Saturday, August 06, 2005

Why Israel is gaining friends

I still think Muslims are their own worst enemies. The murder of Theo van Gogh opened more eyes in Europe to the Islamic threat than 9/11 and the Madrid bombings did combined. That's because it was difficult for even the most hardened apologists to blame Israel or American foreign policy for the incident (not that they didn't try anwyay). As long as suicide bombings only hit Israelis, it could all be explained away as a "reaction to occupation". And maybe, just maybe, it was more acceptable as long as the victims were Jews. The "reaction to occupation" mantra could still be used in Iraq. It became a lot more difficult when the bombs hit London, even though people such as Mayor Ken Livingstone make an honest effort. I keep thinking of these drawings that look like one thing, and then one second you look at them and you see something else entirely. This may be what happens to many Westerners and other non-Muslims as Islamic terror continues. Who knows, maybe the bombings could even jolt Europe out of its civilizational coma? If so, this terror could have the opposite effect of what was intended:

Why Israel is gaining friends

On Mr Sharon’s watch, without anyone really noticing, Israel has become more firmly anchored in the good graces of world opinion than at any time this decade. The American essayist Paul Berman, in Terror and Liberalism, was the first to notice that “the suicide bombings produced a philosophical crisis among everyone around the world who wanted to believe that a rational logic governs the world”. Suicide bombing had to be about an unbearable injustice. If not, it was a mere homicidal cult :whistle: – an unbearable thought. So when Israel clamped down on the West Bank and Gaza, “something curious happened”, Mr Berman writes. “As the Palestinian situation grew more desperate, the wave of protest around the world, instead of growing, began to recede . . . The protests rose and fell around the world in tandem with the suicide bomb attacks, and not in tandem with the suffering of the Palestinian people.” Time has vindicated Mr Berman’s view. Israelis are today being attacked less in opinion columns because they are being attacked less on buses and in discotheques. They are less victimised by suicide terrorists largely because Mr Sharon’s government built a physical barrier between Israel and the Palestinian territories, in the teeth of western opposition.


At August 07, 2005 4:52 AM, Blogger RobertinArabia said...

Biased as I am, I can only observe that the only western workers where I live, despite being targets of terrorist attacks themselves on a regular basis, who support Israel are the born again Christians.

At August 07, 2005 2:20 PM, Blogger simulev said...

"Who knows, maybe the bombings could even jolt Europe out of its civilizational coma?"

I Disagree, here is why:

At August 07, 2005 3:52 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Robert in Arabia is right. I've noticed it too. There is an unrational hatred of the Jewish people that's existed all the way through history. It's actually one of the reasons I believe in God. Satan would certainly hate God's "Chosen People" and seek their destruction. I think true Christians recognize their brethern in the family of God.

At August 07, 2005 6:17 PM, Blogger ThBadMonkey said...

I think a few more hits in Euorope would do it, and of course, our inevitable dirty bom in America. Once we have everything to loose, more than not people will wake up. Radical Liberal voices will still be there, but just as the voices against this insanity are. We are here, but not enough listen.

Only the Islamics can derail themselves, but I think they lie low for a few more years now...

At August 08, 2005 9:35 PM, Blogger nouille said...

Jews being "chosen" people,I've always thought that's funny.

Chosen for what?

At August 09, 2005 7:38 PM, Blogger pippin said...

The idea of Jews as a "chosen people" is poorly understood by non-Jews (and also many Jews). It's *not* about Jews thinking they are superior to anyone else, it is about Jews feeling that they have been given a responsibility to change the world for the better by demonstrating adherence to ethical laws and belief in one God. Jews don't believe you have to be Jewish to merit the highest levels of spirituality or to gain God's approval. You only need to be a moral, ethical person (and this has a specific definition). Jews are universalists in the true sense, but they achieve it by being particularists. This article should help.

The more you learn about Judaism, the more you will respect and admire it. (And, of course, you will always find individual Jews who do not demonstrate high ethical principles just like you'll find people of other nationalities and religions who do likewise. This doesn't invalidate the beauty of the aspiration.)


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