Saturday, July 09, 2005


In today's Globe essay (on the root causes of the London Attacks, and what should be done about them) Timothy Garton Ash wrote:

"A peace settlement between Israel and Palestine would remove another great recruiting sergeant for Islamist terrorists. "

In an essay for the Hoover Digest (2003 • No. 2 ) TGA wrote:
The Middle East is both a source and a catalyst of what threatens to become a downward spiral of burgeoning European anti-Americanism and nascent American anti-Europeanism, each reinforcing the other. Anti-Semitism in Europe, and its alleged connection to European criticism of the Sharon government, has been the subject of the most acid anti-European commentaries from conservative American columnists and politicians. Some of these critics are themselves not just strongly pro-Israel but also “natural Likudites,” one liberal Jewish commentator explained to me. In a recent article Stanley Hoffmann writes that they seem to believe in an “identity of interests between the Jewish state and the United States.” Pro-Palestinian Europeans, infuriated by the way criticism of Sharon is labeled anti-Semitism, talk about the power of a “Jewish lobby” in the United States, which then confirms American Likudites’ worst suspicions of European anti-Semitism, and so it goes on, and on.

Beside this hopeless tangle of mutually reinforcing prejudice—difficult for a non-Jewish European to write about without contributing to the malaise one is trying to analyze—there are, of course, real European-American differences in approaches to the Middle East. For example, European policymakers tend to think that a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be a bigger contribution to the long-term success of the “war against terrorism” than the war on Iraq.
Timothy Garton Ash is WRONG to single out Israel. The Israeli/Arab conflict is far from the bloodiest flashpoint between Muslims and non-Muslims. Kashmir, Timor, the Moros, Chechnya, Nigeria, Thailand, and the Sudan have each had inter-faith conflicts which have each killed more people in the last decade than Israel and the Arabs. And then there are the several Muslim states which have had intra-faith genocide - like Iraq, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Afghanistan - too name a few.

SO why does he (and why do so many Europeans, AND so many on the Left - the "chatterati" ) single out ISRAEL? WHY DON'T THEY PRESSURE ANY OF THE OTHER NATIONS WHICH ARE IN CONFLICT WITH JIHADISM? Why do they think that Israel is the ultimate flashpoint and recruiting tool? It's unfair, and unreasonable - AND IT DISTORTS THE TRUE NATURE OF OUR COMMON ENEMY.

Israel has every right to defensible borders, and we should no more force Israel to live adjacent to a terrorist state than we should cede Zarqawi the al Anbar province. Or force Russia to recognize a Chechen republic. Or China an independent Uighur state. Or force India to cede Kashmir. Or allow Jihadists to take over Morocco, and Saudi Arabia and Algeria and the southern Philipines. And Spain.

Timothy Garton Ash's views -as expressed in these two essays - are generally well thought out and logically argued. He makes many goods points. BUT: On this issue he shows a long-term bias which not only smacks of anti-Semitism (or at the very least an allergy to Jews - something now common among the chattering classes in Britain and on the Continent, and prevalent on the Left all over the world), it can - most importantly - yield no effective policy for defeating the Jihadists. It merely plays into their hands.

Only people who believe that giving Hitler the Sudatenland was a good, just and an effective way to diminish the chances of war should keep pressuring Israel to give into Jihadism. I for one believe that giving into to Hitlers and Arafats and and Saddams and Bin Ladens can never bring anything but more terror.

As Churchill said: "An appeaser is one who feeds someone else to a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last." I will never allow Israel to be fed to any crocodile.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

In response to Kyle, your premise that the anger at the West by Muslims has to do with our propping up tyrants in the Middle East is inaccurate. The Muslims have been violently angry at the West for nearly a century. How else do you account for the massacre in 1929 in Hebron of men, women and children in their sleep, or of the Muslim Mufti of Jerusalem siding with Hitler during the Second World War and mobilizing support for Hitler among Muslims claiming that Europe and the West were "devils" and should be exterminated.

The real reason they hate us has nothing to do with propping up tyrants, the Arabs are used to tyrants. The reason is, as Christopher Hitchens said after the recent London bombings:

"We know very well what the "grievances" of the jihadists are.

The grievance of seeing unveiled women. The grievance of the existence, not of the State of Israel, but of the Jewish people. The grievance of the heresy of democracy, which impedes the imposition of sharia law. The grievance of a work of fiction written by an Indian living in London. The grievance of the existence of black African Muslim farmers, who won't abandon lands in Darfur. The grievance of the existence of homosexuals. The grievance of music, and of most representational art. The grievance of the existence of Hinduism. The grievance of East Timor's liberation from Indonesian rule. All of these have been proclaimed as a licence to kill infidels or apostates, or anyone who just gets in the way.