Comments by David G. Littman, historian, whose last article can be found here:
Churchill’s words nearly 70 years ago, in a moment of great crisis for Great Britain and Europe, will serve to illustrate the situation today, where it is Israel, its leaders and people who stand for us all against tyranny.
In autumn 1988, while in Jerusalem on a visit, I went round to the information office of the foreign ministry and noticed a new booklet of 60 pages entitled: The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement: 18 August 1988 (Arabic & English translation).
I immediately realised its ‘originality’ and asked whether it would be made available by Israel’s delegation at the forthcoming Geneva UN Commission on Human Rights. I was informed that it did not have the Israel Foreign Ministry stamp and it had been decided not to circulate it, as this might be seen as provocative because its genocidal text had many quotations from the Koran. I asked whether I could have ‘some’ copies and soon received about 150 copies from a pile expected to be pulped. I was thus able, a few months later at the UNCHR, to put this text in the hands of about 100 key UN and State delegates, even the PLO’s Ramlawi, who asked for it – and many NGOs.
On January 31, 1989 at the 45th session of the Commission, under item 4 (Question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine), I was given the floor for ten minutes (today Observer States and NGOs have three).
After an analysis of the situation, I quoted Arafat’s appeal to Israeli leaders in his speech at the UN General Assembly on December 13, 1988: “Come let us make peace. Cast away fear and intimidation” – as well as the proposal of the Christian Mayor of Bethlehem for a conditional one-year UN-sponsored truce, to allow “a calming period to ease the tension, so people could begin to think and behave normally.” Arafat did not beat about the bush: “Whoever thinks of stopping the intifada before it achieves its goals, I will give him ten bullets in the chest.” (IHT, January 20, 1989). The next day Mayor Elias Freij capitulated, humbly retracting his Christmas truce proposal aimed at facilitating peace negotiation. I then spoke of the Hamas Charter:
One might usefully consult a recent jihad-inspired publication, the 20-page Covenant of the militant Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS), operating mainly in Gaza – but also in the West Bank – in collaboration with PLO groups. Dated 18 August 1988, it is a blatant blueprint for genocide, undoubtedly inspired by its spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. I have with me a copy of the Arabic text and an English translation. Its aims are clearly defined in article 8, under the Slogan: “Allah is its target, the Prophet its model, the Koran its constitution; Jihad is its path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.” Article 13 declares: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.” And article 28 does not beat about the bush: “Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge the Muslim people: “May the cowards never sleep.” These realities cannot be brushed aside simply because they are embarrassing, but should rather serve as a serious warning to the gullible for whom an appeasement, misguided, “peace in our time”, will-o’-the-wisp remain a constant obsession. What is urgently needed is a frank, conscious consensus of trust and confidence, without which there can be neither peace nor reconciliation.
I repeated these words at the subsequent Sub-Commission on Human Rights on August 18, 1989, and have continued to do so at almost every UN Commission (the Council since 2006), via all the NGOs I have represented – from 1997 for the Association for World Education, and from 2001 (again) for the WUPJ. This has had no effect whatsoever and no UN body has ever bothered to examine or condemn the clear, genocidal Charter of Hamas, which quotes the Koran frequently, as well as that obscene forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
[Human Rights and Human Wrongs (WUPJ, Geneva, 1989), nÂ° 6, p. 3 and nÂ° 7, p. 17]
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Israel’s ground forces have moved into Gaza to stop the ongoing Jihad war, as defined by Hamas in its ‘slogan’ article 8 above, an exact copy from the foundation slogan of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, founded by Hassan al-Banna in 1928, who became a devout admirer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime (he is quoted in the preamble to the Hamas Charter as saying “Israel will exist and continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”). Israel’s government would do well to meditate the concluding words by Winston Churchill‘s first speech nearly 70 years ago in the House of Commons as prime minster (May 13, 1940), and draw the logical conclusion at this epic moment for Israel – and for the world.
I would say to the House, as I have said to those who have joined this Government: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” (…) You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in a word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival (…) At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, “Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.”
[Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Finest Hour 1939-1941, volume VI, p. 333]
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It is time for democratic societies worldwide to stand firmly behind Israel at this moment of truth for the future of all who recognise that “the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family [which] is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” – as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Jihad till Kingdom Come should not be the sworn rule of law for any part of humanity!