RSS | Blogs | Judaica Gifts  23 Adar 5769, Thursday, March 19, 2009 18:36 IST |
Home Headlines Iranian Threat Jewish World Opinion Business Real Estate Local Israel Blogs Arts & Culture Français Classifieds
Israel Middle East International Health & Sci-Tech Features Travel Cafe Oleh Magazine Sports Israel Guide Subscribe
Eldan Rent a Car
Israel's leading car rental company offers a 20% discount on online reservations
The Best Jewish Charity
Learn how Efrat saved 30,000 lives of Jewish children
Israeli Basketball
Watch Live Israeli Premier Basketball Games
Send flowers to someone
Send flowers to someone in Gush Dan with Alon Levin - floral design
Tamir Rent a car
Car rental in Israel, special prices
Find love at
Use your mouse to find your spouse!
Israel guide
Your guide to Israel
Green Israel
Protecting Israel's environment
The future of music
Global community of music makers discover new music
Jerusalem Gold Hotel
Your Home in Jerusalem Pay 6 Stay 7 days » Opinion » Op-Ed Contributors » Article

I am not Jewish but...

Print Subscribe
+ Recommend:
facebook reddit newsvine fark
What's this?

Decrease text size Decrease text size
Increase text size Increase text size

Over the years, some of my wildest critics seem to have assumed I am Jewish. At the same time, some of my closest friends wish I were.

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch
Photo: AP

So let me set the record straight: I live in New York. I have a wife who craves Chinese food. And people I trust tell me I practically invented the word "chutzpah."

Ladies and gentleman, I am humbled by the honor you have given me - because this award speaks more to your good work than it does to mine.

The American Jewish Committee started in response to the persecution of Jews in czarist Russia. And your response took a very American form: an organization that would speak up for those who could not speak for themselves.

In the century since your founding, the American Jewish Committee has become one of the world's most influential organizations. Yet though your concerns begin with the safety and welfare of Jews, these concerns are anything but parochial. The reason for this is clear: You know that the best guarantee of the security of Jews anywhere is the freedom of people everywhere.

Your good work has helped bring real and lasting changes to our world. Unfortunately, while some threats have been defeated, new ones have taken their place. And these new threats remind us the AJC's work is more vital than ever.

In Europe, men and woman who bear the tattoos of concentration camps today look out on a continent where Jewish lives and Jewish property are under attack - and public debate is poisoned by an anti-Semitism we thought had been dispatched to history's dustbin.

In Iran, we see a regime that backs Hizbullah and Hamas now on course to acquire a nuclear weapon.

In India, we see Islamic terrorists single out the Mumbai Jewish Center in a well-planned and well-coordinated attack that looks like it could be a test run for similar attacks in similar cities around the world.

MOST FUNDAMENTALLY, we see a growing assault on both the legitimacy and security of the State of Israel.

This assault comes from people who make clear they have no intention of ever living side-by-side in peace with a Jewish state - no matter how many concessions Israel might make. The reason for this is also clear: These are men who cannot abide the idea of freedom, tolerance and democracy. They hate Israel for the same reasons they hate us.

As I speak, the flashpoint is Gaza. For months now, Hamas has been raining down rockets on Israeli civilians. Like all terrorist attacks, the aim is to spread fear within free societies, and to paralyze its leaders. This Israel cannot afford. I do not need to tell anyone in this room that no sovereign nation can sit by while its civilian population is attacked.

Hamas knows this better than we do. And Hamas understands something else as well: In the 21st century, when democratic states respond to terrorist attacks, they face two terrible handicaps.

THE FIRST HANDICAP is military. It's true that Israel's conventional superiority means it could flatten Gaza if it wanted. But the Israel Defense Forces - unlike Hamas - are accountable to a democratically chosen government.

No matter which party is in the majority, every Israeli government knows it will be held accountable by its people and by the world for the lives that are lost because of its decisions. That's true for lives of innocent Palestinians caught in the crossfire. And it's also true for the Israeli soldiers who may lose their lives defending their people.

In this kind of war, Hamas does not need to defeat Israel militarily to win a big victory. In fact, Hamas knows that in some ways, dead Palestinians serve its purposes even better than dead Israelis.

In the West we look at this and say, "It makes no sense." But it does make sense.

If you are committed to Israel's destruction, and if you believe that dead Palestinians help you score a propaganda victory, you do things like launch rockets from a Palestinian schoolyard. This ensures that when the Israelis do respond, it will likely lead to the death of an innocent Palestinian - no matter how many precautions Israeli soldiers take.

Hamas gets away with this, moreover, because it does not rule Gaza by the consent of those it claims to represent. It rules by fear and intimidation. It is accountable to no one but itself.

This is the chilling logic of Gaza. And it helps explain why even a strong military power like Israel can find itself at a disadvantage on the ground.

THE SECOND HANDICAP for Israel is the global media war. For Hamas, the images of Palestinian suffering - of people losing their homes, of parents mourning their dead children, of tanks rolling through the streets - create sympathy for its cause.

In a battle marked by street to street fighting, the death of innocents is all but inevitable. That is also true of Gaza. And these deaths have led some to call for Israel to be charged with war crimes by an international tribunal.

But I am curious: Why do we never hear calls for Hamas leaders to be charged with war crimes?

Why, for example, do we hear no calls for human rights investigations into Hamas gunmen using Palestinian children as human shields? Why so few stories on the reports of Hamas assassins going to hospitals to hunt down their fellow Palestinians? And where are the international human rights groups demanding that Hamas stop blurring the most fundamental line in warfare: the distinction between civilian and combatant?

I suspect the answer has to do with the same grim logic that leads Hamas to provoke a military battle it knows it cannot win. Whether Israel is ever found guilty of any war crime hardly matters. Hamas gets a propaganda win simply by having the charge made often and loudly enough.

In this, Israel finds itself in much the same position the United States found itself in Iraq before the surge. There, al-Qaida realized that it was in its interests to provoke sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni - no matter what the cost to innocent Iraqis. That is the nature of terror. And what we are seeing in Gaza is just one front in this much larger war.

1| 2 | Next»

Print Subscribe
+ Recommend:
facebook reddit newsvine fark
What's this?
Post comment | Terms | Report Abuse
19. IIf This is Chutzpah
Robert - Canada (03/19/2009 15:29)
18. rubert murdoch not a jew but a tsadigh .you have a share in our tent.(novah)
joe - usa (03/19/2009 15:25)
17. Not jewish ?
sigismund - USA (03/19/2009 15:17)
16. Rupert Murdoch is a great man, who sees the world as it is.
Steven - US (03/19/2009 15:16)
15. #4
Jordan - (03/19/2009 15:15)
14. Robert Murdoch not owner of SKY
Dina - (03/19/2009 15:04)
13. It would be even better for Mr. Murdoch to say this speech on TV for all
Tova - Canada (03/19/2009 14:50)
12. Very thoughtfull insite! Although somewhat misleading on one point.
Stephen Bell - Canada (03/19/2009 14:46)
11. Ruppert Murdoch is dead wrong once again
Ray Gordon - USA (03/19/2009 14:43)
Jay - US of A (03/19/2009 14:41)
9. The current U>S> GOVERNMENT a HUGE enemy of Israel
dean - usa (03/19/2009 14:09)
8. RE: These are men who cannot abide the idea of freedom, tolerance and democracy. They hate Israel for the same reasons they hate us.
Mark - Canada (03/19/2009 14:06)
7. clear as clean water
drdanielito - (03/19/2009 14:03)
6. Oh Boy
Billy Dark (habitual hero) - UK (ready when you are) (03/19/2009 13:22)
5. Mr. Murdoch
Renny - Israel (03/19/2009 12:26)
4. All true except that ...
Aviva - Israel (03/19/2009 12:09)
3. sense
Yosef - Israel (03/19/2009 11:18)
2. Exchange Rate
Yehuda - (03/19/2009 11:08)
1. I am not Jewish but...
Allen Unger - Israel (03/19/2009 10:53)
KKL Picture of the week

Networking Israel

Jerusalem, March 22

Music for Aardvarks in Concert

New York, March 22

Jewish Family Arts Festival

Montreal, March 22

Israeli Folk Dance Party

Detroit, March 22

Jewish Speed Dating 28-40

Manchester, March 22
Got a Question?
Have a question about something in this story? Ask it here and get answers from other users like you.

© 1995 - 2009 The Jerusalem Post. All rights reserved.    About Us | Media Kit | Exclusive Content | Advertise with Us | Subscribe | Contact Us | RSS
The online edition of The Jerusalem Post – – provides first class news and analysis about Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world. Whether news about Iran, Gaza, Syria, Fatah, Hamas or Hezbollah, covers the burning issues of the Middle East and the Israeli-Arab conflict.