The Times tonight reports how a senior Hamas leader has declared Israel’s actions in Gaza mean Jewish children throughout the world are now legitimate targets. Not Israeli children, mind you, but rather in response to an Israeli attack on Gaza they single out all Jewish children. Never mind that diaspora Jews are not Israeli, or that many Jews (including our own Foreign Secretary and the comedian Alexei Sayle) have condemned strongly Israel’s actions in Gaza in recent days. No, Hamas has demonstrated its anti-Semitic hatred, which is well-known but so conveniently forgotten, just like that of Hezbollah’s. And I doubt this is an empty threat (consider Hezbollah’s similar attacks on Jewish interests in the 1990s, notably in Argentina). But of course, tonight’s Hamas statement will not change extreme anti-Israeli opinion which crosses over into anti-Semitism one iota, ironically even though the Hard Left is obsessed with rooting out all forms of racism. Clearly, anti-Semitism is an “understandable” form of racism when it comes to Israel’s actions.
Imagine if, after the death of some of it citizens from Hamas rockets (5000 so far in the past couple or so years) or its many suicide bombings, the Israeli government made a repulsive vow to the effect that thenceforth Arab children worldwide were now legitimate targets. Imagine the anger, the backlash (and rightly so), the vociferous condemnations.
You see, the world often views and treats Israel differently than other countries. That there will be no anger about Hamas’ statement merely demonstrates this. Moreover, when legitimate criticism of Israel turns into demonisation, then it becomes fully-fledged anti-Semitism. Yet the world has been doing it for so long now that Hamas can be forgiven for thinking they can get away with it. And they will, of course. I’ll be watching out for the condemnation of Hamas for this statement (but I won’t hold my breath). Neither will I expect much of the Church to condemn Hamas for its vile threat. After all, it’s been so busy in its anti-Semitism over the centuries why should it break a habit of a lifetime? Going back to the demonisation issue which helps to differentiate between legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism, just check out some of the anti-Israel Christian blog posts in recent days. The same old suspects, same old message, same old anti-Semitism, that is, comment which goes well beyond legitimate criticism to outright demonisation. Hamas knows it, too. Sad, really, how Hamas and Hezbollah try to court anti-Israeli Christians. Even sadder how some succumb to flattery and fall for it.
PS If you disagree with me please, please post an intelligent reply (I welcome them). Just don’t use that silly, nonsensical statement that Arabs, who are a Semitic people, cannot therefore by anti-Semites. We all know what anti-Semitism is – hatred of Jews (the kind of hatred that leads you to say you will target Jewish children worldwide). Arans can hate Jews, just as some Semitic Jews are quite capable of hating Arabs. So that one is a non-starter.
Consider how the Guardian newspaper reports what Hamas said compared with The Times report. The threat to Jewish children is removed, while it simply reports Hamas “hinted” at reprisals worldwide. This is juxtaposed with various references to Gazan children in the same article. Why this imbalance? By all means the suffering and death of children in Gaza is a legitimate issue, as today’s horrific pictures of dead and dying children in demonstrates. But why not also report the Hamas threat to Jewish children? Such subtle one-sidedness, whether unwitting or deliberate, makes it all the more difficult to seek solutions to the Middle East crisis based on rational, objective and honest debate.