Israel: Up For Grabs

Mark Steyn:

…North Korea sinks a South Korean ship; hundreds of thousands of people die in the Sudan; millions die in the Congo. But 10 men die at the hands of Israeli commandos and it dominates the news day in, day out for weeks, with UN resolutions, international investigations, calls for boycotts, and every Western prime minister and foreign minister expected to rise in parliament and express the outrage of the international community.
Odd. But why?

Because Israel is supposed to be up for grabs in a way that the Congo, Sudan or even North Korea aren’t. Only the Jewish state attracts an intellectually respectable movement querying its very existence, and insisting that, after 62 years of independence, that issue is still not resolved. Let’s take a nation that came into existence at precisely the same time as the Zionist Entity, and involved far bloodier population displacements. I happen to think the creation of Pakistan was the greatest failure of postwar British imperial policy. But the fact is that Pakistan exists, and if I were to launch a movement of anti-Pakism it would get pretty short shrift, and in Canada a “human rights” complaint or three.

The “Palestinian question” is a land dispute, but not in the sense of a boundary-line argument between two Ontario farmers. Rather, it represents the coming together of two psychoses. Islam is a one-way street. Once you’re in the Dar al-Islam, that’s it; there’s no checkout desk. They take land, they hold it, forever.

That’s why, in his first post-9/11 message to the troops, Osama droned on about the fall of Andalusia: it’s been half a millennium, but he still hasn’t gotten over it, and so, a couple of years ago, when I was at the Pentagon being shown some of the maps found in al-Qaeda safe houses, “the new caliphate” had Spain and India being re-incorporated within the Muslim world. If that’s how you think, no wonder a tiny little sliver of a Jewish state smack dab in the heart of the Dar al-Islam drives you nuts: to accept Israel’s “right to exist” would be as unthinkable as accepting a re-Christianized Constantinople.

To this fierce Islamic imperialism, the new Europeans, post-Christian, post-nationalist and postmodern as they are, nevertheless bring one of their oldest prejudices—that in the modern world as much as in medieval Christendom Jews can never be accorded full property rights. On a patch of the Holy Land, they are certainly the current leaseholders, but they will never have recognized legal title. To be sure, there are a lot of them there right now. But then there were a lot of them in Tangiers and Baghdad and the Bukovina and Germany and Poland, for a while. Why shouldn’t Tel Aviv one day be just another city with some crumbling cemeteries and a few elderly Jews?

That’s the reason the “Palestinian question” is never settled. Because, as long as it’s unresolved, then Israel’s legitimacy is unsettled, too.

Still, the impatience of the new globalized Judenhass is now palpable. I used to think that, when Iran got the bomb, it wouldn’t use it. I wouldn’t take that bet now. The new anti-Semitism is a Euro-Islamic fusion so universal, so irrational and so fevered that it’s foolish to assume any limits.

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