Another Tack: Justifying the feeding frenzy

Next time we carp about demonization abroad, we might look into our own backyard.

Tel Aviv left wing 88 (photo credit: )
Tel Aviv left wing 88
(photo credit: )
Frustrating as these pages' preelection deadline may be, it does allow us to look back and revisit what the past news-packed weeks somewhat swept aside. Perhaps most galling is how Israel's self-defense in the South invigorated the most radical elements of Israel's far-out far-left. Next time we carp about knee-jerk Israel-demonization abroad, we might ponder what weeds our democracy nourishes in our own overlooked backyard. Israel-bashing sites throughout the Web boasted a petition urging the international community to "stop Israel's destructive criminal policy" and "insatiable Israeli violence" via "a massive intervention." The recommended measures include UN-imposed sanctions, "compelling" Israel to abide by the Geneva Convention, prosecuting Israelis "responsible for grave breaches" of that convention, "immediate restrictive measures" by the EU and "cessation of all upgrade dialogue with Israel." Said petition originated from within Israel. Granted, the signatories included some of the most subversive of local Arab activists and the likes of Balad Knesset member Jamal Zahalka (fugitive Azmi Bishara's avid cohort). But also featured were hundreds of Jewish signatories - artistes, literati, academics, legal eagles and journalists - a veritable rogues' catalog, and all opinion-molders par-excellence. PARDESS HANNA's native bard Yitzhak Laor is, expectedly, among them. This Ha'aretz literary critic loses no opportunity to side with Israel's would-be destroyers. Last week he warned in an op-ed that "Israelis will pay for years for standing behind the army as if it's 'part of us,' as if 'we sent them.'" Last summer Laor reminded us of the sort of Arab extremism which enthralls him. It was right after the death of Mahmoud Darwish - "the Palestinian national poet," once an Israeli-Arab communist, later a PLO luminary and author of the Palestinian "Declaration of Independence." Darwish never softened his uncompromising abhorrence of Israel, not even for appearance's sake, as many of his fellow-Fatah leaders expediently did post-Oslo. Darwish contemptuously labeled Israel's Jews "those who pass through passing words." He dehumanizingly referred to them as ephemeral despicable parasites - "flying insects" - spiteful transient interlopers, bound to depart without trace, leaving no vestige of ever having sojourned here. He steadfastly and unabashedly denied any Jewish connection with this land, any history, tie or right to remain here. He was the ultimate unrepentant advocate of ethnic cleansing and - barring that - of outright genocide. Directly addressing Israeli Jews, he demanded: "Take your names and get out. Steal what you will From the blue of the sea and the sands of memory... Don't pass among us like flying insects... Take your bony skeletons... Collect your illusions from abandoned holes and get out... It's your time to get out. Reside where you will but not among us. Die where you wish, but not among us... Ours is the past here And the present and the future Ours is the world here... So get out of our soil Our earth, our sea Our wheat, our salt... Our everything. Get out Of all memory And remove with you your dead..." Freethinking individuals may be forgiven for considering Darwish's visceral loathing anathema to progressive enlightened humanists. But those who lay claim to the liberal mantle often excel at perverting liberal articles of faith. Had any Jew dared utter an infinitesimal fraction of Darwish's harangues, he'd be ostracized, pilloried and probably tried by Israel's bon ton judiciary for incitement and hate-mongering. BUT IT'S DIFFERENT STROKES for different folks. What wouldn't be tolerated from a Jew becomes cause for adulation in an Arab. By heaping honors and accolades on mortal foes, local pseudo-liberal sorts paint themselves as admirably benevolent. They massage their own inflated egos by embracing those who seethe with revulsion against their own people. Little surprise then that Darwish's death was announced on our TV channels with sorrowful, somber expressions. Some radio stations accompanied the obligatory mournful tones with suitably solemn musical selections. Israel's most liberal daily - the one we should count upon to deprecate all fanatical racist exhortations - paid him the greatest tribute. Ha'aretz commemorated Darwish with a special issue of its literary supplement - devoted exclusively to the poet who wished to expunge all of us from all memory. Exuding unmistakable post-Zionist zeal, the entire edition was headlined: "He wrote for us too." There was no hint of the mildest criticism. There was, however, abundant unapologetic support for Darwish's denunciation of any accommodation with Israel. Laor agreed with Darwish's unmitigated rejectionism by ferociously attacking the PLO and Arafat for having ever "trusted its enemy." Laor quoted his own words to Darwish in 1994. Laor then reproved "the Palestinian national movement for having fallen into its enemy's trap." The enemy, lest the significance be missed, is still, nominally, Laor's own nation. Laor's excesses typify the noticeable shift in his milieu. The two-state solution is no longer de rigueur. The resurgent cause celebre is the binational state - more accurately, the "democratic" state which, according to the original PLO Covenant, is to replace Israel. It'll rid itself of the Star of David flag, the menora emblem, the "Hatikva" anthem, the preeminence of the Hebrew language, Jewish holidays and, obviously, the Law of Return. This "state-for-all-its-citizens" will cease being a Jewish state. It's exactly as Darwish envisaged, only that his version of democracy was strictly Judenrein. Laor apparently deludes himself that Darwish's militant torchbearers will be magnanimous. Still, supposing they let Laor live and hang around, what will his identity then be? Perhaps Uri Davis, another of the above petition's signatories, can offer a clue. One of Israel's first and foremost anti-Zionists, Davis's activism reaches back into the 1960s. Member of the Palestine National Council, resident of Sakhnin and proponent of the "right" of so-called Arab refugees to inundate Israel, he was among the principal organizers of recent "Peace Flotillas" to Gaza. For years he equated Israel with apartheid South Africa, and in the name of human liberties involved himself in a host of anti-Israeli organizations. Lately Davis converted to Islam and married Fatah campaigner Miyassar Abu-Ali. Thus someone who couldn't abide religion, especially Jewish, swore allegiance to Allah as his God and to Muhammad as his prophet. Davis was continually a trailblazer to Israel's ultra-leftists. It's not unlikely that his hyper-radicalized disciples will indeed consider his path their logical conclusion and will follow in his footsteps. Otherwise, they'll be subject to the threats their lionized lyricist Darwish enunciated in his deceptively titled book, Leaves of Olives. It contains the 1964 poem "Identity Card" which bloodcurdlingly cautions: "The usurper's flesh will be my food. Beware! Beware of my hunger and my anger!" All of us - with the likely exception of Davis - are the usurpers whose livers the cannibal that Laor loves aspired to serve up for dinner. Laor's above petition and similar documents of calumny will justify the feeding frenzy.