Monday, June 14, 2010

Why Does Europe Hate Israel?

Ed West asks the obvious question in his blog post at the Daily Telegraph today:

Why does Europe hate Israel? That’s the question asked in Robin Shepherd’s A State Beyond the Pale, which I’ve reviewed in the Catholic Herald this week. The book came out some months back, but with Helen Thomas’s recent outburst (Shepherd also includes the American Left in the growing league of Israel haters) it’s more timely than ever.

. . . snip . . .

It’s also a very complex issue that seems to attract the most ironic and absurd partisans: on the one hand feminist or gay and lesbian organisations that support the violently reactionary Islamists of Gaza against one of the most gay-friendly states on earth; on the other, Christian religious nuts who support the settlement of Jews in the West Bank at the expense of the Christian community there – and not just any Christian community either, but one founded by Jesus Christ himself.

And those on both sides who paint this as a simple clash of civilisations between Jews/Christians and Muslims ignore the fact that Israel’s arch-enemy, Syria, has a large, well-protected and equally anti-Israeli Christian minority (indeed if and when the current dictatorship falls the Christian community may well face the same fate as their brethren in Iraq). The Syrians also have an attitude towards Islamists that makes the Israelis look like Birkenstock-wearing pinkos in comparison – 53 Palestinians (mostly combatants) were killed during the IDF’s attack on Jenin a few years back; anywhere between 25-40,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed when the Syrians stormed the town of Hama to crush an Islamist revolt. How many of the flotilistas have even heard of Hama? None, because no one in Europe cares about 40,000 dead Arabs if it’s Arabs doing the killing – it seems if you can’t blame the Jews, it ain’t news.

Zionism is now a dirty word in everyday parlance in our continent, and yet it is perfectly justified on liberal nationalist grounds, as is Palestinian self-determination. The only possible solution – it seems – is some sort of reversion to pre-1967 borders, with a demilitarised zone around the Holy Land and a fully independent (but disarmed) Palestine.

But England will win the World Cup before that happens. In the meantime what’s interesting and disturbing is the intensity with which Europeans increasingly hate Israel, with many otherwise sensible people convinced it’s the main obstacle to world peace.

Everywhere you go on the internet you hear the mantra repeated over an over in a Zombie-like way: "Israel must end the total blockade on Gaza." First, the blockade is not total; hundreds of tons of aid flows into Gaza daily after being searched for weapons by the Israelis. They are interested only in keeping out rockets and other weapons.

Second, the blockade officially is supported by Israel, Egypt, the UN, the EU, the US and Russia. It is a legal act of war against a state that launched war against Israel. And, only the ignorant are unaware that the lifting of the blockade would inexorably lead to a widespread war in the Middle East leading to the deaths of thousands of civilians. Yet the so-called "peace activists" are out there stirring the pot calling for the lifting of the blockade. That is what happens when Western, liberal, peace activists support a genocidal death cult like Hamas against a peace-loving, liberal, democracy

One final thought; if those who constantly whine about getting labeled "anti-Semitic" anytime they criticize Israel would just think for a moment about the fact that their policy suggestions would lead to the destruction of the only sanctuary the Jews have in their ancestral homeland, they might get a clue as to why they get labeled that way.

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