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A Middle Way?

By David Warren

Dr Condoleezza Rice is a "coloured dark skin black lady". Did you know? She is a "black spinster", a "raven who brings only destruction", according to Al Hayat Al Jadida, the official daily of the Palestinian Authority -- still under the direction of the "moderate" Fatah faction, controlled by Mahmoud Abbas. These descriptors are from news stories: you should see the editorials. According to the colour cartoon, Miss Rice is pregnant and has a monkey in her womb. The caption says, "Rice speaks about birth of new Middle East." A cartoon from a demonstrator's placard, also featured prominently in the paper, shows her not pregnant, but instead drinking the blood of Arab babies. In caption she says: "I need more blood."

And you thought Danish cartoonists were edgy.

So much for the "moderate" faction. "We will drink the blood of the Jews," proclaimed the Hamas website, well after its landslide election victory. (They forgot to say, "Zionists".) It was the headline over the farewell message from one of Hamas's suicide bombers:

"My message to the loathed Jews is that there is no god but Allah, we will chase you everywhere! We are a nation that drinks blood, and we know that there is no blood better than the blood of Jews. We will not leave you alone until we have quenched our thirst with your blood, and our children's thirst with your blood. ... In the name of Allah, we will destroy you, blow you up, take revenge against you, purify the land of you, pigs that have defiled our country. This operation is revenge against the sons of monkeys and pigs." Et cetera.

We turn now to Hezbollah, which operates the television station Al Manar, currently broadcasting from we know not where. For the last couple of weeks, it has been repeating clips of its missiles firing towards Israel, followed by "borrowed" Israeli TV shots of Israeli civilians being rushed to hospital, and the wreckage of their homes, with a catchy little couplet:

"Destroy! Explode it! Your weapon restores my country's honour. Resist! Explode! Shake! Destroy! Your weapon restores my country's honour."

You may find plenty more in this genre, both in the original and in translation, at Palestinian Media Watch. Or follow Internet links to the original sources, and read and watch in "real time". From the above examples, you will already detect differences in nuance between the party positions of Fatah, Hamas, and Hezbollah respectively.

But it is necessary to search, via Internet, for the Western media do not report on such things. The theory being, according to several journalists with whom I have discussed this, that the material is too "inflammatory", and might prejudice people against Palestinian or other Muslims. They do not seem to realize that it might be not only inflammatory, but outrageously misleading, to focus obsessively on Israel's unintended civilian victims, when the country is defending itself against terrorists who have fired several thousand missiles, quite intentionally, at Israeli civilian targets.

Miss Rice comes back into this as the lead diplomat, trying to arrange a ceasefire, naturally with a view to American interests. As both Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist enemies, sworn to the destruction of the United States as well as Israel, she might properly be accused of bias. The American interest is easy to discern: to obtain a ceasefire in Lebanon as quickly as possible -- before anti-Semitic rioting has spread through Iraq and the rest of the Muslim world -- but ideally, not before Hezbollah has been de-fanged. Then to assemble a credible international force on the ground in south Lebanon, that can enforce U.N. resolution no. 1559, of Sept. 2, 2004.

That resolution, co-sponsored by the U.S. and France, brought the "cedar revolution" to Lebanon, with the retreat of Syrian occupation forces. It also called for the disarmament of Hezbollah, which remains the proxy of Syria and Iran. Hezbollah, along with a "moderate" sister party, Amal, rule the Lebanese Shia community in a way analogous to that in which Hamas and Fatah rule the Palestinian Sunni community; and given their strength in weapons and fanaticism, terrorize Arab Christians, Druze, minority Muslims and others into submission. All of these parties are committed to the establishment of absolute Shariah rule, in a united de-Christianized Lebanon, and a united Palestine minus the "Zionist entity".

I'd say that "coloured dark skin black lady" has her work cut out. Israel is the only party over which she has much influence; and "world opinion" has been taught that only Israel is capable of crimes. At its most charitable, the world expects Miss Rice to find a "middle way", between Israel's existence and non-existence.

© Ottawa Citizen

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