Arquivo da tag: #legitimidade

Egyptian Foreign Ministry Blasts New York Times for ‘Giving Veneer of Legitimacy’ to Gaza Smugglers

A spokesperson for Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs attacked the New York Times on Friday for publishing an article that it said evokes sympathy for smugglers in the Gaza Strip and gives legitimacy to their tactics.

The piece in question was published by the New York Times on Wednesday and was titled, “As Egypt Floods Gaza Tunnels, Smugglers Fear an End to Their Trade.” The article profiles Gaza smugglers who are fearful that efforts by the Egyptian government to limit illegal smuggling across the Gaza-Sinai border could “spell doom for their trade.” The first paragraph of the article includes a quote from a worried smuggler who said, “This is the end for us.”

Writing on the Foreign Ministry’s blog, spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said the article is “audaciously intended” to leave the reader sympathetic to the smugglers. By referring to their illegal activity as “trade,” the New York Times is “trying to obfuscate reality, giving a veneer of legitimacy to what is essentially an illegal practice condemned by international and domestic law,” Zeid wrote.

He wondered if the New York Times is unaware that it is every country’s “sovereign prerogative” and “international duty” to defend and secure its borders against illegal smuggling.

“What if that smuggling was taking place through clandestine, hidden, underground tunnels that can neither be monitored nor controlled?” he asked. “Would that not make the issue all the more urgent?”

Zeid also blasted the Times for attempting to frame Egypt as responsible for the decline of Gaza’s economy, and the rise of unemployment, poverty and constant power cuts. The accusations are “nothing short of absurd,” he said, adding that advocating for an “underground, illicit economy” is not the way to help Palestinians.

Zeid said the article is “deliberately oblivious” to the fact that the Gaza tunnels pose a threat to Egypt’s national security, because they help fuel and supply terrorists in the Sinai.

“After all, if commodities can be smuggled undetected across a border, what is to stop weapons, human beings and historical and cultural artifacts from being smuggled in the same way?” he asked. “There is plenty of evidence that narcotics and human traffickers have repeatedly exploited the tunnels. Convicted criminals are known to have escaped through them. Weapons and firearms are constantly being smuggled across them… Is this the kind of lawlessness the NYTis advocating?”

In conclusion, Zeid accused the Times of biased reporting, intent on “discrediting Egypt’s image in any possible way, for any possible reason.” He charged the publication with misleading and deceiving its readership, a feature he believes is prominent in all its reportage on Egypt.

“This time,” he wrote, “the paper has gone a step further, advocating what would amount to a situation of lawlessness and chaos.”

Why Is Pakistan More Legitimate than Israel?

Whenever I have received a call from a listener to my radio show challenging Israel’s legitimacy, I have asked these people if they ever called a radio show to challenge any other country’s legitimacy. In particular, I ask, have they ever questioned the legitimacy of Pakistan?

The answer, of course, is always “no.” In fact, no caller ever understood why I even mentioned Pakistan.

There are two reasons for this.

First, of all the 200-plus countries in the world, only Israel’s legitimacy is challenged. So mentioning any other country seems strange to a caller. Second, almost no one outside of India and Pakistan knows anything about the founding of Pakistan.

Only months before the U.N. adopted a proposal to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state in 1947, India was partitioned into a Muslim and a Hindu state. The Hindu state was, of course, India. And the Muslim state became known as Pakistan. It comprises 310,000 square miles, about 40,000 square miles larger than Texas.

In both cases, the declaration of an independent state resulted in violence. As soon as the newly established state of Israel was declared in May 1948, it was invaded by six Arab armies. And the partition of India led to a terrible violence between Muslims and Hindus.

According to the final report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission from Dec. 28, 1949, the 1948 war of Israel’s independence created 726,000 Arabs refugees. Many sources put the figure at about 200,000 less. A roughly equal number of Jewish refugees — approximately 700,000 — were created when they were forcibly expelled from the Arab countries where they had lived for countless generations. In addition, approximately 10,000 Arabs were killed in the fighting that ensued after the Arab invasion of Israel.

Now let’s turn to the creation of Pakistan. According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, the creation of Pakistan resulted in 14 million refugees — Hindus fleeing Pakistan and Muslims fleeing India. Assuming a 50-50 split, the creation of Pakistan produced about seven million Hindu refugees — at least 10 times the number of Arab refugees that resulted from the war surrounding Israel’s creation. And the Mideast war, it should be recalled, was started by the Arab nations surrounding Israel. Were it not for the Arab rejection of Israel’s creation (and existence within any borders) and the subsequent Arab invasion, there would have been no Arab refugees.

And regarding deaths, the highest estimate of Arab deaths during the 1948 war following the partition of Palestine is 10,000. The number of deaths that resulted from the creation of Pakistan is around one million.

In addition, according to the Indian government, at least 86,000 women were raped. Most historians believe the number to be far higher. The number of women raped when Israel was established is close to zero. From all evidence I could find, the highest estimate was 12.

Given the spectacularly larger number of refugees and deaths caused by the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan, why does no one ever question the legitimacy of Pakistan’s existence?

This question is particularly valid given another fact: Never before in history was there a Pakistan. It was a completely new nation. Moreover, its creation was made possible solely because of Muslim invasion. It was Muslims who invaded India, and killed about 60 million Hindus during the thousand-year Muslim rule of India. The area now known as Pakistan was Hindu until the Muslims invaded it in A.D. 711.

On the other and, modern Israel is the third Jewish state in the geographic area known as Palestine. The first was destroyed in 586 B.C., the second in A.D. 70. And there was never a non-Jewish sovereign state in Palestine.

So, given all these facts, why is Israel’s legitimacy challenged, while the legitimacy of Pakistan, a state that had never before existed and whose creation resulted in the largest mass migration in recorded history, is never challenged?

The answer is so obvious that only those who graduated from college, and especially from graduate school, need to be told: Israel is the one Jewish state in the world. So, while there are 49 Muslim-majority countries and 22 Arab states, much of the world questions or outright only rejects the right of the one Jewish state, the size of New Jersey, to exist.

If you are a member of the Presbyterian Church, send these facts to the leaders of the Presbyterian Church USA who voted to boycott Israel. If you are a student in Middle Eastern Studies — or for that matter, almost any other humanities department — and your professor is anti-Israel, ask your professor why Pakistan is legitimate and Israel isn’t.

They won’t have a good answer. Their opposition to Israel isn’t based on moral considerations.