Thursday, July 20, 2006

Johann Hari hates Israel

In his latest attempt to smear Israel, Johann Hari starts by quoting his role-model, Lenin, and then rubbishing the lives of the Israelis kidnapped by terrorist groups:

does anybody still believe this is about saving three Israeli soldiers – a piece of Hollywood schmaltz called ‘Saving Corporal Shalit’ and its two sequels?
Johann proceeds, as the left wing progressives do best, to give his analysis in tin-foil hat conspiracy mode.
Are Beirut, Haifa and Gaza City burning for them?

Only a dwindling band of people now believe this, the official pretext for the twin-set of wars Israel is fighting on its Northern and Southern fronts. If it had been true, there was an obvious solution short of war – swapping prisoners.
This analysis has already lost touch with reality. Firstly, he ignores the 1600 missiles fired at Israeli cities and villages, but hey, who cares about Israeli peace and security ?

Secondly, this is not a sinister conspiracy by the Israeli military, its a popular and widely supported mission. When Israel negotiates towards peace, and a 2 state solution, and withdraws from disputed lands and palestinian areas, it is overwhelmingly popular and supported by Israelis except for the hard-right. Now, Israel is engaged in a military offensive against Hezbollah and Hamas, and this is also overwhelmingly supported by at least 90% of the Israeli public. Its easy to see why since Israel has been the target of terror, missiles and kidnapping for several years despite its withdrawals from Gaza and Lebanon.

What does Johann suggest to avoid future conflict with the terrorists ? Why - surrender to the terrorists of course and give them what they want !
Israel is currently holding 8200 Palestinian fighters, as well as at least three Lebanese fighters who were seized in Lebanon itself during the long eighteen years when Israel was occupying its entire Southern region. Both Hamas and Hezbollah have said the Israeli soliders will head home as soon as there is a fair swap.
Tell me, if you reward the kidnappers by giving them what they want, how does that do anything but motivate them to continue in the future ? I have already read of the Palestinian's long history of airplane hijackings in the early 1970s. Every time a terrorist was captured by a European state, the Palestinians would hijack another plane and demand the release of their comrades, and European leaders complied. By 1973, after over 200 Palestinian hijackers had been caught, less than 5 remained in prison !

Even still, look at the fairness of that deal.. 3 Israelis in exchange for 8200 militants and terrorists.. you can see whose side Johann is fighting for. In an attempt to appear balanced, Johann devotes a couple of sentences to denouncing Hezbollah ideology as being repugnant... but is quick to return to Israel bashing mode, with the sickest piece of moral equivalence I have encountered for a long time, full of lies and distortions and Orwellian language.
Yet if being ideologically repugnant, snatching fighters and owning rockets were a reason for a war, then Lebanon would have an even greater right to invade Israel. After all, it holds their snatched fighters, owns far more than 13,000 rockets (some nuclear) and has a history of invading their territory and committing mass slaughter on dishonest pretexts. One Israeli general demanded this week, “How long can we live with a knife to our throats?” But in reality the far bigger knife belongs to Israel. Are they really saying the right to self-defence and a buffer-zone of security belongs to them alone?

Hezbollah is at its core a self-defence organisation, however ugly, and its recent operations have been limited largely to this function.
The rest of the article is a dishonest and lengthy attempt to legitimise Hezbollah as a resistance organisation formed to liberate land captured by Israel. (even though Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000). To give his analysis a look of intelligence, he quotes quasi-historical "facts", refers to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon as a reason why Lebanon still needs an aggressive terrorist militia armed with thousands of Iranian supplied rockets along it's southern border with Israel. And of course, he employs one of the left's favorite talking points - all Arab violence against Jews is justified so long as palestinians do not have a sovereign state.

Johann Hari believes its all Israel's fault, it should have already taken advantage of the opportunity to negotiate an accord with the terrorist Hamas government ( who also happen to be committed to the destruction of Israel ).
To remind us that Johann is a psychic mind-reader who knows the true evil motivations of the Israeli PM, he continues with more lies:
So here it is, the kernel of emotional truth behind this war. Its clearest expression can be found in the speeches of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, figure-head for the right-wing of Zionism, the man Olmert was raised to revere. Talking of the Arabs in 1923, Jabotinsky insisted, “A living people makes enormous concessions… only when there is no hope left.” That is the true purpose of the wars in Gaza and Lebanon – to ensure, at last, there is no hope left for the Arabs.
This is a disgusting analysis, even by Johann's standards. If he were more honest about his intentions, he would have headlined the article "I really hate Israel, this is why". Instead, he uses all sorts of Orwellian language where you twist the meaning of words to make it look like you are debating on principled grounds and applying sane principles to the analysis. Let's go through the checklist:
  • Conspiracy theory - check
  • Evil motives behind Israeli actions - check
  • Supporting terrorists demands - check
  • Distorting Israeli history - check
  • Refusing to approve fighting terrorism with violence - check
  • Describing Hezbollah as a self-defence organisation - check
  • Putting the onus of responsibility on Israel to negotiate with Hamas - check
Nothing but shameful.