Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Re-Write Begins

Since the ground assault on Gaza began, the expected horrifying images of wounded children have begun streaming out of Gaza.  With these human shields taking the bullets for Hamas, world opinion is predictably swinging against the Jews and towards the Muslims (or, if you prefer, against the Israelis and towards the Palestinians.)  This is a phenomenon well known to Middle East history buffs, whereby the international community sits back and watches with amused interest as Israel is shot and bombed, and then sweeps in to the rescue as soon as the tide turns and the Arabs start to taste the results of their aggression. 

It happened in '48, when the British handed over all fortified defensive positions in Israel to the Arabs, and Israel spent seven months of fighting and dying to recapture them, only to see the United Nations come rushing in for a cease fire once the battle had broken decisively in favor of Israel.  Ditto 1967, when the UN happily acquiesced to Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdul Nasser's demand that peacekeeping forces abandon the Sinai Peninsula so he could invade Israel, a demand they happily fulfilled long before the deadline he imposed expired.  Suddenly, when Israel ended up turning back the Egyptian menace, there stood the international community with a cease-fire agreement in hand.  The same happened in '73 after General Ariel Sharon encircled the invading Egyptian 3rd army, and in '82, and in '91, when Israel had to pay for America's victory in Iraq by entering into negotiations with the PLO, and in '02 with the road map, and the '06 cease fire with Hezbollah, and on and on.

Today, the historical re-write is beginning, a sort of groundwork to ensure a nominal cease-fire in which explosives and misery continues to rain down on Israel while Israel is constrained not to respond.  It showed up in a line Tony Karon of Time Magazine, in his article, "Despite Pummeling in Gaza, Hamas Thinks It Has the Upper Hand," when he states, " Turkey also has historically close relations with Israel and is a key NATO member, although it has angered Israeli leaders by condemning Israel for maintaining the economic siege of Gaza even while Hamas observed last year's truce." 

If Hamas observed a truce, that's the first anyone here has heard of it.  What about all those missiles that came flying into Sderot during the supposed truce?  Of course, Hamas blamed those rockets were blamed on breakaway cells, which it just happened to be supplying.  It's reminiscent of Arafat blaming terrorist attacks which occurred during ongoing negotiations on, "splinter cells" over which he had, "no control," although the money trail led straight from the UN to Arafat to the terror gangs.  You have to wonder what goes through Karon's head while he's writing.  "Well, it's not entirely true, but it's a little lie, and it's for the good of speeding up a cease-fire to help the people of Gaza, so I'll say it anyway."

In normal times, the sneering hatred of Israel, masquerading as unbiased journalism which just happens to accidentally omit a few critical facts, doesn't really get to me any more.  I listen to NPR and other liberal-leaning news broadcasts over the internet, but when I hear the words, "And now from Jerusalem our reporter…" I just flip the dial, because I know what's coming. 

I figure the best way to defeat hatred is go visit and strengthen a settlement, or paint a building on a hilltop outpost, or even to just live as a Jew in Israel.  After all, a radio broadcast lasts a few minutes, and once the words have passed, nothing remains.  Put a coat of paint on a building, or plant a tree, and you've created a permanent, albeit small, mark on the Land of Israel that will outlive the reporter and me. 

I suppose this is part of the frustration of being Jewish, to experience the unfairness of having to play in an intellectual mind game which was rigged from the start, which can have no other outcome than defeat.  When it happens to an individual Jew being unfairly judged and maligned by his fellows in a foreign land, it's called "Anti-Semitism." When it happens to the Jewish state being unfairly judged and maligned by its fellow nations, it's called "Humanitarian Concern."

The flip side, is, of course, that while we've been losing this game for mellinia, we seem to outlive the supposed victors.  After all, we're still here, but where are the Romans?  Where are the Nazis?  Where will the "Palestinians" be in another century?  Dead and forgotten.

3 comments:

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Evan said...

Yes, but it still feels like we should at least TRY to call them on it and maybe have some small effect. I realize that those who hate us will continue to hate us, but there might be someone on the borderline.

NormanF said...
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