Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Liberal Defence of Israel

Check out A Liberal Defence of Israel, a Blog of note. Here is an exerpt from a recent posting ....

This Christmas, the international charity War on Want saw fit to print a seasonal greetings card on which Mary, Joseph and the Christ child were depicted as Palestinians subjected to oppressive treatment by Israeli soldiers beneath the shadow of the security 'wall'. I wrote to them....

...You might have told the story on your card of the abuse of Palestinian children, children taught in school to hate Jews, children trained to become suicide bombers and to aspire to the status of martyr from an early age, children given Kalashnikovs instead of bicycles.

... You might have told the story of how innocent young womenare murdered in the PA territories in honour killings, by their own mothers, fathers, brothers, and cousins: just holding hands with herfiancé was enough to end the life of a young Palestinian woman shotby a Hamas morality patrol earlier this year....No doubt passing through an Israeli checkpoint is many times worse than having to watch every moment in case you look at the wrong young man in the wrong way and are caughtdoing it.

You might have told the story about how gay Palestinian men and women face death and beatings on a regular basis. Or that those who can flee to Israel, where they are taken in and given protection. Instead, you chose to say that instituting checkpoints to prevent terrorist activity is a foul and dishonourable thing.

...You might, indeed, have told the many stories of Israelis of all ages, from all walks of life blown to shreds while out shopping, eating in restaurants, attending bar mitzvahs, having lunch in their university cafeteria, taking the bus home. The people who planted those bombs or who turned themselves into bombs were motivated by hatred, not a love of peace and justice and tolerance.

I take it War on Want condemns killings such as those. Why, then, does it hold up for contempt an image of peace-keeping soldiers doing their best to save lives?

There are many other stories you might have told: anti-Semitism straight from the Third Reich on Arab and Iranian TV screens, calls for the slaughter of Jews in Friday sermons from PA mosques, the clauses from Hamas's Charter that describe all efforts at peace-making, all international conferences, all negotiations, all attemptsto compromise as 'a waste of time'.... Or the story of how Israel is one of the most racially mixed countries in the world (whereas most Arab countries are not), or how Israel is one of the most economically successful countries on the planet, helping the ThirdWorld (remember the Third World) with its technology and medicine....

....You need to do some hard thinking, and you need to start by examiningyour own heart. I am a liberal, probably very like you, and, also probably like you, I believe in taking a moral stance in public matters. We probably want the same things, including a prosperous future for the Palestinian people. You seem to think that this will happen if we support Palestinian intransigence, force Israel to abandon her defences, and maybe even allow Hamas and Hizbullah to fire rockets onto Israeli towns without hindrance. Maybe you don't think that, maybe you really would like to see both sides make peaceand live together. If that's so, then please think twice before you make another card that condemns Israeli security measures and says nothing about the reasons why they have been put there in the firstplace.

...Yours sincerely,
Dr. Denis MacEoin

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