Thursday, April 18, 2002

Reading pieces like Melanie Phillips's, and seeing the reaction of the bien-pensant Euro-elite to Israel's actions in the West Bank makes me ponder a point I've often thought of in the past: why does the world get so worked-up about Jews defending themselves? Is it that people like their Jews weedy and ineffectual, a whole nation full of Woody Allens and Billy Crystal old-men? Do they get a bit offended when they see the self-confident, no-nonsense Israelis actually daring to stand up for their homes and their families? Jews have been the victims of European opression for centuries - are the moral myopes in Europe and the left-wing US press just kvetching at the loss of their favourite Jew-as-victim trope?

For the US left wing, I think this goes a long way, but as for Europe? There is, and always has been, a current of the most repellent anti-Semitism running through European society. Of course the Nazis represented the pinnacle of this, but they were hardly sui generis. The Holocaust was an event of such magnitude that Jew-hating was morally 'unacceptable' for a while. But the anti-Semites have crept back from the shadows. Coupled with the Euro-socialists' Pavlovian response to an attack on their society (sympathise with attacker; ask what we did wrong; repeat ad nauseam), it is clear that the Israelis don't stand a hope of coming out of this as the good guys. They're the mighty Goliath of 5 million people cruelly oppressing the tiny David of 400 million Arabs. Never mind that in the original David was the Jew and Goliath was the Palestinian.

Civil society in the Middle East is a sewer, with the one exception of Israel. Israeli Arabs in the Knesset are protesting at Israel's response to the suicide bombings as 'disproportionate'. Think about that: Israeli Arabs in the Knesset! What do Bashir Assad's Jewish parliamentarians think of his support for Hamas and Islamic Jihad? Oh, whoops, there aren't any. And yet the West still tries to treat the two sides as moral equivalents. Moral equivalence is not merely a foible; it gets people killed. And the people it could well end up killing are the very same dunderheads who think the Jews are the bad guys.


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