A column I wrote a few years ago about the Middle East brought this terse response from an anonymous gentle reader: “Jones, you must be a rat Jew.”
Well, no, but I didn’t reply to my friendly correspondent, because doing so would merely reinforce his/her prejudice that it matters whether a person is Hebrew.
Social media is a saviour for bigots. The anti-Semitic attitudes flying around on Facebook the past few weeks are unsettling at best and disgusting at worst.
Of course, it’s risky to defend Israel these days. If you do, you’re branded either a rat Jew or a supporter of heartless child killers. Possibly both.
Instead of reciting yet again the well-known and oft-cited reasons why Israel has a right to exist and to defend the life and liberty of its rat-Jew citizens, let’s focus on Hamas and its supporters.
Don’t try that in Gaza
Someone organized a Solidarity With Gaza event in St. John’s this week.
Pride Week in St. John’s ran from July 14-21. The coincidental timing is worth contemplating, especially by anyone who attended both events.
Chances are extremely slim that a Pride Parade will be held in Gaza City this year, or next year, or any year while Hamas holds power.
Palestinians are indeed an oppressed, subjugated people. But their oppression is mostly due to their own leaders who, over the course of several generations, have been consistently vicious and violent.
Attendees of the Solidarity With Gaza rally will undoubtedly object to that statement. Such a thing would only be said by a racist, an imperialist, an Israeli apologist, a rat Jew, etc., etc.
And yet … Hamas seized full power in the Gaza Strip in 2007 by using its superior firepower — thanks Iran! — to force Fatah out.
No respect for democracy. No civil rights. Perpetual war on Israel. This is the legacy Palestinian leaders have foisted upon their people.
Citizens of Gaza freely elected Hamas in 2006, so in one sense they bear some responsibility for Hamas’s violent reign.
Long-term forecast: war
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It isn’t enough to just lament innocent people being killed. If there is war, innocent people will die. The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine is another recent tragic example.
To stop the killing of innocents, you have to stop the war — and to do that, you must understand its cause.
The cause of the perpetual war in the Middle East is that Arab and Palestinian leaders will not recognize Israel’s right to exist.
They have two choices: accept Israel’s existence and live in peace, or reject Israel’s existence and engage in constant warfare. They have chosen the latter.
The citizens of Gaza, as with all Palestinians, could have had their own country several times.
They could have had an independent Palestine during the British Mandate of 1923-48, when Britain controlled the Holy Land and some other Middle East real estate due to the Ottoman Empire’s fighting for the losing side in the First World War.
They could have had an independent Palestine in 1947-48, when the United Nations intended to create countries for the Jews and for the Palestinians. Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948. The Palestinians, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq immediately went to war against Israel.
They could have had an independent Palestine from the Oslo Accord of 1993-2001. Instead, Palestinians chose their intifada of 2002.
A succinct summation of the war in the Middle East was made by former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir: “We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”
Brian Jones is a desk editor at
The Telegram. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and can be found on Facebook.