Ex­cuses for hat­ing Is­rael

Is­rael’s mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion to de­grade Ha­mas’ abil­ity to rain rock­ets has stirred up the usual protests in Europe, writes Bruce S Thor­ton

The Political and Business Daily - - EDIT -

IS­RAEL’S mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion to de­grade Ha­mas’ abil­ity to rain rock­ets down on Is­raeli cities has stirred up the usual noisy and nasty protests in Europe. We need not dwell on demon­stra­tions by Mus­lim im­mi­grants, whose geno­ci­dal Jew-ha­tred has been an Is­lamic tra­di­tion for 14 cen­turies. More re­veal­ing is the ha­tred of Is­rael by so many Euro­peans, rang­ing from left­over left­ists and ide­alis­ers of the dark­skinned ‘other,’ to far-right xeno­phobes and morally ad­dled Chris­tians. What­ever its ori­gins, one thing their bit­ter ha­tred of Is­rael does not have is any foun­da­tion in co­her­ent prin­ci­ple.

Take the dis­plea­sure aroused by the con­tin­u­ally pub­li­cised dis­par­ity in deaths be­tween Gazans and Is­raelis in the cur­rent ground op­er­a­tion to stop the rock­ets. Many crit­ics seem af­fronted that Is­rael has taken great pains to pro­tect its cit­i­zens by build­ing bomb shel­ters and de­vel­op­ing the Iron Dome anti-mis­sile de­fenses, and so have suf­fered only 2 civil­ian deaths. They see the videos of dead Pales­tinian Arab chil­dren and blame those deaths on Is­rael’s “dis­pro­por­tion­ate re­sponse” in­stead of Ha­mas’ in­dif­fer­ence to their own peo­ple’s safety. They ig­nore Ha­mas’s tac­tic of us­ing their own women and chil­dren as hu­man shields, or­der­ing them not to flee the fight­ing, and stor­ing ex­plo­sives and mu­ni­tions in tun­nels un­der mosques, hos­pi­tals, apart­ment build­ings, and schools, sub­ter­ranean space that could be used to pro­tect their peo­ple. They wink at Ha­mas’ con­scious aim to engi­neer such ca­su­al­ties in order to cre­ate the “pro­pa­ganda of the deed,” the pur­pose of which is to elicit pre­cisely the un­crit­i­cal con­dem­na­tions of Is­rael that Euro­pean use­ful id­iots re­flex­ively pro­vide. They dis­re­gard Is­rael’s un­prece­dented ef­forts to warn civil­ians that bombs are headed their way––phon­ing them on cell phones and land-lines, send­ing text mes­sages, scat­ter­ing leaflets, and drop­ping warn­ing duds on the roofs of tar­gets. And of course, the Is­rael-haters don’t care that Is­rael’s ac­tions are al­ways a de­fen­sive re­sponse to ter­ror­ist ag­gres­sion.

So what’s the un­der­ly­ing prin­ci­ple be­hind crit­i­cisms of “dis­pro­por­tion­ate” ac­tions and ca­su­al­ties? That tac­ti­cal and matériel ad­van­tages in war are un­fair? A war is not a game like golf, where an in­fe­rior player is given a hand­i­cap when he plays a bet­ter op­po­nent. The ob­jec­tive is to stop the ag­gres­sion and save lives, us­ing all the re­sources at your dis­posal. Do you think dur­ing WWII that any­one gave a damn about “dis­pro­por­tion­ate” ca­su­al­ties? Ja­panese bombs killed 74 US civil­ians dur­ing WWII, 68 at Pearl

More re­veal­ing is the ha­tred of Is­rael by so

many Euro­peans

Har­bour and an Ore­gon fam­ily of six killed by a booby-trapped bal­loon. The US bomb­ing of Ja­pan killed 5,00,000. Those are the tragic wages of ag­gres­sion, what Aeschy­lus meant when he said, “The doer suf­fers.”

But the ob­ses­sion with Pales­tinian Arab ca­su­al­ties, nearly all of them the con­se­quence of Arab ag­gres­sion and cal­lous dis­re­gard for even their own fam­i­lies, is just another ex­pres­sion of the ir­ra­tional ha­tred of Is­rael. If one cal­cu­lated, just based on the global me­dia’s in­tense cov­er­age, how many Arabs have died be­cause of Is­rael’s de­fense of its peo­ple, you’d think the con­flict has taken the lives of mil­lions. In fact, since WWII, 41 mil­lion peo­ple have died in vi­o­lent con­flicts all over the world––but about 40,000 Arabs have died at the hands of Is­rael, most the re­sult of 3 wars of ag­gres­sion waged against the Jewish state. Mean­while, 11 mil­lion Mus­lims have died in other con­flicts, 90% of them killed by fel­low Mus­lims. In­deed, even as in­ter­na­tional crit­ics are de­vot­ing hours of cov­er­age to the ca­su­al­ties in Gaza, tens of thou­sands of Mus­lims are dy­ing in Syria and Iraq at the hands of other Mus­lims. Nor is Is­rael the pre­mier non-Mus­lim killer of Mus­lims. If killing Mus­lims is an ex­cuse for homi­ci­dal ha­tred, there are much grosser of­fend­ers than Is­rael. Rus­sia killed 1,00,000 Mus­lims dur­ing the 1979-89 Afghan war, and more re­cently slaugh­tered about 150,000 Chech­nyans, most of them Mus­lims. But Rus­sia doesn’t re­ceive a frac­tion of the global ha­tred and op­pro­brium Is­rael suf­fers when it de­fends it­self against ter­ror­ists like Ha­mas and Fatah.

Then there are the Is­rael-hater’s com­plaints about the “il­le­gal oc­cu­pa­tion.” This phrase is mean­ing­less, of course, since there has never been a mod­ern na­tion in Judea and Sa­maria to oc­cupy ac­cord­ing in­ter­na­tional law, and the ter­ri­tory his­tor­i­cally was the Jewish home­land for cen­turies. But those facts aside, how can any­one take se­ri­ously com­plaints about ‘oc­cu­pa­tion’ com­ing from Mus­lims, one of his­tory’s all-time con­querors and oc­cu­piers? Mus­lims oc­cu­pied Chris­tian Spain, Si­cily, the Balkans, and Greece for cen­turies. And North Africa, Egypt, and the coast of the eastern Mediter­ranean are still be­ing “oc­cu­pied,” the orig­i­nal pos­ses­sors of those lands, if they man­aged to sur­vive, still sub­ju­gated by the de­scen­dants of oc­cu­piers and colonists. Nor do de­criers of “oc­cu­pa­tion” say any­thing about Ti­bet, oc­cu­pied by China since 1950, or north­ern Cyprus, il­le­gally oc­cu­pied by Turkey since 1974. If a prin­ci­ple ex­ists that ‘oc­cu­pa­tion’ of another peo­ple’s land is a le­git­i­mate rea­son to hound and de­monise a coun­try, then why the si­lence about Turkey and China?

So too with the usual harp­ing on the “Pales­tinian refugees” who were al­legedly eth­ni­cally cleansed by Is­rael in 1948, and whose “right of re­turn” has been the peren­nial deal-breaker pre­vent­ing peace with Is­rael. For­get that most will­ingly fled the con­flict, egged on by their so-called “lead­ers” who promised that they could re­turn to loot Is­rael once Al­lah’s armies had pre­vailed. For­get that, un­like ev­ery other refugee group, their eth­nic and re­li­gious broth­ers have left them to rot in squalid slums, and re­fused to in­te­grate them into their own coun­tries. For­get that they are the only group of refugees out of mil­lions to have their very own U.N. agency. If cre­at­ing refugees is such a heinous crime jus­ti­fy­ing in­vet­er­ate ha­tred, what about the 800,000 Jewish refugees kicked out of lands their an­ces­tors had in­hab­ited for thou­sands of years be­fore Is­lam even ex­isted? Or how about the eth­nic cleans­ing of 180,000 Greek Cypri­ots from north­ern Cyprus, their land taken by 150,000 Turk­ish “set­tlers”? Does any­one even re­mem­ber the 10 mil­lion Ger­mans forcibly re­moved from Eastern Europe af­ter WWII, at the cost of a mil­lion dead? What makes the Pales­tinian Arabs, who were turned into refugees be­cause of the ag­gres­sion of their Arab broth­ers, so spe­cial that they have be­come the per­ma­nent wards of the UN and in­ter­na­tional char­ity, their ex­is­tence the pre­text for in­ter­na­tional Je­wha­tred and ter­ror­ist vi­o­lence?


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