Israel Resource Center
Sadat Knesset Speech 1977

Introduction

On November 20, 1977, following secret negotiations mediated by Romania, and following an announcement in the National Assembly that he would be willing to go to Israel and speak in the Knesset to plead the case for peace, Egyptian President Anwar as Sadat came to Jerusalem and delivered the speech below in the Israeli Knesset. Sadat spoke in Arabic. This is the transcript of the translation issued by the office of the President of Egypt, which seems to omit certain passages, but it is the most complete text available.

It was the first time ever that an Arab leader had openly visited Israel, though Jordan’s King Hussein had been to Israel and met with Israeli leaders in secret on several occasions. Sadat’s visit and speech gave Israelis confidence that the peace offer was genuine, and formed the basis of public pressure in Israel to make the needed concessions.

Sadat insisted on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, which are now in Israeli territory and do not exist for the most part, and on other Palestinian rights, but eventually relented. In part this was due to the utter refusal of the Palestinians to participate in the peace process (see PLO Six Point Program ) as well as to the stubbornness of Israel Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Owing in no small measure to the impetus created by Sadat’s visit, Israel and Egypt ultimately signed a peace agreement (see Peace Treaty Between Israel and Egypt ).

– Introduction by Ami Isseroff

Last Speech of Yitzhak Rabin

Israeli Prime Minister Yitshak Rabin was assassinated by right-wing religious settler fanatic Yigal Amir at a giant peace rally on the evening of November 4, 1995. The rally had been called to protest violence that had been rising on both sides, and to reaffirm the commitment of the government and the Israeli people to peace. Amir assassinated Rabin in order to prevent the continuation of the peace process, as he said. Yizhak Rabin (Izhak Rabin) Yitzhak Rabin – assassinated Prime Minister of Israel

The assassination was preceded both by Palestinian violence in the territories, despite pledges by the PLO to renounce violence and terrorism, and by constant agitation by Israeli right-wing settlers and religious fanatics. Rabbis in the West bank gave sermons in which they proclaimed that Rabin was a traitor and a persecutor of the Jewish people, worthy of death. This agitation was aided and abetted by members of the opposition Likud party and other right-wing politicians. The Likud and the right had long since replaced themselves in the national consciousness of Israelis as the true “fathers” of the Jewish state, rather than the Zionist movement. They called themselves “The National Camp” (Mahaneh Leumi) as opposed to “The Other Camp.” The implication that the opposition was composed of traitors and supporters of terror – “Ashafistim” was made either implicitly or explicitly at countless rallies. Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu presided over a right wing rally at which posters were carried showing Yitzhak Rabin in the uniform of a Nazi SS officer. An atmosphere that legitimized violence against political leaders had been created.

Yitzhak Rabin: Acceptance of Honorary Doctorate Mt. Scopus

June 28, 1967

Following the victory of the Six day war, IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Hebrew University. His acceptance speech was a symbolic act, delivered in the name of the entire IDF. The speech was given in the amphitheater of the newly liberated Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus, that had been dormant behind enemy lines for 19 years, since the Israel War of Independence. For Rabin and for his comrades, the liberation of Jerusalem was the completion of unfinished business that had waited for 19 years, since the chance had been missed in 1948, the fulfillment of a silent pledge made by the men and women of that generation. In addition to the Hebrew University campus, the wailing wall and the Jewish quarter of the old city, vanquished and ethnically cleansed in 1948, the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, and all the other places that Israelis had gazed at from across barbed wire for 19 years, were finally under Jewish rule.

The speech was Rabin’s way of saying thank you to the soldiers of the IDF. He stressed that the degree was granted to the entire IDF, of which he was only a representative, to honor the spiritual values that had sustained them in the war.

For the generation of the Six day war and perhaps for all Israelis who remember that speech, it was in many respects high point of the achievement of Zionism, and of the reborn Jewish nation. In his speech, Rabin emphasized not victory but the cruelty of war, extending sympathy and empathy to the fallen enemy as well as to the families of our soldiers who had fallen in battle. He stressed that the marvelous heroism of our soldiers was due to their conviction that this was a just war and to their spiritual motivation, which served to sustain them against superior numbers of enemy soldiers armed with better weapons. The truth of this judgment was perhaps illustrated by the contrast with other wars, where the IDF performed less brilliantly despite superiority of arms. Rabin’s reference to spiritual values as more important than arms, and to faith in the morality of our cause, is reminiscent of a speech by David Ben-Gurion, an address to the Mapai Central Committee in January, 1948.

Israeli Ambassador Herzog’s Response to Zionism Is Racism Resolution-1975

Introduction

By 1975, the UN was riding a wave of anti-Israel sentiment, fueled by European fears of the Arab oil boycott. The UN had recognized the “right of resistance” (terror) of the Palestinian people, recognized the PLO as the only legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people, (See UN General Assembly Resolutions 3236 and 3237 ) while the PLO was still committed to destroying Israel and still engaged in terror, and invited Yasser Arafat to speak at the General Assembly (see Yasser Arafat’s Speech Before the UN General Assembly ) . The General Assembly also passed the shameless “Zionism is Racism” resolution (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379).

Herzog’s address to the UN in response to this resolution was a memorable defense of Zionism. At the conclusion, he tore up the resolution.
The voting record for the resolution shows that it was rubber-stamped by the automatic majority of Soviet satellite countries, Muslim and Arab countries and third world groupies:
Sponsors: (25) Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Cuba, Dahomey, Egypt, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Republic, Mauritania, Morocco, North Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Yemen, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, and United Arab Emirates.

Voted yes: (72) The 25 sponsoring nations above, and these 47 nations: Albania, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, People’s Republic of China, Congo, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, German Democratic Republic, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Haifa Refinery Riots

Introduction

Immediately following the announcement of the partition plan, violence erupted sporadically throughout Palestine. This began as disorganized riots by Arabs in Jerusalem on December 1, and escalated into terrorist attacks by both sides, and systematic attempts by Palestinians to blockade Jerusalem. Below is one account of a major incident in Haifa, at the close of 1947.

Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Nazis and the Holocaust: The Origins, Nature and Aftereffects of Collaboration

In the fall of 2015, when the Palestinian Authority claimed that the State of Israel posed threats to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, public attention in Israel turned again to Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a collaborator with Nazi Germany and the leader of Palestinian nationalism before and immediately after World War II. Some historians and, briefly, Israel’s Prime Minister also attributed to Husseini a significant decision-making role in the Holocaust in Europe. The following essay draws on scholarship on Holocaust decision-making in order to demonstrate that Husseini did not have an impact on Hitler’s decisions to murder the Jews of Europe. Rather his historical importance may be found in the texts of his speeches and essays of the 1930s and 1940s. They offer abundant evidence of his impact on Nazi Germany’s Arabic language propaganda aimed at North Africa and the Middle East during World War II and the Holocaust. Before, during and after his presence in Berlin from 1941 to 1945, Husseini played a central role in shaping the political tradition of Islamism by offering an interpretation of the religion of Islam as intrinsically anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist and in connecting that version to the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of modern European history.

Mizrahi Nation

Long shut out of the country’s story, Middle Eastern Jews now make up half of Israel’s population, influencing its culture in surprising ways. Who are they?

Originally posted on mosaicmagazine.com

The story of Israel, as most people know it, is well trod—perhaps even tiresome by now. It begins with anti-Semitism in Europe and passes through Theodor Herzl, the Zionist pioneers, the kibbutz, socialism, the Holocaust, and the 1948 War of Independence. In the early decades of the return to Zion and the new state, the image of the Israeli was of a blond pioneer tilling the fields shirtless, or of an audience listening to Haydn in one of the new concert halls. Israel might have been located, for historical reasons, in the Middle East, but the new country was an outpost of Europe. Its story was a story about Europe.

Submission To The United Nations Independent Commission Of Inquiry On The 2014 Gaza Conflict

21st February 2015
BY Colonel Richard Kemp CBE
Geneva, 20 February 2015

I was a Colonel in the British Infantry. Much of my 29 years’ military service was spent countering terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Macedonia. I was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003. I fought in the 1990-91 Gulf War and commanded British troops in Bosnia with the UN Protection Force and in Cyprus with the UN Force.

From 2002 – 2005 I was seconded to the UK Cabinet Office working on intelligence relating to international and domestic terrorism. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were among the extremist groups that I monitored and assessed in this role, and I had access to all secret intelligence available to the UK on these and other Palestinian extremist groups.

The Middle East: Battle Lines Are Drawn

In the last decade, the Middle East has been living through a political convulsion of historic proportions.
Regimes that once appeared immovable have been destroyed or have receded. New forces have risen up and are making war over the ruins.

The result of the effective eclipse in recent years of the states of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon has been the emergence of a large and chaotic conflict in the contiguous area once covered by those states. The failure to develop coherent state-loyal national identities in the areas in question has meant that once central authority disappears, a political-military competition based on forces assembled according to ethnic and sectarian identity emerges. A sectarian conflict is as a result now raging between the Iraq-Iran border and the Mediterranean. This dynamic of conflict has now extended to Yemen.

In this maelstrom, the Iranians and their clients have emerged as the single most formidable alliance. It appears that Iran intends to replace the US as the hegemonic power in the Persian Gulf region. The Sunni Arab states of the Gulf are worried by this and are seeking to resist the Iranian advance. The result is growing instability.

What are the reasons behind Iranian success? What are the particular advantages enjoyed by the Iranians and their proxies in this contest? What explains the belated but determined Saudi-led Sunni reaction to the Iranians’ advances? And what are the likely implications of the achievement of a nuclear deal and the imminent lifting of sanctions on Iran on Iranian actions in the region?

The Chaos of a Perfect Storm

The Middle East is in the midst of a stormy period of upheaval. The process began in Iran, after the revolution there gave birth to a Shi’ite dynamic that even now influences the entire region. This dynamic brought together radical Islamic forces that had smoldered under the surface since the collapse of the last caliphate, the Ottoman Empire. Radical Islam, in its several different forms, views Islamic governance as the solution to the ills of the region and to the weakness of the Muslims in the world, and as a preferred alternative to the modern world order of nation states. When the British and the French divided up the region a hundred years ago – according to their needs – they created artificial states, some of which have now ceased to exist, and some of which are facing collapse. Various forces that seemed to have disappeared, as a result of repression by the dictatorial regimes ruling the region’s states, have resurfaced. In many areas, one’s family, tribe, ethnic community, and religion have once more become the chief loci of identity and power, eclipsing the state.

Major General (Ret.) Yaakov Amidror is the Ann and Greg Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and a senior fellow at JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy. He has served as National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, head of the National Security Council, commander of the IDF Military Colleges, and head of the research division of the IDF Intelligence Corps.

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