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February 21, 2013 - Image 36

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-02-21

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points of view

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Israelis Losing Faith 11
International Guarantees

Washington, D.C.

Though most still favor a
two-state solution, most
Israelis aren't going to
sacrifice their security
for the chimera of an
international promise.


sked to comment on remarks by
Israel's then-foreign minister, who
compared European countries'
proclaimed commitment to Israel's security
to their commitments to Czechoslovakia
in the 1930s, Czech Ambassador to Israel
Tomas Pojar correctly told the Jerusalem
Post that the parallel is inexact.
Nevertheless, he warned, there's one impor-
tant similarity: "There are parallels about how
much guarantees you can get from outside
and how much you should rely on them."
Judging by a new poll conducted by the
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in late
Hezbollah from rearming. Instead, this force
November, it seems Israelis have internal-
proved so ineffective that two years later,
ized this warning.
Hezbollah possessed three times as many
When asked how the country could best
rockets as it did before the war.
ensure its security, 61 percent of
Similarly, after Israel quit
Jewish Israelis (and 52 percent of
Gaza in 2005, it was assured
all Israelis) said defensible borders
that should it henceforth be
were preferable to a peace treaty
attacked from there, the world
— a document enshrining com-
would support Israel's right
mitments by another country or
to defend itself. Over the next
countries. Just 26 percent preferred
three years, Palestinians fired
a peace treaty. This constitutes a
almost 6,000 rockets and mor-
noticeable shift from 2005, when
tars at Israel.
only 49 percent preferred defensible
Yet, when Israel finally
responded militarily in
Moreover, Jewish Israelis don't
December 2008, it suffered
Evely n Gordon
believe the world's preferred for-
unprecedented worldwide
mula for an Israeli-Palestinian
condemnation, culminating in
deal —the 1967 lines with "minor
the Goldstone Report's slan-
adjustments" — provides such borders:
derous accusations of war crimes (which
Fully 72 percent said Israel shouldn't agree
even its author has since recanted). Only
to that even if Palestinians declared an end
eight European countries voted against that
to the conflict in exchange; in particular, 73
report in the United Nations.
percent opposed ceding the Jordan Valley.
That follows logically from the fact that they Crowning Blow
don't believe the risks of doing so could be
Then, if Israelis still had any doubts,
mitigated by stationing international forces
came November's U.N. vote on recogniz-
ing "Palestine" as a nonmember observer
there as various peace plans have proposed.
state. This violated the central commitment
Only 16 percent said Israel could trust
enshrined in all Israeli-Palestinian agree-
international forces to ensure its security;
ments: that the conflict would be resolved
78 percent said security had to remain in
solely through negotiations.
Israel's hands.
As the 1995 Interim Agreement put it,
Probing Deeper
"Neither side shall initiate or take any step
In part, this emphasis on self-reliance stems that will change the status of the West Bank
from skepticism about Palestinian willing-
and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the
ness to make peace: Fully 83 percent of
permanent status negotiations."
Israeli Jewish respondents thought that even
The United States, the European Union,
withdrawing to the 1967 lines wouldn't end
Russia, Norway, Jordan and Egypt all signed
the conflict. But it also reflects the lessons
this agreement as witnesses — 32 countries
in all (since the E.U. comprises 27). Yet only
Israelis have learned — or re-learned —
about the value of international guarantees.
two, America and the Czech Republic, voted
After the Second Lebanon War in 2006,
against a U.N. resolution that not only recog-
for instance, Israel withdrew its forces from
nized a Palestinian state, but also unilaterally
Lebanon in exchange for a beefed-up inter-
proclaimed its borders. The others refused to
national force that was supposed to prevent
Israelis on page 37


February 21 • 2013


The Real Meaning Of
The Term 'Islamist'


he AP Stylebook, the authority on usage style for most
U.S. newspapers and TV networks, defines "Islamists,"
perhaps the most contentious word today, as Muslims
who view the Koran as a "political model." These Muslims range
from "mainstream politicians" to "militants known as jihadi."
Islamist in this political context is thus distinctive from
Muslim, a religious term referring to followers of Islam.
In the very political world of the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR), the term Islamist is considered the prov-
ince of "Islam-bashers" who hate Islam, but don't want to be
too blatant. Steve Emerson's respected Investigative Project
on Terrorism (IPT) describes Washington-based CAIR as "the
nation's most visible Islamist group." So it's obvious why CAIR
is recoiling over its image and has gone so far as to try to
insert "Islamophobia" in conversational English. IPT asserts
that CAIR believes popular use of that term would provide an
out for attacks on Muslims who have hijacked their religion for
political or even terrorist gain.
Clearly, the politics of Islamists have no
--, \ s 4
place in the religious sphere of Muslims.
Says Emerson in a January online post:
"Plenty of practicing Muslims work bravely
in opposition to Islamist ideology." He cites
Great Britain's Quilliam Foundation – "start-
ed by Muslims who walked away from radi-
cal Islamist thought and now counter the
arguments Islamists offer." The Foundation
contends Muslims must embrace "a more
Steve Emerson
self-critical approach."
Washington-based IPT strives to distinguish between the faith
of Islam as practiced by individual Muslims and its application
as the foundation for political action and law. Certainly, well-
intentioned Muslims must stay vigilant against indoctrinating
mosques. It's hard to fathom why CAIR has branded Muslims
who separate church from state "a mere sock puppet for Islam
haters and an enabler of Islamophobia" – other than CAIR
believes such separation is a threat to its agenda.
CAIR itself may not invoke "Islamist" openly. But as IPT
reveals, its co-founders used the term to describe their orga-
nization's "voice" as far back as 1993. That's when CAIR met
with Hamas supporters in Philadelphia to discuss how to
derail the U.S.-brokered Oslo Accords between the Israelis and
Hamas isn't the only Palestinian terrorist organization to call
itself "Islamist." So has Islamic Jihad.
And according to IPT, "CAIR officials also have supported
the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, even as it rammed through
a constitution that epitomizes Islamist aspirations and makes
religious law the law of the land. The Brotherhood has no prob-
lem calling itself Islamist."
In its twisted logic, CAIR argues it's OK for the Brotherhood
or a Muslim group to call itself Islamist because they under-
stand it to mean something positive and progressive, not some-
thing "almost exclusively pejorative."
In sharp contrast, the IPT take is astute: "CAIR's background
– the FBI cut off contact with the group in 2008 over questions
about 'whether there continues to be a connection between
CAIR or its executives and Hamas' – should be taken into con-
sideration by anyone entertaining CAIR national spokesman
Ibrahim Hooper's request to serve as language cop."

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