Elul and the UN’s Durban Conference

The Hebrew month of Elul is the last month of the year and traditionally marks the beginning period of repentance in the Jewish calendar. It is on the first day of the month that the prophet Moses ascended Mount Sinai 3,300 years ago, and forty days later, on Yom Kippur, when he descended and broke the tablets when he saw the Children of Israel worshipping beside a statue of a golden calf.

To mark the period of repentance, rabbis instituted a tradition of reciting Psalm 27 at the end of morning and evening prayers. It is a call for God to protect Jews from their enemies.

As we approach the twentieth anniversary of UN Durban Conference and the attacks of 9/11 which both occurred during Elul, and how governments and people choose to commemorate those events, two sentences in the psalm deserve deeper exploration. Sentences 11 & 12:

ה֤וֹרֵ֥נִי יְהֹוָ֗ה דַּ֫רְכֶּ֥ךָ וּ֭נְחֵנִי בְּאֹ֣רַח מִישׁ֑וֹר לְ֝מַ֗עַן שֽׁוֹרְרָֽי׃ Show me Your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my watchful foes.

אַֽל־תִּ֭תְּנֵנִי בְּנֶ֣פֶשׁ צָרָ֑י כִּ֥י קָמוּ־בִ֥י עֵדֵי־שֶׁ֝֗קֶר וִיפֵ֥חַ חָמָֽס׃ Do not subject me to the will of my foes, for false witnesses and unjust accusers have appeared against me.

While the Psalm is set up to seek God’s protection from armies (verse 3), the lines above highlight that enemies include those who wish to undermine Jews with slander. The “watchful foes” scrutinize every action and then bear “false witness” with accusations that seek to seriously harm Jews as they enter the high holidays.

The United Nations, a body conceived of to promote peace and reduce bloodshed, has become a platform for “false witnesses and unjust accusers” which lambast Israel. UN Watch noted that in 2020, the UN General Assembly passed 17 resolutions condemning Israel, while passing a total of six against the rest of the world.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said that the “farce at the General Assembly underscores a simple fact: the UN’s automatic majority has no interest in truly helping Palestinians, nor in protecting anyone’s human rights; the goal of these ritual, one-sided condemnations is to scapegoat Israel.

United States Secretary of State Colin Powell said much the same as he withdrew from the World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa on September 3, 2001:

Today I have instructed our representatives at the World Conference Against Racism to return home. I have taken this decision with regret, because of the importance of the international fight against racism and the contribution that the Conference could have made to it. But, following discussions today by our team in Durban and others who are working for a successful conference, I am convinced that will not be possible. I know that you do not combat racism by conferences that produce declarations containing hateful language, some of which is a throwback to the days of “Zionism equals racism;” or supports the idea that we have made too much of the Holocaust; or suggests that apartheid exists in Israel; or that singles out only one country in the world–Israel–for censure and abuse.

Flyer at 2001 World Conference Against Racism with a picture of Adolf Hitler with caption “What if I had won?” and continued that there would be no Israel nor bloodshed of Palestinians (source UN Watch)

The United Nations has promoted and given legitimacy to the “watchful foes” of Jews – both around the world and in the United States, at governmental levels, among lay leaders and ordinary citizens – to promote vicious slander against Israel and the Jewish people. As those lies are becoming mainstreamed, it is time to stop reciting Psalm 27 quietly but “with shouts of joy, singing and chanting,” (verse 6), for God to cause these evil people and organizations to “stumble and fall” (verse 2).


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Hamas’s Willing Executioners

There was a time when people understood what genocide meant.

They saw the brutality of Nazi Germany’s largely successful effort to exterminate the Jews in Europe. They read about China, the USSR and Turkey killing millions of their own citizens during the 20th century, and recall Rwanda’s civil war with 800,000 people wiped out in just 100 days. Genocide was the brutal slaughter of an entire unwanted ethnic group.

There was a time when people recognized the evil of unjustly accusing people of “genocide.”

In December 2013, United Nations’ Special Rapporteur Richard Falk called Israel “genocidal,” whereupon Canada immediately called for Falk to be fired. In 2017, when Falk tried to push through a report at the UN calling Israel an “apartheid” regime, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley got the report withdrawn. Horrific lies and smears were met with outrage and action.

No longer. The steady drip of anti-Israel propaganda has taken root and decent people are now running for cover from the hate-filled tsunami.

Shrill voices on college campuses are claiming that Israel is committing a “genocide” against Palestinian Arabs, coming from the mouths of both professors and students at institutions like Rutgers and Yale. The charge is “ethnic cleansing” of Muslim Arabs at UCLA and CUNY.

Students of Yale accusing Israel of “genocide and ethnic cleansing”

The accusations are outrageous.

Lies. At the most basic level, the statements are outright lies, as the Arab population in Israel and Jerusalem have not only grown faster than Jews in the country and capital city, but have grown at a faster rate than Arabs in the neighboring countries as well.

Inversions of Perpetrator and Victim. Worse than the fabrication is the attempted inversion of the fanatic Muslim anti-Semitic attackers into victims. Palestinian leadership conspired with Nazi Germany to kill Jews and worked with the British to keep Jews fleeing for the lives from entering Palestine. After the brutal slaughter of 6 million Jews, the Muslim Arabs went to war to wipe out the paltry number of Jews who made it to safety in Palestine. Losing that 1948-9 Arab-Israeli war, the Muslim world expunged nearly a million local Jews in a massive ethnic cleansing. They attempted to annihilate the Jews gain in 1967, only to lose the war – and land – once again. Since 2000, localized terrorism has been the preferred vehicle to express their disgust with Jewish neighbors. When Jews defend themselves from attacks, anti-Semites attempt to portray them as offensive, such as labeling the security barrier Israel built in response to Palestinian Arab terrorism as an “apartheid wall.”

Anti-Semitic Propaganda. Even more dangerous than the lies and offensive inversion of victim and attacker is the motivation for the smears. Like the Nazis who put forth a propaganda machine to label the Jews as degenerates and conspirators to enlist the masses in the purge of the Jews, today’s calls against the Jewish State are designed to weaken an isolate it, while enemies in Muslim countries like Iran and Syria along with their terrorist clients including Hamas and Hezbillah prepare to attack again. The chants of “Free Palestine” and “From the River to the Sea” are the stated goals of destroying Israel accompanying the foundational slurs of Jewish “colonialists” committing “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide.” They are attempting to educate the world that Jews never had rights to land or sovereignty in the holy land, and are evil invaders unworthy of a state and support.


In 2001, just before nineteen Muslim hijackers took civilian airplanes to kill thousands of people on American soil, anti-Semites cloaked as “anti-racists” hijacked the 2001 Durban Conference. The United States withdrew from the horrific spectacle at that time, and now, twenty years later, continues to distances itself from the anniversary commemoration. Alas, the insidious “Zionism is Racism” Redux propaganda has already infected the West.

The noxious “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” smears against Israel which used to only emanate from the mouths of jihadists are now being echoed on college campuses, the liberal mainstream media and the halls of Congress. This vilification of Israel is designed to set the stage for the eradication of the reestablished Jewish State, much as Nazi propaganda facilitated the genocide of European Jewry. While the slanderers self-identify as “pro-Palestinian protestors,” history will refer to them as Hamas’ Willing Executioners.


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English Lesson: Eviction, Expulsion and Ethnic Cleansing

The Insidious Jihad in America

The Banners of Jihad

Considering Nazis and Radical Islam on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

To Serve Jews, United Nations Style

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