The “scoop” came on July 20, amid a spurt of optimistic reports about progress towards normalisation between Saudi Arabia and Israel. This September, for the first time ever, representatives of the government in Jerusalem are to be officially and publicly permitted to enter the kingdom for the upcoming UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting.
Hopeful smiles briefly creased Israeli faces. They evaporated when it emerged that UNESCO is expected, at the Riyadh meeting, to list ancient Jericho as a Palestinian World Heritage site – i.e., as being in the “state of Palestine”.
No! wailed the editors of The Jerusalem Post in their August 2 editorial, “Don’t Let the Palestinians Erase the Jewish History of Israel”.
If their cry wasn’t so pitiful it would be laughable. What are they thinking? What on earth do they expect?
For decades now, ever since its centre-right executive editor, David Bar-Illan, ended his tenure on what in the 1990s was a broadsheet paper, the Post has been tacking to port. Steered by self-haters* like Jeff Barak, Bret Stephens, David Horovitz (editor today of the extreme left-wing Times of Israel), and Yaakov Katz, its editorial policy has grown increasingly anti-Zionist.
This is evidenced in many ways, not least by its insistence on using the anti-Judean term “West Bank” when writing about the heartland of Israel, and as it has promoted the surrender of ancient Jewish population centres like Jericho, Bethlehem and Hebron to the murderous Arabs who, for tactical purposes in their war of destruction against Israel, call themselves “Palestinians” – an appellation the site parrots too.
The Post, which once boasted that it was the most widely-read English-language news source on Israel, also uses the epithet “settler” as a matter of course to disparage and delegitimise Jews who live in the very heartland that these editors are now insisting be preserved as part of their nation’s heritage.
Jews can’t keep denying that this land is theirs, then cry when others take it from them. It’s a kind of perversion of the story of Solomon and the two mothers.
In their false claim to the land of Israel, the Arabs insist that the entire land is theirs and will not agree to even the tiniest dismemberment of it – for any of it to go to the Jews. The Jews, who have the rightful claim to the land are prepared to talk about dismembering it, and even use the enemy’s terminology – strengthening the Arab case.
We will see what happens in Riyadh next month, but the UNESCO writing was on the wall, and should surely have been read, in Paris back in June. There, Israel was publicly humiliated by having its ambassador to UNESCO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Haim Asraf, turned away without explanation from the door of a function to which he had been invited.
What we might well see is that the Israelis, if they do attend, (and the pressure on them to do so will be considerable, as there is so much positive spin on the possibility of a historic peace agreement being reached with the Saudis), will find themselves in a kangaroo court, with the whole world looking on (courtesy of the media), and where Israel’s rightful claim to Jericho and other historic Jewish sites will be denied them, while the charge of “illegal occupation” will be increased.
In so many ways, even as Israel explodes with growth and progress 75 years into her physically resurrected state, she becomes increasingly isolated. And even as the proof of their historic national claim to the land mounts; the Jews appear to be losing the battle for international support and goodwill.
One wonders whether, in the end, even one country will be left standing in support of Israel’s land rights. Actually, I cannot think of one that does so today.
Certainly, Jews who insist on standing on the ‘woke’ side of the political playing field and – knowingly or not – feed “the longest hatred”, are doing nothing to slow the escalating international antipathy towards this nation.
*I use the term “self-hater” with regard to Jews who routinely rationalise, make excuses for and/or support antisemites and Israel-haters…
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