The cultural war between Islamic barbarism and Judeo-Christian civilization is raging even as Gaza and Sderot are under siege. The manipulation of propaganda is a key factor here. Britain – the country that turned Nazi-era European Jews back from Palestine’s shores – is now trying to boycott and isolate Israeli doctors, journalists, and university professors. The British Anglican Church, well-financed British-based NGOS (Christian Aid, World Vision, Amnesty International, etc.) and British academics have joined their voices to the Islamist-led jackal-chorus against Israel.
In order to understand such British actions – or in order to see how Jew-hatred is synchronized in Britain – let me refer to two recent British cultural offerings.
First, a Welsh-British theatre troupe appeared in New York City and, in a powerful and well acted play, “Memory,” presented yet again the morally false equivalent of Nazi soldiers and Jewish civilians in Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s with Israeli soldiers and Palestinian villagers today. Both sets of soldiers are only “following orders.”
While our sympathies are with the persecuted and murdered Jews, they are also meant to extend to the Palestinian villager in the play who, appealingly, holds a basket of fresh oranges as he contemplates the demolition of his home. (There is absolutely no discussion of why his home is being demolished, no mention of the non-stop terrorist violence against Israeli civilians.)
Thus, our terror, pity, sorrow, and moral outrage on behalf of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust and our considerable repugnance toward the Nazis is masterfully manipulated so that we transfer exactly such negative feelings toward (undeserving) Israelis and positive feelings toward (undeserving) Palestinians.
Obviously, many Palestinian civilians are worthy of compassion. Like the rest of the civilized world, they, too, are held hostage by hate-filled terrorist maniacs. The barbarism of Hamas gunmen toward Fatah gunmen and leaders has revealed to the world that Israel never had a peace partner in Gaza and that neither the secular Fatah nor the Islamofascist Hamas is able or willing to protect the Palestinian civilian.
Most Palestinian civilians, however, along with their many Western allies, still scapegoat Israel rather than their own leaders for their considerable misery and danger. Like the so-called moderate Muslims (whom we cannot easily find) who maintain a loud silence, Palestinians do not denounce and resist their own corrupt and murderous leaderships and are still filled with a pathological hatred toward Jews and Israel.
The other recent British cultural offering that warrants discussion is a “mockumentary” directed by Gabriel Range and titled “The Death of a President.” Drawing on our collective trauma over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, this film, which poses as a documentary, transposes 1963 emotions onto an event that has not occurred, namely, the assassination of President George W. Bush. The British desire for the death of the American president is so great that wish-fulfillment fantasy is presented through a reality-form technique.
Surely, this is a new kind of propaganda. The man jailed as the president’s assassin, Jamal abu Al Zikri, is really an innocent Muslim whose wife, Zahara, is presented on camera as a soft-voiced, eminently sympathetic figure in hijab. The true assassin is an African-American father whose son was killed fighting the war against jihad in Iraq.
Beyond culture – or rather as an extension of it – the siege against the Jews also includes the rockets raining down on Sderot and the bizarre international silence about it; the Western intellectual glamorization of Tariq Ramadan (who, I might add, teaches at Britain’s distinguished Oxford University whose press publishes his clever double-speaking books which essentially strive to present a Muslim Brotherhood message for the twenty-first century).
One might expect that Jewish advocates and Israeli intellectuals would condemn all this and boycott or at least ostracize those who write books justifying the demonization of Israel. Some do just that, but many others do not.
For example, the influential American Jewish Book Council just gave a showcase to Stephen Walt, who together with John Mearsheimer authored a paper about how the “Zionist Lobby” was causing unrest both on American campuses and in terms of American foreign policy. Walt was invited to speak at the council’s annual Jewish book network conference in New York. (Walt and Mearsheimer have expanded this dangerous libel into a book to be published this fall.)