Condemning the Islamist Attack on Democratic Values

Former President Jimmy Carter is not renowned as being one of Israel’s best and dearest friends. Indeed, he has been a severe critic of Israel and a supporter of boycotts of Israel. But, though he has not yet made any public statement on the issue, he may have inadvertently given the definite rejoinder to the prejudiced boycotters of the State of Israel and its medical institutions and facilities.

Carter has for some time been suffering from melanoma, and four cancerous lesions on his brain. On December 6, 2015, Carter announced that his cancer has now been beaten by his use of Keytruda, a drug that was researched and tested in Israel.

The person mainly responsible for research on Keytruda, one of the new “immunotherapy” drugs, was Jacob Schachter, at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel. The new drug is an advance on chemotherapy that destroys cancerous cells but also destroys healthy cells. The Sheba Medical Center is presumably one of the academic institutions that the American Anthropological Association on November 20, 2015 decided to boycott. Apparently, no American anthropologist must be contaminated with Keytruda.

Perhaps Carter’s announcement may have pained the more reasonable of the bigoted boycotters of Israel. That pain was probably increased by another announcement in the same week that four Israeli companies were among the top ten winners in the 2015 Medical Apps competition in Dusseldorf, Germany. One Israeli company, ITT App, took first place.

What a contrast between this evidence of Israeli contributions to science and humanity with the published statements in December 2015 of the Palestinian Authority. Among the various Palestinian contributions to science and humanity were  support for the terrorist knife-wielding individuals in Jerusalem and other places in Israel, the call to remember “the souls of the heroic martyrs” who had stabbed innocent Jews, and continuing “lawfare” against Israel in the international arena. Absent from these statements were any word of peace, let alone any condemnation of the continuing acts of terrorism.
This Palestinian hatred was made even more evident by utterances from a teacher at a school run by the UN Relief and Works Agency  (UNRWA). This organization claims it condemns any form of racism or anti-Semitism, but UNRWA teachers have been responsible for a number of anti-Semitic posts on social media. One peace-loving teacher at the UNRWA Beit Hanoun school in Gaza informed his students that “the Zionists and the Jews are sons of monkeys and pigs.”
We know that the United Nations organizations are all busy saving humanity, but perhaps a little attention to the hatred spewing from UNRWA and the many Palestinians working for it might be in order. In addition, the U.S. Department of State might consider the value of the considerable U.S. financial contributions to UNRWA, as well the longevity of this supposedly temporary organization.

The democratic world is suffering from overdose of political correctness, the fear of being labeled racist if appropriate criticism of Islamic terrorism or Palestinian hatred of Israel is made. That political correctness has allowed at worst, the terrorist predators to act, or at best no serious condemnation of the Islamist attack on democratic values.

Again, the contrast is stark between the leftist refusal to condemn terrorism and the reasoned approach of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. One need take only one example of that leftist refusal, the case of a British newspaper man named Seumas Milne, who is a political advisor of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour party.
Two days after 9/11 in the U.S., Milne, with the leftist propensity to blame the victim, wrote that “most Americans simply do not get why the United States is hated with such bitterness, not only in the Arab and Muslim countries, but across the developing world.” Later, after the 7/7 bombings in London, Milne wrote that it was wrong to suggest that al-Qaeda and its followers were motivated by “a hatred of western freedoms and way of life…or that their Islamist ideology aims at global domination.”  Since 9/11 and 7/7 did not evidently indicate hatred of the U.S. or UK, the explanation for Milne was that the terrorism was aimed at put an “end to support for Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and other despotic regimes in the region.”

On December 7, 2015 Donald Trump made his controversial declaration he would ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. He had been planning to visit Israel on December 28, 2015 but understood he was not welcome after the comments of Netanyahu. The prime minister said that Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens. At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that triggers Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike, and threatens the whole world.  

The reasoned argument of Netanyahu should be a guide in dealing with the present Western response to Islamist terrorism, by ISIS, al Qaeda, and other groups, and to their hatred of Western values. Wherefore is war against Islamist terrorism different from all other wars? It is endless, and victory is not self-evident. But it means two things: coalitions between states, even when not ideologically compatible; and that citizens of democratic communities must accept limitations on their freedom, even the temporary imposition of states of emergency.

Coalitions are difficult to build. France found this out in the summer of 2012 when it tried to build an African coalition but failed. President Francois Hollande was forced to act unilaterally in January 2013 to halt terrorist advance on Bamako, capital of Mali. The same is true regarding ISIS, and again France is taking the lead in trying to build that coalition.

Further justifications for actions against ISIS, the main hater of the west, are not needed. They are already justified by international agreements. 

Restrictions on hate speech and action against the perpetrators are not simply elimination of differences of opinion, but are implementing international agreements.

Prominent among the restrictions are the international agreements of 1965 and 1966. The UN General Assembly Resolution adopted on December 19, 1966, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, outlined the restriction in Article 20. It said, “Any advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred that constitutes incitement o discrimination, hostility or violence, shall be prohibited by law.” The previous article, 19, permits restrictions regarding respect of the rights or reputation of others, or protection of national security, or public order, or morals.
A year earlier, on December 21, 1965 the UNGA adopted Resolution 2106 the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. Article 4 states that the signatories condemn all propaganda and all organizations which are based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one color or ethnic origin which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form. The response seems strong. Organizations and all other propaganda activities which promote and incite racial discrimination shall be an offence punishable by law.
Everyone agrees on the need to keep the civil peace, to have respect for human rights and non-discrimination. To this end, hate must be restricted because it is not only immoral but also dangerous, leading to violence. The U.S. must strengthen its policy both to end the expression of Islamist hatred, and to bring Palestinian authorities to the peaceful negotiating table.

First published in the American Thinker.


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