Singling Out Israel is Nothing New

Singling Out Israel is Nothing New

By David Warren - June 3, 2010

In our topsy-turvy contemporary world, where fashionable opinion can be counted upon to turn any moral issue upside down, Israel has again been singled out for expressions of indignation and loathing. This is because she stooped to defending herself again, against a scheme designed to break the embargo that prevents the Hamas terrorist organization from fully arming itself.

The organizers of the "Gaza flotilla," which was stopped at the cost of bloodshed that Israel had every reason to avoid, got exactly what they wanted from it: a huge, international media splash, in which Israel has been demonized.

They could not have been in doubt that the Israeli authorities would intercept them, and prevent them from landing in Gaza. They knew exactly what would happen if they attacked the Israeli soldiers boarding their ships.

Ergo, they got exactly the result they were seeking: fresh "martyrs" for the Palestinian campaign. Video from the event shows exactly what the Israelis were facing as they boarded those ships, and belies the organizers' pose of a humanitarian mission.

From start to finish this was a violent political stunt, designed to inflict as much harm as possible on Israel's existential interests. To defend it requires obtuse hypocrisy.

Consider: the embargo on Gaza is not Israel's alone. Egypt also enforces strict controls on what enters and leaves Gaza, and for the same obvious reason. The territory is controlled by Hamas, and they are trying to import lethal weaponry, from Iran and other rogue sources. But Egypt is conveniently left out of the propaganda picture.

The people of Gaza already have access to food, medicine, and even building materials. The bureaucracies that slow the importation of such things, through Israel or Egypt, are indeed unpleasant and constraining -- as they must be, for a very large portion of Gaza's imports are "dual use," and could therefore strengthen the hand of Hamas one way or another.

In the case of concrete, for instance, end use must be documented. But this is because Hamas is the principal customer for concrete in Gaza, which it uses in everything from tunnelling to the fortification of its rocket-launching facilities.

The organizers of the flotilla were not "pacifists" in any honest sense, but parties to the conflict: radical Islamist groups, unambiguously committed to Israel's annihilation. The chief organizer was a Turkish "charity," Insani Yardim Vakfi, with documented links to Hamas and even al-Qaeda; the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt was also directly involved. The "humanitarian" pretense is for the consumption of two groups: the extremely gullible, and the extremely cynical.

The flotilla was stocked with the usual assemblage of the wilfully naive: a few hundred European and other "do-gooders," including even one Jewish Holocaust survivor. They were invited along as a cosmetic imperative; as "human shields." The violence was, and was intended to be, between the Islamists and the Israeli soldiers they were certain to confront. Those who physically attacked the soldiers were working from the same impulse as suicide bombers; the rest were only there to howl.

It is amazing to me that there are still "liberals" like this, even within Israel. I have actually met people who live a few hundred metres from the front line with an enemy sworn to exterminate them; who think the "road to peace" can be paved with unilateral Israeli concessions. They embody my worst fears for the West at large: that even in the face of extinction, our own "progressive" types will continue to demand the appeasement of our mortal enemies.

Yet this was the very lesson of the Holocaust: Do not agree to go quietly, into the ovens, or into the sea. So long as there is breath in you, and the possibility of resistance, fight.

Israel was herself founded on this "Zionist" premise: that Jews would defend themselves; that they would not "go quietly" again. That they would not depend on the goodwill of false friends. Why should Israelis take advice from people who openly encourage an enemy vowed to exterminate them?

Consider the level of hypocrisy here. There were no international "peace" demonstrations when a North Korean submarine torpedoed a South Korean vessel that was offering no threat. There is total indignation when Israel acts against a direct threat to her vital interests.

Yes, the Palestinians suffer. But there is a remedy for that: to fully accept that Israel exists, and be willing to live in peace with her, as with any other country. That option has been on the table continuously since 1948, and has been consistently rejected by Palestinian leaders.

Israel remains the "Little Satan" of Islamist and Leftist demonology. We -- America and the West at large -- are the "Big Satan." This is, likewise, an old configuration, that will not change in the foreseeable future. Let us therefore be robust in our support of "Little Satan."

© The Ottawa Citizen

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