2009-10-09 / Columnists

The Rockaway Beat

Love Thy Neighbor - Unless He's Trying To Eradicate You And Your Family
Commentary By Howard Schwach

So, your neighbor next door keeps throwing rocks through the window and the court refuses to do anything about it because it says that your house is illegal.

Then, your neighbor shoots your three cats, and the court says that it's your fault, that you shouldn't have had the cats there in the first place.

Then, your neighbor burns down your garage, but the courts refuse to do anything about it because your neighbors don't have garages (or cars) of their own.

Then, you notice your neighbor coming to your property with a shotgun in his hand, obviously intent on doing your and your family harm.

Do you have the right to defend yourself from your armed neighbor, who has stated in public that you should be eradicated from the earth and has acted to do just that on a number of occasions?

Unless you happen to be Israel and the court happens to be the United Nations.

The United Nation's misnamed Human Rights Council had issued a scathing - and one-sided—report on last winter's incursion into Gaza by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

Because it was put out by the United Nations, I expected it to be one-sided, but I did not expect it to be so onesided that it virtually supports the Palestinian argument that Israel has no right to exist.

And, make no mistakes about it. A number of Palestinian organizations, including Hezbollah, Hamas and the Arab Brotherhood have written into their constitutions that the stated goal of the organization is to drive every Jew into the Mediterranean Sea and eradicate Israel from the face of the earth.

Not very neighborly, but the UN continually acts as if those goals are completely rational and understandable.

Even the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), which takes millions in American donations, tried to expel Israel and almost got the votes to do so.

The recent UN report denounced Israel for "war crimes," and "crimes against humanity" and urged the UN to take the case to the International Court of Justice so that its leaders could be tried for their acts.

What the UN report forgot was that Palestinian militants had been throwing rockets at Israel for three years, destroying homes and schools and killing more than a dozen Israeli citizens.

It conveniently "forgets" that the rocket launchers were sited in inhabited areas, sometimes in mosques and schools, so that any Israeli retaliation would spark anger that the Jews were targeting civilians.

It conveniently "forgets" that Israel specifically tried not to target civilians while the Palestinian rockets were purposely fired at civilian centers in order to do the most damage.

Much of the report comes from testimony from an organization called "Human Rights Watch," an organization that has held anti-Israeli views for many years.

One of its officers is a collector of Nazi memorabilia. Another publicly praised the achievement of the Palestinians who killed Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games, hailing it as "an achievement that boosted the morale of Palestinian fighters."

Richard Goldstone, a war crimes investigator who wrote the report, also wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times (a newspaper that is also decidedly anti-Israel). In it, he defended his UN report and excoriated the Israelis for killing too many civilians, while admitting that the Palestinians mixed their fighters with civilians to draw Israeli fire.

Goldstone is a South African judge, who is widely thought of as anti-Semitic by Israeli citizens. He has often riled against the way in which Palestinians are treated by Israel.

Even he had to admit, however, "I am unaware of any case where a Hamas fighter was punished for deliberately shooting a rocket into a civilian area of Israel - on the contrary, Hamas leaders repeatedly praise such acts."

He wrote that Israel, on the other hand, was investigating the way the IDF acted during the incursion.

He added, however, that he didn't think that the Israeli government was taking its own investigation very seriously and didn't think that anything would come of it.

Even those in Israel who believe in the two-state solution, that the Palestinians should have their own state, were angered by Goldsone's report, and polls there showed that the majority of citizens thought that it was "onesided" and "unfair."

Another group closely connected with the United Nations admitted that the rocket attacks were designed to draw in the Israelis, but exonerated the Palestinians because, "The Palestinians have been denied their right to self-determination by Israel and have long been subjected to a cruel siege by [that nation].

Hey, I have the right to kill you and burn down your house because you have no right to be here in the first place, so you have no right to defend yourself while I pursue my goal of eradicating you.

Saudi-Arabia has gone so far as to finance a project that will "prove" that no Jewish Kingdom ever existed in the Middle East, that the Bible is fiction, and therefore Jews have no legitimate claim in Israel, except the political claim that comes with the Balfour Declaration after World War II.

I am sure that they will find no evidence that Jew ever lived in the Middle East during the biblical period and the United Nations will support that claim.

That's what it does best.

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