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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Israel Derangement Syndrome Strikes Again

The headline of an Op-ed on the website of The Guardian newspaper, the left-wing British newspaper, started out promisingly enough: "Hamas No, Human Rights Yes." The sub-title was even better: "Why are the left and the anti-war movement ignoring Hamas's repression of the Palestinian people?"

Could it be, the notoriously anti-Israel newspaper was running an opinion piece calling out the left for a Middle-Eastern double standard?

The opening paragraphs of the article were good, such as this:

Hamas is intensifying its repression of the Palestinian citizens of Gaza, according to recent reports by Amnesty International and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. This repression includes beatings, kneecappings, executions, detention without trial, torture, restrictions on civic organisations and violent attacks on critics and protesters, as reported in the Guardian last Friday....

These abuses, which are part of a long-standing pattern of human rights violations, reveal Hamas's totalitarian agenda and are a portent of the Iranian-style theocratic tyranny they would impose on the Palestinian people if they ever secured absolute power. It is an antisemitic, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-trade union, authoritarian, clericalist movement.

Yes, The Guardian gets it! There is true evil in the Middle East, and its name is Hamas!

But wait. The next paragraph, after the quote above, starts with the word "Nonetheless." Ugh oh. I sense trouble here. Will The Guardian temper the truth with its standard "Israel is still to blame" mantra? Sure enough:
Nevertheless, none of Hamas's crimes excuse Israel's disproportionate, reckless and indiscriminate attacks on Gaza. The Israeli armed forces wantonly targeted civilian areas and caused thousands of civilian casualties, including the deaths of over 400 children. Under international law, such as the Geneva conventions, Israel's actions are war crimes and its political and military leaders should be taken to The Hague and put on trial.
These assertions of deliberate targeting of civilians and the death of "400 children" have been debunked so many times, not that it matters to The Guardian. What is important is that the author feels the need, in a piece detailing the horrors of Hamas, to take a cheap shot at Israel.

This is how it goes with the left-wing press. The Islamists who stone women, abuse their own people, and generally rule with an iron fist may be criticized, but only with the obligatory anti-Israel tirade thrown in to verify the author's bona fides as an enlightened intellectual. Such moral equivalency is why western Europe is on the decline, and not taken seriously by anyone outside of western Europe.

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