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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: dlt
As I'm sure you know, none. So what's your point?
81 posted on 12/25/2001 7:21:18 PM PST by Valin
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To: x
that it's hard to find out what is true

On the contrary. It's not Mars.

For less then $600 airfare from New York, you can visit.

82 posted on 12/25/2001 7:21:44 PM PST by Sabramerican
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To: Alouette
I love American bagels and American pizza. The bagels from the Arab bakery weren't bad either.
83 posted on 12/25/2001 7:22:36 PM PST by dlt
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To: dlt
THE STATE OF MIND - December 18, 2001

By Israel Shamir

The steep slopes of Wadi Keziv in Western Galilee are walled by squat local oaks and thorny bush. On the streambed, oleanders and cypresses look into shallow ponds formed by its springs. I like this secluded canyon. On hot summer days, one can hide in an intricate deep cave and laze in its cool clear waters, waiting for deer and hoping for a nymph. On cooler days, you can climb up a steep spur rising amidst the gorge. It is called qurain, the Horn, in Arabic, hence the Arab name of Wadi Keziv, Wadi Qurain. Astride the spur, the Crusader castle of Monfort raises its donjon high and gazes towards the distant Mediterranean Sea.

This place holds many memories. The 12th century Zionists, Teutonic knights of St Mary fortified the castle on the spur, and called it Starkenberg, the Mount of Strength. The name and the remote location didn't help: they were defeated by Salah ad-Din, the Arab paragon of valour and compassion, who allowed them to depart with their weapons and honour for Eastern Europe.

The stony path leading to the spring was the meeting ground of the enchanting characters of Arabesques, an exquisite novel by the Palestinian writer Anton Shammas. Shammas, a native of nearby Fassuta, is probably the only non-Jew in the world who writes his books and poems in Israeli Hebrew.

Farther west, the brook of Keziv flows into the sea at the ruins of az-Ziv, the Christian village destroyed by Jews in 1948. In this village, in the long-gone 1920s, a local Palestinian girl was visited by another local Palestinian woman, the Virgin. In other words, it is a typical place in the unusual land of Palestine.

These days, you can roam the canyon all by yourself. It is as empty of people as the rest of countryside. The land of Palestine is in trouble, the deepest trouble since the black nights of 1948. People do not venture down here anymore, leaving the canyon to its lean and wiry boar. Walking downstream, I spotted a few of these gracious animals, so different from their domesticated cousins. It was only outside the gorge, on the plain of Acre that I came across a human presence. There were a few Thai or Chinese peasants working the fields of a local kibbutz. A middle-aged kibbutznik sat in the shadow overseeing their work. I joined him for a smoke and a drink of cold water.

He was the epitome of a good Israeli, large, sunburned, with a friendly smile, bushy mustachio and brisk talk. Fifty years ago, he or rather his predecessor, a fighter of the Jewish Storm Troopers, the Palmach, would seize the lands of az-Ziv and expel its peasants to Lebanon. Thirty years ago, he would work the stolen land with his own hands. Now, he oversees the Thais working this land. Very soon, he told me, he will go to New York, to visit his son, a web designer. While he is away, some Russians from Maalot town will be hired to oversee the Asian workers for the kibbutz. Not many Jews are interested in working the land, or even in overseeing Thais working it, he said. The kibbutz hopes to get a building permit, build housing and sell the real estate. It is a valuable site, near Naharia and Acre, and it will fetch a premium price, despite the crisis, he said.

I shook hands and bid farewell to him, to the sweaty Thais, to the green fields, to the mountains of Lebanon to the north, concealing the refugee camps where dwell the original inhabitants of as-Ziv, to the Galilee mountains to the east, holding the Russian town of Maalot. I hitched a ride to Nahariya, and from there, I took a train homewards to Jaffa. The train carried a few Africans, probably illegal immigrants judging by their shy demeanour. A Romanian building team was gulping beer and burping loudly. They were imported from their impoverished East European land to build the houses for elderly Russian immigrants. Just like in California, the Israeli Jews do not want to be employed in construction.

A Jewish Israeli lawyer in black yarmulke leafed through papers in his semi-opened briefcase. A blond and armed Israeli soldier talked Ukrainian with its fricative h's to his corpulent girlfriend. He extolled his own heroic fight against multitudes of Arab terrorists under her admiring eyes. A group of Moroccans discussed the closure of the Acre steel plant and their slim chances of finding other work. The crisis is deepening, one of them said. It is as bad as in 1966.

The train rolled through Haifa, and I thought of the hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of Americans, Jews and Christian Zionists, who lobby, pray, support and pay - no, not for the Jewish state built on the ruins of Palestine, as they imagine. That would be bad enough. But the reality is worse. I thought of the millions of Palestinians, rotting in refugee camps and jails, dispossessed, expelled, - victims not of Jewish greed for land, as they imagine, but of something worse - of a ghost. The Jewish state is a virtual state that is quickly losing all remaining connection to reality. This ghost of a state kills people and collects money in America; it continues some nefarious existence, like the legal term, 'estate of the deceased'. Its fields are worked by imported guest workers, guarded by imported Russians and Ethiopians, explained by Israeli professors who are forever off lecturing in American universities and by brave generals on the lookout for a big kickback from American weapon-makers. Unemployment grows daily, vital services are on strike; the tourist industry has collapsed months ago. Hotels are boarded up and other branches of the national economy are close to collapse. Israelis buy flats in Florida and Prague, while houses in Israel go begging for buyers. Sharon's desire to punish the Palestinians has the sting of punishing one's own left hand. Palestinians and Israelis are intertwined and integrated, and this separation kills the economy of both.

From far away America, Israel looks like a giant nuclear state, the great ally of the United States, a Jewish state that is a source of pride for American Jews. A visitor leaves our shores with a strong feeling of our identity and prosperity. Only we, permanent residents, know that it is a cardboard sham. Israel is collapsing, as its active citizens emigrate in despair, while generals complete the destruction of the country. A cruel fate befalls the native Palestinians: a ghost kills them, a spiritless body walking the corridors of the Congress and the deserts of the Middle East in Zombie-like trance.

For the sake of this spectre, important American Jews squeeze every penny from their employees and countrymen, cut down on pensions to old and assistance for children, reduce the health and education budget, dry up help to Africa and Latin America, build improbable coalitions with notorious racists of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell's kind, demand destruction of Iraq, bless the bombing of Afghani refugees, keep Afro-Americans in their ghettos, undermine their host society, make enemies for themselves and for America. These deeds would be vile enough even if they would accomplish something of value to someone, but they are worse because they are useless.

The Zionist experiment has practically collapsed. It can run for many yeas to come on life-support, as a brain-dead vegetable. It can kill people, maybe even start the next world war. But it cannot become alive.

The Jewish state of Israel is a state of mind, a projection of the American Jewish mind. The worries and problems it articulates are American Jewish problems. For Israeli 'Jews', there is no need for segregation, war, or subjugation of natives. We eat no bagels with lox, speak no Yiddish, read no Saul Bellow or Sholom Aleichem, and avoid synagogues. We prefer Arab food and Greek music. My neighbourhood has seven pork butchers to a kosher one. Forty per cent of Tel Aviv weddings are done outside Jewish framework: young Israelis prefer to go to Cyprus to get married, just to avoid contact with Rabbis. Tel Aviv is the gay capital of the Middle East, though according to Jewish law, gays should be exterminated.

If American Jews did not bribe Israelis on a large scale, we would just forget about the Diaspora and dissolve into the hospitable Middle East. If they continue to bankroll us, we shall oblige them with a small show of Jewishness.

We are master-sellers of illusion, and as long as there are buyers, we shall provide the goods. In 1946, a group of dedicated men from all over the world came to Palestine under the aegis of the UN. They were sent to prepare the ground for partition of the land. Among other places, they visited the southernmost kibbutz, Revivim in the arid Negev. There, they came across a wonderful flowerbed with roses, anemones, and violets in front of the kibbutz office. In their report, the members of the delegation expressed their amazement and stated, 'Jews make the desert bloom, let them have the Negev'.

As they left, the kibbutz youngsters went out and pulled the already dying flowers out of the sand. They had just bought the flowers same morning on the Jaffa market and had planted them as props for the duration of the visit. This small outlay of cash had transferred Negev with its two hundred thousand Palestinians to the Jewish state. Most of the natives were expelled across the newly drawn border, to the camps of Gaza or Jordan. It was cruel and useless: even now, fifty years later, the Negev south of Beersheba has a smaller population than in 1948.

In order to populate depopulated lands, the Mossad broke and terrorised the Jewish communities of North Africa. The Jews were brought in, sprayed with DDT lice-killer and placed into refugee camps that soon became the towns of Netivot, Dimona, Yerucham. They are still there, in the stark desert outpost towns full of unemployment and misery, drawing social benefits and nursing a deep dislike for the Ashkenazi Jews who lounge in Tel Aviv's cafes. It is probably the only place on earth where you are liable to hear, 't'is pity you did not burn in Auschwitz'.

Thus the conjuring tricks of Revivim, the conquest of Negev, the expulsion of Palestinians and the destruction of the Moroccan Jewish community succeeded separately, but ultimately failed altogether. It could be expected: evil and immoral deeds cannot bear good fruit. Zionist leaders dreamed of making Palestine as Jewish as England is English. They failed. Palestine is as Jewish as Jamaica is English.

The land of Palestine is being ruined now, in front of our very eyes. Its beautiful old villages are bombed to oblivion; churches are emptied of their flocks; olive trees are uprooted. Such ruin has not befallen the land since the Assyrian invasion 2700 years ago. Nothing can comfort us in the face of this great destruction, and certainly the people responsible for it - whether Israeli killers or their American Jewish supporters - will be damned forever.

Still, a wry irony of history will remain as a footnote in the books: the Jewish leadership committed these crimes in vain, and received no gain out of it. Even if the last Palestinian were to be crucified on the hill of Golgotha, even that would not breath life into the virtual Jewish state of Israel.

84 posted on 12/25/2001 7:22:43 PM PST by wooly_mammoth
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To: Alouette
"I saw Israelis doing to the Palestinians what the nazis did to them."

You saw gas chambers where millions were put to death?

LOL! That stops the violin-playing every time.

85 posted on 12/25/2001 7:24:06 PM PST by Anamensis
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To: wooly_mammoth
THE STATE OF MIND - December 18, 2001

By Israel Shamir

86 posted on 12/25/2001 7:25:46 PM PST by Alouette
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To: LoisHunt
Israel sounds more like a theocracy

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

87 posted on 12/25/2001 7:27:16 PM PST by Sabramerican
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To: Sabramerican
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.

88 posted on 12/25/2001 7:28:45 PM PST by Alouette
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To: Valin
"There are certain countries that the United States has a special relationship with (for various reasons) and Israel is one of them."

My point is that there are no other countries but Israel with which we have a "special relationship." When we deal with any other country, except Israel, it is from a perspective of what is good for our national interest.

89 posted on 12/25/2001 7:28:54 PM PST by dlt
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To: LoisHunt
"If theres a reason I should give a damn, I'd really like to know."

That's exactly the same question a lot of Americans asked about Hitler and Nazi Germany. What business was it of ours? If the Japs hadn't bombed us into WWII, it seems a pretty safe conclusion that Nazi Germany would have taken both Russia and Great Britain, as well as all of the Middle East and most of Africa. The Japs would have gotten China. Wouldn't that have been a lovely world map. And, can you doubt that once they solidified their positions, we would have been next, only with no allies at that point?

For precisely those reasons, western democracies have a long history of supporting one another. True, there is no power in the Middle East today that could replicate the nightmare above, but do you seriously doubt that one could arise? For many of the radicals over there, the re-unification of the Ottoman Empire is not an idle wish-- it's a goal. The right charismatic leader could make it a reality-- and the right charismatic leader could very well be whoever succeeds in driving the hated Jews into the ocean. Israel may be small, but it is a fulcrum for Arab rage. Think about it-- it's a tiny little country, occupying a tiny little piece of land, in a big, big Islamic world. What the heck is those people's problem? It's COMPLETELY irrational-- why does the rag-head world care about a few acres at its edge? I can tell you why-- because with brains and industry the Israelis have built a first world nation in one of the most inhospitable parts of the earth, showing up the rag-heads with all their oil money for the failures they are. The rag-heads can't BE Israel, so they have to destroy it. They feel the same way about us, by the way. (I'm using the term rag-head as a generic because it's not just Arabs, it's Persians, and lots of other Neanderthal tribes.)

For 50 years we followed a policy of containment of the Soviet Union's expansionist goals, and if you ask me, we're looking at at least another 50 containing islamic fundamentalism.

90 posted on 12/25/2001 7:29:26 PM PST by walden
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Comment #91 Removed by Moderator

To: dlt
We have special relationships with Britain, Canada, and Mexico also. What's your point?
92 posted on 12/25/2001 7:31:43 PM PST by College Repub
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To: LoisHunt
I could get killed for Israel or one of my loved ones might be killed for Israel.

Move to France.

93 posted on 12/25/2001 7:32:09 PM PST by Alouette
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To: wooly_mammoth
No, what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians today is very similar to what the nazis did to the Jewish people in 1938-39.

Well, when they kill 6,000,000 of those violent, lying, SOBs, let me know and I'll send flowers.

94 posted on 12/25/2001 7:33:52 PM PST by Anamensis
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To: Alouette
Alouette, this is my favorite paragraph from the "vaunted" Israel Shamir:

"For the sake of this spectre [he says Israel, I say his mental state], important American Jews squeeze every penny from their employees and countrymen, cut down on pensions to old and assistance for children, reduce the health and education budget, dry up help to Africa and Latin America, build improbable coalitions with notorious racists of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell's kind, demand destruction of Iraq, bless the bombing of Afghani refugees, keep Afro-Americans in their ghettos, undermine their host society, make enemies for themselves and for America. These deeds would be vile enough even if they would accomplish something of value to someone, but they are worse because they are useless."

Can there be any doubt that he is an anti-semitic semite? And doesn't he know about governmental deficit spending? ;)

95 posted on 12/25/2001 7:34:24 PM PST by Shermy
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To: wooly_mammoth
No, what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians today is very similar to what the nazis did to the Jewish people in 1938-39.

Calling Israel Shamir!

96 posted on 12/25/2001 7:36:59 PM PST by Shermy
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To: wooly_mammoth
".....the British historian, David Irving. "

If David Irving is an historian, then I'm a Pope.

Thanks for the tip, wooly, that your sources can be Extremely corrupt.

97 posted on 12/25/2001 7:41:09 PM PST by cookcounty
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To: walden
80% of Hitler's armies were deployed fighting the Soviet Union along a 2,000 mile border. The Soviets lost 15 million soldiers and 35 million civilians. They died defending themselves, not to liberate the concentration camps and they - the Soviets - defeated Hitler. When the US deployed in Italy to fight the Germans, Hitler took several divisions out of Italy and sent them to the Eastern front; that was how serious he was about fighting the US.

Those are the historical facts; look them up. We were not gung ho to die to liberate the concentration camps. We lost 300,000 in WWII (including an uncle of mine) and thats bad, but put next to the sacrifice of the Russians to defeat Hitler and it gives you pause. Russian civilians WERE the front lines; we never want American civilians to be the front line, but they were on 9/11. It took only 19 men from the enemy to kill 3,000. Its serious.

98 posted on 12/25/2001 7:42:59 PM PST by LoisHunt
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To: Shermy
American Jews....cut down on pensions to old and assistance for children, reduce the health and education budget,

There you have it. American Jews must be Republicans. LOL

Isn't that exactly the Democrats accusation against the GOP?

99 posted on 12/25/2001 7:43:27 PM PST by Sabramerican
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To: LoisHunt
Israel sounds more like a theocracy than a democracy
Now you're just being silly.

but what does that matter anyway when we (the US) certainly support the survival of monarchy in Saudi Arabia vs any kind of government that the people there would vote for themselves. And there are plenty of other examples all over the world so democracy is a phony rationale.
There is onereason and one reason only that we support Saudi Arabia, OIL.

If the purpose of 9/11 was to get the attention of the American people (as bin Laden told journalists would be the aim of attacks on US civilians), we ought to get serious.
Last time I checked bombing the snot out of another country was pretty serious. What do you mean by "serious"?

Our pols have been doing whatever they felt like doing for their own interests and it wasn't a big issue to the average American. Now we can get killed for what our government is doing; thats serious; thats not something to be silly and bravado about.
Good morning. Hint we could always get killed for what our pols do, or what they don't do. It is a dangerous world out there and always has been.

100 posted on 12/25/2001 7:45:27 PM PST by Valin
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