One thing I’ll say about my favourite leftist whipping boy is that he is as persistent as he is rather silly. His latest missive uses pieces from both AWH and Myself as exemplars of conservative evil. At best his piece shows that he is wilfully ignorant about the real nature of anti-Semitism within the ranks of the left and at worst he is trying to dissemble to hide that truth. He begins thus.
Thursday, 22 November 2007
I’m referring here to a staffer of George Newhouse, the ALP’s candidate for Wentworth in the election this Saturday.
Her name is Rose Jackson (daughter of former ABC presenter, Liz), and she had the audacity to make the following faux pas:
In an email addressed “Dear activists”, Ms Jackson wrote to an internet education discussion forum last year: “I oppose Zionism because it calls for the creation of a Jewish state, and I think all governments should be secular.
‘No Jewish, Islamic, Christian states anywhere in the world, just good, robust,
secular democracies,’ she said. ‘By speaking out on behalf of the Palestinians
and Lebanese people, we can give voice to those that some governments and media
would wish to silence…I’m just opposed to theocracy. I certainly support the
right of Israel to exist, but not as a Jewish state.’ (source)
Naturally, those great defenders of freedom and democracy (the usual suspects, I mean) have fallen over themselves, using Jackson’s comments to demonstrate that all who criticise the Israeli government, or Zionism, are incurable anti-Semites, and inevitably of left-leaning persuasion.
I would hardly call my rather wryly sarcastic piece an example of my falling over myself at all. MK’s Piece at AWH was likewise little more than an aside, a quickie post that is intended to be taken as just a wry observation. I would make the argument that Haps far more extensive post is a far better example of an author “Falling over himself” to make a point that either MK’s post or mine is.
At one level, these critics of Israel’s critics have a point. Jackson’s characterisation of Israel as a ‘theocracy’ is confused, a point that Jackson herself later conceded.
The main objection to Jackson’s comment, however, was not her mis-characterisation of Israel’s Government – such slip-ups occur routinely, on all sides of politics. Rather, her detractors were outraged that she had the temerity to criticise the Israeli Government.
Of course we have a point when we cite Jackson’s clear naiveté on the matter of the structure of Israel’s democracy. But there is nothing at all to support Hap’s contention that MK and I are at all outraged by anyone, even Hap himself criticising the government of Israel.
To clarify how the ‘logic’ goes – Palestinians are all either terrorists or supporters of terror. Terror is here used by the anti-Palestinian crowd to refer to attacks on civilians. Given that Palestinians can be more or less equated, wholesale, with terror, Israel’s targeted assassinations can be understood as ‘self-defence’. Collective punishment of the Palestinians is entirely appropriate – after all, they never learn in any case. Sure, the IDF feels free to kill with impunity, to execute without a trial – but special circumstances warrant special pleading. Sure, many more Palestinian civilians have been killed than Israeli – but these are ‘accidents’ (as if, after bombing or opening fire on civilians, IDF troops say ‘Oops, my bad’ when inspecting the aftermath). Sure, Israel may control almost every aspect of Palestinian life, and may have integrated Palestinian land and resources into their own economy, but hey – the Israelis won it fair and square.
The evidence that a majority of Palestinians are complicit in the acts of terror perpetrated against the civilians of Israel is quite clearly made by the way that they were so willing to vote for the very hard-line candidates of Hamas in the last round of elections. It is also made by the way that they are so willing to send their children into Israel to be suicide bombers.
The restraint shown by Israel in response to outrages like the bombing of buses and cafe’s is actually genuinely heroic. A lesser people would have driven the Palestinians into the sea or across the river into Jordan. The Israelis have instead made the running time and time again to broker peace. Even when they unilaterally withdrew from Gaza The Palestinians were unwilling to do anything more than use it as a base to launch rockets into Israel rather than cease the opportunity for nation building.
This is more or less how the story goes, is it not? Supposed leftists who take issue with this narrative do not, as far as I can tell, endorse attacks on civilians, or support the Islamists‘ theocratic fetish, or deny that self-defence is a legitimate right. Nonetheless, these points are almost never granted.
Maybe they are not explicitly endorsing it but you very seldom see them qualifying their support for the Palestinian position. The same leftist will find any reason to excuse or “understand” acts of terror like bombing Buses and launching unguided rockets into Israel. The size and quality of the IDF is a favourite for this .
Curiously, the Israelis themselves are not so squeamish when it comes to acknowledging that occupation may not be a barrel of laughs after all. Hardened Likudniks are ready to admit that the occupation is a nasty (though necessary) business – anti-Palestinians in the West are not willing to concede even this much.
As you can see, any criticism of the Israeli government, no matter how qualified, is liable to be ‘rebutted’ with accusations of anti-Semitism. After all, these charges against Israel have no basis in fact.
It is not the act of criticising Israel that earns a leftist the ire of conservatives but the implicit support for the methodology used by Palestinians to achieve their goals. From the very beginning there has been a strong anti Semitic aspect to Marxism and it is not just me who sees the modern leftists claims to be “anti-Zionists” as a ruse to disguise their anti-Semitism.
So never mind the ex-Israeli soldier who, writing of his experiences in the West Bank earlier this week, said:
[S]till the expansion continues, and still the stranglehold on the
Palestinians persists. While the Israeli public stays silent, while their taxes swell the government’s coffers, they are tacitly aiding and abetting slow torture on a national scale. On top of the sporadic killing that the occupation inevitably causes, the killing of an entire people’s hopes and dreams takes place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (source)
Perhaps he is one of those called ‘self-hating’ by the anti-Palestinians.
Yes we can all concede that having to occupy territory and try to keep the peace with a people who are determined to kill you if they can is an unpleasant experience for the soldiers who have to do it but what exactly does this have to do with Rose Jackson? Oh hang on it has nothing to do with her but everything to do with hap trying to prove that the government of Israel, and by extension its people deserve to be bombed and killed by the Hamas or Islamic Jihad because the Israeli occupation is so evil. 🙄
We should also ignore the death of a Palestinian teenager earlier this week:
Palestinian medical sources said nineteen-year-old Muhammad Al-Najjar was riddled with 13 bullets. Eyewitnesses said Al-Najjar was standing in the door of his house when Israeli soldiers disguised in civilian clothes approached him and shot him without provocation. (source)
Anyone who has been following the conflict in Israel will be aware that the Palestinians have been more than willing to use their children as human shields, as agent provocateurs and even suicide bombers so any fair minded commentator would have to concede that a thirteen year old boy is rightfully not considered as ‘innocent” as we might see an Australian boy of the same age. Given the source, the claims that there was no provocation should be taken with at very large grain of salt
We should remain silent about the Palestinian children who are denied medical treatment by the State of Israel, according to well known Communist rag Ha’aretz – after all, 10-year old cancer patients are a threat to national security. And we should the alleged IDF storming of a refugee camp, shortly after Tony Blair visited it on a ‘peace’ mission. After all, any mention of such things would make you ‘nasty and extreme’, according to the blogosphere’s least pernicious and most respected conservative commentator.
To be entirely honest I am amazed that Israel is willing to offer any sort of medical treatment to Palestinians at all but fore every story as tragic as the ones there are more stories of Israeli doctors making heroic efforts to treat sick Palestinian children. The fact that there are so many difficulties for Palestinians to access Israeli hospitals is almost entirely an artefact of their own relentless campaign of terror, their willingness to use ambulances to carry arms and explosives and the willingness of their bombers to use any subterfuge to get a bomb into Israel proper