By Mark Steyn, April 4, 2002
All civilized people can agree that killing Jews is wrong.
Well, killing six million of them 60 years ago is wrong. Killing a couple of
dozen every 48 hours or so, that’s a different matter. The official position of
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, speaking from his beach in Barbados, is that
Israel’s response to the Passover massacre is “disproportionate.”
Mr. Graham did not specify what would be proportionate. But presumably, if he
were Prime Minister of Israel, he’d respond by fishing some girl out of her Home
Ec class at Tel Aviv High, loading her blouse with Semtex, and pointing her in
the direction of the nearest Ramallah pizzeria to blow the legs off Palestinian
grannies. Alas, I fear even this proportionate, measured, reasonable response
would be unlikely to win Israel any sympathy in the chancelleries of the west.
“The Zionist entity” is now more isolated diplomatically than at any time in its
history. The EU has called on Israel to “lower the violence.” The Greek Foreign
Minister has said “we condemn the army’s intervention.” The Swedish Foreign
Minister has called it “unacceptable.” The French President is “appalled” by
what the Dutch Foreign Ministry calls Israel’s “military repression.” Meanwhile,
the Pope “rejects unjust conditions and humiliations imposed on the Palestinian
people as well as the reprisals and revenge attacks which do nothing but feed
the sense of frustration.”
Ah, that “frustration,” it’s so easy to feed. In Marseilles, where one synagogue
was burned to the ground on Sunday and another less conclusively torched
Tuesday, the Grand Mufti, Soheib Bencheikh, told UPI that so long as “the
violence in the Middle East” persisted “Arab youths in France would likely
continue their campaign of attacks.”
In Brussels, a synagogue was firebombed. In Berlin, two Orthodox Jews
were beaten on a busy street and a Jewish memorial was defaced with a
swastika. In France, three synagogues were burned. A kosher butcher’s shop
was shot up in Toulouse. In Villeurbanne, near Lyons, a young Jewish couple,
the woman pregnant, was badly beaten.
“Ah, those Jews,” sighed an attractive, intelligent, sophisticated Parisienne at
dinner the other night. “They cause problems everywhere they are.”
I spluttered and sprayed soup down my shirt front. “You must be more
sensitive in front of our friend,” chuckled my host, musing on Barbara Amiel’s
recent observations about French anti-Semitism. “In the English world, they
think Europe is planning the Second Holocaust.”
Well, no. There won’t be a Second Holocaust in Europe, if only because they
did such a thorough job last time round. France’s excitable Arab youth are
perforce engaged in no more than a belated mopping up operation.
Its significance is as a portent of what the Continent can expect once
Mr. Bush’s war on terror moves on to Iraq. The only question is whether
Western Europe’s millions of young, unassimilated Muslim men succeed merely
in paralyzing their governments or destabilizing them. Even in Britain, Downing
Street is bracing for massive Muslim riots.
But, even if there are no longer enough European Jews for big-time genocide,
one is struck by the similarities between then and now. In 1960, when the
Israelis seized Adolf Eichmann, the government-controlled Saudi newspaper ran
the story under the headline, “Arrest Of Eichmann, Who Had The Honour Of
Killing Six Million Jews.”
Today, there are six million Jews in Israel, half of them expelled from
Arab countries though one never hears anything about “displaced populations”
on the Israeli side of the ledger.
Then as now, great honour attaches to killing Jews: your face on
posters all over town, a revered place in society for your family, 25,000 bucks
from Saddam Hussein.
Then as now, the old libels – the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Jews
drink human blood – are peddled daily in government-approved publications.
Then as now, the world’s diplomats are determined to see no evil, hear
no evil. In 1933, this chap Hitler was a bit rough and ready, but he’s better
than most of the alternatives – and besides he’s got a point with this
lebensraum business, legitimate grievance and all that.
In 2002, Saudi Arabia is our “friend,” Egypt is “moderate,” and
Chairman Arafat, according to the Swiss Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Muriel
Berset-Kohen, is “our legitimate interlocutor because he has been
Not exactly, Muriel. He was elected once, in a deeply flawed and corrupted
poll, shortly after the establishment of the “Palestinian Authority.” His term
expired in 1999 but he simply extended his “Presidency” indefinitely, thus
following in the long tradition of dictators.
As George Jonas pointed out the other day, the Arabs resent Europe for solving
its Jewish problem – by dumping it in their lap, making it an Arab problem. The
problem now for the Arabs is that they cannot rid themselves of the Jews by
conventional military means: they have tanks, missiles, aircraft, but every time
they use them against Israel, they lose.
So their chosen weapon is the Palestinians: effectively, they’ve
designated the West Bank as one big suicide bomb to take out the Jews. Either
it’ll wear them down by attrition – or it will hold them until the finishing touches
are put to that eagerly awaited Muslim nuke: Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of those
famous Iranian moderates, has already said that “when the Muslim world gets
nuclear weapons the Jewish question will be settled forever.”
It’s not tiny Palestine versus big Israel, anymore than it was tiny
Sudetenland versus big Czechoslovakia. It’s six million Israelis versus 300
million Middle Eastern Muslims.
Any time we talk about the “occupied territories,” we’re doing what the
appeasers did in the Thirties – allowing the aggressors to frame the debate.
They’re not “occupied,” they’re “disputed territories.” The West Bank isn’t
“Palestinian.” Under the 1947 UN partition plan, it was designated as land yet
to be allocated.
The interesting thing about “Palestinians” is that so few of the West
Bank Arabs thought of themselves as such before 1967. It post-dates the
founding of the PLO: Palestine had a national liberation movement before it had
a nationality. Likewise, because the Arab League designated Yasser Arafat as a
head of state, we’ve spent 30 years trying to create a state for him to be head of.
To those who always complain that I weep for Jewish children but not Muslim
ones, let me say I weep for Ayat Mohammed al-Akhras, the straight-A
high-school student who blew herself up in a supermarket last week. She spent
eight years in a toxic education system run by Yasser Arafat, she grew up in a
culture that glorifies human sacrifice promoted by Yasser Arafat, she was
recruited by subordinates of Yasser Arafat, supplied with explosives paid for by
Yasser Arafat, and dispatched as a human bomb with the blessing of Yasser
Arafat. I weep for every Arab child so perverted by a contemptible cowardly old
My advice to Sharon: arrest him and fly him to The Hague. If the Europeans like
him, let ‘em have him. There are two sides in this struggle: One is prepared to
offer land, the other is prepared to offer “the right to exist.”
That argument should have been settled six decades ago. As it says on
the wall at Dachau, “Never Again.”
But, as the old song says, “I’ll Never Say ‘Never Again’ Again.”