(Communicated by the Bureau of Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon)
Today (Tuesday, 16 February 2010), Deputy Foreign Minister addressed the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and spoke about a wide range of issues.
Campus extremism and Israeli reaction to 'verbal terrorism'
Referring to his recent experience speaking at the Oxford Union, the Deputy Foreign Minister said that Israel is developing a new policy to deal with such incidents.
"The fact that they can shout 'Slaughter the Jews' tells you just what we are facing," Ayalon said. "This type of warfare is on a global scale, which is guided by the Palestinian Authority and Islamist groups. We are moving to put them on the defense and have decided to use deterrence by filming these events and passed the video from the Oxford Union to the British police who are investigating these incidents."
"We need to focus Jewish NGO's and organizations to this issue. They say 'Free Palestine' and try and prevent us from speaking, we say 'Free speech', Ayalon continued. "We have learnt how to defend from terrorism and now we are leaning how to defend from verbal terrorism."
No rush to peace agreement because of demographic reasons
On the peace process and the perception of setting a timetable because of demographic reasons, Ayalon said that when the two-state solution was agreed, political separation was established. "Just as you can not put the Czech Republic and Slovakia or the nations of the former Yugoslavia back together, so you cannot put an arbitrary and artificial entity together," Ayalon said. "Those who rush us are not proving correct. Time is not necessarily exclusively or necessarily against us. We also have the right to self-determination."
When questioned on the Foreign Ministry's relationship with J Street, Ayalon responded: "The thing that troubles me is that they don't present themselves as to what they really are. They should not call themselves pro-Israeli."
Dual loyalty of Arab Israeli MK's
Another question was asked about the situation of Israeli Arabs and their politicians. "They can not hold both ends o the stick, on the one hand they call for the end of Israel as a Jewish State, and they call for a Palestinian state," Ayalon said. "There are Arab members of Knesset who were advisors to Arafat and now to Mahmoud Abbas. This is like US Members of Congress advising the Taliban."
PA incitement and attacking Israel in international forums
Ayalon also referred to the attacks by the Palestinian Authority in international forums. "We point out to international political leaders that the Palestinians ask for more gestures and concessions while they continue to attack us in international forums," Ayalon said. On the issue of incitement, Ayalon said "Although we say there should be no pre-conditions for negotiations to resume, we will certainly not sign an agreement until incitement in the Palestinian Authority stops." Ayalon pointed out that the Fatah Constitution still referred to the destruction of the State of Israel and at the recent Sixth Fatah Conference there was a call to return to terrorism and education to terrorism.
Excerpt of speech:
"Based on what I saw last week in Oxford at the Oxford Union Society where I came to speak, and about 300 to 400 people filled the room, most of them were there to listen. Maybe 10 or 15 came there in order to disrupt, in order to provoke, indeed in order to just make the whole event a failure. Not more than 10 or 15. They already came prepared with Palestinian flags and they were not there to listen, they were not there even to debate or argue. I say that if they have legitimate claims, let's argue, let's see if we can convince each other, or most importantly, decide by the majority that sat there. But the fact that they came there, the fact that they called out, "Free Palestine" while they have a saying, "From the sea to the river" or "From the river to the sea" - which is what they actually say - that does not mean "Free Palestine", but rather "Do away with the State of Israel".
The fact that on the way out, because the guards finally took them out, with murder in their eyes they called, "Itbah al-Yahud", which is "Murder to the Jews", or "Slaughter the Jews", tells you what we are facing. And I can tell you here very authoritatively, very categorically, that this is not just a local organization of the Union students or the Palestinian students, or the Arab students of Oxford. This is warfare on a global scale. They are being financed, they are being trained, and they are being guided by the Palestinian Authority and other Islamist organizations - again part of the delegitimization of Israel and demonization of Israel.
So while we stood quiet at that time and just let them run out of steam and leave, and then continued, we have decided that it is important to go on the offensive. Firstly, with deterrents, and how do you deter? By filming them. And the case in point is what happened in Oxford: we have footage of those guys talking about "Slaughter the Jews" and everything else. This was turned in to the Oxford police, which called them in for questioning, and now they are apologizing, now they are denying what they did and so on, but it is very, very important to put them on the defensive.
And I think we should do it in a concerted effort here. I spoke with Malcolm about this last week - about how we should focus every Jewish NGO and organization, with the State of Israel and the embassies, on this. We have to understand that this is the trench line. This is war.
Secondly, is to really organize Jewish and Israeli students who will oppose them. If they raise "Free Palestine", we should raise the Israeli flag. When they say "Free Palestine", first of all we should say "Free speech", because they do not let us speak.
The same thing happened, I believe, to Michael Oren in California, and we see it continually - This is what they do. They follow Israeli speakers everywhere they can to disrupt, and here again I say, though vastly different, that just as we can take care of ourselves and defend ourselves from terrorism, we can also defend ourselves from this verbal terrorism. It is nothing short of verbal terrorism, and we know how words can also hurt. And sometimes words are as dangerous as bullets. Because this is incitement, this is hatred and this is what they spew all over the world."