Why Israel is gaining friendsI 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.