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Chamber of Debate

Israel - right to exist

Bin Laden's LETTER TO AMERICA of 24 November 2002 is too long for inclusion here but can be found at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver


16 May 2008
DUBAI (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden vowed in an audio tape to mark Israel's 60th anniversary to continue to fight the Jewish state and its allies in the West.

The al Qaeda leader, who has placed growing emphasis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said it was at the heart of the Muslim battle with the West and an inspiration to the 19 bombers who carried out the attacks on U.S. cities on September 11, 2001.

"We will continue, God permitting, the fight against the Israelis and their allies ... and will not give up a single inch of Palestine as long as there is one true Muslim on earth," he said in the message, posted on an Islamist website on Friday.

Bin Laden said Israel's anniversary celebrations were a reminder that it did not exist 60 years ago, and had been established on land seized from Palestinians by force.

"This is evidence that Palestine is our land, and the Israelis are invaders and occupiers who should be fought," he said.

The Saudi-born militant also said that decades of peace initiatives had failed to establish a Palestinian state, and the West had proved time and again that it sided with Israel.

"The participation of Western leaders with the Jews in this celebration confirms that the West backs this Jewish occupation of our land, and that they stand in the Israeli corner against us," he said. "They proved this in practice by sending their forces to southern Lebanon."

He also said Western media had over the years painted Israelis as victims, and the Palestinians who had been displaced from their land as terrorists.

The authenticity of the tape could not immediately be verified but the voice sounded like Bin Laden's.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel dismissed the tape as the ravings of a terrorist.

"We don't pay any attention to the threats of a crazy terrorist. The time has come for him to be caught and to be punished for all his crimes," Mekel said.

Laura Mansfield, an organisation that monitors Islamist websites, said Bin Laden was shifting emphasis: "In his initial messages, bin Laden's focus was on the removal of U.S. forces from (Saudi Arabia) but in recent years he has more closely wedded himself to the Palestinian issue."

In a message on March 20, bin Laden urged Muslims to maintain the struggle against U.S. forces in Iraq as a path toward "liberating Palestine".

Al Qaeda has vowed attacks on Jews both inside and outside Israel, and regularly expressed support for the Palestinians.

Al Qaeda is widely blamed for a suicide attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya and a simultaneous failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter jet near Mombasa airport in Kenya in 2002.

But despite calls by al Qaeda supporters for the militant network to establish a presence in Palestinian areas, U.S. intelligence officials see no evidence it has done so.

Analysts say it faces competition for turf, in particular in the Gaza Strip, from the well-established Hamas.

Bin Laden said the Palestinians in Gaza Strip were being subjected to a "slow death" and blamed U.S.-allied Egypt for helping Israel to besiege the overcrowded Hamas-run area.
Vote: Should the West unconditionally support the right of Israel to exist?

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Members Comments

1in10 27-Apr-2010 1:28
Support for Israel is support for the idea that illegal immigrants can enter your country and form their own. It comes as no surprise that the anti-nationalist West supports Israel rather than Palestine.

I totally agree that Israel is a bastion of western liberalism, and accept that to oppose Israel can be equated with being against western liberalism and everything it stands for. But if western liberalism is destroying your nation (and every nation) then surely that is a legitimate reason to hate it?
WelshPatriot 26-Apr-2010 18:6
The Jews were resident in the land that is now called Israel long before Islam had ever been invented!
EdGeKo 30-Jun-2009 13:23
I think that the West should support Israel's right to exist unconditionally, especially given it is the only bastion of Western liberalism in an area of the world filled with people who hate everything Western liberalism stands for.

Now, I don't necessarily mean the West should provide unconditional financial material support at the drop of a hat in order to help Israel fight Arabs at every turn, merely that if there is ever a significant military threat to Israel (say for example, Iran) then the West should do all in its power to help Israel.

Moon, I find it interesting you mention Obama. His equation of Israel to Hamas in the Cairo speech showed him to be horribly ignorant of the reality in the area at best, and just a plain, old-fashioned anti-Semite at worst.

I also find your mention of the 'Israel Lobby' interesting. I think it's very dangerous to talk of this all mighty Jewish lobby in America. When I speak to most lefty, pro-Palestinian activists I meet about the subject I usually end up hearing recycled versions of the Nazi's Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy theory, only now it's a worldwide Jewish-Capitalist conspiracy.

I'm sure there are some people with legitimately good reasons for disliking Israel. And I'm sure they're all in the Arab world or of Arab descent. I'm not one for making broad generalisations, but I can honestly say that every Western opponent of Israel I've met is either significantly left-wing or an anti-Semite. The real question isn't if the West should unconditionally support Israel, but why so many in the West don't think we should support Israel.
moon 31-May-2009 13:43
' Unconditional support for Israel ' is about to be tested. Obama is insisting upon a total freeze of all Zionist illegal settlement building within Occupied Palestine. Netanyahu is hoping that the US Congress will actually turn against its President and support Israel's illegal activities instead. Who will win, the Israel Lobby in Washington or this new President who appears to favor fair play ?

Will Congress with-hold Israel's yearly billions in hand-outs if Netanyahu doesn't say Uncle ?
moon 1-Apr-2009 13:53
Herb says "The real problem is the resurgence of Extremist Islam"

There is no such animal as 'extremist Islam'. Extremist muslims, yes, extremist jews , yes.

'Extremist Judaism ' ?? No. 'Extremist christianity ' ?? No.
Herb 18-May-2008 2:9
The world's real problem is not the existence of Israel. Israel just happens to be on the front line of the conflict between Islam and the rest of the world..

The real problem is the resurgence of Extremist Islam. Extremist Islam is now the most coherent force in the Muslim world - so much so that it controls most of the Islamic world. This presents the non-Muslim world with the hard fact that Islam has at its core the implacable belief that God has ordered it to subjugate all non-muslims in the world by whatever means will achieve it.

Islam now has two footholds with which it is undermining the west. One foothold is the huge and growing numbers of Muslim immigrants in western countries.

The other foothold is the considerable number of westerners who are dedicated to leftism, political correctness and anti-semitism. These beliefs persuade them to believe that western society is corrupted and evil and that capitalism and Christianity and the USA and Jews are to blame for it. That of course is an attitude that Islamist extremists agree with take advantage of.

But what those western sympathisers forget or ignore is that Islamists regard them too as infidels and that the Islamists are just as dedicated to eventually subjugating or destroying all infidels - including the politically correct - as they are dedicated to subjugating and destroying Israel.
jeffreymarshall 17-May-2008 12:23
If 'unconditional' support means giving military assistance to Israel in their war against the Palestinians & other supporters of Islamic terrorism then, no, I am afraid not.

However, I do wish Israel well - the Jews certainly deserve their homeland & the modern democracy they've established in Israel is clearly a desirable nation & ought to be allowed to survive. So may God protect them & I would always support them morally, I guess. Fortunately, however, the Israelis appear to be quite well placed to defend their own nation.

By contrast, a backward Islamic state ought not to exist at all and the Palestinians are quite simply just a nuisance. Once again, though, whilst I would completely sympathise with the Israelis' desire to exterminate the Palestinians, I would not actively assist them to do so.

So I regret then, because of the word 'unconditionally' I cannot answer 'yes' to this question - much as I would like to.
Andromeda 16-May-2008 16:25
It strikes me as somewhat disloyal to unconditionally support another country's right to exist if it is not in the National Interest of one's own country to do so.

What does it matter to any other country whether Israel exists or not?

It is more trouble than it's worth, even to the Israelis. The State of Israel was a poisoned chalice that Hitler handed to the Zionists.

I just do not see why anybody, other than Israelis, should die for Israel.

I suppose the West giving it up as the last symbolic vestige of Western predominance is what most people object to, irrespective of the rights and wrongs of it. These people don't want the Arabs or Muslims to be seen to have won.

But if it was land just taken as an exercising of robbing Peter to pay Paul, then I suppose Peter has a right to complain, even if this means accepting the force of Bin Laden's arguments.

This is frightening admission, but I do not think Bin Laden intends the West to avoid it forever.
somnus 16-May-2008 14:54
I don't think that the west should support Israel unconditionally, if the same amount of money had been poured into Palestine then by the US then the Palestinians would have a reasonable standard of living. At the moment they are totally oppressed by the Israelis, who continually carry out atrocities against the Paslestinian women and children, with the blessing of the West in particular the US.
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