Appearing in Ramallah on the Palestinian Authority’s Shaheed (martyr) Day, Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi proclaimed that “nobody is more admirable than the shaheed… the ultimate source of pride… the symbol of the homeland… who blazes the trail for us and paves the path to liberty with his blood.”
To preempt Israeli backlash, Tibi feigned innocence. The word shaheed, he averred, means a person “killed by the occupation.”
Yet in everyday Arabic, suicide-bombers and perpetrators of any bloodcurdling atrocity in Allah’s name are popularly dubbed shaheeds. The Palestinian Authority’s media, schools and mosques – all under professed moderate Mahmoud Abbas’s control – glorify shaheeds as models of emulation for all, from pint-sized preschoolers onward.
No Arab harbors doubt about what shaheed means. Thus Tibi winks to his Arab listeners, who understand him perfectly, while he disingenuously pretends otherwise to us.
Tibi isn’t alone. Jerusalem-based Muhammad Hussein, the PA’s mufti (appointed by no other than the aforementioned Abbas, a.k.a Abu Mazen), declared at Abbas’s own Fatah faction’s 47th anniversary rally in Jerusalem that religious salvation is impossible without first eliminating the Jews. His diatribe, citing the Hadith (sayings attributed to Islam’s progenitor Muhammad), was aired January 9 on PATV (controlled by Abbas).
“The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews,” Hussein railed. “The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: ‘O Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” But Hussein, who frequently refers to Jews as “Allah’s foes” and as “descendants of monkeys and pigs,” subsequently feigned innocence, insisting he was just quoting holy texts, which alas, “cannot be changed as they’re sacrosanct, noble and oblige every Muslim.”
The logical conclusion is that killing Jews is a hallowed religious commandment. As inveterate democrats, therefore, we cannot interfere with Hussein’s freedom of worship and assorted democratic rights.
Ditto for a whole host of Arab MKs, who enjoy all the Jewish state’s parliamentary perks, especially the freedom to thumb their noses at us in ways that wouldn’t be tolerated anywhere – certainly not in post-“Arab-Spring” Muslim strongholds, nor even in any Western democracy, never mind one embattled and struggling for survival.
Foremost among these MKs is Haneen Zoabi. She hobnobbed with Hamas leaders, praised them to the hilt, participated in the Mavi Marmara provocation of 2010, partied with terrorists released in the Schalit swap and authored an inflammatory forward to vehement Israel-basher Ben White’s latest book, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy.
Her previous pearls of wisdom include: “a Jewish state leads to the end of democracy”; “the largest threat to Zionism is democracy” and “to demand full civic and national equality is actually to demand the end of Zionism. So we don’t hate Zionism. Zionism hates democracy.”
Zoabi feigns innocence as a promoter of democracy. Her bottom line is that the disappearance of Israel as a Jewish state is democracy’s praiseworthy progressive objective. To oppose said objective is undemocratic.
Thus democracy is successfully assaulted by using the democratic idiom against it. Democrats fear raising a ruckus lest they be admonished for not being as self-destructively democratic as cynical anti-democrats oblige them to be. Willy-nilly, democrats turn into timid accomplices in their own destruction.
In 1946 George Orwell wrote an essay, “Politics and the English Language,” in which he highlighted the abuse of political terminology.
“The word Fascism has now no meaning,” he noted, “except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’ The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another… Statements like Marshal Pétain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive.”
Zoabi, Tibi, Hussein and other fellow upholders of their democratic rights to bay for our blood, indeed all make ostensibly innocuous noises “with intent to deceive.”
More than it attests to our devotion to democracy, the fact that we keep tolerating Tibi and crew for so long attests to angst about being judged by our enemies as not suicidally democratic enough. Needless to stress, this aberration undermines Israel’s survival prospects – physical as well as democratic.
The incitement we stomach drives a dynamic. It radicalizes the Arab street within Israel proper. Radical anti-Zionism begets more radical anti-Zionism. Radical candidates radicalize their electorate, which in turn makes radical rhetoric an indispensable vote-getter in the Arab sector. This vicious cycle hinges on our broadmindedness.
While we effuse self-congratulation for exceptionally enlightened liberalism, a momentum that exploits our liberality agitates for our extinction. Our forbearance confers legitimacy upon it.
The mufti who merely quoted his prophet’s exhortation to slay us won’t be indicted. He won’t be pilloried as was once-obscure rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, whose esoteric booklet on rules of warfare, Torat Hamelech, catapulted him to notoriety. Only Jews are censured.
Consistently, we play along with our worst enemies by abetting their slander merely to look liberal. This makes Jew-revulsion the badge of open-mindedness, justly deserving of protection under the right of free expression.
Conversely, Jewish resentment of anti-Jewish hate becomes uncool fascist muzzling of honorable opponents of fascism. The very term anti-Semitic is no longer politically correct because no one is quicker than anti-Semites to deny anti-Semitic motives.
Today’s anti-Semites are remarkably practiced in accompanying their invective with instant disclaimers – by now an expected part of the pattern. They bristle with righteous indignation at the very suggestion that hating us might imply anti-Semitism.
Heaven forfend we foolhardily stray into that semantic minefield. Equally rash is to dare bring up the Holocaust. That invariably occasions Judeophobic jeers, which discomfit us.
Also to be avoided is reference to any of the ghastly massacres perpetrated by Arabs against Jews throughout the 20th century. Numerous horrific episodes occurred before there even was Jewish sovereignty to fulminate against, to say nothing of the “occupation” that resulted from the 1967 war.
The Arabs instigated that war in order, as they said (back then without sly verbal artifice), to eradicate us, throw us into the sea, pulverize us to dust, incinerate us to ashes, reduce us to skeletal remains that would litter the Judenrein streets of Tel Aviv. Genocidal sentiments inspired ghoulish political cartoons rampant in Arab journals on the Six Day War’s eve. That, however, was when our would-be annihilators fully expected victory, before they were thwarted and thereupon pronounced themselves pitiable hapless victims without an unkind thought among them.
But such reminiscences are so yesterday, uncool and politically incorrect. The prevailing bon ton behooves us to erase from our minds any memory of Arabs plotting genocide in 1967. It’s patently indecorous in polite society to mention that the Arabs – far from being victims – were the aggressors, that they still are, that they feign innocence, that they pose as democracy’s champions with intent to deceive.