Thursday, 15 May 2008
The Problem Of A Promise Land...
Marked by a visit by U.S President Bush to the region, this month marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. Celebrated by Jews across the world, and mourned by Arabs as al-Nakba or 'the catastrophe', the anniversary has shed new light on the original events which lead to the founding of the Jewish state, and speculation on the amount of time it might have left to remain. With Islamist group Hezbollah taking over parts of Beirut in the north, and Hamas increasing in strength and momentum in the south, peace will probably not be a luxury which the region can afford any time soon. But how do we in the west view the existence of a Jewish state in the Holy Land?
It is no secret that the plight of the Palestinians in this age of 'victim culture' has made sense to many on the British political left, and also to terror groups such as Al Qaeda, but the most astonishing development in the opposition to the Jewish state is in that of the mainstream media. The Guardian's evident hatred towards Israel is one I find the most distasteful and sickening, with an apparent desire to do as much damage to the reputation of Israel in Europe as possible. Articles written in the paper almost daily attack the operations of the IDF and Mossad, and yet make no such criticisms of rocket attacks from the Gaza strip or attempted suicide attacks indirectly funded by Iran. The mentality of the 21st century anti-Semite is one that oddly unites those of the political left, Islamists, and white supremacists, and can even seemingly be adopted by the average joe nowadays without much fuss.
This shared doctrine, which spans from opposition to Israel to perpetuated lies about the Jewish 9/11, is an inevitable consequence of the desensitisation of the world since the Holocaust. As with all conflicts and traumatising events in world history, there is a period afterwards of absolute mourning, a sense of injustice which stays for a period of living memory, or at most two to three generations. After this time however, when the people who had memory of those events are all but dying out, it seems that the taboos associated with those memories are no longer relevant. For example, to express support for Napoléon Bonaparte in mid 19th century Britain would have been seen to be almost blasphemous by the general population. Talk favourably of him in Britain today and nobody cares. We are no longer concerned by the threats of Imperial France, nor sensitive to the French Reign of Terror which saw thousands put to death by the horrific guillotine.
My personal standing on Israel has wavered over the years, as a child I grew up with huge admiration for the IDF and Mossad, even though not fully understanding the politics at the time. Upon learning of the ultranationalist Israeli Irgun which fought against the British in the 1940's my views did change for a while, however the passing of my days as an imperialist have led me to believe that the existence of Israel is a great thing. I now see it as the most important western outpost on the eastern frontier, with enough stability and national confidence to ensure the security of the eastern Mediterranean. It is, if nothing else, a cork in the neck of the Islamic world; an assurance to us that as long as it stands the world is free. As an Anglican, my mind is often on the Holy Land and what tragedies could befall it any day. I would hate to learn for example that Holy sites in Jerusalem or Bethlehem might end in the same fate as the Buddhas of Bayman under the orders of some Islamic cleric; the existence of the Jewish state is assurance that this cannot happen.
Israel's determination to survive when it is surrounded by countries that want to wipe it out cannot indefinitely continue without support from the west. We the inheritors of the modern world must ensure that the expressive sentiments of solidarity with Israel does not die from neglect, but continues on. Every day, the anti-Semitic malice of the western media recruits another free voter to its cause using perfected convincing strategies. How long before the actions of the do-gooding medio-intelligencia enable a united Islamic front to finally rid the region of the only significant non-Islamic country there, from under the watchful but placid eyes of the pointless United Nations? One only dreads to think. The problem of the promise land is of course that it is desperately wanted for the re-establishment of the promised Islamic Caliphate...
(Picture 1: Members of Hamas on parade in Gaza.)
(Picture 2: A 100,000 strong anti-Israeli protest in London, 2006.)