Tuesday, January 06, 2009


International crises involving Israel invariably seem to call forth responses among otherwise fair-minded and reasonable media editors which run directly counter to the values and principles they profess to espouse. Recently the Guardian newspaper has published an obituary of a senior Hamas leader, characterizing him as "a man of the street" a "big, bearded man" who was "something of a hero". It has also published a diatribe by another Hamas leader, which contains phrases that read like self-mockery: "Our modest, home-made rockets are our cry of protest to the world." And the Open Democracy website, which advertises itself as "free thinking for the world", leads with a piece by a former legal counsel to the Arab League which repeats an old and timeworn false analogy, of which Bradley Burston, writing in Haaretz, has the best analysis:

It denies and diminishes and exploits the Holocaust, does disrespect to Holocaust victims and survivors alike, alleviates European guilt over complicity with the Nazis, alleviates American guilt over inaction in the face of the annihilation machine, misrepresents both the cruel reality of the Gaza Strip and the cruel reality of the ghetto, dismisses the humanity and the vulnerability of the million Israeli Jews and Arabs within rocket range, and ignores completely the role of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, in having sent thousands and thousands and thousands of rockets and mortars into Israel.
As a bonus, pro-Palestinian demonstrators in San Francisco [where else?], referencing the the Warsaw Ghetto analogy, recently beat up a small number of pro-Israel demonstrators, reportedly shouting "Slaughter the Jew" at them in Arabic.

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