Two recent events suggest that the conversation in the U.S. about Israel and the Middle East may be changing for the good. One of them involves GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. In a High Holy Days conference call with American Rabbis, Romney explained that the U.S. should impose "Red Lines" on Iran and that the U.S. should seek an indictment against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the United Nations Security Council for his repeated calls for Israel's annihilation:
In a High Holidays conference call for American rabbis held this evening, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney outlined his Red Lines on Iran, called for Iranian President Ahmadinejad to be indicted, and for the U.S. to treat Iran as it did apartheid South Africa.
"For me the red line is nuclear capability. We do not want them to have the capacity of building a bomb that threatens ourselves, our friends, or the world," said Romney, responding to a question from Rabbi Efrem Goldberg who asked, "your good friend Prime Minister Netanyahu says that the international community needs to draw a red line for Iran, do you agree that a red line needs to be drawn and where would you draw it?"
In this position Romney appears to have departed from a comment he made recently to ABC News' George Stephanopolulos [sic]. When asked a similar question he said, "My red line is Iran may not have a nuclear weapon." Stephanopolulos [sic] writes, "I pointed out that President Obama also says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon and asked Romney if he therefore has the same "red line" as Obama? "Yes," Romney said. The difference, Romney says, is what he would do to keep Iran from reaching the line."
Romney further called for the implementation of a June 2007 House of Representatives resolution that called upon the United Nations Security Council to charge Ahmadinejad with violating the Genocide Convention by his repeated calls for Israel to be annihilated. "I think we should indict Ahmedinejad [sic] under the Genocide Convention for incitation to genocide, I think that he, and I think the diplomats of Iran should be treated like the pariah they are anywhere they go in the world, I believe that they should be treated the same way we treated South Africa during apartheid," said Romney. To date, no international legal proceedings for incitement to genocide have moved forward against the Iranian President according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
That Ahmadinejad and his cronies are pariahs should be obvious to every informed, thinking person in the U.S. Among other things, they are global sponsors of terrorism aimed at Israel, Jewish people, and the West; they continue to funnel money, weapons, and troops to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he seeks to maintain his grip on power by murdering his own citizens; and they play Hezbollah like a fiddle to stir up trouble in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. For any one of these heinous offenses, Ahmadinejad and his bloodthirsty gang of neo-barbarians should be convicted for capital offenses and hanged from construction cranes the same way they hang innocent Iranian citizens for daring to protest government corruption.
The other change is being led by Israel. It involves focusing attention on Jewish refugees from Arab nations following the outbreak of fighting during Israel's War of Independence in 1948. That effort inspired Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri to fly into a maniacal tirade during which he blamed Jewish refugees for the so-called "Palestinian refugee problem". Abu Zuhri even went so far as to declare that the Jewish refugees were "criminals":
Hamas on Saturday denounced the Israeli call to recognize the suffering of Jewish refugees from Arab countries and their material claims the same way it acknowledges the plight of displaced Palestinians, Ma'an News Agency reported on Sunday.
Following the special gathering at the UN before Israeli officials, foreign diplomats, activists and journalists, to raise the issue of Jewish refugees, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that "those Jews are criminals rather than refugees."
He added: "Those Jews were not refugees as they claim. They were actually responsible for the displacement of the Palestinian people after they secretly migrated from Arab countries to Palestine before they expelled the Palestinians from their lands to build a Jewish state at their expense."
Speaking on behalf of the movement, Zuhri commented that it is the fault of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands who "turned the Palestinian people into refugees", Ma'an reported.
Commenting on the conference, he said: "The Hamas movement views this conference as a dangerous, unprecedented move which contributes to the falsification of history and reversing of facts."
The Jewish refugee issue deserves the attention of U.S. voters because it reveals the duplicity of Arab leaders and their stooges in the West, particularly those in the White House. Below are facts about "Palestine" and "Palestinians" that merit scrutiny, facts with which most people are unfamiliar:
1. People we call "Palestinians" today are in large measure descendants of a hodgepodge of unruly Arabs that none of the Arab nations wanted to absorb following Israel's War of Independence in 1948, and for good reason. For instance, Palestinians who migrated to Jordan following Israel's War of Independence created havoc for King Hussein, so he booted them out killing thousands of them in the process during Black September. Click here and here for details. "Palestinians" then fled to Lebanon and helped to foment the Lebanese Civil War which lasted for more than 15 years and cost untold more lives.
2. The Romans changed the name of Israel to Palestine following the Bar Kochba rebellion in 135 B.C. Click here for details. They chose that name to insult Jewish people because the Philistines were Israel's mortal enemies.
3. Until 1948, anyone who lived in the country we call Israel today was regarded as a "Palestinian", including Jewish people. Click here for details.
4. The number of Jews forced out of Arab countries in 1948 was greater than the number of Arabs who chose to leave "Palestine" for what they thought would be a short time while the Arab nations "drove the Jews into the sea". Since tiny Israel defeated the combined Arab armies, they found themselves homeless.
5. Rather than absorb the "Palestinians" who were displaced by the War of Independence, the Arab nations opted instead to set up refugee camps for them. They did this to create squalid living conditions for "Palestinians" in hopes of garnering global support for an anti-Israel PR campaign. Click here for details. It's worth noting that Israel absorbed more than 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries following the War of Independence. Click here for details.
6. Yasser Arafat (an Egyptian, click here for details) commandeered the name "Palestinian" in 1964 when he created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Click here for details. The primary purpose of the PLO was and is to destroy Israel. Click here for details.
Are American voters waking up to reality? We'll know for sure on November 6th.
Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.