Opinion: The IWC in Sofia helped spread the wrong message

Written by on December 4, 2017 in Perspectives - Comments Off on Opinion: The IWC in Sofia helped spread the wrong message

Sofia has a “triangle of tolerance”. In the centre of the Bulgarian capital, a mosque, a synagogue and churches are located within a few hundred metres of each other. There are no tensions between the congregations praying in those temples of different religions.

But there are people in this country who do want to bring across a message of hatred. And there are obviously those who will gladly become their servants.

The so-called Embassy of the State of Palestine is here because communist Bulgaria invited it, decades ago. Of course there is no such thing as a Palestinian state, but not because the Palestinians would not deserve one. In fact they should have their own state. There is no state because the Palestinian leadership missed all opportunities, by saying no to peace.

In Sofia, this “embassy” represents that leadership, which would rather continue hating Israel than having a state. That is because these people’s power is based on hate. The same message is being spread by their representatives in Bulgaria. And the International Women’s Club of Sofia (IWC) just became their messenger. (Read article on yesterday’s scandal at the IWC’s Charity Bazaar).

Forcing the Israelis at the IWC’s Charity Bazaar to take down a wall, on which visitors were supposed to write down their thoughts about the upcoming 70th birthday of Israel, is scandalous. That wall had nothing to do with hatred, but rather with pride of a young and small state, the only Jewish state on the planet.

The Palestinian signs put up at the same bazaar, on the other hand, were messages of hate against Israel. One of them read “We will return”. No, they won’t, because they are already there. When Israel was founded, the Arabs living there were invited to stay. Many did. Others, the so-called Palestinian refugees, chose to leave.

While the Arabs on Israel’s territory were never expelled, Jews from many Arab countries were. Actually the number of Jewish refugees, who had no choice, and Arab (or Palestinian) refugees, who did have a choice, was about the same.

There are more differences: Israel accommodated all Jewish refugees who were expelled from those Arab countries. On the other hand, the Palestinian refugees were not welcomed anywhere, after they chose not to stay in Israel.

What the Palestinians at the Charity Bazaar meant by “We will return” is that they want to make sure Israel ceases to exist, by force, violence, and by trying to delegitimise the state. And what they meant by demanding an apology from the United Kingdom for the Balfour Declaration is almost the same: They do not want Israel to exist.

The IWC in Sofia, at least the members responsible for organising the bazaar on site, helped them, by elevating that message of blind hatred to the same level as the announcement of Israel’s upcoming anniversary. This is like punishing the goose for being threatened by the wolf.

All in all: Yes, the Palestinians should have a state, but they will not get one with this leadership, or the kind of messages they spread.

Not recognising Israel, teaming up with a terrorist organisation like Hamas, using civilians as human shields, attacking Israel with rockets launched from schools, using aid money for palaces and terror tunnels, rather than for the wellbeing of the people, teaching children how to be proud of killing Jews on Palestinian TV, and rejecting negotiations: All of this is definitely not the right path towards a Palestinian state.

A turn by 180 degrees is necessary here, meaning the exact opposite of what the Palestinian leadership is doing, and the exact opposite of the message the IWC in Sofia helped them spread.

By Imanuel Marcus (Associate Editor, The Sofia Globe)

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com