Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Saturday, 23 October 2010

A Brave pro-Israel Jewish Voice is Raised on Behalf of Christians Persecuted in Islamic Lands, of Israel’s Treatment of Christians, and of European Civilisation

Florentine-born Italian journalist and parliamentarian Fiamma Nirenstein, Vice-President of Italy’s Foreign Affairs Committee, is one of the public figures who earlier this year joined former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in launching the admirable and long overdue Friends of Israel Initiative. Ms Nirenstein, who is Jewish, takes more than a passing interest in the Middle East and antisemitism. She has participated in several conferences on antisemitism, contributed articles to a number of English-language magazines including Commentary, and written such books as Terror, the new anti-Semitism and the war against the West (2005) and Israel is us - a personal odyssey to a journalist's understanding of the Middle East (2009).

Just this month she organised a mass rally in Rome on the theme “For the truth, for Israel”, during which over sixty pro-Israel speeches were made by renowned individuals from across Europe drawn from a range of fields. This great and noble rally, which attracted some 3000 people, was billed as "the first European, bipartisan event aimed at restoring the truth regarding Israel, putting an end to the barrage of lies that are hurled at Israel every day and to the double standard used by the media and international organizations."

But Ms Nirenstein is not only concerned for the well-being of her co-religionists and of Israel. She has now spoken up on a topic which, shamefully, is apparently regarded as taboo in left-liberal Western circles – the appalling treatment of Christians by some Islamic regimes. “Islam does not like Eastern Christians: it has forced them to flee and now they account for only 6 percent of the population in the Mideast”, she said this week. She pointed out that, in contrast, the Christian population of Israel has increased – at present, Israel is home to 163,000 Christians, and it’s predicted that in fifteen years’ time this number will have risen to 187,000. “In Muslim countries, on the other hand, Christians are on the wane, but the 50 churches present in the Holy Land seem not to notice. They prefer to dump on Israel, where they enjoy full freedom of worship and expression”, she observed, in an obvious reference to Sabeel.

Ms Nirenstein also turned her attention to the Vatican Synod on the Middle East. She characterised a document – which speaks in the name of "us Christian Palestinians" and avers that “the military occupation is a sin against God and against man” - as “written in a tone of theological excommunication towards the State of Israel”. The document excommunicates Christians who support Israel, compares to South African apartheid the defensive barrier that has virtually halted terrorist attacks on Israel, appears to justify terrorism in speaking of the “thousands of prisoners who languish in Israeli jails” who are “part of the society around us”, describes “resistance to the evil of occupation as a Christian’s right and duty”, excoriates the West Bank Jewish communities, and in essence repudiates Israel’s right to exist. She pertinently asks, regarding Synod policy: “But if there are no sanctions against what Christians suffer in Islamic countries and if they continue to blame the Jews who have nothing to do with it all, how do they think they will be able—morally and practically—to sustain this?”

Nor is Ms Nirenstein reluctant to address the issue of Islam in Europe, a topic from which so many politicians and commentators resile. Referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s observation that Germany's “multikulti” approach to immigration “has failed, utterly failed,” Ms Nirenstein has said: “The point is that certain cultures very often have no intention of mixing in with ours, despite our actions and best intentions. Paris has become a city in which more than 200,000 people live in families where polygamy is common practice. In Italy 30,000 women have been subjected to genital mutilation and Islamic courts – ninety-odd in London alone – inflict sentences that are inconceivable.” Citing a number of worrying trends – including the fad T-shirt worn by young Muslims in Stockholm that bears the provocative legend "In 2030 we will take over" – Ms Nirenstein warned:

“When we are faced by a culture like that of Islam, there are forms of irreducibility that run up against legal and moral issues with a whole range of subtleties. For us, ‘immigration’ is a sacred term, filled of a sense of guilt, of generosity, of religion and liberal or left-wing overtones. But democracy is also a sacred term, our most important conquest: the masses of immigrants that do not share our democratic values put it in danger. And while we think that allowing immigration is a duty of democracy, we don’t understand that we are putting it at stake. Perhaps Chancellor Merkel—democratic German, pro-Europe, middle-class, complex-ridden and shy as every cultured German is—has succeeded in posing the question.”


  1. have you seen the latest from Jerusalem Post on Vatican and Occupation, also Latin Patriarch wanting One State solution

  2. Yes, indeed! Quite disturbing. This (from the Italian pro-Israelcampaign, reproduced by the great Melanie Phillips, should have been compulsory reading for the decision-makers):
    Melanie Phillips's Articles » 'For the Truth, for Israel'
    15 Oct 2010 ... Il Foglio, 1 October 2010 'Per la verità, per Israele' campaign, Italy. The obsessive Israel-hatred now coursing through so much of the ...
    The obsessive Israel-hatred now coursing through so much of the western world needs to be fought with the greatest possible urgency and strength. This unprecedented campaign of demonisation and delegitimisation against a democratic country essential to the defence of the west is not merely an offence against decency. It does not merely threaten the security and existence of Israel. It is also undermining the civilised values by which the west defines itself.Western society prides itself on being a culture of reason, committed to truth, justice and the rule of law. Yet the delegitimisation of Israel rests on a grotesque inversion of both truth and justice in which the roles of victim and victimiser in the region have been reversed.This campaign has rewritten the history of the Middle East to air-brush the Jewish people out of the region and their own national story. Building upon the lie that the Palestinian Arabs were the original inhabitants of the land, it suppresses the fact that the Jews were the only people for whom that land was their national kingdom and presents them instead as European interlopers in a place to which they had no historical connection.This malicious falsehood has been used to whip up hatred not just against Israel but against the Jewish people in general. It is fuelling a campaign of rank injustice and outright bigotry.... [Read it all!]

  3. This also from JPost today:
    Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon slammed the Vatican synod after bishops called for an end to the "occupation," in a statement released on Sunday.

    In a communique issued Saturday, at the end-of a two-week conference to discuss the future of Christians in the Middle East, the bishops demanded that Israel accept UN resolutions calling for an end to its "occupation" of Arab lands, and told Israel it should not use the Bible to justify "injustices" against the Palestinians.

    While the bishops condemned terrorism and anti-Semitism, they laid much of the blame for the conflict squarely on Israel. They listed the "occupation" of Palestinian lands, West Bank security barrier, its military checkpoints, "political prisoners," demolition of homes and disturbance of Palestinians' socio-economic lives as factors that have made life increasingly difficult for Palestinians.

    In reaction to the Vatican's criticism, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said: "We express our disappointment that this important Synod has become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda. The Synod was hijacked by an anti-Israel majority."

    "We are especially appalled at the language used by Archbishop [Cyrille Salim] Bustros during his press conference," Ayalon remarked, referring to the archbishop whose committee drafted the statement. "We call on the Vatican to distant themselves from Archbishop Boutros' comments which are a libel against the Jewish People and the State of Israel and should not be construed as the Vatican's official position. These outrageous comments should not cast a shadow over the important relationship between the Vatican, the State of Israel and the Jewish People."

    A Foreign Ministry spokesman criticized the bishops' statement that Israel shouldn't use the Bible to justify "injustices" against the Palestinians.

    "This has never been a policy of any government in Israel so this position sounds particularly hollow," Yigal Palmor said Sunday. "Let he who has never sinned cast the fist stone."

    Palmor also said Israel is the only Mideast country whose Christian population is growing, and called on Christians not to flee the region. "Israel views their presence in the Middle East as a blessing and regrets their decline in Arab countries," he said.

    According to statistics he provided, there were some 151,700 Christians in Israel last year, compared with 132,000 in 1999 and 107,000 two decades ago.