Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Always Trouble with the Jews


by Christian Ortner (Die Presse)


Why don't the Jews just let themselves be killed without resistance? After all, that's how it used to be!


On the whole, Austria displays rather a lot of sympathy for the Jews, at least as long as we're talking about dead Jews. For example, today practically nobody has anything against the Jews murdered in the concentration camps.


It's a bit different when it comes to Jews who are (still) alive. True, in an interview the Austrian Chancellor did condemn Hamas' rocket attacks on Israel, but in the same breath he also condemned Israel's efforts to robustly defend itself against these acts of terrorism.


Presumably this resolute on-the-one-hand/on-the other attitude is entirely capable of securing a majority. As long as Israel puts up, without showing any resistance, with a situation in which a considerable proportion of its population are forced to live in air-raid shelters in order to avoid becoming the victims of a Hamas rocket, we tolerate its behavior. If they defend themselves against these attacks, we put them on the same level as the Hamas terrorist. Why can't the Jews living in Israel let themselves be killed off just as noiselessly and politely as their parents and grandparents did at the time in the European extermination camps?


In contrast, as might have been expected, France showed more awareness of tradition and continuity than the stubborn Jews. While its Foreign Ministry similarly reprimanded Hamas and Israel equally, in the best Orwellian style thereby eliminating the difference between aggressor and victim, the Grande Nation made a masterly connection to the glorious days of Vichy, when proud France also had to put up with acts of Jewish insolence with impunity.


By way of camouflage for their behavior, all those who expect Israel to kindly allow itself to be bombarded with rockets, without making any trouble, have recently started using the argument of "disproportionality" of Israel's resistance, in other words the fact that clearly more Palestinians fell victim to Israel's resistance than Israelis to Hamas' terror.


It is an undisputed fact that the main reason for this is that Hamas sets up its rocket positions at schools, nursery schools, and hospitals, precisely in order to achieve this effect. Which is why the following question must be asked: Why do the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza not prevent Hamas from firing rockets at Israel from their schoolyards? After all, it is hard to imagine that Hamas would be able to continue carrying out terror against Israel for even one day in the face of resistance by its own population.


So far, there is no information about Hamas (elected by a majority) using force to install its rocket positions right in the middle of the civilian population. Hence the question of "proportionality" must also be asked differently. As long as the Palestinians tolerate Hamas firing rockets at Israeli nursery schools, from within their midst, from their houses and schools, they cannot really be considered "innocent civilian victims."


It is not Israel's resistance which is disproportionate, but the criticism of this resistance.


Christian Ortner is a journalist in Vienna.



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