Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Sanctity of Human Life

Modern Socialism takes a high moral tone about many subjects, from the defence of the perverse self serving judgments under The Human Rights Wrongs Act to supporting pointless but allegedly ‘noble’ wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan (though funnily enough it used to mean opposing wars under almost all circumstances).

The interesting thing is that its outrage is so selective and inconsistent.

Some would argue hypocritical…..

This has long been so, and arises from the fact that the Left still hasn't worked out how to replace Christianity as a moral code for protecting the sanctity of human life.

But it keeps on trying.

This leads to some enjoyable inconsistencies hypocrisies. And my personal favourite lies in the past. The not so old USSR was one of the most racially bigoted and oppressive societies ever to be “thought” into existence. Socialists conveniently, not so much denied but rather ignored Stalin's racialist mass deportations of Chechens, Crimean Tartars and Volga Germans (and indeed his anti-Jewish frenzy after World War Two).

And still do.

While labeling anyone who stands up for property rights, individual civil liberties, freedom of speech, integrity, pride in one’s history, heritage, culture and the rule of law….”Fascist”.

When anyone with half a brain and half the wit to use it would know there is no discernable difference between Fascism and Communism, especially when one considers the methods they both use to achieve the same end, Absolute subservience to The Sate.

But my favourite Leftist Socialist inconsistency is the tangle they get themselves in over Islam and Israel.

For in their universe Islam is good where it challenges the conservative Christian monoculture of Britain and the USA. Islam is bad when it denounces homosexuality, and generally opposes the sexual promiscuity (which is the main legacy of the modern left). Islam is good when it pursues its unrelenting war against Israel. It's bad when, in the mythical form of 'Al Qaeda' or the more tangible form of the Taliban, it 'hates our way of life' and opposes the education and equality of women, etc etc, ad infinitum.

You get my drift.

Islam's attack on Israel (in the Islamic world) often takes rather unpleasant forms. Muslim clerics say things there that would get them drummed out of civilised society here.

Or perhaps not.

And indoctrinate their youth and children via TV shows that beggar belief......

And worse......

And worse still.....

I urge you to watch them (the links above)....they make my flesh creep.......

But Israel is the country most people in Europe love to hate - while making it clear that this loathing has nothing, nothing at all, to do with the fact that Israel is a Jewish state. Good heavens no.

“Perish the thought! The very idea, how could one even think such a thing? Anti-Semite? Me? NO WAY!”

Thus the Leftists doth protest.

And yet, despite these protestations, why is it that other countries can and constantly do despicable things, and there's not one tenth of the fuss there is if Israel so much as try’s to defend its citizens? And that Arabs can be massacred, tortured, imprisoned, you name it, and if it's done by other Arabs, nobody seems to mind. But if Israelis do it, it's all over the bulletins and the front pages of every Newspaper. Why would that be?

Well, it could have something to do with the fact that Israel has no oil, and the Arabs have lots, a huge influence on the British foreign Office (and Now the EU) and the BBC for many decades.

But it's also because that oil also finances some very slick PR, the kind nobody notices is PR. Arab lobbying doesn't get noticed and its propaganda is reported as news, which is the real aim of all such Arab PR. When did you last hear anyone talking about the 'Arab Lobby' in Washington, or in London for that matter? And yet there are such organisations, well funded and slickly run, though they go by much nicer names.

But ponder on this.

After the convoy's ships came to shore, those on board were offered the choice (as I understand it) between immediate deportation in return for signing a declaration that they had entered the country illegally, or being held in prison. Since they had intended to effect an illegal entry into Israeli territory anyway, which is quite closely guarded against unwanted visitors, this doesn't seem wholly unreasonable to me.

Those who refused to sign these 'confessions' were taken to Prison. And have since been released and deported.

Prison, then deportation, yes what can you do with someone who try’s to enter your border illegally?

Give them benefits, a house, freedom to roam at will?

Alas not in Israel.

But by comparison with the standard prison in the Arab world, all of which qualify for at least five stars for notoriety (especially the beatings with electric cables in windowless cellars) I would imagine it was a reasonably soft experience.

What do these people think would happen to a bunch of Israeli activists who turned up in a boat off (say) the Syrian coast, with a cargo of humanitarian aid for the hostage Jews of Damascus (whose passports are stamped helpfully with the word 'Jew' – again remind you of anywhere?).

Lots of floating corpses and charred wreckage methinks.

Then there's the general question of Gaza. It was interesting to see the Egyptians opening up their border with Gaza, just for a few days. Normally it's rather more officially shut than the border (through which much aid does in fact penetrate) with Israel - though there are so many smugglers’ tunnels underneath it that weapons and quite large cargoes constantly make it through. Why is this, since the Gazans are the Arab and Muslim brothers of the Egyptians? Surely they should welcome them with open arms and open borders. Yet they don't.

And still nobody asks why?

Indeed, Egypt (illegally, but to the protests of nobody) annexed Gaza after it captured it in the failed 1948 Arab war on the nascent state of Israel. And it held on to it without anyone much fussing about its squalor and deprivation, until 1967, when Israel captured it and illegally occupied it, a misdeed that (by contrast) the Jewish state has never been allowed to forget.

Don't these facts (in fact any factual knowledge at all) rather undermine the oversimplified myth that all Gaza's problems arise from its being under a “wicked” Israeli siege?

Gaza is a pretty grim place. I think the idea that a blockade will persuade the Gazans to throw out their Hamas government is nonsensical and doomed, and I think Israel's recent behaviour towards Gaza has been cruel and stupid. I still condemn the recent Israeli military attack on Gaza, which failed to meet the criteria for a just war.

But I have a nagging suspicion that those who now adopt the cause of Gaza (and have swallowed hook line and sinker the propaganda narrative of the 'Aid Convoy' versus the 'Wicked Zionists') are much, much more interested in undermining Israel's long-term right to exist than they are in the undoubted plight of the Gazans. And why, exactly is that? What is the reason for this selective outrage against one nation among dozens, by no means a perfect democracy, but a democracy none the less, and also by no means the most oppressive or violent or ill-run state in the world, let alone the Middle East?

The Arab or Muslim world for shame despite all its oil wealth could lift every Muslim out of the poverty and misery they endure in the Middle East but they choose not to. Why? Because it suits the Arab world to have Muslims suffering; as a focal point against Israel in its long term quest to destroy Israel.

So in the midst of this partisan press induced haze, we now find ourselves in a huge row over the alleged 'Aid Convoy' manned by alleged 'Humanitarians' which approached the Israeli coast at the weekend and was boarded by Israeli armed forces.

Is this description 'Aid Convoy' (adopted by many media outlets) not itself partisan? It most certainly is. The Israeli authorities offered unequivocally to deliver the ships' cargoes to Gaza if they were unloaded at the Israeli port of Ashdod and passed through the normal custom checks against contraband.

A reasonable offer n’est pas?

But the worlds press has largely ignored this “angle” of reporting for the leaders of the 'Aid Convoy' refused this offer. Therefore it is plain that its prime purpose was not to deliver the aid, but to deliver it in a certain way, in defiance of the Israeli blockade of the Gazan ports, an action they knew from the start would bring the Israeli armed forces about their ears.

And condemnations from the Worlds press.

Via very slick PR indeed.....

If you want to be wholly dispassionate, you might call it a 'convoy' without adornment. But to call it an 'Aid Convoy' is itself a departure from neutrality. I myself would call it a propaganda fleet, but then I am openly partisan on this issue.

Now, I have grown a little frustrated by the rather cliché-ridden coverage of the incident in the British media, who have by and large accepted a narrative of brutal Israelis versus sweetness and light. Personally, I view the Israeli military response as incompetent more than anything else.

Their famed intelligence services should have prepared them for the resistance they undoubtedly encountered aboard the Mavi Marmara, so why did they winch lightly-armed soldiers in thick incapacitating gloves, one by one, directly into the hands of a hostile mob? I believe the subsequent injuries and deaths are largely the result of this failure of intelligence and planning, leading to the soldiers shooting.

For what else can a soldier (of any nationality) do when being assaulted by a mob with murderous intent armed with knives and metal bars?

The incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother Yoni, was the only Israeli soldier to die leading the rescue operation at Entebbe (still considered a textbook counter insurgency hostage rescue operation) and testament to the effectiveness of the once famed Israeli intelligence services.

So how they get it so wrong this time?

Israel had good reason to halt the ships when they ignored the instructions of its Navy, as any sovereign nation would do in parallel circumstances. I’m left wondering what the Turkish Navy would do to a pro-Kurdish 'humanitarian convoy' heading for its coast, if they ignored instructions to halt.

Not a pleasant thought to consider.

Israel should have had effective plans and dispositions to take control of those ships when (as was almost certain) the instructions would be ignored.

For here is what they must have known. According to the Middle East Media Research Institute's (MEMRI) ever-useful translations of Arab sources (generally reliable) MEMRI (from whose blog I have taken some of what appears below) is of course an Israeli organisation, often accused of being in some way connected to Israeli military intelligence, and doubtless selective in what it translates, but I have yet to see the accuracy of its translations challenged.

It emerges that these ships were not, quelle surprise, entirely peopled by pacifist vegetarian idealists from the Isle of Wight.

For instance, one of these 'activists' is a lawyer who once represented a terrorist for free (his client was the interesting Kozo Okamoto, still in the Middle East and anxious not to return to his native Japan). For Mr. Okamoto took part in the 1972 Lod Airport massacre, in which 26 innocents were massacred.

And the list grows.

Most were active supporters of Hamas, the despotic and murderous Islamist rulers of Gaza. Hamas hurled their Fatah opponents to their deaths from the tops of high buildings when they took over, (where was the press outrage at that) and recently imprisoned in disgraceful circumstances a British freelance journalist, Paul Martin (Google it) to a chorus of almost total silence from the British media and left-wing intelligentsia.

Then there were some members of the Egyptian 'parliament', who are supporters of that country's rather un-moderate, and barely-tolerated, Muslim Brotherhood.

One of these legislators is reported to have said at a March 2010 conference, ‘A nation that excels at dying will be blessed by Allah with a life of dignity and with eternal paradise.’ He also said that his movement ‘will never recognize Israel and will never abandon the resistance,’ and that ‘resistance is the only road map that can save Jerusalem, restore the Arab honour, and prevent Palestine from becoming a second Andalusia.’

This is a most interesting statement. Andalusia, as Muslims call Spain, is the only territory Islam has ever permanently lost. The reference underlines the fact that the real issue in this conflict is not what everyone thinks it is. This has nothing to do with the 'rights' or 'freedoms' of the 'Palestinians', who would be oppressed and neglected by whatever Arab state (probably a Greater Syria/Jordan/Lebanon) that arose on the ruins of Israel. It is the Muslim belief that no territory, however small, should be conceded by Islam to be ruled by non-Muslims.

MEMRI also produce a photograph which purports to show one Yemeni Parliamentarian on the deck of the Mavi Marmara, clutching a rather large curved dagger, doubtless ornamental.

There were also some keen Salafists from Kuwait, not to mention our old, old friend Bishop Hilarion Capucci, whose idea of Christian charity once (in 1974) involved smuggling weapons to the PLO, misusing his diplomatic status to do so. (His release from prison was among the demands of the Entebbe hijackers - you know, the charmers who separated the Jewish passengers from the non-Jewish ones - back in 1976.)

The Bishop (I particularly appreciate this fact) is also said to have appeared on postage stamps in Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria, so much is he loved in the Arab world.

No doubt for the tone of his sermons, rather than his smuggling prowess.

Well, that gives you a flavour of the passenger lists. These people weren't neutrals, and they certainly weren't benevolent towards the Jewish state. Sure, loathing Israel is a point of view, and a very common one these days now we've all worked out our post-Holocaust guilt. But supposedly impartial news reports should not ignore the fact that these very partisan 'activists' could generally be found among the camp of the Israel-haters on board these ships.

I'd also point out here in passing, because I haven't time to dwell on this at the moment, the very important point that Turkey, until recently a strong ally of Israel, has recently begun a major and significant foreign-policy shift, and is now growing daily closer to its neighbour Iran - which is of course one of the backers of Hamas in Gaza. The Turkish government needs a pretext to scale down its diplomatic ties with Israel, while remaining in NATO, to continue to promote its candidature for EU membership.

And we all know how much Turkey values the sanctity of human life.


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