Beyond the Pale…writes Michael Kuttner

July 24, 2013 by J-Wire
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Not so many years ago back in Czarist Russia, Jews were confined to certain areas of the country beyond which they were not allowed to live. Ironically in light of today’s developments this was called the Pale of Settlement. Of course Russia was not alone in confining its hapless Jews to certain clearly defined areas as most of Europe from time to time also indulged in this selective practice of segregating where their Jewish population could live.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Fiddler on the Roof attempted to portray life as it was then but unfortunately the musical for many merely diffused harsh realities. The bottom line is that Jews for many years in Europe were mere chattels at the mercy of whichever bigoted regime happened to be in control. Not only were they told where they could live but they also were denied participation in most professions and trades. At the end of the day they could and indeed were uprooted from their homes without warning or compensation and having fled for their lives often found only temporary refuge somewhere else until the next edict fell on them.

Fast forward to 2013 and witness a rerun of Europe’s “love” relationship with the Jewish People, this time personified by its attitudes and policies towards the reborn Jewish State. I use the word “reborn” advisedly because some people seem to forget that there had been an independent Jewish country from the time of Joshua to the destruction of the first Temple and then again after the return from Babylonian exile

For those of us who do not believe in mere coincidences the latest edicts from Europe could not have been more symbolic. Tisha B’Av or the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av commemorates the destruction of both Temples as well as other disasters such as expulsions, inquisitions, pogroms and crusade massacres. What exquisite timing therefore that the latest outburst of European phobic hatred of Jewish sovereignty should be announced on this solemn fast day when Jews worldwide remember those of our people who have been the targets of venomous hatred at the hands of “enlightened” Europeans.

Emanating from the czars of Brussels is a directive to refuse co-operation and funding for anything originating from Judea, Samaria, the Golan and over half of Jerusalem, all these places being described as “occupied”. How many people realise that the Kotel (Western Wall) is also “occupied” as well as the Jewish quarter of the Old city? Any scientist engaged in research at Hadassah and the Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus who also happens to live in the Old City, Gilo or other suburbs of Jerusalem will be targeted by these new rules. Presumably someone living over the mythical green line will be denied funding for research into potential life saving medicines or procedures.

In one single inept move the EU has not only pre-empted any negotiations which might take place with the Palestinian Arabs but has also given them the perfect excuse to impose impossible preconditions before any talks even commence. In addition they have ensured that any enterprises which employ Palestinian Arabs and which are adversely affected by this boycott will sack them thus depriving the very people they purport to support of employment and income to support their families. What a brilliant move all in the name of a policy which has doubtful legal validity in international law as has already been pointed out by various experts.

One can well ask when the EU is going to take similar action against the following countries:

UK for occupying & settling the Malvinas (Falklands) and Northern Ireland;

USA for occupying territory taken from Mexico (and by the way what are they doing in American Samoa?);

France for occupying New Caledonia;

China for occupying Tibet;

Russia occupying Chechnya.

Turkey for invading, occupying and settling Northern Cyprus which Reuters news agency described the other day as a “breakaway territory” as though the Turks had nothing to do with it. Thus is history rewritten by the media.

There are more examples of occupation and settlement but these will suffice for the moment. Apparently the only country which compels the EU to take action against is Israel where the Jews have reclaimed their rightful place. At least we have a far more genuine historical claim to this land which is more than can be said for these other occupiers. There can be only one reason for the EU obsession with Jews and Israel and we all know what that is.

To cap off a week of unbridled hypocrisy Czarina Ashton announced that the EU after many tortuous months of prevarication would declare the military wing of Hezbollah a terrorist organisation but that its political wing would retain its kosher status.This is the same logic as Neville Chamberlain announcing that he could do business with Herr Hitler as the political wing of the Nazi party but wouldn’t negotiate with Heinrich Himmler the head of the military SS wing. The fact that the political branch of Hezbollah plans and directs the policy of mayhem and murder seems to have escaped the Judeophobia obsessed leaders of the EU.

While the EU implodes economically and demographically and chaos prevails in various Moslem countries the only thing which seems to matter is making sure that Jews are told where they can live and work and threatening that if they do not behave accordingly they must face the consequences.

Once upon a time Jews went meekly to their fate when such edicts were promulgated. Today, after millions have been murdered precisely because they were Jews the time has come to demonstrate that we have alternative options

For a start we should make it clear to the EU that they have no role whatsoever in any so called “peace” negotiations which in any case are doomed to failure so long as Arab states and the PLO refuse to acknowledge our right to be here.

Next, we should make it clear that discriminating against Jews because of where they live will also mean that funding for PA projects in Judea and Samaria will be banned.

NGO’s which receive funding for activities in these areas will be told to leave and go back to Europe.

EU diplomatic representatives based in East Jerusalem who work on behalf of the PA should be told to relocate to Ramallah

EU goods sold in Israeli shops should be labeled accordingly thus enabling consumers to decide whether to boycott them. At the same time Israel should increase its trade links with Asian countries.

Every opportunity must be taken to highlight the hypocrisy of the EU’s current policies. Enough with diplomatic double speak – let’s tell it as it really is.

Remaining silent and mealy mouthing meaningless messages are all a waste of time. Israel as a country and Jews as a People must proclaim as loudly as possible that the current shameful charade is well and truly beyond the Pale.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and works for The Israel Resource News Agency in Jerusalem.   


2 Responses to “Beyond the Pale…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    Both MIchael’s and Gil’s comments are apt.

    One additional point to add to Michael’s. Turkey invaded Syria and annexed the Alexandretta region. Syria and the international community accepted that, while it rejects any Israeli annexations or claims of a dispute although the 1967 war was one of defence.

    As Gil says, Israeli leaders are gutless. It is well past the time to state facts and expose hypocrisy.

    Incidentally, one often hears how Obama is really a friend of Israel and quote the continued arms supply from the US. What they miss is that Obama has betrayed Israel repeatedly, the most recently regarding the sea attack which destroyed the Yakhont missiles and the reason for the supply is not friendship but firstly control over Israeli policy and secondly to keep the US military-industrial complex going.

  2. Gil Solomon says:


    Another well written piece highlighting the issues, but in all our articles, we all appear to be preaching to the converted.

    How will anything constructive ever be done when the Israeli Govt. stays shtum on this and virtually every other issue brought by hostile governments and organisations?
    Where is the leadership?

    These edicts from the EU and others will go on forever until Israel gets up off its knees and starts acting like a sovereign power.
    It saddens me to say that I feel the Jewish nation is so bereft of leadership, with Ministers bad mouthing each other at every opportunity, with no cohesive policy in place to counter anything, that Israel looks more and more pathetic with each passing day.

    Maybe the country is in need of a benevolent dictatorship (if such a thing were to exist) in order to say what needs to be said forcefully and with one voice. Simply put, the current shambolic state of affairs can’t go on unless the country is hell bent on committing suicide.

    In relation to the furore over settlements, below is a direct quote from comments recently made by Melanie Phillips.
    “This is an act of malevolence. But the fault in large measure surely lies with Israel. For although some may find this incomprehensible, Israel does not make to the world the one case that matters – why Israelis are fully entitled UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW to build homes in these territories; and exactly how Britain, the EU and the UN have grossly mis-stated and misapplied that international law.
    Instead, Israel merely protests that the EU move will inhibit a peace settlement. Which it undoubtedly will. But it will do so principally by upending law, truth and justice – a case Israel never makes in public, thus allowing the irrational hatred of Israel in the west, fed by racist lies and propaganda, to spread its poison unchecked”.

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