Anti-Semitic event in Puerto Rico: Dishonesty and falsehood have no limits

I was not going to make any comment with regard to the article published in the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día a few days ago entitled: “¿What does the Jew want with the colony?” However, I have to do it. From this repugnant article, we only get one thing: anti-Semitism is not dead. Neither in Brooklyn, nor in the Arab world, nor certain sectors of the regressive left in Puerto Rico. This article is disgusting from beginning to end, and only resembles the text of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This anti-Semitic document, created by the tsarist intelligence services to defame the Jews in the Russian Empire and propagated by the Nazis as the exact reason why the Jews want to “take over the world,” is not at all different from the article published by El Nuevo Día. Before all this, I just want to say that I personally thank El Nuevo Día for publishing this article because they made clear what their position is with regard to those who have financed their work. Because they made clear what is their position with regard to the conflict. By publishing that reprehensible article, they lost credibility. Something that is complicated to gain back.

Thus, let me show you why El Nuevo Día and its anti-Semitic article is a total fallacy. Because this article not only exalted and promoted anti-Semitism, but also presented the Jews as ‘the cause of everything’. Let me show you my perspective using the Arab/

Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a reference. Without a doubt, I am not a fan of Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi) when it comes to domestic issues in Israel. I think the cases of corruption that he has had (like the one in 1997) and the ones he is being investigated right now (cases 1000, 2000 and 3000) are all reprehensible. Also, the controversies of his son Yair-which undoubtedly have made clear the corrupt image of his father, shows that Bibi is not a serious public server. These acts confirm that using politics to maintain a “social level” and exert control over others is an option in life. However, when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or talking about regional issues, Netanyahu is more reasonable and realistic.

With the recent moves that President Trump has made with respect to moving the US embassy to Jerusalem (personally, I do not think it was the right moment for this without a peace plan proposal), which undoubtedly have helped Bibi politically, or actively strengthening Israeli diplomacy around the world, are just two good examples of what the current prime minister has achieved internationally since 2009. These facts have both bothered the Arabs, but also the Palestinians a lot. That is why we see how irrelevant countries-in terms of international influence-such as Honduras or Guatemala opposing a UN resolution on December 21, 2017, which rejected Trump’s administration decision of moving the US Embassy in Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Since then, the Arab world and the Palestinians have gone crazy. They are worried because they know that the Israelis are expanding their influence not only in Latin America, but also in Africa.

On the other hand, it seems hypocritical to me that the Arabs, the Palestinians, and even the Turks, are now acting like if they were the only ones who have always supported the Palestinians. Sadly, they forget that during the Invasion of Kuwait in 1991 the Gulf Arab States expelled the Palestinians from their borders when Yasser Arafat decided to support Saddam Hussein. It’s demagogic that every time that the Palestinians hoard international media attention the Arab League and its member states attack Israel with a very anti-Semitic and aggressive rhetoric. Nonetheless, they do nothing to sanction countries such as Syria and Lebanon who for the past 70 years have not granted yet their citizenship and labor rights to the Palestinian refugees.

I find it sad that Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) attacks Israel and the US while expends $350 million dollars on paying salaries to relatives of Palestinians who have attacked or killed Israelis. It’s hypocritical when Abu Mazen aberrantly says to President Trump ‘May your house be destroyed’, but says nothing about the more than 3,500 Palestinians who have died in the Syrian Civil War. It’s frustrating when Abu Mazen actively denies history but sadly this is what the Palestinian have done throughout history. Before the Six Day War, they only claimed as their future state what was Israel before the military conflict. After the war, they also started claiming the West Bank which the Jordanians opposed, and that is why until 1988 the Hashemite Kingdom claimed that territorial strip as part of their land. Today, and although Israel has military presence in the West Bank, this territory no longer claimed by Jordan, is not occupied. Therefore, the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable to the West Bank. However, the lies of the Arab world and the Palestinians present another “reality”, a very distorted one.

Undoubtedly, it can be affirmed that Palestinians today do not want to recognize that their “national identity” was really forged in the refugee camps and not in what was the British Mandate of Palestine. Why do I say this? Because it is in the refugee camps where the Palestinians developed their political stuctures and where the different Palestinian paramilitary groups developed. Or do we have to ignore the Jordanian Civil War that the Palestinians caused in 1970? Although I believe in a two-state solution (a Palestinian state composed of Gaza and a good portion of the West Bank, and another Israeli with the same borders it had before the Six Day War, a portion of the West Bank and the entire Jordan Valley) with Israeli-Palestinian co-sovereignty in East Jerusalem, I think that today there is no solution to this conflict. This reality is painful, but when you have countries such as Turkey-the first ever Muslim country to recognize Israel in 1949-, financially and militarily supporting terrorist groups like Hamas, peace moves away. It seems sad to me that in the 21st century, both Arabs and Palestinians condemn the expression of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Gebran Bassil, for recognizing Israel’s right to exist.

It’s a contradictory position that the Arab world supports the Palestinians when they have problems at home (an example of this is the conflict that Hezbollah has with the Lebanese Sunnis) or when the latter needs help to attack the United States because of their pro-Israel tendency. But then, the Palestinians complain when the US decides to freeze $65 million to the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA). The overwhelming rhetoric of the “Israeli occupation had caused so much pain” is the supreme argument among the international press, at the cost of forgetting the pain of the more than 850,000 Jews who were expelled from the Arab countries after the establishment of the State of Israel. It’s mostly forgotten that in 1950, 25% of the population of Baghdad was Jewish. Nonetheless, the following year it was only 1%. Why? Because the Iraqis passed legislation in which they explicitly “asked the Jews who were not faithful to the country to leave.” Perhaps my arguments are not convincing or pleasing to everyone. But what I am sure of is that the double standard that the Palestinians and the Arabs have over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is overpowering.

Just as the Arabs and the Palestinians have sought to distort history and promote anti-Semitism in order to achieve their desire to ignore the Jewish past of their lands and the realty that Israel is today, the article published by El Nuevo Día also promotes anti-Semitism and gives way to the hatred existing against the State of Israel. Although predominantly the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish religious branch rejects the State of Israel because it is not an entity created by the Messiah, the Jews are linked and will always going to be linked to the State of Israel. Even if we want it or not, its foundation on May 14, 1948 was the greatest collective accomplishment that as a people we achieved during the 20th century. However, the resentment promoted by the Arabs, the Palestinians and most recently by El Nuevo Día, was done in the most repulsive way: through lying. So it is at this core point that also the Arab world, the Palestinians and El Nuevo Día have resorted for the past years to forget that, for example, Arab/Palestinian leaders like the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husayni, supported the Nazis. They appeal to the xenophobic, divisive and hurtful practices they carry out in an attempt to defame the Jews. It is this trident, full of antipathy and anger, that defines us as “usurpers of the world economy”, at the mercy of forgetting the more than 40,000 Jews who died during the crusades or the 25 years of military service to which the Jews were obligated to serve under the tsarist empire. Are the Arabs, the Palestinians and El Nuevo Día the ones who forgets history to try, in an impermissible way, to foster a message of hate that no longer fits in the 21st century. However, it is not the first time that before an economic crisis we have been accused of all the evils that that society lives.

The article published by El Nuevo Día, as well as the recent Arab and Palestinian positions within the framework of the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli conflict, have the same traits as the anti-Semitic regimes that caused harm and pain to the Jewish people throughout the entire twentieth century. Forgetting is easy. But truth is necessary when slander, rancor, dishonesty and falsehood invades our hearts.

About the Author
José Lev Gómez is an MA candidate in Security and Intelligence at the University of Buckingham in England and has a degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Israel Studies from the American University in Washington, DC. José has interned at the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico, at the College Republicans National Committee and The David Project in Washington, DC. In addition to his interest in Spanish politics, diplomacy and security issues in the Middle East, José has worked as coordinator of events related to Israel for American University Hillel and as an events assistant for the Center for Israel Studies at the American University. He recently completed a diplomatic internship at the Iraqi Kurdistan Delegation in Washington, DC. In addition to collaborating with this newspaper, José writes for Diario Judío (Mexico) and has written for newspapers such as El Nuevo Día (Puerto Rico), El Vocero de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico), Latino Rebels (United States) and Red Alert Politics (United States). José is the author of two books: "Panorama Internacional: Una mirada a la geopolítica e historia mundial (2016-2017)" and "Puerto Rico: El nocivismo del insularismo y el colonialismo", and he completed his final project in Israel Studies on the "Relations of Israel with Basque and Catalan Nationalism.
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