Sane perspectives needed – Not knee jerk reactions…writes Michael Kuttner

July 9, 2014 by Michael Kuttner
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At this time and especially in the aftermath of the murders of the three Israeli teenagers and the Arab youth in Jerusalem with all the collateral activities taking place such as rocket barrages from Palestinian Authority controlled Gaza, it is appropriate that we take a deep breath, look closely at the facts and then sort out our thoughts and conclusions.


from Michael Kuttner in Efrat as air raid sirens sound and the region is under fire….


Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

Unfortunately too many people, Jewish and non Jewish, have rushed to make hasty conclusions about a situation which is still far from clear and which will evolve over the next few weeks. Hysterical reactions based on half truths and ignored realities are no help whatsoever in arriving at a balanced assessment of the situation now confronting us. The media as usual contribute to this mass knee jerk reaction with some ultra left and well known self loathing columnists stoking the fires, which, in turn brings delight to haters of Israel and Jews.

Let me carefully analyze the latest developments and see if I can make it more understandable. I have said on many occasions that in order to arrive at a knowledgeable understanding one must also know the background behind the events concerned and this is what I will try to do.

The kidnapping of the 3 Israeli teens did not occur in a vacuum. Rather it was a culmination of a long period of hate incitement and failed kidnapping attempts by the Hamas branch of the now unified Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmud Abbas, whom Shimon Peres has described as our best chance peace partner. The rest of the world, the media and even some of our own deniers conveniently ignored this most important piece of reality. Following the kidnapping and then subsequent murders commentators and journalists glossed over the fact that kidnappings and murders are part and parcel of the campaign being waged on a daily basis against Israeli civilians. You need to remember this in order to appreciate how people who face this threat on a continual basis then subsequently react.

The reaction of the boys’ families and Israeli society in general to this murderous terrorism is instructive because it offers an insight generally lacking in media reports as to the higher moral standards displayed by Jews, especially when compared to the barbaric behavior of those with whom we are urged to embrace as peace partners. Instead of calling for revenge, mayhem and destruction, the parents and vast majority of Israeli Jews prayed, comforted and urged restraint in the face of uninmanageable provocations. Of course there were those who shouted and demonstrated against Arabs, but they are a minority and anyway in a democracy they have a right to protest as long as it is lawful and not advocating violence. Faced with years of hateful incitement against Jews it is remarkable that not more than a small minority vent their frustration with graffiti and other methods. The vast majority are also totally frustrated but are prepared to let the authorities take action if even belatedly.

The funerals of the 3 boys were dignified and restrained and the vast crowds respectful and orderly. Bear this in mind because what followed demonstrates a direct contrast and an example of the huge gulf which separates us from those who wish to eliminate us. In contrast to the appeals by the murdered boys’ mothers for tolerance, the mother of one of the Arab murderer/kidnappers stated very proudly on Israeli TV:

“If my son truly did it, I will be proud of him until my final day. I raised my children on the knees of the religion and their goal is to bring the victory of Islam.” Need one say more?

Now let’s look at the murder of the Arab youth a few days later. Swiftly and without hesitation Israeli authorities, religious and lay, condemned this crime and vowed to bring to justice those responsible. As at this time there have been arrests of some Jewish youths and they are being questioned by the police. In due course if the evidence is clear, they will be brought before a judge and the legal process will take over. The fact is that Israelis have expressed shame and opposition to such lawless acts of vengeance. This stands in direct contrast to the joyful celebrations which took place throughout Palestinian Arab communities after the murder of the 3 Israeli teens and an outpouring of hateful remarks in the Palestinian Arab media. The father of the murdered Arab youth stated that it might even have been Jews who kidnapped and murdered the Jewish teens.

What followed is instructive. Riots, mayhem, vandalism and wanton destruction organized by Arab mobs in various parts of the country. Fueled by hate filled inflammatory statements issued by religious and political leaders these followers of an Islam which glorifies death and hatred of infidels, took to the streets and destroyed. Logic, tolerance and dialogue never even entered their warped minds. The media lapped it all up because it conformed to their own biased perceptions.

The contrast between our two societies can not be more starkly delineated.

The murderers of our teens are still at large no doubt being sheltered by those who see them as heroes and potential martyrs. The murderers of the Arab youth have been apprehended and are being dealt with in accordance with the rule of law.

Now to the Arab youth allegedly beaten and which was caught on camera. As usual no context was provided by the media as it went viral and naturally people jumped to various conclusions as a result. At face value it appeared that for no apparent reason Israeli police or IDF beat up this teen. Naturally this version gained the most headlines and subsequent facts became irrelevant as far as the media is concerned. According to Israeli authorities the youth concerned had been involved in violent confrontations. The video is unclear and possibly had been “doctored”. In any case the matter is being investigated and a full disclosure will be made in due course. You can be sure that if someone is found to have broken the code of conduct they will be dealt with. The bottom line is that anyone found guilty will be punished. Contrast this with the ongoing campaign of hate in PA media and ruling circles against Jews combined with mob violence.

Israel faces massive barrages of rockets from Gaza aimed at its civilian population. Statements from Gaza make it clear that the aim is to not only terrorize but also to murder. Abbas, the head of the Hamas/Fatah Government, condemns Israel for responding to endless attacks and demands UN action to stop us defending our citizens. Do you by any remote chance see something askew here?

Taking all the facts I have mentioned into account it is nothing short of mind boggling that there are still people out there who are confused.

There are individuals who are ashamed to be Jews and Zionists and support Israel. There are others who fear we have lost the moral high ground while yet others are weighed down by a false sense of guilt. Some still cannot understand the difference between reality and fantasy. The leader of the Opposition supports taking action against the rocket fire but still hallucinates that he could go to Ramallah and make peace with Abbas and his gang. Our retiring President likewise believes that peace can be achieved with those who delegitimize Israel and Jews on a daily basis. Clueless political leaders whose past efforts have been spectacular failures continue to hand out advice of the most inane variety. Naturally the media love individuals and groups which condemn Israel no matter how illogical there condemnations may be.

The rest of us with our feet on the ground and knowing that reality is what counts must continue to assert loud and clear the difference between the Jewish love of life & justice compared to the Islamic cult of death and glorification of hate and vengeance.

We have nothing to be ashamed of and everything to be proud of and so long as we keep our moral compass steady we will ultimately triumph

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 is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.



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