On January 11, I was invited to speak to speak to the Republican Party of San Diego County about the fight against Islamist terrorism. Below is a copy of my speech:
As we are now at the start of 2016, some important facts to keep in mind:
In 2015, there were 452 suicide terrorist attacks throughout the world. 450 of those were radical/extremist Islamist inspired suicide attacks — and those 450 attacks led to the murder of 4,370 people.
In Israel, since just this past September, 29 Israelis have been killed in terrorist attacks, which may seem like a low number to some, but since Israel has only 8 million people, per capita, that is the equivalent of more than 1,100 people being killed in America. This number also doesn’t take into account the trauma caused by terrorism or the hundreds of people injured in terrorist attacks, as well as the incredible efforts of Israel’s security services, which stop hundreds, if not thousands of terrorist attacks from ever occurring. But despite these herculean efforts, since September 13, 2015, there have been more than 100 stabbing, 38 shooting, and 22 car ramming attacks on Jews in Israel.
One of those shooting attacks occurred on New Year’s Day, when a 29-year-old Israeli Arab, Nashat Milham, inspired by ISIS, opened fire on a group of people at an outdoor café in Tel-Aviv (just like ISIS terrorists had done a few weeks earlier at cafés in Paris). Milham killed three Israelis and injured six others. Last week, Milham met his maker, thanks to the incredible efforts of Israel’s counter-terror unit, Shabak. After the news broke that the terrorist Milham was killed in a shootout with the Shabak, Hamas and the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority (PA) BOTH declared Milham to be a “Martyr” and the PA Ministry of Health, which plainly views its responsibilities for “health” differently than does every department of health in the West, issued a statement praising Milham as “one of the most precious martyrs whose name has been inscribed with his pure blood that watered the soil of our free land.”
Last week was also the one-year anniversary of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and HyperCacher Kosher Supermarket in Paris. At that time, everyone understood the significance of an attack on journalists who had simply exercised their free speech and free press rights to criticize or satirize Islam, as they had often criticized and satirized Christianity and Judaism. What almost no one discussed was the reason why a run- of-the-mill kosher supermarket was singled out by ISIS along with the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and journalists. That is because Jewish targets of these Islamist terrorists have been taken for granted and it is because too many of the world’s leaders, including President Obama, don’t want to recognize the common thread of anti-Semitism that links and animates all Islamist terrorism and is part and parcel of the terrorists’ hate for the West and Western values.
That is why when President Obama discussed the Charlie Hebdo and HyperCacher attacks last January, President Obama completely ignored the anti-Semitic nature of the attack, and expressly referred to the assault on the Kosher supermarket as a “random attack,” when it was anything but “random.”
This failure to recognize the centrality of anti-Semitic hate in the ideology of the terrorists attacking us in Paris, San Bernardino, Belgium, London, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is as dangerous today as it was back in the 1930s, when the USA, Britain, and France all failed to recognize that the anti-Semitism that was at the core of Nazism was almost as big a threat to them as it was to the Jews of Germany. And as long as the leaders of the free world continue to see the Islamist war on Israel and Jews as somehow separate from the war the Islamist have pursued against America, Europe and the West, and continue to ignore the vicious anti-Semitism directed against Israel, we will continue to enable the terrorists and their supporters.
But we are actually doing something worse than ignoring anti-Semitic hate and the fact that once again, the Jews are the proverbial “canary in the coal mine”… We are paying for the vicious anti-Semitic incitement and hate being spoon-fed to Palestinians by the Palestinian Authority, which has been headed by the supposedly moderate dictator Mahmoud Abbas for more than a decade. Thanks to the largess of the West, Abbas and his sons — Tarik and Yasser — are purportedly worth more than $75 MM each, by virtue of their looting the over $1 billion per year in aid money provided to the PA by the EU and the USA alone.
One would think that since Abbas’s claim to be the leader of the Palestinian people is questionable (to put it lightly, as he is in the 11th year of a 4-year term) and since he pays himself an obscene $1 million per month salary that he takes from generous “endowments” given to the PA by the U.N. as well as from both EU and US taxpayers, that Abbas would be circumspect in his vile hate and incitement to violence against Jews.
Sadly, Abbas knows that the world has always been blind to the dangers of anti-Semitism, and that he can thus say whatever he wants about Jews, and still be treated in the U.N. and in Western capitals as if he is a “moderate,” as opposed to what he really is, a repugnant Holocaust denying anti-Semite, who incites murder while he and his family profit from the continuation of the conflict.
This explains why on September 17, 2015 at the start of what people have been calling the “Knife Intifada” Abbas felt perfectly comfortable saying on PA T.V. and then posting on his personal website:
“The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours… and they [the Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to, and we will do everything in our power to protect Jerusalem.”
Abbas followed up on his reference to “filthy Jews” with even more hateful, inflammatory and dangerous rhetoric:
“We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah.”
Abbas suffered no discernible consequences for going on PA TV (funded at least in part with US tax dollars) with this anti-Semitic diatribe. To the contrary, the following week he was feted at the UN and treated as if he was an elder statesman.
And no one in the Obama administration appeared to raise an eyebrow when Abbas made these hateful comments. Such silence by the Obama administration and our European allies in the face of incitement and support of terror by the supposed moderate Palestinian Authority is sadly nothing new.
On Nov. 18, 2014, two Arab terrorists entered a synagogue in Jerusalem and attacked worshippers with guns, knives and axes, killing 5 people. Abbas advisor and Central Committee member of Abbas’ ruling Fatah party, Sultan Abu Al-Einein, posted gruesome photos of the massacre and on his Facebook page referred to the cold-blooded murder of 5 people (including 3 Rabbis) in a synagogue as a “heroic operation.”
Again, no one in the Obama Administration appeared to raise an eyebrow when Abbas’ advisor made these hateful comments, let alone threaten to cut off the hundreds of millions in aid dollars that the USA gives to the PA.
In addition to ignoring the anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement by the PA and its dictator, Abbas, we also ignore and thereby condone with our silence the vile anti-Semitic and racist propaganda regularly produced by the PA in order to indoctrinate Palestinians to hate, and to want to murder Jews.
And the hate propaganda and incitement to murder that is produced and/or promoted by the PA dictatorship is extraordinary and voluminous. We could devote an entire month to just studying the heinous cartoons they produce/promote. But here are a few examples:
At the end of 2014, the PA posted on its security Facebook page a cartoon showing an Israeli soldier about to rape the Al-Aqsa Mosque portrayed as a woman in jail. The “woman” is weeping in a prison cell while the “Israeli soldier” is undoing his pants outside the cell, saying: “Come on, sweetheart.” The woman is wearing a headdress shaped as the Dome of the Rock. The cartoon appeared with the text: “Al-Aqsa is being raped.” Notably, the cartoon depicts the Israeli soldier with a large hooked nose, using Anti-Semitic imagery that would have fit wonderfully in the Nazi weekly, Der Stürmer. Imagery and language plainly (and sadly successfully) designed to incite the murder of Jews “in defense of Al-Aqsa” despite the fact that Al-Aqsa has never been remotely threatened (let alone attacked) by Israel, and the only people prohibited from praying on the Temple Mount are Jews.
The above picture was posted on social media by Fatah, the party of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. That is the Fatah flag attached to a rifle atop a pile of skulls distinctly marked with the Star of David alongside the words: “lingering on your skulls.” One can certainly see that the Palestinian leadership of today has stayed close to the teachings and beliefs of their hero, the former Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husayni, who was a Nazi collaborator before and during WWII as well as a recruiter for the infamous SS.
On October 8, 2015, UNRWA employee Musallem Salem posted the above cartoon showing two Palestinians, representing Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, working together to kill a Jew. Using imagery that would have made Joseph Goebbels proud, Salem — a beneficiary of UNRWA’s receipt of at least $100 million per year from the USA — had no issue with promoting Palestinian unity; not to make peace, not to build factories or schools, or to come up with a cure for cancer, but to murder Jews.
And on January 21, 2015, less than 2 hours after a bloody knife attack on a bus in Tel Aviv, which at the time was reported to have injured 10 people, this cartoon was published, showing a keffiyeh-wearing terrorist grinning while holding a knife dripping with blood and celebrating the reported number of victims in the attack. In the background, a bus with a Star of David emblem is seen surrounded by a pool of blood, with an arm hanging from the door. The sign behind the terrorist reads “Occupied Tel Arabia” (ignoring the fact that Tel Aviv was founded by Jews in 1909 when the entire region was part of the “Syria province” in the Ottoman Empire).
Of course, despicable anti-Semitic propaganda, which incites the murder of Jews, being used by the Palestinians should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying any attention to the Palestinians over the last 20 years (something one would think the EU and the USA would be doing, given the literally billions of dollars they have given to the PA since 1995).
Despite those billions (or perhaps because of them), since almost its inception, the PA regularly depicts Jews in its various media arms as a unique force for evil. According to numerous PA publications and media outlets Jews are regularly purported to be responsible for practically all the world’s problems: wars, financial crises, the spread of AIDS, etc. PA officials often expound on this theme of the Jews as the main danger to the world. Just ask Ibrahim Mudayris, a PA religious official. Thanks to the largess of the USA and the EU, PA TV features many broadcasts of sermons by this Imam. In one such broadcast Mudayris said: “The Jews are a virus similar to AIDS, from which the entire world is suffering. This has been proven in history… Ask Britain! Ask France! Ask Portugal. Ask Czarist Russia — who invited the Jews and they plotted to murder the Czar! Don’t ask Germany what it did to the Jews, since the Jews are the ones who provoked Nazism to fight the entire world.”
In addition to U.S. government ignoring this vile PA propaganda — paid for in part with our “no strings attached” aid dollars, our government also ignores that our aid dollars help the PA pay directly for terrorism. Over 6% of the PA’s entire annual budget goes towards monthly salaries for terrorists and their families. Meanwhile, the Europeans, the Vatican and the Obama Administration all continue to treat a Palestinian Authority that produces, publishes and promotes non-stop anti-Semitic propaganda and incitement, and quite literally pays for terrorism, as if it is a moderate “peace partner.”
It is long past time for the U.S. government to put an end to this dangerous farce. It is long past time for the U.S. government to stop treating the Islamist terror war on Israel and the vicious anti-Semitism that drives it, as if it were somehow separate from the radical Islamists’ war on the West and Western values. It is long past time for the U.S. government to make it clear to the Palestinians that we understand how vile and dangerous this hate is; and more importantly, that we will not tolerate, let alone fund, a PA that encourages and incites vile Jew-hatred and murder while at the same time stealing U.S. and EU aid money meant for its own people in order to fund bloated salaries for Abbas, his henchman, and for terrorists.
If enough people and governments actually hold the Palestinians and their leadership to account for their actions, then perhaps they will change their behavior, and finally be more interested in pursuing peace than in killing Jews. It is not always easy to stand for what is right and to stand up to what is wrong. In this next election, I pray that in America we get a president that understands that a terrorist attack in Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem is no different than one in Paris or Sydney. I also pray we get a president who understands the difference between right and wrong (or good and evil) when it is staring him or her in the face. And I pray that our next president makes sure that America’s foreign policy stands up to the evil of anti-Semitism, wherever he or she finds it, even if it is inconveniently among those we would prefer to call “moderates.”