewish men, women, and children from their homes, hand them over to the Gestapo, and then send them to Auschwitz for extermination it is an entirely different thing, is it not?”[58]

Eichmann’s sentiments were also shared by historical writer David Irving, who in 1996 sued Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin books for libel. She had characterized him in her 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, as being aware of the harsh realities of the Holocaust, but choosing to distort them to ally with his own ideology and political agenda. In Lipstadt’s words, he did this because “Irving realized that a pre-condition for Nazism’s resurrection was to strip and wash it of its worst elements. The first important tool to accomplish this was the creation of immoral equivalencies, essentially a balance of bad behavior. For instance, in the same breath, one mentions that, while the Nazis bombarded London in 1940, the Allies bombed Germany in 1945. Less truthfully, one agrees that the Nazis had concentration camps, which were terrible places, but then denies anybody was murdered in them. One can then ‘balance’ that by mentioning that the Americans had camps for American citizens of Japanese descent.”[59]

The defendants in the trial however emerged victorious. In a lengthy judgement, Judge Charles Gray ruled in 2000 that Irving was an anti-Semite who “for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence.”[60]

CONCLUSION

The analysis of the above categories provides a broad overview of different ways in which comparisons of the moral equivalence type are abused to demonize Israel or damage its image. A more detailed analysis of false comparisons in general using many additional examples would yield many more insights in the process of demonization of Israel.

From the above, it also emerges that certain NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International use various categories of false moral comparisons. Through referencing an earlier article by Gerstenfeld on the nature and definition of double standards, it becomes clear that these organizations use additional false arguments.

Detailed analysis of all types of lies and false arguments used against Israel and the Jews is an essential tool in fighting the propaganda war. Understanding these techniques is necessary if Israel wants to operate efficiently on that battlefield against its multiple overt and indirect enemies as well as against anti-Semitism.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is former Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, where he founded and directed the Center’s Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism program. His latest book The War of a Million Cuts: analyzes how Israel and Jews are demonized and how one can fight these attempts at delegitimization. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, and the International Leadership Award by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Jamie Berk is a researcher working toward an MA in political science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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