Editor: Rael Jean Isaac

Editorial Board: Ruth King, Rita Kramer

Outpost is distributed free to Members of Americans For a Safe Israel

Annual membership: $50.

Americans For a Safe Israel


In Memoriam: Eugene Narrett

AFSI mourns the tragic loss of Eugene Narrett, who died three weeks short of his 65th birthday, struck by a hit-and-run driver in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Eugene was a man of extraordinary range. He received a PhD in English literature from Columbia University and in the course of his career taught art, art history, history, literature and philosophy. In his early twenties, Eugene began educating himself on ancient and modern Israel and over the years would provide commentary on numerous radio programs, including Israel National Radio. His articles appeared frequently in Outpost. Below are excerpts from one of them, “Reign of the Grasshoppers,” published in the July-Aug. 1998 issue, selected because we now face the possibility of an even worse betrayal than Netanyahu’s surrender of Hebron at Wye, to which Eugene was then responding. And now as then, the responsibility will lie with Netanyahu.

“In the second year after the Exodus from Egypt, the Lord instructed Moses to send forth men, one from each tribe, to scout out the Land and see if it was fertile or lean, barren or forested, and to ascertain the strength of its inhabitants….These scouts–the elite of their tribes–saw that the Land was good, ‘indeed, it flows with milk and honey.’ But then ten of them, no doubt reflecting what today would pass for a ‘realistic assessment,’ insisted that the people there were ‘too strong for us. All the people we saw there were huge, sons of the giants. We were like grasshoppers in our eyes,’ the ten terrified ones concluded, ‘and so we were in their eyes.’ (Numbers 13).

“Two of the twelve, Joshua and Caleb, intensely rebutted the fainthearted. ‘We shall surely ascend and conquer the Land, for we surely can do it!’ cried Caleb. The defeatists stoned him….

“The grasshoppers rule Israel today, and it is rough going for the spiritual descendants of Joshua and Caleb (whose name means ‘all heart.’)….

“The faithless spies whipped the people into a frenzy of surrender and fear. They preferred returning to Egypt as today many Israelis prefer the shopping malls of the coastal plain and perhaps after that, fleeing to Long Island when Arafat, Assad and Yassin arrive to claim what they insist they want…

“Continuing surrender of Land makes Israel defenseless and threatens to turn history’s most miraculous and important renewal into a nightmare. Yaakov Katz, Rabbi Melamed, David Wilder and Gary Cooperberg of Hebron, its Rabbi, Eliezer Waldman, Yoel Tzur of Beit El who lost his wife and son to Arab murderers in December 1996, all who protest this surrender are themselves the cornerstone of an Israel that can live. They are the leaders of whatever future Israel has. If enough people stand with them, perhaps it will happen that toward evening time, there will be light.”


Beyond The Pale: William Mehlman


While a picture may still be worth a thousand words, its repute as bondsman for the “whole truth and nothing but the truth” has become a footnote to a bygone age. A current case in point is Fiddler With No Roof, a video film produced under the auspices of Israel-based “Rabbis For Human Rights.” Starring Theodore Bikel, a practiced Israel critic reprising in narrative guise his cinematic role as “Tevye the milkman,” it strives to create a parallel between Czarist Russia’s expulsion of Tevye and his fellow townsfolk from their beloved “Anatevka” and Israel’s proposed relocation of 30,000 of its Bedouin citizens in the Negev from a disease-ridden collection of tents and corrugated metal huts sitting on the edge of a toxic waste dump to a group of modern apartment blocks equipped with running water, electricity, sewage and sanitation disposal facilities, a nearby school, health and social services. Fiddler With No Roof doesn’t waste much footage on these inconvenient facts, or with the quarter acre of land and monetary compensation each of the relocated families will be receiving, or the fact that the transferees, far from being expelled to any Arab Pale of Settlement, much less out of the Negev, are to be consolidated with an existing Bedouin community five kilometers down the road from their uninhabitable dwellings. Fiddler With No Roof’s crowning omission, however, is its failure to inform us that 15,000 of the 30,000 being considered for relocation have petitioned the Israeli government to remove them from their pestilential surroundings.

Being readied for a final reading in the Knesset, the relocation bill is the product of a carefully crafted, $2.5 billion, five-year plan enabling Israel to get a handle on a runaway Arab ethnic segment, powered by illegal polygamous marriage, that doubles in size every 15 years. At its fringes, it is a population rampant with poverty, chronic unemployment, crime, violence, illiteracy, illness, the world’s highest birthrate and an infant mortality rate seven times that of Tel Aviv. It has been allowed to run wild over the Negev for decades, erecting scores of instant slums, while claiming ownership, past, present and forever over every dunam of desert its camels may have trod. As explained by former minister Benny Begin (Likud), who with National Planning Director Uri Prawer formulated the Bedouin consolidation strategy, “We [Israel] cannot lay thousands of kilometers of water pipes to reach every group of shacks in the middle of the desert. If we want to improve the situation of the Bedouin we need to create responsibly- sized communities big enough to have a school with residents near enough so its youngest children can attend.”


From the Editor: Rael Jean Isaac


Yevgeny Kissin

While the moral pygmies with which the “celebrity community” is rife turn against Israel, pianist Yevgeny Kissin stands out as a shining exception. He has announced that from now on he will travel only on an Israeli passport. Excerpts from his statement:

“I am a Jew, Israel is a Jewish state–and since long ago I have felt that Israel, although I do not live there, is the only state in the world with which I can fully identify myself, whose case, problems, tragedies and very destiny I perceive to be mine….When Israel’s enemies try to disrupt concerts of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra or the Jerusalem Quartet, I want them to come and make troubles at my concerts, too: because Israel’s case is my case, Israel’s enemies are my enemies, and I do not want to be spared of the troubles which Israeli musicians encounter when they represent the Jewish state beyond its borders….I want all the people who appreciate my art to know that I am a Jew, that I belong to the People of Israel.”

Swarthmore’s Hillel

Hillel’s national president Eric Fingerhut is to be congratulated for warning the Swarthmore chapter that it cannot use the Hillel name if it flouts Hillel’s guidelines, namely partnering with groups hostile to Israel or hosting speakers who deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and/or support boycotting, divestment and sanctions efforts against Israel. Swarthmore Hillel has shot back, declaring itself an “Open Hillel,” open to Zionists, anti-Zionists, post-Zionists or non-Zionists. Of the national guidelines, it says “We do not believe it is the true face of young American Jews.” If true (we hope it isn’t), the face of young American Jews would resemble the hideous, decayed visage of Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde’s fable, behind the handsome mask.

While the attempt to prevent some campus Hillels from turning in effect into chapters of the Palestine Solidarity Committee is laudable, the effort comes late. Thirty five years ago I wrote (with Erich Isaac) “The Rabbis of Breira” (Midstream, April 1977) which chronicled how Breira, which pioneered the Jewish attack on Israel on “moral” grounds, included large numbers of Conservative and Reform rabbis. We pointed to the specially high concentration of Hillel rabbis in Breira to the point where an article in The American Zionist termed the Hillel Foundations “incubators of Breira.” Indeed Breira’s chairman, Arnold Jacob Wolf, was Hillel rabbi at Yale.

Breira as an organization died long ago but it was replaced by others. Today its spirit lives on in J Street, which, like Breira in its day, makes the hollow pretense that its attacks on Israel are motivated by concern for her welfare. The problems with today’s Hillel have deep roots. It would have been easier to cope with them if they had been addressed when they were still shallow.


Annex the Land Before the End of Jewish History : Giulio Meotti

The fate of Jewish life in Judea and Samaria is the most important single defining issue for the future of the Jewish people.

After Yasser Arafat convinced the Israelis that “delivering” Arabs to the Jews is something his people couldn’t tolerate, Israel has convinced herself that she can deliver many Jews to the Arabs.

This is the real meaning of John Kerry’s “security promises”.

Declaring partial sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, the alternative suggested by those Israelis who made a religion out of security, will not ease the tremendous pressure on the State of Israel and the Jews. Partial sovereignty will lead to the point where the security situation will be even worse, and Israel might fatally decide to abandon every inch of the Biblical heartland.

However – exactly as there is no solution to the Old City of Jerusalem, where separation is impossible unless Israel relinquishes the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall–the State of Israel in Judea and Samaria has now only two alternatives: annexing all the land (at least Area C where all the Israelis live) in the name of Jewish rights, or facing a new catastrophe, a new cataclysm, a new diaspora, a new cycle of exile, or at worst, a new Holocaust, whether violent or not.


The Corrupt Academy : Rael Jean Isaac

“One has to start somewhere.” That’s how the president of the American Studies Association justified the ASA’s vote to boycott Israel when he was asked why the organization had ignored the vast number of human rights abusing states that pepper the planet. He might have added, where else do we get equivalent PR bang for the buck? Would the Wall Street Journal devote an editorial and an op-ed piece (on one day!) to our radical left pint-sized under-the-radar association if we had condemned the Sudan? And if the Wall Street Journal doesn’t appreciate us, our academic peers will.

Nowhere has the long march through the institutions recommended by Antonio Gramsci as the road to power been more successful than in our colleges and universities (with the Democratic Party a strong runner-up). In all too many cases, the liberal arts divisions are occupied territory of the left.

Ethnic and gender studies are especially prone to being taken over by the wackiest elements of our species. These radical activists take over the National Councils (and more important, the executive committees) of the Associations composed of those teaching in these fields (like American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Asian Studies, Native American Studies, Women’s Studies etc.). They rightly see that by controlling these outfits, they will have megaphones to broadcast their junk morality on to a broader scene, never mind that these forays into “progressive” politics have nothing to do with the purposes or supposed sphere of competence of the group of which they are a part. The upshot is that these so-called scholarly associations increasingly come to resemble the UN Human Rights Council, absurdly obsessing about Israel (a human rights paragon, as these things go) as the greatest, if not only, human rights abuser on this earth.


UNRWA: 64 Years Later : Jordan Schachtel

“A great evil has been loosed upon the world,” said former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan, following a 1975 United Nations Resolution declaring Zionism as a “form of racism and racial discrimination.”

The same United Nations that was once engaged in trying to find a peaceful accord between the Jews and Arabs of Israel has declared in clear-cut language and implicit actions its hostility to the ideal of a homeland for the Jewish people.

Following Israel’s decisive victory in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the Jewish population still living in Muslim countries was treated with contempt and turned out by the local Arab governments. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were forced to leave their home countries, in which they had been living for generations. Their property was immediately confiscated, they were stripped of rights, and they were subject to brutal discrimination solely because of their religion. These refugees, scattered throughout the Middle East, had no U.N. agency to turn to. However, many of the displaced families found a home in Israel where they could finally live in peace.

The Jewish population forced out of Arab countries was nearly double the number of Arabs who left after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War of Independence.

Since World War II, over 50 million people worldwide have been displaced as a result of armed conflict, yet the only group of refugees anointed by the United Nations for specific attention is the one composed of Palestinians. On their behalf, the U.N. created an exclusive agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

This week marks the 64th year since its creation. On December 8, 1949, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 302 was approved, creating the UNRWA; its goals were to provide public relief and public works programs for displaced Arab refugees who were formerly inhabitants of the British territory of Palestine.

UNRWA is currently the largest agency-subdivision of the United Nations, employing a staff of 30,000, most of whom are Palestinians. From its creation in 1949 to the present day, the number of refugees recognized by the UNRWA has grown from roughly 750,000 to 5,000,000.


Jabotinsky’s Lost Moment: Rick Richman

Just weeks before he died, one of Zionism’s early prophets was starting to get real traction in his plan to create a Jewish army in the heart of the Holocaust.

In June 1940—at the darkest military moment of World War II—three speeches were given in two days: one by a prime minister; another by a general; the third by a Zionist leader. Everyone knows the first; some have heard of the second; few are aware of the third. But the three are of a piece, and the third still resonates today, nearly 75 years later.

On June 18, Winston Churchill—who became prime minister only five weeks before—delivered a lengthy address to a subdued Parliament, dealing primarily with the catastrophic Dunkirk evacuation he had ordered. In May, Nazi Germany had overwhelmed the low countries of Western Europe in a massive new blitzkrieg; Hitler was days away from defeating France, and Britain was unprepared for the invasion it knew would be coming next. Today everyone remembers Churchill’s speech by its final sentence: “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’”

The same day, a little-known general, who had escaped the day before from France and would one day be heralded as the greatest French leader of the twentieth century, delivered a radio address in a London BBC studio. He called on French officers and men who were in Britain, or might be in the future, to get in touch with him, with or without their arms, to form a resistance. The next day he broadcast another call: “Faced by the bewilderment of my countrymen … by the fact that the institutions of my country are incapable, at the moment, of functioning, I, General de Gaulle, a French soldier and military leader, realize that I now speak for France.”

On June 18, Vladimir Jabotinsky, head of the New Zionist Organization, was in New York City, preparing to deliver an address the next evening at the 4,500-seat Manhattan Center. He had spoken there in March to an overflow crowd of 5,000 people; now he held a press conference to preview the second address: he would call for a Jewish Army to fight “the giant rattlesnake.”


Turn off the Light Unto The Nations: Ruth King

Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion proclaimed: “History did not spoil us with power, wealth, nor with broad territories or an enormous community: however, it did grant us uncommon intellectual and moral virtue, and thus it is both a privilege and an obligation to be a light unto the nations.”

Where did that hubris-fraught term originate? From the Book of Isaiah. There are three references.

“Yea, He saith, ‘It is too light a thing for you to be My servant, to establish the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the scions of Israel, and I shall submit you as a light unto the nations, to be My salvation until the end of the earth’ (Isaiah, 49:6)

“I the Lord have called unto you in righteousness, and have taken hold of your hand, and submitted you as the people’s covenant, as a light unto the nations” (Isaiah, 42:6)

“And unto your light, nations shall walk, and kings unto the brightness of your rising” (Isaiah, 60:3)

The notion mesmerized those who aspired to become a utopian, agrarian, virtuous, socialist model to the world. It even lured some realists who wanted the nation to be admired, respected and looked upon as a role model.

In the early post-independence years, the “light” bearers of Israel were depicted as super heroes–farmers/scholars who made the desert bloom and could turn their plough shares and pruning hooks into rifles at a moment’s notice to defend their nation, yet remain devoted to the goal of achieving peace with their neighbors and eager to make sacrifices to obtain it. Who would not be delighted by this image, coming as it did only three years after the Holocaust? How comforting was it to see them as models to illuminate a dark and venal world?


Editor: Rael Jean Isaac
Editorial Board: Herbert Zweibon, Ruth King

Outpost is distributed free to
Members of Americans For a Safe Israel
Annual membership: $50.

Americans For a Safe Israel
1751 Second Ave. (at 91st St.)
New York, NY 10128
tel (212) 828-2424 / fax (212) 828-1717
E-mail: afsi @rcn.com web site: http://www.afsi.org

December 2013
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