It is not legitimate to cut off 750,000 people from electricity. It is not legitimate to call on 20,000 people to run from their homes and turn their towns into ghost towns. It is not legitimate to penetrate Syria’s airspace. It is not legitimate to kidnap half a government and a quarter of a parliament. A state that takes such steps is no longer distinguishable from a terror organization.
What Levy was effectively saying was that it was not legitimate for Israel to defend itself. To do so is apparently “terrorism.” He and Haaretz have thus (and not for the first time) handed a potent weapon to those who would wish to see Levy’s homeland destroyed. A similarly despicable role is being played by certain British Jews on the left. In the Times of July 6, hundreds of British Jews signed a stomach-turning full-page advertisement in which – also drawing on Gideon Levy’s article – they said:
We watch with horror the collective punishment of the people of Gaza.
Note, these Jews don’t watch with horror the collective punishment, through mass murder and rocket attacks, meted out by the Palestinians to Israel for the past half century for the crime of existing at all. No, they watch with horror – and proceed to vilify – Israel’s attempt to defend itself, which in their distorted minds becomes insteadusing its enormously superior military might to terrorise an entire people.
So the human bomb attacks, the rocket bombardment, the declarations of war and genocidal intentions by which Israel is terrorized by the Palestinians are ignored. Israel, the supreme victim of systematic exterminatory terror, is thus depicted as terrorizing its tormentors – simply because it seeks to defend itself.
The signatories repeat Levy’s distorted allegation of Israel’s “regular snatching of Palestinians from their homes.” This appears to be a reference to Israel’s arrest of various Hamas terrorists who are members of what is laughably called the Palestinian “government” – more accurately, a terrorist organization which has been elected by the people to carry out its declared intention of murdering as many Jews as possible.
Arresting people for terrorist crimes is thus, in the parallel moral universe of Gideon Levy and the Times signatories, itself “terrorism.” Arrests under the rule of law are represented instead as “kidnaps.” These people are not stupid – among the signatories are people prominent in Britain’s cultural landscape – but this is moral imbecility.
Collective punishment? Collective self-hatred, more like.
Gaza is a crisis for Israel. The Times advertisement is a crisis for British Jewry.