Monday 19 May 2008

"Israel should be defended as if it were a part of the democratic West", Christopher Hitchens

Can Israel Survive for Another 60 Years?, by Christopher Hitchens, Slate

"It is a moral idiot who thinks that anti-Semitism is a threat only to Jews. The history of civilization demonstrates something rather different: Judaeophobia is an unfailing prognosis of barbarism and collapse, and the states and movements that promulgate it are doomed to suicide as well as homicide, as was demonstrated by Catholic Spain as well as Nazi Germany. Today's Iranian "Islamic republic" is a nightmare for its own citizens as well as a pestilential nuisance and menace to its neighbors. And the most depressing and wretched spectacle of the past decade, for all those who care about democracy and secularism, has been the degeneration of Palestinian Arab nationalism into the theocratic and thanatocratic hell of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, where the Web site of Gaza's ruling faction blazons an endorsement of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This obscenity is not to be explained away by glib terms like despair or occupation, as other religious fools like Jimmy Carter—who managed to meet the Hamas gangsters without mentioning their racist manifesto—would have you believe. (Is Muslim-on-Muslim massacre in Darfur or Iraq or Pakistan or Lebanon to be justified by conditions in Gaza?) Instead, this crux forces non-Zionists like me to ask whether, in spite of everything, Israel should be defended as if it were a part of the democratic West. This is a question to which Israelis themselves have not yet returned a completely convincing answer, and if they truly desire a 60th, let alone a 70th, birthday celebration, they had better lose no time in coming up with one."

1 comment:

Joanne said...

I didn't read Hitchens' full article in Slate because I cannot stomach his position on Israel. Note that he says "as if it were part of the democratic West." He is of the "I'm not anti-Semitic, only anti-Zionist" mindset. And he flogs spurious claims to being Jewish (based on an ancestor in his maternal line) as a way of off-setting his anti-Zionism. With all his opposition to Islamofascism, as far as I know he remains a committed anti-Zionist to this day. And I mean anti-Zionist, not just critical of Israel's policies, but believing that the country shouldn't exist. He has the right to believe that, but I don't have to like him for it.