The west’s bloodstained hands

By Melanie Phillips, Spectator

Obama has called it

senseless slaughter.

On the contrary, the cold-blooded murder of four Israeli civilians near Hebron was not senseless at all. Just look at the reaction in influential parts of the western media, in which the dead have effectively been blamed because they were ‘settlers’ and thus are deemed to have brought the atrocity upon themselves. Now two more Israelis in the West Bank have been shot and wounded, one seriously, in what has been described as another drive-by shooting which riddled their car with bullets. This was the obscene reaction by Hamas supporters to the murders. They rejoice because they glory in the killing of Israeli civilians. Yet as Just Journalism observes, in the Guardian Harriet Sherwood used the atrocity to blame the settlers for being the principal obstacle to peace, while providing

no discussion of the relevance of Hamas, or any background information on its history of violence aimed at civilians as exemplified by yesterday’s killings;

while the New York Times similarly blamed the settlers for

the disruptive role

they were playing in the ‘peace process’. But the only reason they are ‘disruptive’ is because people like the New York Times and the Guardian single them out as such,  vilifying them as the core of the problem between Israel and the Arabs. This claim is of course as absurd as it is repellent. Any morally literate individual can see that it was obviously Hamas that set out to ‘disrupt’ the negotiations taking place in Washington between Israel and the Palestinians by murdering Israelis. And it is not just Hamas but Abbas’s Fatah too who are ‘disruptive’ to the peace process – to put it mildly — through their stated aim of destroying Israel as a Jewish state, and their continued incitement of their population to the hatred and mass murder of Jews.

The attacks on Israelis are not senseless, because what Hamas knows is that its murderous attacks upon Israeli civilians inevitably results in pressure by the ‘civilised’ world not on those who wage such terror campaigns but on their Israeli victims. It is not Hamas or the Palestinians who are punished by America, Britain and Europe for murdering Israelis, but Israel for either defending itself against them or refusing to make more suicidal ‘concessions’ which expose yet more of its civilians to murderous attack. The more Israelis are murdered, the more Palestinian children are incited to hate and murder Jews, the more vehemently America, Britain and Europe insist that Israel should weaken all its defences — because their attackers have the ‘right’ to a state of their own. As Barry Rubin writes:

And how can Obama say the U.S. government is going to ‘push back’ [against such acts of terrorism] since only a few weeks ago he handed a huge victory to the organizer of this attack, Hamas, by pressuring Israel into reducing sanctions on the Gaza Strip while himself granting about $300 million to pay salaries (through the PA) to civil servants in Gaza who implement Hamas’s policies? The U.S. government also forgot its former policy of making things tough in the Gaza Strip so that the ‘moderation’ of the West Bank looked better and more beneficial. Now the idea is to promote prosperity in the Gaza Strip so that for some reason–I can’t imagine why–the populace will turn against Hamas. But here are scenes of Hamas supporters celebrating the attack. They have nothing to worry about, since they know that Western governments and other international forces will block Israeli retaliation against the terrorist group, while now there are no restrictions on non-military goods coming into the Gaza Strip. And if Hamas stages ten more attacks or twenty? If it fires rockets and mortars into Israel or launches cross-border attacks, is there any likelihood that the United States will ‘push back?’

The real charge against the western world is actually far graver even than this. Obama himself, along with the British and Europeans can be said to have actually helped bring about this horror — because the obsessional focus upon the settlements has allowed the Arabs to pretend that the core issue is indeed the settlers, and if only they were removed from the territories there would be peace. The slightest acquaintance with history shows that this is a ludicrous analysis. The  Arabs have been waging a war of extermination against the Jewish presence in first Palestine and then Israel from the 1920s onwards. The proof, if any were really needed, that the settlements were not the issue came when Israel evicted the settlers from Gaza – to which the reaction was not peace or nation-building towards a state of Palestine, but thousands of rockets fired from Gaza at Israel.

Indeed, down through the decades each and every concession made by Israel to the Palestinians – including the offer to them of more than 90 per cent of the disputed territories in 2000 and subsequently – has resulted in a huge intensification of Palestinian violence and yet more Israelis murdered. As this week, the Jews talk peace – and the Arab reaction is to murder them.

Yet still the settlers are blamed – insanely — as the principal impediment to peace. And the more this lethal diplomatic farce continues, and the more the settlers are scapegoated for the Middle Eastern impasse, the more that impasse is guaranteed to continue. The Palestinians play upon this western derangement to camouflage their real aim – the destruction of Israel – and to ratchet up the murder rate of Israelis, knowing the west will merely shrug its shoulders because they are ‘only’ settlers and therefore untermenschen. The fact that they are murdered in cold blood counts for nothing. This is even more hideous since it is not the first time that Jews have found themselves demonised and dehumanised in order to soften up the ‘civilised’ world for their destruction. We have all been here before. And it is even more obscene because of the lies and indeed the racism upon which this animosity against the settlers is based. The settlements are said to be illegal: this is false.

Jews are entitled to settle Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank) under international treaty obligations which have never been rescinded – obligations entered into by the world in 1920 in respect of the unique claim of the Jewish people to that land. They are also entitled to be there under the terms of UN resolution 242 as long as the Arabs refuse to end their war against Israel, in line with all situations where land is taken to defend a country against a belligerent. The settlers are said to have stolen land from the Palestinians. This is false. The land never belonged to a sovereign country of Palestine because there was none. It was ‘no man’s land’, illegally occupied for a while by Jordan. Nor was it ‘stolen’ from individual Palestinians since most of it was empty space, or bought from Arabs, or it was land originally owned and lived in by Jews. Moreover, the demand that the settlers must leave is a racist demand, because it effectively states that no Jew can be allowed to live in a future state of Palestine.

In this upside-down world of gross cognitive dissonance, it is an outstanding and eternal reproach to the ‘progressive’ western world – including, let it be said loud and clear, the Ha’aretz mob in Israel’s own media and the universities, along with idiotic or twisted Jews in the diaspora — that it thus endorses racist ethnic cleansing and demonises anyone who dares to disagree. The fact that the Jews are morally and historically entitled to settle in Judea and Samaria does not mean, however, that it is necessarily in their interests to do so. On the contrary.

They would – and should – give up much of it tomorrow if there was a real prospect that the Arabs would genuinely abandon their war against Israel. The main reason that this is not likely to happen, however, is that, with the western world determined to blame Israeli ‘intransigence’ over the settlements as the core issue in this conflict, the Arabs can hide their genocidal aims behind western dupes and worse who are doing the Arabs’ dirty work for them.

It cannot be said too often that the overwhelming reason for the Middle East impasse is that for decades now, America, Britain and Europe have rewarded the Arabs for their terrorist violence and taken uniquely hostile action against their Israeli victims instead. Hamas is actually committing these murders. But just as with their Nazi forbears, the connivance of other, ostensibly neutral, players in this process is crucial. In today’s pre-pogrom atmosphere against Israel in the west, the demonisation and dehumanisation of the settlers is a crucial element in the terrorists’ strategic calculation. With every article in the western – and Israeli – media painting the settlers as monsters while the truly monstrous terrorists are presented as injured freedom-fighters, more Israeli death warrants become sealed. The western intelligentsia are not passive onlookers to this never-ending tragedy. They are active players in ensuring that it continues. It is high time that they were held to account for this murderous obsession.

September 5, 2010 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. This is a sick country:

    Red Cross Justifies Hosting Hamas Leaders

    Before I give a damn about the RC’s responsibility, I want to know who in the Israeli government, judiciary, and police are going to hang for allowing this situation to last more than 10 minutes.

    Wanted: armed citizens to mow down terrorists holed up right now in the Jerusalem offices of the RC. Bonus points for taking down RC employees who try to get in the way. I’ll pay a cash reward for every one of them who permanently bites the dust. If Ahmadenajad can offer rewards, so can we!

  2. “Disruptive”? Au contaire mes amis…

    It’s actually people like Sheridan and her confreres (French is such a useful language) in the New York Times who are the “disruptors” of peace. It’s they who encourage the thugs and bandits who actually intimidate the “palestinian” public to the point where the latter simply have to conform in order to stay alive.

    In other words a sizable proportion of the “palestinians” are probably fed up with the gangsterism (sorry – I have no numbers), but are being held hostage to Hamas and their morally superior enablers in the Western media. “Intelligentsia”? Don’t make me laugh.

  3. I basically agree. Fundamentally, there is a strong drive in modern Leftism to appease evil. I would guess this is a result of (1) wishful thinking that evil people will start acting nice out of a sense of gratitude; (2) a need to pretend to moral superiority by demonstrating tolerance; and (3) raw fear.