Should Israel Exist?
A Sovereign Nation Under Attack by the International Community
(Selected Excerpts from the Book)
By Michael Curtis, Balfour Books, Published January 2012
On the atrocities the world ignores even as it criticizes Israel:
"Consider the outrage expressed by international bodies over actions by Israeli authorities compared with the response, either minimal or nonexistent, to those in an endless list of actions in other countries in recent years: the 20,000 civilians, part of the total of 70,000, killed by Sri Lankan troops fighting against the Tamil Tigers; the estimated 100,000 Uzbeks who in June 2010 fled ethnic violence in Kyrgystan; the invasion of Georgia by Russia in 2008; the "cleansing" of Bahais in Iran; the killing in Syria of Kurds celebrating the festival of Nowruz and the deprivation of the human rights, including travel, property and work, of the Kurds in Syria who constitute ten per cent of the country, but are regarded as foreigners (ajanib) and about 300,000 of whom have been stripped of Syrian citizenship; the liquidation of the Assyrian minority in Iraq; the massacre in February 1982 of at least 20,000 by Syrian bombing of its citizens in Hama; the killing of Kurds and machine gunning in July 2008 of prisoners in Saidnaya jail; the murder of over thirty Lebanese leaders and personalities in Syria since the 1980s; the killing by Turks of over 30,000 Kurds in Anatolia and northern Iraq and the refusal of Turkey to recognize the existence of a separate Kurdish identity; the expulsion of Americans in 2010 by Morocco for Christian proselytizing; discrimination against Berbers in North Africa; the slaughter of Christians by Muslims in the Sudan and Nigeria; the killing of over 2 million in Darfur; the murder of over 700 people by Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group in Nigeria . . ." (Curtis's long list of ignored atrocities by other groups and nations continues on for another page)
On the role and positions of the United Nations:
"The United Nations has greatly changed since its formation by fifty-one nations immediately after the end of World War II. Today, non-Western countries, many who seem to be automatically hostile to Israel, constitute about two-thrids of the total of 192 members. Changes in the composition of the UN Security Council, which includes non-permanent members from Africa and Asia, have meant more opportuntities for voices critical of Israel to be heard. It is conspicuous that the Security Council has never condemned any Arab state for military or terrorist attacks against Israel. With constant resolutions condemning Israel, it is apparent that the UN is not acting, acccording to its charter, as "a center for harmonizing the actions of nations." It is a sad reality that the United Nations has become a battleground for political advantage for the non-Western bloc, rather than the epitome of international peace and justice."
On accusations by the Palestinians and others that Israel is racist:
"[The] National Covenant of the PLU adopted in 1964 and amended in 1968, states . . . that Zionism is 'racist and fanatic in its nature; aggressive, expansionist and colonialist in its aims; and Fascist and Nazi in its ends and means.' The charge by the Arabs against Israel of racism is doubly ironic. It is the Arabs who deny Jews, who have a unique connection with a historic homeland, the right of self-determination, while claiming the same right for themselves or for the Palestinians. Palestinians have attempted to deny the Jewish connection with the Western Wall and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and other historical sites and have even vandalized some of them, such as Joshua's tomb in the village of Timnat Heres, by covering it with graffiti in Arabi. Moreover, this denial of Jewish self-determination has been made by people in countries and territories which have exhibited the most egregious forms of discrimination and persectuation. Even more, Arab media and Islamic political rhetoric has resonated with the routine use of blood libel images, of Jews as vampires, with a deluge of hatred against 'Zionists.'"
On the historical rejection by the Arabs of peace with Israel:
'It was self-defeating for the Arab leaders meeting at a summit conference on September 1, 1967, in Khartoum to declare, in response to the Israeli proposal for a compromise solution, that the basic principles to which the Arab states adhered were 'no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiation with Israel and ahderence to the rights of the Palestinian people in their own country,' thus preventing any compromise agreement on territory after the Six-Day War. There must be few, if any, cases in history where a defeated party, after hostilities, refused to negotiate about territory it wanted to regain, even demanding unconditional surrender by the victors. Relating the story of lost opportunities by Arab leaders to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict is a minor cottage industry. The Arab leadership, in its refusal of any change for compromise, seemed, as Abba Eban remarked, to 'have written failure into its birth certificate.'"
On the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria):
"When Britain withdrew as Trustee of the Mandate for Palestine in May, 1948, the Trust was transferred to the United Nations without change. After the 1967 war, Cyrus Vance, then US Secretary of State, On July 29, 1967 asserted 'it is an open question as to who has legal right to the West Bank' . . . The initial problem is the fact that the areas now known as Israel and the West Bank were only provinces of the Ottoman Empire, rather than states, either Israeli or Palestinian, with their own sovereignty . . . On the controversial question of Jewish settlements, no clear answer is available in international law. The Hague Regulations do not apply to the question of civilian settlements in the disputed territories. Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention does forbid 'individual or mass forcible transfers' and the 'transfer of parts of (the occupant's) civilian population.' This may apply to government movement of population, but Israeli governments have not aimed at displacement of the existing population as a prelude to future annexation. The Article does not appear to be applicable to the establishment of voluntary settlements on an individual basis, nor on their location, if the underlying purpose is security, public order or safety, as long as the settlements do not involve taking private property."
On the international boycotts and political and propaganda warfare that have been conducted against Israel:
"Troubling though these challenges have been, Israel, essentially changing in the mid 1980s from a quasi-socialist society, with flourishing kibbutzim and cooperatives, and a powerful trade union movement, the Histadrut, to a market economy, has in spite of the lack of local markets in the surrounding area, the scarcity of physical resources, and the boycotts against it, registered remarkable successes. This has been shown by its entrepreneurial culture in attracting venture capital and in the number of start-up enterprises per capita, and by its general efforts in shaping technological change through innovation, improvisation and willingness to take risks. Israel has registered 7,600 patents in its history; the twenty-one Arab states have registered 700 in the same period. Recently, Israel has had the second largest number of start-up companies in the world, after the US, and the largest number of Nasdaq-listed companies outside North America. The Hebrew University in Jerusalem is ranked no. 21 among world universities in computer science, outranking Cambridge University, which is no. 30, and Yale University no. 31 . . . Israel has been prominent in, and concentrated on developing software, computer and telecommunications components, all enterprises that can overcome the boycotts and restrictions put on its exports, especially those of large manufactured goods."