There is a lot of buzz around about the new Richard Gere film, “Norman”, in which the Gentile actor is privileged to play the part of a Jew. Gere – however – has distinctly disqualified himself from any attachment to this unique race, and has joined its enemies (including, it has to be acknowledged, many self-hating Jews) in propagating lies about Israel. (His movie should be boycotted by all friends of the Jewish people. Let us not give him one red cent.)
Thus does a Facebook user, after seeing an article in which Gere attacks Israel, chastise her friends for being in support of the Jewish people and their homeland:
“This [article] is a must see,” she says. “For three years I have been an activist for Palestinian rights. For anyone still delusional about Apartheid not being in Israel please watch and pull your head out of your bible.” She makes this last comment pointedly to three of her friends (I am not one of them), exhorting them with the words – “we need to save Palestine and help Palestinians.”
Although I am not acquainted with this lady, and she has not posted this for me to see, I am nonetheless going to respond because this kind of garbage is being put out all over the place. So:
First of all – I am quite happy to get my head out of the Bible when it comes to non Bible-believers. Obviously we cannot expect those who reject the Bible as God’s Word to be interested in what it has to say about the Jews and the land God gave exclusively and forever to them. If this person claims to be a Christian, however, then she should be warned that she is taking a stand in direct opposition to what the Lord has called HIS purposes for the people and the land of Israel. In that case, she is gravely in danger of declaring war on God.
Making a non-Biblical case against Gere’s bleeding heart leftism and against the delusional championing of “Palestine” and “the Palestinians” is easy to do. International law is international law – the real international law, the law on the statute books as promulgated by the League of Nations and upheld in the Founding Charter of the United Nations – as opposed to General Assembly and even Security Council resolutions (which are not law) that choose to ignore such law in the hope that by sheer weight of numbers they will render it null and void.
I wonder what “rights” she is an activist for? The “right” of Arabs to create a homeland where they have never had one before, at the expense of the Jews – the Jews who are the aboriginal people of this land, whose national roots here go back thousands of years? The “Palestinians” have no such rights. The “rights” of Arabs to stone, stab, ram, shoot and bomb Jews? Would she be an activist for ISIS?
Apartheid is a sexy, provocative label that is applied to Israel by people who are ignorant of what apartheid was.
In my homeland of South Africa I was an anti-Apartheid activist who ultimately became a journalist in order to expose the evil of that system and try make a microscopic contribution to helping bring about its downfall.
Apartheid was legislated racism that segregated, deprived, exploited and abused the majority of South African citizens (who were black) and benefitted the minority of their fellow South Africans (who were white). Apartheid is not something that was practiced against non-South Africans – it was South Africans abusing South Africans. It was legalized racism.
There is no apartheid in Israel. Israeli citizens – Jew, Arab, Beduin, Druze, Circassian, black, white, mixed race, women, people practising homosexual and lesbian lifestyles – ALL are equal under the law and ALL enjoy equal rights and equal opportunities.
There is no legislated racism in Israel. There is no apartheid here.
This woman is concerned about the purported abuse of non-Israelis. That is something different. Even if it were true, it would not be apartheid. It would be Israelis abusing people who are not Israeli citizens and have no rights to the privileges enjoyed by Israeli citizens.
But it is not true. For more than a quarter of a century living here in Israel I have heard the repeated leveling – ad nauseam – of accusations that Israel abuses “Palestinians.” Israel does nothing of the kind. No nation on earth is so magnanimous, so willing to bend over backwards to accommodate the grievances of a sworn enemy that constantly and viciously seeks its destruction. This, frustratingly to me, is how Israel relates to the “Palestinians” – citing the commandment to do good to the stranger that lives among them, whereas that commandment in fact stipulates such treatment only for those strangers willing to live under Jewish sovereignty and in accordance with Israel’s laws.
In Hebron – the Arabs and Jews are kept separate because JEWISH lives depend upon it. Jews don’t threaten Arab lives. Except for one or two deranged individuals (whose actions were immediately and unequivocally condemned and denounced by Jews throughout Israel and around the world), there is no Jewish terrorism against the Arabs. Let your friend contrast this truth with the decades of unending Arab terrorism against Jews, and the celebration and lionizing of these murderers of Jewish civilian men, women and children – whole families! – in Arab society and by Arab leaders. Drive through the “West Bank” and you will see red billboards everywhere warning Jews they risk death if they go into Arab population centers – Arab centers where streets and town squares are named after suicide bombers and other murderers of Jews. By comparison, Arabs move freely and unthreatened through Jewish neighborhoods in Israel.
In the most brutally honest language -this woman needs to be told that there simply is no Palestine to save. Palestine is a chimera – a nonsense – a non-entity. No such state has ever existed in history. And there are no Palestinians to save. No such nation has ever existed in history. Therefore, no such people has ever been disenfranchised nor had their country stolen from them.
To quote British journalist Melanie Phillips: “Under international law Jews are entitled to settle anywhere in the West Bank [sic]. There is no such thing as Palestinian land and never was. The West Bank [sic] and Gaza never belonged to any sovereign ruler after the British withdrew from Mandatory Palestine; before that it was part of the Ottoman empire…”
Oh, there are Arabs to save – millions of them who have been abused and exploited by their own people and by their own leaders (leaders who live like kings in Gaza, siphoning off international assistance for their benefit and pleasure, while their own people squat in squalor). The Arabs who live in Judea and Samaria, the Arabs who live in Gaza, and the Arabs who live in camps in the Lebanon and Jordan – all those descended from the Arabs who fled from Palestine (which wasn’t their country; they were not citizens – they, and the Jews of Palestine, were subjects in the Ottoman Empire, as Phillips says above, up until the end of World War 1 and thereafter under the British Mandate and thereafter under Jordanian occupation which the international community ruled as illegal.): Most of these Arabs need saving, they need a place to stay, a home – every human being is entitled to that.
They are NOT entitled to a homeland at the expense of the Jews. Israel is not to blame for their dilemma – it was not Israel that created their tragedy, and it is not Israel that has perpetuated it. The Arab states – from the start THE rejectionists opposing a Jewish homeland and THE belligerents in the Arab-Israeli conflict – are to blame, and they should be forced to provide the solution. They have 23 states, masses of land, billions of dollars in oil wealth, and are of the same people as the Arabs today known as the “Palestinians.” It is only cowardice enhanced by anti-Semitism that keeps the world from insisting that the Arabs themselves solve the “Palestinian” problem which THEY created.
Meanwhile, around 98 percent of the Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria live their lives in autonomous areas that are not under the control of Israel but under their own “elected” leadership (the fact that free and fair elections are not enjoyed by them; and that the terror-wielding groups known as the PLO and Hamas dominate – is more to blame on the UN, EU and individuals like Jimmy Carter) and their own Arab security forces – many of them accomplished terrorists in their own right.
Has this person ever considered, I wonder, that the “Palestine” she activates for, should such a state come into being, would be a place where women’s rights would be non-existent and where homosexuals would face the death penalty, as would those who dare to sell land to Jews?
Is this really something she supports? If she does, it makes a hypocrite of her. Then she is not for the freedom and the human rights of the Palestinian Arabs. She is simply against the Jews. This is true of most of the world’s politicians who constantly harp at Israel. There is a double-barelled description for such a position. It begins with the letters A-hyphen-S.
Many strong arguments can be made against supporting “the Palestinians.” At the end of the day, however, it is downright immoral and unjust to demand that the indigenous people of this land surrender the cradle of their nationhood to those who have no national history here.
As for Richard Gere – like most the Hollywood gang, he’s a leftist, a liberal. One wonders what it is in people that they permit themselves to be influenced by ACTORS who are demonstrably unqualified to make definitive statements about foreign issues? Let Gere study international law and run for the position of Secretary of State before he chimes up about Arab rights and Israeli infringements. He knows nothing – is simply a useless idiot for “Palestinian” propagandists.
I have learned to expect nothing but venomous backlashes when challenging people who support the Palestinians. They are not open to having their opinions gainsaid — and that is what they are – opinions. They are not based on facts.
This article originally appeared on Jerusalem Watchman, March 27, 2017, and reposted with permission.