Alex Ryvchin, co-Chief Executive Officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the author of two internationally acclaimed books of history and politics, “The Anti-Israel Agenda – Inside the Political War on the Jewish State”, (Gefen Publishing House, 2017) and “Zionism – The Concise History” (Connor Court Publishing, 2019) recently gave an exclusive interview to internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist and editor of Blitz, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. During this interview, Alex Ryvchin has replied to a number of questions on the current Middle East situation, as well as crisis between the State of Israel and Palestinians, including mega-terror outfit Hamas.
Alex is the also author of the international bestseller, “A New Day” (Yogi Books, 2020) written during the Coronavirus Pandemic to help families overcome adversity.
He writes for leading publications and speaks, debates and teaches around the world on the Arab-Israeli conflict, foreign and national affairs, antisemitism and the Holocaust, and religion and identity, and is a regular commentator on TV and radio.
In 2013, Alex Ryvchin joined the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Australia’s premier representative and advocacy body for the Australian Jewish community, and was promoted to co-Chief Executive Officer in February 2018, becoming one of the youngest leaders in the Jewish diaspora. He is a member of the Jewish Diplomatic Corps.
Alex was born in Kiev, Ukraine. His family left the Soviet Union as refugees and refuseniks in 1987, when Alex was 3 years old. He attended Sydney Boys High School and went on to study law and politics at the University of New South Wales.
He worked for a member of the state legislature as a researcher and speechwriter before practicing law at two of the world’s largest law firms, first in Sydney and then in London. He served as a spokesman for the Zionist Federation UK, and was awarded a prestigious Israel Research Fellowship to work as a research fellow and staff writer at a Jerusalem-based think-tank.
Here are the excerpts of the interview:
BLiTZ: According to terror-broadcast network Al Jazeera, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar in an interview said, “This land is not suitable for a two-state solution. It’s either or. Either the occupation remains forever – an option that has become completely inconceivable – or this occupation will be removed and each [Israeli] will go his way”, meaning Palestinians and Hamas are no more interested in any peace effort. They are now working as mercenaries of Iran’s notorious agenda and are actively helping the Iranian regime in emerging as the next boss of the Middle East. They also are working as collaborator of Erdogan in his wild dream of re-establishing the Ottoman caliphate.
Exposing his current mission of serving Iran’s purpose, Al-Zahar said, “Iran has been targeted by the Israeli entity, which killed Iranian leaders,” he said, adding that Israel had “incited America to place an [economic] siege on Iran. Therefore, Iran is the enemy of our enemy. Syrian lands are occupied, including the Golan Heights. Syria is the enemy of our enemy”.
He even went further by voicing in favor of Iran’s proxy in Lebanon saying, “Lebanon – where Hezbollah is – has been attacked and its lands occupied, and it is also the enemy of our enemy. Why should we not cooperate with the enemy of our enemy in order to liberate our land? We have a common enemy and one land, so why not cooperate in order to liberate it? I don’t just ‘accept’ this. I think it is our duty to cooperate on all levels, in order to liberate the land and get rid of this cancer on our land”.
Reviewing the latest statement of Hamas top official, it is evidently proved – Palestinians are no more in favor of peace. They want bloodshed in the Middle East and ultimately help Iran in establishing total dominance in the region.
In this case, what solution really the world is looking for? Drive away Jews from the Middle East and Israel?
Alex Ryvchin: Without question, Hamas and its financiers seek the destruction of any free Jewish presence in the Middle East. Their philosophy is one of ethnic and religious supremacism that holds the Jews to be an inferior people. There can be no peace or coexistence with those who hold such views. But the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel is 4,000 years old and cannot be broken.
BLiTZ: As Hamas now has clearly rejected the possibility of a “two-state solution” while it also has admitted its alliance with Iran and Hezbollah. Under such circumstance, what Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or those leaders in the Arab and Muslim nations would do?
Alex Ryvchin: Those who seek peace in the region must isolate the warmongers and fanatics that would deliver more needless suffering and perpetual conflict. We need an alliance of moderates that are committed to co-existence. I believe this alliance is now forming.
BLiTZ: There is allegation of American Rabbinical students appeasing Hamas and denouncing the State of Israel. What is the reason behind their anti-Israel and anti-Zionist stand?
Alex Ryvchin: Jewish anti-Zionism is a fringe and numerically insignificant phenomenon confined virtually to sects of religious zealots and hard-left activists. While such groups are amplified to give the impression of divisions in the Jewish world, the overwhelming majority of Jews are proudly Zionist.
BLiTZ: Hillel Neuer of UN Watch submitted a testimony at the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) its 30th Special Session on May 27, 2021 said the purpose of Hamas, backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, was to attack Israeli cities from within populated areas in Gaza, to incur civilian casualties, and exploit the suffering of their own people — in order to delegitimize Israel at the UN, in international courts, and in the media.
What is your opinion about recent activities of UNHRC that clearly went against Jews and Israel?
Alex Ryvchin: The UNHRC has no standing and no credibility to investigate the actions of Israel. While countries such as Venezuela and Libya may wish to pronounce on how Israel defends its citizens from terrorists that seek its destruction, they will have absolutely no impact on how Israel conducts itself or on the support of its fellow liberal-democracies. Several of the members of the Council do not even recognize the State of Israel. Before citing international law to condemn Israel, they may wish to first acquaint themselves with the long chain of international law upon which Israel attained its unimpeachable legitimacy.
BLiTZ: As Hamas has openly proclaimed of driving Jews out of the Middle East and as this terrorist group has also rejected any peace process unless Israel is eliminated from the world map, what solution really the United Nations, Muslim world and the US administration are looking for in the Middle East?
Alex Ryvchin: There must be a change in the Palestinian leadership before peace can be achieved. As we have discussed, when the Palestinians are ruled by a terrorist organization, there is no prospect of coexistence.
BLiTZ: A nexus of Hamas, Iran and Hezbollah will ultimately emerge as the greatest threat to the Sunni world. Do you think, by supporting Palestinians and Hamas, Arab nations in particular are paving the path for Iranian dominance in the Middle East?
Alex Ryvchin: Indeed. This plays into the Iranian agenda of regional domination and the erasure of moderacy and diversity from the Middle East.
BLiTZ: Why the United Nations and the international community are silent about the fact that Hamas started the recent Israel-Hamas war, firing 4,000 rockets that deliberately targeted civilians across Israel while rockets were launched from civilian areas by Hamas, which constitutes a double war crime?
Alex Ryvchin: As my first book, “The Anti-Israel Agenda – Inside the Political War on the Jewish State” describes, the UN has long been captive to an alliance of anti-democratic nations that are inherently hostile to Israel. They have no interest in condemning the clear war crimes of Hamas and seek only to entrench the anti-Israel agenda in global forums.
BLiTZ: Following the ceasefire, Hamas is pursuing the Muslim world as well as the United Nations for “trying Israel for committing war crimes”. Unfortunately, there is no voice from the Jewish world or even friends of Israel to counter such false propaganda of Hamas. Why everything is so much biased towards Hamas?
Alex Ryvchin: This is a great moral failing. Those who believe in peace and coexistence must find their voice and reject the Jew-hatred and violence of Hamas and their supporters.
BLiTZ: Has Israel really lost its allies and friends in the western nations, including the US?
Alex Ryvchin: I believe Israel still enjoys considerable support, however, the pro-Palestinian activist have become adept at harassing, bullying and threatening anyone who dares express support for Israel and the cause of peace. This has silenced pro-Israel voices and must be challenged.
BLiTZ: Why the international and even Israeli media are failing in effectively defending the State of Israel during this crucial time?
Alex Ryvchin: The media has become captive to an anti-Israel bias. The distinction between activists and journalists is becoming non-existent. This is one of the reasons why faith in media objectivity is at an all-time low.
BLiTZ: Would you please describe your book ‘Zionism: The Concise History”?
Alex Ryvchin: The story of Zionism, the Jewish movement of national liberation that led to the founding of modern Israel, is animated by leaders possessed with rare vision and political genius. It is also a story of tragedy, false dawns and suffering on an incomprehensible scale. Above all, it is a story without precedent, that saw an ancient, scattered, persecuted people who had limped from one disaster to the next, achieving a return to freedom in the lands of their ancestors nearly two millennia after their exile. My book tells the gripping story of Zionism, a movement that has become one of the most controversial and least understood political concepts of our time, one that remains central to modern Jewish identity and to war and peace in the Middle East. Anyone who wants to understand the Jewish people and the story of Zionism should read this book.