Israel Under Siege

On the news it’s easy to find sickening
evidence of the terrorist war being waged against Israel; harder to
find, but no less real, are other insidious assaults that are growing in
number and venom. This week, the United Nations World Conference Against
Racism, which convened in South Africa, was transformed into a
forum for vicious anti-Israel accusations. And in Israel itself, the
Temple Mount is the focus of a relentless archaeological
attack designed to rewrite history.

Months ago no one anticipated that Arab nations
would hijack the Racism Conference and use it to defame Israel. But by
just last month, delegates were busy debating language that
equated Zionism and racism. Although that language has now been
rejected,provocative new proposals emerged that are just as
damaging.Arab countries, for instance, want the
Conference to find that Israel has committed “crimes against humanity.”
If the Conference made this ludicrous finding, the next step could be to
convene war crime tribunals.

Israel is also accused of perpetrating a new
“kind of apartheid.” And while Sudan, Afghanistan, and Serbia have well
documented records of violent human rights abuses, Israel is the
only country singled out as an aggressor state. Other proposals include
insisting that the Holocaust be written with a lower case “h” to
lessen the magnitude of the tragedy, and condemning Israel’s Law of
Return. Arab nations have abused the Racism Conference
as a platform for denigrating Israel and eviscerating its moral standing
in the world.These attacks must be denounced in the
strongest possible terms.

At the same time, the historical integrity of
the Temple Mount is facing a dire threat. Over the past year, the
Palestinian Waqf,the Muslim religious trust that oversees the area, has
dug a gaping hole more than 164 feet long, 82 feet wide, and 40 feet
deep in the southeast corner of the Temple Mount. Recent tests by
the Israeli Antiquities Authority suggest that the excavations may have
damaged the foundation of the southern wall of Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount is at the crossroads of world
religion. It is outrageous that the Waqf and the Palestinian Authority
have not been held accountable for this desecration. The
Kidron Valley garbage dump, which is now filled with over 1,500 tons of
earth from the site, is reportedly strewn with artifacts from the
Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Temple periods dating back to the 6th
century. The world’s indifference to this devastation
resembles the unwillingness to denounce Palestinian destruction of
Joseph’s Tomb last October. It is also in stark contrast to the valiant
international effort to deplore the destruction of ancient Buddhist
statues by Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority are
engaged in an effort to undermine the founding principles of Israel’s
establishment and existence. They seek to dehumanize the Israeli
people and make them legitimate targets for terrorism.

The United States and the world Jewish
community cannot be silent in the face of these threats. Israel is by
far America’s closest ally in the Middle East and the tragic murder of
American visitors and residents of Israel throughout this conflict only
underscores our vested interest in Israel’s stability and security.

We must lead the fight to condemn anti-Semitic
vitriol unleashed at the U.N. World Conference. We must bring an end to
the Palestinian Authority’s degradation of the holy sites
in world religion. We must stand in solidarity with the Israeli people
and support Israel’s right as a sovereign nation to defend its
vital interests.