OpinionU.S.-Israel Relations

Israel making moves to secure the ties that bind

The lies and defamations continue, but Israel is not going anywhere.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Source: Miriam Alster/Flash90
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Source: Miriam Alster/Flash90
Charles O. Kaufman
Charles O. Kaufman
Charles Kaufman is immediate past president of B’nai B’rith International.

Given the current rancor between the White House and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the unbreakable, unshakeable bonds between Israel and the U.S. seem to be loosening a bit.

While bad under any circumstances, the timing of the mistaken attack on the World Central Kitchen crew in Gaza could not have been worse. Not even Israel’s admission of error and apology curbed the world media’s appetite for defaming the Jewish state.

President Joe Biden’s finger-wagging response opened the door for foreign leaders to do the same. It also motivated Israeli anti-Netanyahu protesters to return to the streets, adding more angst to an already anguished situation.

The Israeli government announced the dismissal and punishment of the five soldiers who mistakenly carried out the WCK attack. Israel has just removed almost all its ground forces from Gaza, leaving only one battalion in place. Whether the world will breathe a sigh of relief remains to be seen. At least Biden appears to have walked back hints that the U.S. might reevaluate its policies regarding Israel.

Meanwhile, the vitriol of the global media has reached new decibel levels. In six months, the cause of this war, the atrocities—rapes, beheadings, dismemberments, torching of children and homes—have been all but dismissed or even denied by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Propaganda from their media sympathizers is relentless. Whatever wrongs terror groups commit, the response is simply to falsely claim that the IDF is doing the same thing.

If Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar were Geppetto’s famous puppet, his nose would stretch beyond Gaza’s endless tunnels. Following the release of a small group of hostages, stories of rapes and assaults were subsequently corroborated. Yet Palestinian Authority TV showed an interview with a Cairo University lecturer who falsely claimed, “The generous treatment Palestine gave the Israeli prisoners caused an enormous positive response because after (the Israelis) lied and said that (Hamas) is abusing them, the (Israelis) left happy and laughing.” In fact, the well-choreographed exit from Gaza aside, the horror stories that continue to surface make clear that those still in captivity are neither “happy” nor “laughing.”

Yet these lies, amplified on social media and by news organizations, raise speculation about Israel’s future. The existence of the Jewish state is questioned as if a land lease were about to expire. Such ignorance comes from people who are new to the Arab-Israeli conflict. They have no knowledge or understanding of the Iranian threat or the delusional thinking of Hamas and its current ceasefire proposals.

Let’s be absolutely clear: Israel is a sovereign state, not a tenant and not an occupier. The country is not on the block—the trading block, the auction block or the chopping block.

Throughout all this, the United Nations continues to ignore its own mission. For the Security Council to revisit the 2011 application for full member status of “Palestine,” a non-sovereign entity, is diplomatic folly. “Palestine” has no defined, recognizable borders.  U.N. member-states without borders are technically islands, such as Costa Rica and Cuba. In 2012, Palestinians settled for their non-state observer status.

The U.N. Charter states, “Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.”

The people of Gaza and those in refugee camps run by UNRWA define “peace-loving” as the desire to destroy Israel. In contrast, modern-day Israel is well-known but not sufficiently credited for its contributions to the world—notably in Africa, agriculture, medicine, hydrology, technology, cybersecurity and much else.

So, even in the face of endless conflict, this jewel of democracy, ranked four out of 160 countries on a list of the happiest nations in the world, is still here and not going anywhere.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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