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Andrew Sullivan: Spreading the greater lie about Israel
The Sunday Times ^ | December 23, 2001 | Andrew Sullivan

Posted on 12/25/2001 4:08:58 PM PST by CrossCheck

A gaffe is perhaps best described as what happens when a politician accidentally tells the truth. Among professional practitioners of the political arts this doesn’t occur too often. But every now and then the truth emerges. So God bless the French ambassador. All he was saying is what many also privately believe. That “shitty little country”, Israel, has become, among many European elites, the object of hate that dare not speak its name.

I’m not talking merely about editorials that seem to deny the right of Jews to emigrate to Israel; or leaders that come close to blaming Israel itself for the mass murder of its own citizens by Hamas terrorists. It is simply routine at this point to see “balanced” news reports from the BBC and the broadsheet British press that morally equate the actions of Israeli self-defence with the deliberate murder of civilian Jews by Palestinian terrorists.

While Britain and America are allowed to fight a war against terrorism, Israel is urged to practise self-restraint every time another terrorist massacres another group of civilians in a restaurant or disco. Supporting Israel as a matter of right versus wrong is almost unheard of in polite society.

In normal times, this is lamentable but not disastrous. The Jews know something about survival. They can and will defend themselves. But in abnormal times, when anti-semitism is spreading across the globe like a brushfire, it is deeply dangerous. Not since the 1930s has such blithe hatred of Jews gained this much acceptability in world opinion. Across the Arab world, in particular, the past decade or so has seen a shift from mere passive resentment of Jews to a paranoid anti-semitism. That European elites want to ignore it, or — worse — pander to it, suggests we have learnt nothing from history.

Am I exaggerating? I wish I were. The massacre of September 11 has merely exposed and accelerated this trend. In the aftermath, a Gallup poll of Pakistanis found 48% believing that the Jews actually flew the planes into the World Trade Center, after warning their compatriots to stay away. This unhinged lie was routinely reproduced in dozens of Middle Eastern newspapers and remains the biggest single obstacle to getting Arabs and Muslims to acknowledge Osama Bin Laden’s guilt.

Al-Ahram, Egypt’s biggest newspaper and the official mouthpiece of the government, controlled by President Hosni Mubarak, recently published a particular gem as a compilation of the “investigative work of four reporters on Jewish control of the world”. It stated that: “Jews have become the political decision-makers and control the media in most capitals of the world (Washington, Paris, London, Berlin, Athens, Ankara).” It claimed: “The main apparatus for the Jews to control the world is the international Jewish lobby, which works for Israel.”

Or take the official “moderates”. Consider the view of the former imam of New York’s Islamic Cultural Center, a man described until a short time ago as a western-leaning mullah sent to New York to spread inter-faith understanding. After September 11, he disappeared and then popped up in the Middle East with the following statement: “You see these people (the Jews) all the time everywhere, disseminating corruption, heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism and drugs. They do this to impose their hegemony and colonialism on the world. Now, they are riding on the back of the world powers.”

Then there’s the Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda: the Muslim-Jewish conflict “resembles the conflict between man and Satan . . . this is the fate of the Muslim nation, and beyond that the fate of all the nations of the world, to be tormented by this nation (the Jews)”. Replace the word Muslim with German and you don’t have an approximation of Hitler. You have Hitler.

Here’s one fact, reported earlier this autumn by Agence France-Presse: Mein Kampf was recently as high as No 6 on the Palestinian bestseller list. Last week, Reuters ran a photograph that was barely picked up elsewhere. It was a picture of Hezbollah youth brigades gathered in a square and all performing the Nazi salute. If that picture had shown American children doing the same, don’t you think it would have been splashed on every front page in the world? In fact, it is a function of condescending racism to the Arabs that we believe this kind of hate-filled pathology is somehow normal for them.

The left is particularly complicit in this evil. Many western liberals chided America for withdrawing from the Durban conference on racism last August. But that conference was the latest high-water mark for Jew-hating. The infamous, fabricated tract, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was widely distributed at the meeting. Questioners were shouted down with cries of “Jew! Jew! Jew!” The Palestinian Authority refuses to include the fact of the Holocaust in its own history books.

What about the following statement by one Ali ’Aqleh ’Ursan: “The covetous, racist, and hated Jew Shylock, who cut the flesh from Antonio’s chest with the knife of hatred, invades you with his money, his modern airplanes, his missiles, and his nuclear bombs.” Is ’Ursan some fringe extremist? No, he’s the chairman of the Arab Writers’ Association.

There are, of course, completely legitimate criticisms of Israel and Israeli policy that have nothing to do with anti-semitism. The settlements policy of the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, is extremely hard to justify. There are Jewish extremists as well; and there is brutality in Israel’s conduct in the West Bank and Gaza that deserves rebuke.

But these valid arguments are light years away from the Jew- hating that has been fomented by Arab governments for years and tolerated by western elites for far too long. Such anti-semitism is the fundamental reason why no peace is possible in the Middle East, because it has so infected every possible Arab interlocutor that Israel simply has nobody to make peace with. In fact, unless western governments expose and condemn such anti-semitism no peace will ever be possible.

And the minute real pressure is put on the Palestinians by the West, we get results. Hamas’s temporary cessation of suicide bombings in Israel last week is directly related to the Bush administration’s clear backing for Israel after the latest terrorist wave. Appeasement is not necessary for peace. In fact, it perpetuates war.

Do we remember anything? Sixty years ago such hatred of Jews — unchallenged, appeased, excused, ignored — led directly to Auschwitz. Its prevalence now in the Middle East should remove any doubt about the morality of Israel’s self-defence in these perilous times and shame anyone who trafficks in it. Yes, this means that Israel’s war against terrorism is the same as our war against terrorism. And, yes, it is good versus evil all over again.

How much more do we need to know about the nature of Israel’s enemies to know whose side we should truly be on?

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: andrewsullivanlist
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To: College Repub
Don't you think Israel deserves a few million more (than Egypt)?

We give Egypt $2 billion a year...and I object to this hand-out, too. But Israel doesn't get a few million more, Israel gets a few billion more...all told, about $5 billion per year when everything is lumped in together. But why does Israel "deserve" more...or anything at all?

Incidently, do you know why we give Egypt $2 billion per year? At Camp David, we had to "buy" the "peace treaty" between those two, because Egypt would lose its hand-out from our great ally Saudi Arabia. (But at least Saudi Arabia's so-called friendship is somewhat free -- we just pay for the oil).

So, if you really look at it, we have to pay Israel $5 billion per year, and then because of Israel we have to shell out another $2 billion to Egypt. It's ridiculous, especially when Bush's tax cut came to an average of $300 per tax payer.

121 posted on 12/25/2001 8:11:47 PM PST by dlt
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To: Sabramerican
Snidely, I do care. I care about ME AND MINE. Thats what I've been saying. You don't care about me and mine and I've marked that.
122 posted on 12/25/2001 8:13:07 PM PST by LoisHunt
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To: Sabramerican
I'm sorry but it's not Christmas if you don't mention Pollard, the Liberty and Mark Rich.

You forgot a few, but happy new year anyway.

123 posted on 12/25/2001 8:15:13 PM PST by dlt
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To: LoisHunt
You don't care about me

Don't cry.

124 posted on 12/25/2001 8:15:39 PM PST by Sabramerican
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Comment #125 Removed by Moderator

To: Alouette
"Israel sounds more like a theocracy to me."

[[[ Being a deep thinker, can you share with us one fact about Israel that gets you to that conclusion.? ]]]

Government offices are closed on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Well if closing government offices on a religious holiday makes a nation a theocracy, then Cuba is the only non-theocracy in the western hemisphere. Indeed, the only non-theocracies (and presumambly on Aloutte's list of preferred governments) would be Cuba, China, Viet Nam and North Korea.

126 posted on 12/25/2001 8:17:49 PM PST by cookcounty
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To: dlt
Eggzactly and then factor that in with the poster above who thinks we need to support Israel because its a "democracy" but the Camp David accords have resulted in Mubarak's being President for 20 years. And thats another grievance they hold as justification to kill us; bin Laden's right hand man, Zawahiri, is Egyptian and his big beef is the Egyptian government.
127 posted on 12/25/2001 8:18:12 PM PST by LoisHunt
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To: Sabramerican
"They taste good with onions"- Moshe, Chief Chef, Tel Aviv Missada

LOL. Now that's funny! Are you talking about onions with bagels or palestinians?

128 posted on 12/25/2001 8:18:15 PM PST by dlt
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To: dlt
When we deal with any other country, except Israel, it is from a perspective of what is good for our national interest.

Maybe we want a reliable ally close to our oil supplies in the Middle East.

129 posted on 12/25/2001 8:18:31 PM PST by FITZ
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To: LoisHunt
You're incoherent.

I support the U.S. fighting, and yes, U.S. soldiers DYING so that our freedom will endure. If you think appeasing bullies is a way out of that, then you're sadly mistaken. Fortunately, most Americans don't make that mistake, and the rest of us will save your cowardly butt (and, no, we don't expect to be thanked, we expect to be criticized every step of the way.)

"A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -John Stuart Mill

130 posted on 12/25/2001 8:20:22 PM PST by walden
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To: dlt
And did Britain come whining to Congress, insisting that we pay for their war?
They came and asked for our help, just as Israel does when they buy our weapons. A small price to pay to support the only democracy in the area.

While -- at the same time -- Britain eavesdropped on our elected officials, stole military and technological secrets and then sold them to the the USSR and China?
Hello anybody home? Welcome to the real world, EVERYBODY spys on EVERYBODY, You don't think that the SIS dorsen't spy on us and the CIA doesn't spy on the Brits? As to Israel selling our secrets to other countries I have never and will never say that they are angels, or that they always are right. Just that they have the right to exist, something are large part of the world disagrees with.

131 posted on 12/25/2001 8:22:57 PM PST by Valin
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To: cookcounty
If Jews from Russia have a "right of return" to a country their ancestors haven't lived in for many centuries but Muslims who lived on that land in their own lifetimes can't live there any more, thats a theocracy. I mean, what other justification is there but religion? Don't voting rights differ, too?
132 posted on 12/25/2001 8:23:17 PM PST by LoisHunt
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To: dlt
Are you talking about...

A "quote", even a made up one, can be interpreted in different ways? Checkmate.

133 posted on 12/25/2001 8:24:35 PM PST by Sabramerican
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To: walden
You go fight. But fight over there, not here. Don't act like you're doing me a favor to sacrifice my safety for your egomania.
134 posted on 12/25/2001 8:25:03 PM PST by LoisHunt
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To: LoisHunt
What a small little selfish world you live in. As long as I've got personal peace and prosperity that's all I care about. As I said before even if Israel disappeared tomorrow Hamas, osama hasbin lada and their ilk would STILL hate us and wish to see us and the rest of the west destroyed.
135 posted on 12/25/2001 8:32:13 PM PST by Valin
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To: dlt
"So, if you really look at it, we have to pay Israel $5 billion per year, and then because of Israel we have to shell out another $2 billion to Egypt. It's ridiculous, especially when Bush's tax cut came to an average of $300 per tax payer."

Ha. that's $300 in the first year. 5 years out its a LOT more.

AND $5 billion divided by 280 million people is about $18 per American, most of which is REQUIRED to be spent on products MANUFACTURED in the USA by AMERICAN workers.

Furthermore, these funds act as seed money. If Israel spends a billion on F-15's, are they going to switch, after spending their aid money, to Dassault products? NO, they keep spending their own cash on US-manufactured systems, because they've already started down that road. This aid costs the average American VERY LITTLE.

136 posted on 12/25/2001 8:32:18 PM PST by cookcounty
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To: Valin
Valin, I support Israel's right to exist. Very much so. But it should not be at the expense of U.S. national interests or its taxpayers.

In my opinion, if the U.S. wasn't playing the role of big Momma, bailing out Israel at every turn and turning a blind eye to what really goes on over there, then Israel would be forced to reach some true accommodation with the Palestinians.

I don't even think we should just "drop" Israel, but if we are going to keep dumping cash into that country, and sell weapeons to it indiscriminately, then we also have a responsibility to see that Israel behaves like a rational state and starts negotiating in good faith. This means Israel cannot have everything it wants, i.e., settlements need to go.

The best favor we could do for Israel is to force that country to grow up and eventually wean itself from the American taxpayer.

137 posted on 12/25/2001 8:32:45 PM PST by dlt
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To: cookcounty
Ha. that's $300 in the first year. 5 years out its a LOT more.

Hee, hee. Good point!

BTW, Israel is the only country exempt from the requirement that it must spend its money here in the US. It is allowed to spend its U.S. gift money with its own defense contractors within Israel itself.

138 posted on 12/25/2001 8:42:50 PM PST by dlt
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To: Valin
You don't know what bin Laden would be doing absent US support for Israel. And you're the selfish one risking my life and the lives of all Americans for your egomania. What good reason is there to risk our lives to maintain an Israel on that land? No one has come up with one rational reason yet on this thread. Every time something comes up in the Middle East, our government's big headache is keeping Israel under control lest they make matters even worse, so don't say they're an ally.
139 posted on 12/25/2001 8:48:09 PM PST by LoisHunt
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To: Valin
"The safety of individual citizens is NOT the #1 priority of your government."

Wow-- leftists really are used to a nanny-state, and just go BONKERS if they don't get it. The safety of individual citizens is not supposed to be the #1 priority of the government-- I believe that the oath goes "to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, from all enemies foreign and domestic." Or something like that. Sorry, sweetie, but no one is going to give you your own Marine to watch over you.

140 posted on 12/25/2001 8:51:38 PM PST by walden
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