Now may be a fit moment to ponder over Israel at war. Another battle is done, the rockets and guns are fallen silent, anxieties and passions have calmed, incendiary mobs have quitted Europe’s capitals, the world is taking a breather. So what happened when Israel went to war against Arabs for the umpteenth time?


It obsessed the world to the point of mania. That much is obvious, looking back at Gaza War 3, alternatively known as ‘Operation Protective Edge.’ The world flipped.

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Consider the media, how it rushed every able body and its equipment to the battle. Some 700 journalists from 42 countries arrived, according to the Government Press Office in Israel. They joined another 750 journalists already in the country before hostilities broke out. Take a war toll of some 2,000 dead and that’s close to a one-to-one ratio: one journalist for every death. Surely no conflict in modern times has been covered so massively. In marked contrast a little further afield surely no conflagration has been covered so miserly. What would be the journalist to death ratio in Iraq and Syria, with a combined war toll of 300,000 and more? Is there a media presence at all there? What with the sport made of journalist-killing, taking hostages and chopping heads off, most likely not. Compared to the scale of Muslims killing brother Muslims, the scale of Jews killing Muslims amounts to little more than a schoolyard brawl.


Yet readers, viewers and advertisers can’t get enough of it, and the media laid on a fest. From the bombed and gutted ruins of Gaza it bombarded the market with blanket coverage. Fully two-thirds of all journalists reported from only one side of the border: the Gaza side. Name an American or NATO–led war where reporters enjoyed carte blanche to eke out human tragedies, real or created. In Gaza they lay it on thick because they can. Anti-Israel, or sometimes anti-Semitic propaganda dished up as current news is meat and drink for the media. What could be more newsworthy than a spectacle of Yids playing Rambo? An Israeli war is a media paradise, an Arab war a media hell.


That is one home truth. Another lurks on the reverse of the coin. People hate Israel so much because they love the albatross around Israel’s neck so much. That albatross, as everyone knows, would be the world’s cause célèbre, Arab people who have come to be called ‘The Palestinians’. (As if Jews in Mandate Palestine did not go under that name.) Be that as it may, the name today is not just household, but sacred. To speak of the Palestinians is to enter a place of worship, to feel inclined to bow the head and hush the tone. Who they really are, the stuff they really do and what they really want is not important. The martyr of modern time, ‘Palestinian’ is a byword for purity and victimhood. It has wants and needs and Israel, the designated villain, is duty-bound to supply them. If Palestinians demand a state to call their own, it is up to the world’s one Jewish state, tiny as it is, to give them one. Giving the Palestinians a state is not the business of the half dozen Arab states hard by, big as they are. Not only must Israel make a plan, it must make a plan on Palestinian terms, as if they had any law on their side.


That was a second home truth. A third one qualifies the second. As a matter of fact people do not love the Palestinians unconditionally. They’re loved only when acting as an albatross around Israel’s neck. No one cares a jot about them when they exist, and die in other forms. Palestinians rotting in squalid refugee camps where Arabs have kept them since 1948, destitute and nourished on dreams and hatreds, go unloved. And no one cares about Palestinians in Gaza, when they live under the tyrannical iron fist of Hamas, and Israel is out of the frame.


Consider the recent war. How many Palestinians lost their lives through dictatorial orders to shield rocket sites, tunnels and arsenals with their bodies? How many died from being denied access to tunnel shelters? How many died while digging those tunnels for Hamas slave masters? How many were casually executed in public on claims of being Zionist collaborators?


As for Palestinians existing in Arab states, they  might as well not exist, so little do people think of them. In 1970, when the PLO threatened his throne, King Hussein of Jordan had no qualms about slaughtering thousands of Palestinians in "Black September." Six years later Lebanese militias, backed by the Syrians, massacred some 3,500 Palestinians in the Beirut camp of Tel Zaatar. The militias again slaughtered hundreds of Palestinians in 1982 in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, then under the Israeli commander, Ariel Sharon’s watchful eye. In the summer of 2007, the Lebanese army killed hundreds of Palestinians in the refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared. After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Kuwaitis punished the PLO for its support of Saddam Hussein —cutting off support, expelling 440,000 Palestinian workers, and massacring them in their thousands. In 2013 the butcher of Syria, President Assad, starved hundreds of Palestinians to death in a refugee camp. And the world over people studied their fingernails.


To put this home truth into a handy formula: Muslim crimes on Palestinians are Muslim business. Palestinian crimes on Israelis are no one’s business. Israeli crimes on Palestinians are everyone’s business.


Equally the next home truth, what anti-Zionists really want for Israel, may be encapsulated by a formula. Down the epochs the powers that be decreed what rights for Israel? Effectively the Greeks and Romans decreed, ‘You have no right to live among us as Jews.’ After them came the Church: ‘You have no right to live among us.’ And finally Hitler and the Nazi decree: ‘You have no right to live.’ Today who decrees what for Israel? Anti-Zionism, an axis of two religions and a secular Left, decrees no more rights than Hitler did. Effectively anti-Zionists tell the people of Israel, ‘You have no right to live.’


Forget Al Qaeda or Hamas, Hezbollah or the Mullahs of Iran. Those are not the anti-Zionists in mind. Nor think of the parades in Europe: ‘Kill the Zionists’; or ‘If only Hitler had finished the job’. Forget the hotheads. Think BBC; think CNN; think the New York Times and the Guardian; think the UN Human Rights Council or Europe’s Parliament; think Amnesty and Oxfam; think of the BDS movement. Those are the anti-Zionists and that is their decree. Attend carefully to certain formulae they use and you will catch what they want for Israel: ‘No right to live.’


What formulae do anti-Zionists use? ‘Disproportionate’ is a whole formula collapsed into a word. Who shall step up with it? Washington Post writer Eugene Robinson will do. “For Israeli military action to be justifiable, it must be proportionate. What we’re witnessing is not.”  

Why is it not? Robinson will never tell us why. It cannot be ignorance. How is it possible for a Washington Post columnist to believe kindergarten stuff that proportionate means ‘tit for tat,’ as in a family feud. The Hatfield’s kill three McCoy’s, so the McCoy’s must kill three Hatfield’s. More than three and they’re breaking the rules of the feud. People that hate Israel, other than honest bigots that don’t care who knows it, never explain why Israeli actions were not proportionate; for the simple reason that if they did, their dirty secret would be out of the bag. Jews got off too lightly is what bugs people like Robinson. Jews deserved worse – considerably worse. There ought to have been more of them killed and fewer Palestinians – far fewer. Israel-haters cannot but feel that things are upside down when Jews win wars at too low a cost. Disproportionate to them means attacks they don't like, or attacks by people they don't like.


There is nothing like Jews at war for bringing out the worst in people.
 
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