A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Jewish Jihad?

I think it's interesting in this world today that certain people are seen as more vulnerable, more in need of protection, and more susceptible to outrage than others. It seems perfectly acceptable to slag off the English, for example. You can be fairly rude about the Russians, but you can't say boo to any Hebraic goose!

Mel Gibson is in trouble. He berated the Jewish people whilst under the influence. Perhaps the present situation got the better of him. However, if he had said "F.....ing English. The English are responsible for all the wars in the world" then I very much suspect nobody would have batted an eyelid. In fact, the press around the world would be quick to suggest that there was some truth in the comment. So why all the fuss? It seems that the new secular world order has allotted certain sufferings a degree of sanctity whilst others are mere troublesome interference. Any offensive or hostile remark against a Jew or towards Jewish people in general is deemed beyond the pale, but against an Armenian, or a Rwandan, or a Bosnian, well, their suffering was different! I think being derogatory about any person's culture, race, religion, or background is bad. I don't think there is a scale, with some at the top and others at the bottom. However, critical comment, debate, and discussion must be a fair standard for human activity.

Surely the violence that occurs during wars, the terrorising of innocent children, the raping of women and the revenge that follows is a suffering that any race, tribe, or nation can experience? Does the Tibetan suffering rank lower? The Karen of Burma are being hounded through the forests like beasts by the cruel regime there. Why? Because they are Christians? They are forgotten. What about Japanese-Americans, rounded up during the Second World War by the US authorities, put into camps and let out later without an apology!

Currently Israel is bombing the hell out of Hezbollah. Or more correctly, killing ordinary folk. This sort of action does little to suggest that the Jewish people are prepared through their government to treat with the Arab world. It seems the Jews want to live in some form of insulated promised land. Except that the land they are in is inconventiently situated. Israel has no interest in being there as neighbours. They want to be in the European Union, they sing in the Eurovision Song Contest, and they won't play football with the Arabs so they fetch up in all the European leagues, championships, and what-nots.

Once upon a time the British were dealing with terrorists. Just over 60 years ago, on July 26 1946 to be precise, the King David Hotel in Jerusalem was blown up, killing 91 people, most of them civilians. 28 British, 41 Arab, 17 Jewish, and 5 other nationalities. Around 45 people were injured. The attack was initially ordered by Menachem Begin, the head of the Irgun, a Zionist organisation, and Begin would later become Israeli Prime Minister. The old saying is that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Israel says it needs ten more days. Sounds like a Jewish jihad to me.


Excellent post!

I do think that Israel has used the opportunity that Hezbullah gave them to reclaim the strategic initiative. With the real prospect looming of nuclear tipped katyushka or medium range rockets being aimed from south Lebanon, Israel faced a massive security threat. It also has to shore up the front line with Iran.

Hezbullah has done a great deal to embed itself in South Lebanon communities, and create a supply infrastructure to operate autonomously. Civilian casualties are high because Islamic fighters fight from public buildings. We mustn't forget this atrocious disrespect for human life. Hezbullah specifically targets Israeli civilians. If Israel had deliberately targeted civilians to cause public casualties there would be a deserved outdcry - and they'd be condemnable. But given the asymmetric nature of the conflict, and the fanatical nature of Hezbullah, there are bound to be public casualties.

Hezbullah has much popular support in S. Lebanon, and people willing to shield potential murderers, if not assist them outright.

One side in this conflict is faced by a fanatical religious ideology that compels the other's destruction.

I'd say, against that, Israel is in a corner. I feel for both countries. The situation is a mess.

the americans sell/give arms to israel and then give aid to lebanon and will undoubtably help pay to rebuild lebanon.

it is in the best interest of the american military/industrial complex to prolong this little dust up as long as possible.

First of all, there is some sensitivity regarding bigoted statements about Jews because these statements do not occur in a political, historical, or cultural vacuum. The Bosnians or Russians or Scots haven't suffered the kind of hatred that Jews have had, and so insults to them don't carry the same sting, the same weight, and the possible implication of deep-seated prejudice that anti-Jewish statements like those of Gibson can. Same goes for certain words and terms used regarding African-Americans, for instance. When a Scots is called cheap, it's not as sinister as when a Jew is called so. Because there isn't the same likelihood that something more ugly is being expressed.

Secondly, regarding where you write: "They want to be in the European Union, they sing in the Eurovision Song Contest, and they won't play football with the Arabs so they fetch up in all the European leagues, championships, and what-nots." It should have occurred to you that it wasn't Israel's choice to be lumped with Europe. The Arab countries around them won't accept them. That they don't want to be neighbors with the Arabs? WOW, you do like painting with a broad brush, don't you. What of Shimon Perez' view of the new Middle East in the 1990s. Naive to be sure, but it expressed the hope of economic cooperation within the region. Israeli polls have often shown desire for peace and to trade land for peace go way up when there is hope for success. This was especially true after Oslo. Israel didn't welcome peace with Egypt and cooperation with moderate Arab regimes because it has had no interest in getting along with its neighbors. But, for heaven's sake...they're at war!

Thirdly, where you refer to Begin. Yes, he was a terrorist and yes, the Irgun was horrible. No question there. But at least they phoned in warnings to the King David Hotel before the blast; that the warnings were ignored was not their fault. And it is useful to note that the main fighting force, the Haganah, actually fought against the Irgun because it disapproved of the Irgun's terrorist methods. Begin, by the way, was originally elected only because of the left vote was split between two candidates. His election was not a ringing endorsement of terrorism. One other thing: During the 1940s, the Arabs were practicing terrorism against the British, as well.

I'm sorry. I apologize for the role of the Irgun, I have no sympathy for their role in history. But the irony that you point out (and that has been pointed out by many British people, hardly a new idea) is not as heavy as you may think.

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