Redefining the Israel-Arab Conflict

The conflict between Israel and the Arab world must be redefined, British author Melanie Phillips told a gathering at a Maple Glen synagogue sponsored by the Zionist Organization of America.

There is no solution because the problem is misstated. The two-state solution is not axiomatic. Why are they fighting? It is not because of the absence of a Palestinian Arab state. The Arab world wishes Israel’s destruction, which is why this is the conflict that never seems to end.

Melanie Phillips Group Photo

ZOA Philadelphia ED Steve Feldman
ZOA Philadelphia Chairman Gene Shusman
British author Melanie Phillips
ZOA National President Morton Klein
ZOA Philadelphia President Lee Bender
William Wenger, ZOA host at Cong. Beth Or

Her topic focused on “How the West Undermines Israel’s and Jewish Survival – and What We Can Do About It.” Phillips noted that

… anti-Semitism has morphed into the collective Jew; their state, Israel. The victim [Israel] is blamed and the victimizer [radical Muslims] gets a free pass. Decent people subscribe to these lies, and unfortunately many of these are Jews themselves.

Because the West has oppressed them, it is our (i.e. the West’s) own fault; we enslaved them and exploited them. The developing world is a victim and they can do no wrong. This is the trap within which the West has ensnared itself. Victimizers are always wrong, and victims are allowed to hurt us back because we hurt them.

A current example is the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement. Phillips explained: “The anti-Israel animus is anti-truth, anti-reason and irrational.

However, she stated, “Christians cannot be victims because they are the ruling creed of the West” even though as she pointed out they are being murdered and wiped out by Muslims in the Middle East, North Africa and now Europe.

Yet, Phillips remarked, if one dares speak out against this “appalling conflation of one lie upon the next; if you dare speak up about the truth that is purposefully not reported; about the atrocities committed by these ‘victims’- then you are to be vilified and obliterated. Only Israel is considered to be in flagrant violation of international law.”

Phillips emphasized that “Arab rejectionism is driven by ideological hatred of Jews. You cannot deal with people like these who are beyond reason and steeped in pure unadulterated anti-Semitism.” For instance, she offered, the Hamas Charter (Hamas, a Sunni terrorist group, is the Islamic Resistance Movement, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood) calls explicitly for the elimination of Israel and the Jewish people, who – they claim – run the West.

As for the current “Muslim invasion of Europe,” which has been taking place for the past 40 years, she stated, “The West has ignored — or worse forgotten — [its] history. Islam is a medieval ideology that at its core makes a distinction only between its believers and infidels.” Islam, per Phillips, seems incapable of reform – unlike Christianity – and “cannot or refuses to control its jihadists. Instead, we must go on the offense, in the language the multiculturalists use. We must use their tactics backed with the truth, and accuse them of backing evil and terror. We must educate people on the morals of the IDF, the history of Israel in the Middle East,”- in other words, the Jewish connection of 3500 years to the land.

Also, she stated: “We must stop the false equation of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Islamophobia is thrown around too causally as a device to smear and suppress the lies and hatred; it is not a term exclusively racist. We must recognize and stop the persecution of Christians in the Middle East,” and force the Christian community to speak out against it. “We must stop the West from abandoning Muslim reformers and Jews,” she said. “And with regard to America, we are losing our kids to secularism and multi-culturalism.”

Offering some optimism, she noted, “Israel will in due course be seen as the last man standing as the West becomes more desperate. And despite it all, Israelis are among the happiest peoples in the world, with a growing economy and birthrate. The main thing for us as Jews is to reinvigorate ourselves” and “re-connect with our roots. We must get off our back foot (i.e. retreat) and move forward on our front feet.”

“Jews” indeed “must also be seen as victims when targeted,” she stated. This was slow to be recognized until Jews were targeted in Paris at the kosher supermarket after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015, “but perceptions are beginning to change, that we are facing a common enemy.”

Phillips authored the book Londonistan, which documents the establishment and growth of Muslim extremist groups and their sympathizers in London. It explores administrative and cultural factors that permitted it to happen. Even the suicide bombings carried out in London in 2005 by British homegrown Muslims did not stop this trend.

She remarked that “Israel must also remain optimistic and strong enough to wean off dependency from the United States” and see a new world order, where Asia, India and China don’t have the historical anti-Semitism baggage from the West. Also, “Israel must not be infantilized by the West.” Israel is no longer viewed as “the central actor in the Middle East,” in the ongoing civil wars among the anti-democratic, theocratic, autocratic Arab states and intrareligious Muslim wars between Sunnis and Shias. This “upheaval is not due to colonization or the West.”

Ultimately, according to Phillips, the West “will come around,” even going so far as borrowing what is successful in Israel, and that is happening gradually. She asked,

Would you rather be profiled or alive? The West must not preclude itself from looking at Islam as innocent and Islamic violence as somehow un-Islamic or unrelated to Islam itself. Only a re-Christianized Europe can fight Islam, and only when Christians realize that their own survival is tied to that of Jews will this occur.


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