Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I had no idea anti-Israeli/anti-Semitic sentiment ran so high beyond the confines of the hard left and the extreme right (what an interesting coalescence that is). Not to mention that toxic dwarf Mel Gibson. In the last week I’ve experienced (well, endured would be a more accurate description) several conversations, with people I consider to be reasonable and intelligent human beings, about the current conflict in Israel and Lebanon and found myself aghast at their position on the subject. One argument was functional: "the Israeli response is disproportionate to the threat they face, too many innocent people are being killed and nobody has ever been successful in a campaign against a guerrilla army". Another was, quite frankly, disgusting: "the Israeli response is disproportionate and, in any case, the country has no right to exist."

The latter isn’t even worthy of response, but for the first I would ask this: how, exactly, should a country respond when a terrorist organisation committed to your eradication starts firing hundreds of rockets at your civilians from beyond your national borders? Rockets provided mostly by Iran – a theocratic dinosaur with nuclear ambitions - whose fanatical leader has also expressed his wish to see your country removed from the map? Then, to compound matters further, said terrorist organisation blend their weapons and 'soldiers' amongst their host nation’s civilian population? You certainly cannot negotiate – the people you are fighting do not even recognise your right to exist – and there are no military targets to specifically go after because they have purposefully integrated into residential areas to both hide themselves and ensure as high a death count as possible in the hope that it will trigger a pan-Islamic response.

Israel has unquestionably made some tactical errors, and innocent lives have been tragically lost, but I lay all blame squarely at the feet of Hezbollah and their Iranian/Syrian backers. And these people who see equivalence between the actions of the state of Israel and those of a terrorist organisation essentially bankrolled by a fascist dictatorship are seriously deluded.

“We are all Hezbollah now”, read one of the placards on the anti-war demo in London last weekend. Oh, how low some on the left have sunk. There’s a huge debate raging over at The Guardian’s Comment is Free blog right now, prompted by a post from Harold Evans criticising those who are comfortable to share a platform with these people. It’s worth a read, if only for the rarity value of a comment piece in The Guardian that doesn’t instinctively take an anti-Israel position.


tafka PP said...


What a brave article - the Guardian must be loving all the sniping in the comments (from where I'm up to now I'm feeling a mixture of fascination, deep appreciation, and nausea.) Above all, they are compounding the bile I've seen on some of the Lefty UK blogs, similar to some of your friends and acquaintances: That many people who credit themselves with an intellectual worldview aren't actually interested in gaining an objective view about this conflict, (or any conflict) They've already picked their good/bad guys and just throw their blanket moral judgements around like they've got a clue about living in a war zone with an enemy that doesn't sign treaties. (Yes, I'm bitter)

And as to the genius title of your post... and the post itself... all I can say is you rock, and that you and Citizeness Sane are hereby invited to Jerusalem whenever you want (although we'll understand if you want to wait a while)

ph said...

I think that the Left's (not just Hard Left), long running criticism of Israel and (lets be honest) Jews, has little to do with logic, morality or any other form of human reason, it comes down to the base instinct of envy.
If the Jewish people and the Israeli state were not as clearly successful as they are then I doubt the Left would give a toss about this war. Where are the Labour backbenchers trying to recall parliament over the problems in Sudan (or any number of other wars involving indifferent nations)

Citizen Sane said...

tafka pp - Thanks and thanks. Invitation gratiously accepted but, on reflection, we'll put that one on the back burner for the time being!

ph - I don't think it's based on envy as such. I think many on the left side with the Palestinians on the basis that they are a downtrodden underclass. They see parallels with South Africa under apartheid perhaps. Where they get it so very wrong is in siding with people who hold opinions that are so antithetical to the stated goals of the left. Like Hezbollah for example. Any principled leftist should see clearly that they should side with Israel here. So those that don't are, in my opinion, neither principled nor leftist. They are appeasers of terrorists and fascists.

Devil's Advocate said...

Melanie Phillips - a woman I wouldn't normally agree with on many things - has written some very illuminating pieces on coverage of the conflict.

The attack on Qana - terrible though it was (as indeed is any loss of life) - was very likley to have been Hezbollah using civillians as human shields. Israel had apparently warned of this attack days before it happened. But of course the BBC and just about every other media organisation going immediately reported this attack along the lines of "Israeli aggression".

As for 'we're all Hezbollah now'... some of the left's hypocrisy is so startling, it leave's one speechless. Hezbollah is Iran, Iran does not recognise Israel, so they are effectively counting themselves as (nominal) supporters of Jew-hating fascists. And all the name of their courrpt use of the terms "freedom" and "democracy".


Citizen Sane said...

Good to see we're all singing from the same hymn sheet. For want of a better expression.

Ah, Melanie Phillips. Funnily enough, I was just in Waterstone's at lunchtime, flicking through a copy of her book 'Londonistan' thinking "Shall I? Shall I?"

I didn't. But I might.

FrumGirl said...

And you call yourself a liberal?

Just joking. Everyone seems to have an opinion. Very few actually educate themselves as to what the history is.
And the world is anti semitic.

doug said...

Are you all aware of the severe water shortage in this region and especially in Israel. It is very simple, this is all about securing access to the Litani river in Southern Lebannon, is it a mere coincidence that the ground forces were ordered to advance as far as the Litani river......just look it up and educate youselves...

Citizen Sane said...

But Israel had access to the Litani river from 1982-2000. If all the dispute is about access to water, why pull out and then decide to go back in six years later? I'm sure the water shortage has been just as acute in the interim.

And if water shortage really is the key, why would Hezbollah deliberately provoke Israel by firing rockets from across the border, thus ensuring Israeli troops invade to push them north where their weapons are out of range.

This makes little sense!

tafka PP said...

Little sense indeed: There are more fertile rivers further north than the Litani. The water shortage remains a problem for all in the region- this war has *nothing* to do with the solution.