The Untold Story

Pin the Tail on the Subhuman

January 23, 2013

Multiple Pages
Pin the Tail on the Subhuman

On the brilliant summer’s morning of June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty, a technical research ship lying in international waters about 25 miles north of the Sinai Peninsula, was suddenly attacked by Israeli fighter jets and Israeli Navy torpedo boats. The Liberty’s captain, immediately realizing that an ally was attacking his ship, frantically signaled his coordinates to the diving jets and the surrounding torpedo boats firing at him, but to no avail. The Israelis kept firing until the boat lay helpless and rudderless in the ocean. Thirty-four American sailors were dead and 171 were wounded, many of them severely.

The Israeli government eventually issued an apology, claiming the Liberty was mistaken for an Egyptian warship, a callous claim because even to an amateur’s eye, the Liberty was no warship. In reality, the Israelis suspected the Liberty may have recorded their unprovoked attack against Egypt the previous day and wanted to make sure no records contradicting who initiated the Six-Day War were available. The Liberty was no spy ship, just an innocent bystander to what was to become a 45-year—and counting—occupation of Palestinian lands, a brutal seizure that has seen millions ordained to live in refugee camps for three generations.

“Jewish settlers on Palestinian lands have been known to express the same kind of opinion about ‘subhuman’ Palestinians that the Saudis use about Jews.”

This week Israel is holding an election, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud coalition is a certain winner. The usual suspects—the Israeli lobby in DC, multi-billionaire Las Vegas and Hollywood tycoons, Rupert Murdoch’s worldwide empire, and other media friends—have been signaled not to hold back. A full press is on to ensure one of the greatest injustices of modern times goes on uninterrupted.

An article in the International Herald Tribune, owned by The New York Times, caught my attention as I sat down to write this. It was by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali anti-Islamist writer married to Niall Ferguson, whose daughter from a previous marriage happens to be my goddaughter. (Although I am not a Somali, thank God, I am virulently against militant Islam.) In brief, la Ali claims that the Arabs are brought up on hatred against Jews, and it is this hatred that is the greatest impediment to peace in the Holy Land. She makes for a convincing argument until one reads between the lines. She writes that the Koran teaches Arabs to believe Jews are “apes and pigs” and that schoolbooks compare Jews to “rats and cockroaches and also to vampires and a host of other imaginary creatures.”

Since Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was recently discovered having said just about the same thing, why doesn’t Ali’s argument convince me? That’s an easy one. The offending words echo those of the Saudi Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. In broadcasts over the popular Saudi-owned satellite program Iqraa, in Saudi-owned magazines and newspapers, and in school textbooks financed by Saudi oil money, the libel that Jews are the rats of the world is repeated ad nauseam. The Saudi ruling family of 15,000 thieves bought protection from the religious police long ago by financing this kind of propaganda. Only last week a 17-year-old Filipino maid was beheaded in Saudi Arabia on extremely dubious charges. Ten years ago 15 young Saudi girls burned to death when the Wahhabi cops did not allow them to escape the fire because they were improperly dressed. This is the regime, now aided by the chief crook in Qatar, that pays for the anti-Jewish propaganda. It also finances thousands of schools all over the Muslim world that teach the same kind of hate against the West in general and Jews in particular.

Yet in all my years of travel in occupied Palestine I have yet to meet an educated Palestinian who ever held such views. Palestine ceased to exist in 1948. It lost its name, its territory, and many of its people. Three-quarters of the land was taken by the Jewish movement, which was financed by the Rothschilds and aided by militant criminal gangs such as the Stern Gang. They massacred Palestinian farmers, spreading terror and producing refugees that remain in camps to this day. The Palestinian diaspora still dreams of a return. It has never accepted that they, alone of all the Arab nations, should be refused the right to decide their own future in their own land.

The Israeli right, which has added one million Russian Jews since the fall of communism, views things differently. In fact, Jewish settlers on Palestinian lands have been known to express the same kind of opinion about “subhuman” Palestinians that the Saudis use about Jews. When the United Nations called in 1947 for the partition of Mandate Palestine, the Zionists had taken close to 50 percent of the Holy Land. Today the occupied West Bank and Gaza stand to get 22 percent of the land under any two-state peace. Still, Netanyahu and his gang keep building illegal settlements, making a contiguous two-state solution pretty much impossible.

Nearly five million Palestinians are refugees. They have seen Israel flout international law with impunity, they have seen Israel plant apartheid colonies, and they have seen the number of Israeli settlers double on the West Bank since 1993’s Oslo Accord. Israel also withholds the 100 million dollars in tax revenues it collects monthly for the Palestinian Authority, which needs the money to pay salaries. (It is as if the Israeli right wants Hamas, rather than the very responsible PA, to represent the Palestinians.) It is illegal under international law—a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court—for an occupying power to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies. Yet Israel has been doing this with impunity since 1967, having gained most of its land with the same practices previous to that date.

So the next time you read about the Arabs raised on hatred of the Jews and you cringe when they’re called the offspring of apes and pigs, think not of the Palestinians, but of those nice guys wearing sheets with whom George W. Bush held hands after 9/11. Think of the Saudis and Qataris whose trillions finance TV channels and schools that preach libel against the Jews, and also spare a thought for the innocent Palestinians whose lands have been stolen and who continue to live under the Israeli yoke.


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