Professor Paul Eidelberg
July 8, 2009
What do the two personages in the title of this article have in common?
In the early 1970s Yasser Arafat and his PLO thugs established in Lebanon a "state within a state." Beirut, serving as a PLO headquarters, became a center for global terrorism. By augmenting the Muslim forces against the Christians, the PLO polarized the country. The government, unstable to begin with, collapsed in 1975, and the long night of civil war descended on Lebanon. Not only did Muslims and Christians begin butchering each other, fratricidal war broke out between Sunnis and Shiites as well as with the Druze community. Arafat’s PLO — kinfolk of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria—was very much in the conflict, as was Syria, whose army entered Lebanon in 1976.
Some details of the war were reported in the London Observer by British journalist Patrick Sills. But to fully appreciate the world's reaction to this fratricidal war, I shall include a running commentary on Sill's report by one of Israel's leading writers, the late Eliyahu Amiqam. Sill writes:
In the corners of the streets of Beirut, small children exhibit bottles which contain human ears dunked in acid, like pickles or artichokes in vinegar. Bodies are lying in the streets immersed in their coagulated blood, some lacking their procreative organs, which were cut off and put in acid for exhibition by children...
This report, says Amiqam remarks, was printed not in June 1982, during Israel's Operation Peace for Galilee, but on January 25, 1976, during the Civil War in Lebanon. We read further, in Sill’s report:
The number of those killed and wounded, and worse than anything, the kidnapped whose fate was usually horrible and awesome, reached about 40,000, with both sides [Muslim and Christian Arabs] competing between themselves for the most ferocious actions. Complete villages were pillaged, set on fire, and all their populations eliminated. The Palestinian terrorists were the most extreme and cruelly vicious of all...
Now Amiqam asks:
What did the world say at that time to this frightening situation? Nothing. What did Pope Paul VI say when nuns were raped in front of their parents and brothers and afterwards had their elbows cut? His holiness did not say anything. He was busy at the time protesting against the construction that was going on in Jerusalem ... What did the world do at that time to stop the carnage and the horror in Lebanon? Nothing.
But six years later [during Israel's Operation Peace for Galilee], the world saw various attempts [by the United States and Western Europe] to allow the [PLO] terrorists to remain in their positions where they had succeeded in destroying Lebanon, slaughtering tens of thousands of its population, while establishing a central base for exporting murder on a worldwide scale [all this with the arms of the Soviet Union, the money of Saudi Arabia, the military cooperation of Syria, and the diplomatic patronage of Egypt].
Amiqam goes on to say:
Until then everything was just fine in Lebanon. The disaster started only after the Jewish army entered Lebanon and began its 'genocide' and its 'final solution' to the Palestinian problem. Now [all of a sudden] the world showed on TV screens the pictures of war, the killing and destruction, the mothers fleeing with their children in their arms.
The "world" in this context is the one influenced by the grotesquely distorted and distorting media of the United States and Western Europe, which denigrated Israel and portrayed the Jew as the villain, more monstrous and ugly than any other.
The media’s vilification of Israel continued. Arafat’s Terror War offered the media another opportunity to vent their spleen against the Jewish state. No one should be surprised by their intellectual dishonesty—nay, their criminality. I say criminality because the Israel-bashing media, so innocently and so self-righteously, incite Arabs to kill Jews.
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May this not also be said of Israel’s benighted Left? After all, the Left, which had resurrected the dying PLO in Tunis, bestowed on Israel Oslo’s covenant of death. Oslo, moreover, is the source of the “two-state solution”—the “final solution”—to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. True, this leftist solution has been embraced by Israel’s “rightwing” Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Which prompts me to ask, once again: What does Netanyahu and Pope Paul VI have in common?
© 2009 Paul Eidelberg - All Rights Reserved
Internationally known political scientist, author and lecturer, Eidelberg is the founder and president of The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy with offices in Jerusalem.
Prof. Eidelberg served in the United States Air Force where he held the rank of first lieutenant. He received his doctoral degree at the University of Chicago. He designed the electronic equipment for the first brain scanner at the Argonne Cancer Research Hospital.
Before immigrating to Israel in 1976, Prof. Eidelberg wrote a trilogy on America’s founding fathers: The Philosophy of the American Constitution, On the Silence of the Declaration of Independence, and a Discourse on Statesmanship.
In 1976 he joined the faculty of Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He has written several books on the Arab-Israel conflict and on Judaism. Demophrenia: Israel and the Malaise of Democracy analyses the mentality of Israel’s ruling elites. Jewish Statesmanship: Lest Israel Fall, which has been translated into Hebrew and Russian, reveals the flaws inherent in Israel’s system of governance and how they may be remedied. A Jewish Philosophy of History investigates the world-historical events leading to the rebirth of Israel in 1948.
His latest publication, The Myth of Israeli Democracy, provides an abbreviated version of a Constitution which shows how to make Israel a genuine democracy based on a Jewish conception of freedom and equality.
is on the Advisory Council of the Ariel Center for Policy Research,
which has published many of his policy papers. In addition to writing
more than 1,000 articles for newspapers and scholarly journals in the
U.S. and Israel, he has a weekly program on Israel
Prof. Eidelberg has been lecturing throughout Israel and the United States. He conducts seminars on constitutions, diverse parliamentary electoral systems, Jewish law, and related topics at the Jerusalem center of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy.
Web site: Foundation for Constitutional Democracy