“Victim blaming” is one of the sins that is most deplored by the social justice movement. When it comes to the Jews, however, different rules seem to apply, at least when it comes to rape, murder and mutilation.
The events of the past few days could not have been more clear-cut. This was an unprovoked assault by Islamist fanatics who rampaged across southern Israel, reveling in savagery against the innocent. The atrocities you have seen on television have been the tip of the iceberg. Women have been butchered, their bodies paraded and desecrated, while grandmothers have been kidnapped with their carers and executed. Families have been gunned down in bomb shelters. Babies and children have been dragged away into captivity in Gaza. There has been at least one apparent beheading. Israeli forces were caught napping. Yet the tone of some of the coverage has suggested that the Jews deserved it.
Make no mistake: this was the killing of Jews because they were Jews
Across the West, meanwhile, the response has been a carnival of Israelophobia. Rallies have mushroomed in several cities — in solidarity with the murderers, not the victims. Footage believed to be from the Netherlands showed a man climbing a flagpole to tear down an Israeli flag and trample it. Canadian youngsters have been filmed dancing and cheering in delight, as if at a football game. On the streets of Manchester, crowds have been chanting openly in support of Hamas. As I write, if you type #prayfor… into Instagram, it will autosuggest #prayforpalestine, which is about seven times more popular than #prayforIsrael. Pray for the killers, not the dead.
Yesterday, a “joint statement” by the Harvard University Palestine solidarity groups made it clear:
We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all the unfolding violence.
The truth is that there is no “occupation” in Gaza. Israel withdrew unilaterally from the territory in 2005. Yesterday, an internal email from the Canadian state broadcaster went viral; staff were instructed not to mention this verifiable fact, because “Israel has maintained control over airspace, seafront and virtually all movement into or out of the area.” No, Canada: that is not an occupation. Securing the border is necessary for Israel’s safety. If you’re in any doubt, look at the events of the past few days. All too often, the western media is complicit in a narrative that is simply untrue, and functions to undermine the Jewish state’s right to exist in peace.
Not only is there no “apartheid” in Israel, there is no “apartheid wall” either. Before the separation barrier was constructed on the West Bank, suicide bombs in Jerusalem and other Israeli towns were almost a weekly occurrence. Since its completion, they have reduced to nearly zero. Attempts to reinterpret the barrier as a gesture of racial segregation amount to little more than efforts to hijack the language of identity politics to undermine Israel’s defenses. What is the country supposed to do? Welcome suicide bombers and murderous hoards from Gaza to avoid being accused of “apartheid” and “occupation” by blue-haired lefties on Twitter and their allies in the United Nations?
Israelophobia is the newest form of the oldest hatred. Whereas Jews were hated as the Christ killers in medieval times and as an inferior race in the twentieth century, these days they are hated for the sake of their national home. This redux version of antisemitism is political, meaning it can be more easily embraced by those eccentric Jews who are desperate to be accepted by the hard left, where they are used in bad faith as alibis.
In an almost unbelievable showcase of this phenomenon, even while Israelis were being butchered, one Jewish leftist tweeted: “Today should be a day of celebration for supporters of democracy and human rights worldwide… The struggle for freedom is rarely bloodless and we shouldn’t apologize for it.” A great darkness is lying across the moral conscience of the West and dispelling it has become an almost insurmountable task.
The Jews are an ancient people, and this is nothing new for us. Whether in Palestine, Europe or the Arab lands, pogroms have always been justified in the tropes of the day. In medieval Europe, massacring the Christ killers was seen as the work of God. During World War Two, it was seen as a means to cleanse the world of subhuman parasites. In postwar Palestine, Jewish communities were massacred by Arab mobs because they had the temerity to wish to live in their ancestral lands.
I have in my possession the cover of a French magazine from 1929, entitled Le Petit Journal. It shows an illustration of Arabs hacking Jews to death with swords, accompanied by the caption: “les troubles en Palestine: Des Arabes massacrent des Juifs dans les divers quartiers de Jérusalem.” The events it recorded, the Palestine Riots, included a notorious mass killing of almost seventy Jews in Hebron, where the tomb of the Jewish patriarchs is located. That murderous rampage was sparked by the conspiracy theory that the Jews were planning to seize Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This was eighteen years before the state of Israel was established, let alone any “occupation.”
The Jews of Palestine fought back, of course, and innocent Arabs were killed as well. Gone are the days when we go like lambs to the slaughter, but innocent Arab deaths are equally worthy of condemnation. Nevertheless, current events compel us to be clear: the savagery that has played out in Israel in the past few days was of a piece with the pogroms of Russia and Eastern Europe, the mob violence perpetrated against the Jews of Baghdad during the Farhud of 1941, and the Nazi massacres of wartime.
Indeed, the extremist Palestinian leader Amin al-Husseini collaborated with the Nazis in Berlin to synthesize Third Reich antisemitism with the Islamic tradition and pump this noxious propaganda into the Middle East on the wireless and via leaflet campaigns. This added a special poison to the culture of the region, which turned powerfully against the Jews. It was followed by Soviet anti-Israel disinformation, which coined smears like “genocide,” “white supremacy,” “colonialism” and “racism” about Israel, all of which perpetuate in the cultural bloodstream of the modern West.
“Apartheid” was another Soviet smear, and was in circulation several years before a single Israeli was present on the West Bank. As early as 1963, the Arab League’s London magazine, Arab Outlook, included a long essay justifying its economic boycott of the Jewish state. It did so by citing “Israeli apartheid” in a pamphlet called “Zionist Colonialism in Palestine,” produced by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1965, a full two years before the “occupation.” In it, the author, Fayez Sayegh, claimed:
The Zionist settler state has learned all the lessons which the various discriminatory regimes of white settler-states in Asia and Africa can teach it… whereas the Afrikaner apostles of apartheid in South Africa, for example, brazenly proclaim their sin, the Zionist practitioners of apartheid in Palestine beguilingly protest their innocence.
Yet there was no occupation. This was a verdict looking for a crime. Israel’s attackers had placed the black cap of the hanging judge on their heads before any crime was committed.
In truth, the atrocities that have so appalled all people of conscience in recent days were not part of any territorial dispute. Not only has there been no “occupation” of Gaza since 2005, the Jewish communities that were attacked so brutally last weekend were located within the internationally mandated borders of Israel. Make no mistake: this was the killing of Jews because they were Jews.
Look at the Hamas murderers parading corpses through the streets. Look at them mutilating bodies and abusing children. Don’t turn away. Look at them mocking and shooting down the elderly. And look at the jubilation that has gripped many Palestinian communities, where residents have danced and handed out sweets, not just in the region but also in America and Europe. While there are many decent and honorable Muslims, who comprise our friends and allies, it is impossible to deny that there is a strong element in Palestinian and Arab society that sacralizes a cult of bloodshed. This is a difficult fact to face, but evil cannot be defeated by ignoring it.
Yet according to the useful idiots of the left, it is always the fault of the Jews. The Christ killers, the Untermenschen, the colonizers; they are to blame for their own destruction. The final insult, which we insist on delivering, is that time and again, we refuse to die. Am Yisrael chai.
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.
The post The Jews are not to blame for Hamas’s barbarism in Israel appeared first on The Spectator World.