Monday, June 27, 2011

The state to which things have sunk

I was struck by a report in The Jerusalem Post today that the Israeli left-wing historian and writer, Benny Morris, was mobbed by a group of young Muslims in London before giving a speech at the London School of Economics (LSE). He was walking down the street from the nearby underground station when he, his wife and a friend were accosted by this group who called him various racial epithets, including "dirty Jew." Noone was there to help them, so they called the police. When the police came and Morris had reached LSE under guard, the group dispersed, although some of them entered LSE to attend the lecture. Perhaps because of the presence of the police there was no further disruption. Morris said it felt like being in Berlin in the 1930s. This is the level to which the capital city of democratic England has sunk. Morris said that this display of hatred was definitely intended to intimidate him from speaking. Freedom of speech is a losing prospect in England and elsewhere in Europe. Yet the authorities seem not to be doing anything about it.

Benny Morris was a very left-wing critic of Israel, who at one time blamed Israel for the all the wrongs of the Palestinians. A few years ago he changed his mind somewhat and revised his views to be more balanced, blaming the Arabs also for the war of indpendence in 1948 and other attacks on Jews and Israel. This brought him into conflict with the Israeli left, who regarded him as an apostate, and roundly condemned him. It is clear that the attack by the Muslims in London was a continuation of that war. There is an unholy alliance of the anti-Semitic Muslims and the extreme left in Israel.

Meanwhile plans go ahead for the second flotilla of ships attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. I was disgusted by the letter that the Black American author Alice Walker wrote in the Guardian newspaper as her justification for joining the flotilla (see ). As I read Alice Walker's justification for her participation on the supposed Flotilla II to Gaza my heart sank. I thought, what a twisted, liberal mish-mash of logic. Yes, its nice to have sympathy for the children of Gaza, as an Israeli so do I. But, actually Gaza is controlled by a terrorist organization, recognized as such by all civilized entities (US, UK, UN, EU). Hamas not only denies Israel's right to exist, but has fired thousands of rockets into Israel targeted randomly at Israel's civilians, including children. What about Alice Walker's sympathy for them, is there not one letter in her mailbag for them? Or don't they count? (see also Howard Jacobson's excellent response at ).

But Hamas also ruthlessly killed hundreds of Palestinians belonging to the rival party Fatah. What about their children? Does Alice Walker know this? And the fact is that Hamas is supported by the fundamentalist Shia Iranian regime, that not only kills its own people, but also targets liberals, Jews and Christians. In Iran they hang children who disagree with the regime's aims. Is this what Alice Walker wants to be remembered for, supporting Hamas and Ahmedinejad? Yes, the Israeli blockade is justified in international law; no, the IDF does not fire on civilians unless attacked (as they were aboard the Mavi Marmara), but these are not the salient issues. The sorry fact is that Alice Walker has entirely lost the sacred chain of connection to the civil rights movement that she unjustifiably invokes.


Post a Comment

<< Home