(Melanie reiterates basically what I commented on in the next artcle.
The state of the Jewish people
By Melanie PHILLIPS
12 January 2008
Beyond the grandstanding over President Bush's visit to
Israel this week, there is an even more important concern
than over what America may be pushing it to do. This is
Israel's own attitude towards its identity and history
and, by extension, its right to exist at all.
Among the Israeli intellectual elite, the instinct for
national self-destruction reaches near-hallucinatory
A recent research paper by doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan,
which wondered why unlike other armies Israeli soldiers
did not rape women under their occupation, claimed that
this was because IDF troops viewed Arab women as
sub-human. This absurd piece of malice was awarded a
teachers' committee prize by the Hebrew University.
Clearly, Nitzan should have interviewed Ha'aretz
editor-in-chief David Landau, who was reported as telling
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a dinner last
September that the Israeli government wanted 'to be
raped' as it was a 'failed state' that needed a
Such grand guignol flights from reason can only deepen
respect for the strategic genius of Yasser Arafat. He
understood that while Jews would unite against
conventional attack, they wouldn't cope with the
psychological pressure of being turned into international
pariahs through a falsified colonial narrative of
But even he could hardly have foreseen the extent to
which Israeli intellectuals would so completely invert
their own history, and swallow the fiction that the
Middle East impasse is over the division of the land and
that Jewish possession of that land is illegitimate.
This series of untruths has now coalesced into an
axiomatic assumption that Jerusalem must be divided, as
stated by Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in an
interview in the Jerusalem Post last weekend.
But as Dore Gold authoritatively documents in his
important book 'The Fight for Jerusalem', the Jews have a
unique and overwhelming claim to Jerusalem which is
central to the unique nature of the Jewish state.
It is no accident, therefore, that this pressure to
divide Jerusalem comes at a time when the Jewishness of
Israel is being openly called into question. Olmert says
that a 'two state solution' is essential to preserve
Israel as a Jewish state. But the Arabs themselves have
now ruled out a Jewish state altogether. Shortly before
Annapolis, the Palestinians' chief negotiator Saeeb
Erekat said they would 'never acknowledge Israel's Jewish
Olmert insists nevertheless that Mahmoud Abbas accepts
Israel as a Jewish state 'in his soul'. Olmert clearly
possesses truly wondrous psychic powers, displayed even
as members of Fatah associated with Abbas's own security
apparatus were murdering two Israelis on a hike near
The west believes that dividing Jerusalem is the fairest
solution. But when were aggressors ever thus rewarded at
the expense of their victims, even while they continued
their century-old war as the Arabs are doing?
Why doesn't Israel put the record straight? Why doesn't
it remind the world of that same world's conclusion back
in 1920 that the Jews had a unique claim to the entire
land of Israel, including Jerusalem? Why doesn't it
recall how, when Jordan illegally occupied east Jerusalem
until 1967, it desecrated Jewish holy sites, ripping up
Jewish gravestones on the Mount of Olives to use them for
Why doesn't it tell the world that the Islamic claim to
Jerusalem is not so much religious as political - and
that as Gold states in his book, since the capture of
Jerusalem is seen as the precursor to the fall of the
entire west the division of the city would recruit untold
additional numbers to the global jihad?
It doesn't do so for two reasons. First, it still fails
to grasp that the real battleground is composed not of
rockets and human bombs but of ideas. And second, much of
its intellectual class has come to believe the mendacious
propaganda of Israel's enemies.
In Israeli schools and on campus, there is widespread
ignorance of Jewish history and of the indissoluble bond
between the religion, the people and the land which
constitutes Jewish identity. When Israel's Education
Minister issues a textbook for Israeli Arab children that
teaches them the Arab propaganda line that the 1948 War
of Independence was a naqba, or catastrophe, something
has gone badly wrong with the foundations of Israeli
When the Israel government refuses to stop the Muslim
authorities in charge of the Temple Mount from destroying
countless excavated artefacts from the Temple in order to
obliterate the evidence of the historic Jewish claim to
Jerusalem, one has to conclude that Israeli diplomacy has
morphed into pathology.
The real reason Israel doesn't fight the battle of ideas
to defend Jewish history and identity is that
increasingly it is repudiating them. The Arabs thus don't
need to do much to bring about the end of the Jewish
state. The Jews will do it for them.
*Some passages in this piece were omitted from the
article as published in the JC.