Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Why Is
This
Happening?


From Victor Davis Hanson's blog:


We are witnessing strange things about Israel. Columnists this year wrote about it being a “mistake.” And for the first time emboldened Islamic leaders talk seriously not about restoring lost land on the West Bank and the Golan Heights, but of “wiping” it off the map entirely.

The Lebanon war saw not just slanted coverage, but outright falsification and lying from the major Western new servers—many of them served by local stringers who provide on the ground propaganda and faked photos.

And now the Holocaust has been reinvented, as the old idea of a safe haven for the survivors of the Third Reich has been transmogrified into “a one bomb state.” Mein Kampf is translated as “Jihadi” on the West Bank and sells briskly. We are seeing a venomous anti-Semitic hatred in the Arab-supported state papers that the world has not witnessed since the 1930s and 1940s.

Back home, the Left/Right split on Israel has also been turned upside down. If you wish to read sick hatred about the Jewish state go to the leftist blogs or the campuses, not the Montana badlands. Somehow the Palestinians have reinvented themselves as liberal victims of Western, white male imperialists. Thus, in the manner of Blacks, Chicanos, Gays, and Women they are deserving of the usually accorded sympathy for their oppressed status—never mind the Islamists’ gender apartheid, religious intolerance, homophobia, and fundamentalism that should be so repugnant to the liberal mind.

Now more than ever Israel is nearly all alone—and so serves as a barometer in the West of true liberal courage of conscious. It has no oil, no international terrorists, no large population, no real material advantages and no threats to be made in the most crass sense. Instead, it is a humane liberal society, an atoll of reason in a surrounding sea of autocracy. So it is the perfect litmus test for the Westerner: on the one hand is principled support for an embattled democracy; on the other, is easy appeasement that wins applause from millions, eases concerns about oil and terrorism, and offers cheap relief of elite guilt by trashing the very Western culture that rewards us all.

Tragically, most leftist elites these days fail the test. Somehow, especially in Britain, they put themselves on the side of illiberal groups like Hamas or the Palestinian Authority whose history is antithetical to very notion of tolerance.

Now we have yet again the ubiquitous Jimmy Carter. Not content with a failed Presidency, he is determined to turn his legacy into even a greater failure, lecturing us in his new book about an apartheid Israel.

Unlike blacks in his own Georgia of the 1950s, Israeli Arabs vote and enjoy civil liberties, perhaps a million of them, with another 100,000 plus as illegal aliens. In fact, they enjoy rights not found in other Arab countries, inasmuch as Jews treat Arabs inside their own country not just better than Arabs treat Jews (they ethnically cleansed 500,000 from the major Arab capitals in the 1960s), but in the sense of civil liberties better than Arabs treat Arabs.

Carterism is a new postmodern pathology in which smug piety, dressed up in evangelical new-age Christianity, pronounces from afar moral censure on the more righteous party—on the theory that acting well but not perfect is worse than acting badly. Carter reminds me of the timid parent who spanks hard the good son for the rare misdemeanor because he takes it with silence while giving a pass to the wayward son for the daily felony because he would throw a public fit if corrected.