Editorial: Antisemitism has to be called out wherever and whenever it shows up
The anti-Semitism at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is as old as the conflict itself.
There’s an argument that the anti-Israelism found in the Palestinian-Arab world is a new phenomenon. This isn’t the case. In fact, it’s a variation on a much older theme. For several decades it was the standard Arab view.
The view was put forth by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the mid-1970s, who described Israel as a “pariah state” and warned that Israel’s existence would bring about the “complete destruction of the Jewish people.”
In the years following the outbreak of the 1967 war between Israel and the Arab nations, that same view was held by Egyptian leaders, who said the creation of Israel was a “crime against humanity.”
Arafat, who was also the leader of the PLO, was assassinated by Israeli security forces in 1995. His legacy was the building of a Palestinian state that was a failure. To this day the Palestinians are not, and will never be, a viable state capable of offering full equality and social justice to its Arab citizens.
Israeli and Israeli-American leaders have, on the whole, been far more moderate in their views. And yet, many of them, including former President Bill Clinton, have warned more recently against the rise of a Palestinian nationalist state and the threat posed by those views to Jewish identity and the viability of the Jewish state.
At the same time, the Palestinian-Arab world—one-sidedly anti-Jewish and anti-Israel—has taken on a life of its own. Palestinian-Arab leaders are, as they must be, deeply suspicious of the Jewish state; they are determined, in their own view, to establish an independent state of their own, a state that will be one-sidedly and unacceptably hostile to its citizens. These attitudes have come to be so widely accepted that no Arab country, anywhere in the Middle East, does the least bit to oppose a settlement being put on the table in the name of Middle