In the end, the global jihad, and the West's fickle response to radical Islam's assault on its civilization, is about hating Jews. This truth, never wholly hidden from view, was exposed in all its ugliness in recent months with startling disclosures by former Italian president and Senator-for-life Francesco Cossiga.
In a letter to Italy's Corriere della Serra in August, Cossiga acknowledged that during the early 1970s, then Italian prime minister Aldo Moro signed an agreement with Yassir Arafat's PLO and affiliated organizations that enabled the Palestinians to field terrorists, operate bases and store weapons in Italy in exchange for immunity from attack for Italy and Italian interests worldwide. Cossiga also acknowledged that even when the Palestinians murdered Italians, the government still protected them. Indeed, he admitted for the first time that the largest terror attack ever to take place on Italian soil – the bombing of the Bologna train station in July 1980 which killed 85 people – was the work of PLO-affiliated terrorists from George Habash's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
At the time of the bombing, Cossiga was Italy's prime minister. Right after it occurred, he blamed the atrocity on neo-fascists. In his words at the time, "Unlike leftist terrorism, which strikes at the heart of the state through its representatives, black terrorism prefers the massacre because it promotes panic and impulsive reactions."
In August, he claimed that it was the work of the PFLP and asserted that the bomb exploded inadvertently. That is, the Palestinians hadn't meant to kill non-Jews – so Italian authorities protected them.
On Friday, Cossiga expanded on his disclosures to Corriere della Serra in an interview with Yediot Aharonot's Rome correspondent Menachem Ganz. Cossiga admitted that it wasn't just Israeli targets that Italy permitted the Palestinians to attack with impunity, but Jewish targets as well. Indeed, in at least one and probably two incidents, the Italians colluded with the Palestinians in their attacks against Jews. On October 9, 1982, six terrorists opened fire on worshippers leaving Rome's Great Synagogue. Dozens of Jews were wounded and two-year-old Stefano Tache was murdered. Hours before the attack the Italian police detail charged with securing the synagogue was withdrawn.
Then too, in December 1985, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on the El Al ticket counter at the Rome airport. Ten people were killed. Another seven people were murdered in a simultaneous attack against the El Al ticket counter at the Vienna airport. According to Cossiga, Italian intelligence agencies received prior warning of the attack but didn't bother to share the information with Israel.
Cossiga explained to Yediot, "No Italian targets were hit. They attacked the Israeli airline at the airport. The murdered were all Israelis, Jews, and Americans."
Then there was the hijacking of the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro off the Egyptian coast in October 1985. Palestinian terrorists led by Abu Abbas commandeered the ship. They shot wheelchair-bound American Jewish passenger Leon Klinghoffer and threw him overboard while he was still alive. The Egyptians freed the hijackers and sent them off on a flight to Libya. American jets forced a plane to land at a NATO base in Sicily. The Italians refused to permit the Americans to take the hijackers into custody and freed Abbas. The Italians cast the standoff as a victory against American bullies. But it really amounted to a surrender to Palestinian murderers. As Cossiga explained, "Since the Arabs were capable of harming Italy more than the Americans, Italy surrendered to them."
COSSIGA ALLEGES that his country's agreement with the Palestinians has recently been expanded to include Hizbullah. After the Second Lebanon War, Italy agreed to command the UNIFIL force charged with preventing Hizbullah from reasserting control over southern Lebanon and blocking its re-armament efforts. Yet Cossiga asserts, "I can state with absolute certainty that… Italy has a deal with Hizbullah according to which UNIFIL forces turn a blind eye to Hizbullah's rearmament so long as no attacks are carried out against soldiers in the force."
Ganz notes ruefully that although Cossiga's statements provoked the Italian Jewish community to demand that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi investigate the government's collusion with Palestinian terrorists, no such investigation is likely to be forthcoming. Ganz explains that Berlusconi himself is not immune to the anti-Semitism that caused his predecessors to abstain from protecting Italy's Jewish citizens. When he addresses Italian Jews, Berlusconi often calls the Israeli government "your government," and so exposes his adherence to the view that Jews are not true citizens of any country other than Israel.
The anti-Semitic belief that all Jews are Zionists and therefore all Jews are fair game in the war against Israel – itself simply another round of the age-old war against the Jews – allows anti-Semites to obfuscate the fact that their anti-Israel rhetoric is simply warmed over Jew-hatred. People like Iranian leaders Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ali Khamenei, and Palestinian terrorists from the PLO and their progeny in Hamas and Hizbullah nearly always limit their threats to "Zionists," and so pretend that they aren't actually anti-Semites.
Their razor-thin deception is eagerly embraced by their fellow travelers in the West – from university professors like Juan Cole, Steven Walt and John Mearshimer, to policymakers like Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, to Western decision-makers and European heads of state, and an alarming number of American politicians.
This deception is par for the course of anti-Semitism. Throughout history anti-Semites have used Jew-hatred as a way to rally their troops. By attacking Jews as the collective enemy, tyrants have given their people a convenient, weak culprit to attack to deflect criticism away from their own failures or to hide real enemies from pacifistic publics uninterested in fighting. Anti-Semitism appeals to people's basest instinct. But people don't like to acknowledge how much they hate Jews, and Jews have always preferred to deny that they are hated.
So anti-Semitic leaders have disguised their appeal to base instinct by pretending that they are actually appealing to sublime aspirations. In the case of the Nazis for instance, Adolf Hitler and Josef Goebbels appealed to Germanic pride and love for the Fatherland. Today, the Left appeals to people's aspirations for peace and justice. It is only by permitting and indeed enabling Jews to die and the Jewish state to be destroyed that "peace" can be secured and the Palestinians can receive "justice."
THIS STRATEGY appeals to European – and to greater and lesser degrees American – policymakers for two reasons. First, as French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner made clear in an interview with Ha'aretz on Friday, while the West understands that Islamic jihadists seek the destruction of Europe and the US, they believe – in part because their own anti-Semitism leads them to exaggerate Jewish power – that they will get away with coddling the Arabs and Iran because Israel will protect them.
Referring to Iran's nuclear weapons program, Kouchner said that no one is particularly worried about Iran's nuclear threat because everyone believes that Israel will attack Iran for them. In his words, "I honestly don't believe that [a nuclear arsenal] will give any immunity to Iran. First, you [Israel] will hit them before [they acquire nuclear weapons]… Because Israel has always said that it will not wait for the bomb to be ready. I think that they [the Iranians] know. Everybody knows."
What is ironic about this view is that it exposes the inver
sion of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Five years ago, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamed told an approving audience of Islamic heads of state, "The Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them."
But the West's belief that Israel will protect it from Iran shows that the opposite is true. The West is absolutely certain that Israel is its proxy, and that Jews will fight and die protecting it from the forces of global terror and jihad.
THE SECOND reason the Western champions of "peace" have opted to sell Israel and the Jews out to the jihadists is because as anti-Semites, Western "anti-Zionists" fear Jewish power and therefore want us to be weak. So it is that for the past 40 years, European governments and the US State Department have bankrolled anti-Zionist groups in Israel like Peace Now, B'tselem and Four Mothers. So it is that they have blamed Israel for Palestinian terrorism. And even when Israel succumbs to all their demands for territorial withdrawals, they always manage to demand still more.
In the same interview with Ha'aretz for instance, Kouchner on the one hand praised Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for their willingness to surrender Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, but argued that this is still not enough. Israel must also accept the free immigration of the hostile descendants of the Arabs who left Israel in 1948. That is, Israel must also agree to its own destruction in order to pave the way for "peace." In his words, "The main problem is the refugees and Jerusalem, but more the refugees. Olmert and Livni do not have the perception of this."
Kouchner for one is certain that Livni will come around to recognizing the need to allow hostile foreign-born Arabs to move here. "I think she will change. This is always the case for people that are in charge for politics and for life," he claimed.
Kouchner soothed the reporters' fears of national destruction by claiming that he's probably not talking about more than 100,000 hostile Arabs immigrants. But that's today.
If Livni does form a government and comes around to this view, leave it to the West to explain that placing "arbitrary" limits on Arab immigration is a human rights abuse, and that Israel's Zionist racism is compelling the Arabs and Iran to kill Jews and Westerners around the world.
AND THIS brings us to perhaps the greatest irony of the West's collusion with the Arabs and Iran in their war against the Jews. The logical outcome of the twin delusions of anti-Semitism – that Jews are all powerful and that the Jews must be cut down to size – is the destruction of Israel. And if that happens, the West will find itself in jaws of the Islamic jihadists they have been feeding the Jews to for four decades.
The West's subversion of the Israeli elite has fomented a situation where many Israeli leaders have embraced their anti-Semitic views of Israel. Leaders like Livni and Olmert, and the media and academia in Israel, have largely accepted the notion that Israel is to blame for the global jihad. Today these leaders uphold Jewish weakness as an ideal. The longer these Western-supported elites remain in power, the larger the chance that Israel won't attack Iran and that Israel will allow itself to be destroyed in the interest of pursuing "peace" with Palestinian terrorists.
And if Israel is destroyed, the West won't be able to depend on us Jews to fight and die for them anymore. They will be all alone.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.