Friday, November 21, 2014

Response to Har Nof

Melanie Phillips

November 18, 2014
In the face of unspeakable depravity, the British respond with impeccable even-handedness. After pious expressions of horror over the carnage in Jerusalem this morning, where four rabbis were slaughtered during morning prayers and several others badly injured by Arabs screaming “Allahu akhbar”, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and his Labour shadow Douglas Alexander called on “both sides” to “de-escalate” tensions.

“Both sides”, eh. How exactly do those who are being targeted for mass murder in a never-ending terror war “de-escalate”? The inescapable suggestion is that the Israelis have escalated these tensions in an equivalent manner to the Arabs.

This morning’s BBC reports of the atrocity went one stage further, blaming it on the “old dispute” over who gets to pray on Temple Mount and the recent tensions arising from the renewed Jewish campaign to do so. So the slaughter of Jews was all the Jews’ fault.

This was a grotesque, indeed obscene distortion. There was never the slightest chance of this forlorn campaign to allow Jews to pray on Temple Mount getting anywhere with the Israeli government. Israel didn’t escalate anything at all. On the contrary, the violence was initiated by the Arabs as they lit the petrol trail of lies and incitement.

This process was kicked off by Mahmoud Abbas when, at the UN a couple of months ago, he promulgated the demonstrable and ludicrous falsehood that Israel was committing genocide against the Palestinians. Last month, he fanned the flames of conflagration by claiming entirely falsely that Jewish “settlers” were planning to desecrate the al Aqsa mosque, and calling for them to be prevented.

Falsely he claimed that there were “many attacks on al Aqsa repulsed by religious leaders”. But there were no such Israeli attacks. Instead, Arabs lured the Israeli police into the complex by throwing rocks and shooting fireworks towards police officers stationed near the entrance to the Temple Mount area from the Western Wall plaza. The police chased the rioters who ran inside al Aqsa, which had been turned into an ammunition store. From there, pitched battles were fought with Israeli police, firing small rockets at them and hurling stones and other projectiles.

But the BBC didn’t mention any of this today. Instead, it blamed the victims and thus excused their attackers.

What the BBC has never told its audience – and nor have the rest of the media ever reported – is the even more explicit incitement to violence by Abbas’s henchmen. In a chilling precursor to today’s slaughter, an official of Abbas's Fatah said on PA TV on November 7: “Jerusalem needs blood to purify itself of Jews”. On November 14, an official of the PA religious affairs ministry said Jerusalem needed “sacrifices and blood”.

Moreover, in an interview on November 5, Abbas's adviser Mahmoud al Habbash not only stated that the PA leadership supported the riots and terror attacks but confirmed that Abbas and the PA were “inciting the people in Jerusalem to perform ribat’.

“Ribat” is a very significant term in this context, since it signifies a religious duty to defend or reconquer land defined as Islamic. In other words, Abbas and his PA are inciting Islamic holy war in Jerusalem.

Quite how the Israel Shin Bet intelligence chief Yuval Cohen can reportedly claim that Abbas doesn’t mean to incite violence is therefore beyond comprehension.

Maybe the explanation is that Cohen, who a few days ago was involved in an unedifying verbal brawl with Israel’s defence minister “Boogie” Ya’alon, is attempting to deflect the blame for a murderous terror campaign that has been allowed to escalate for weeks on his watch, culminating in today’s atrocity.

More to the point, this psychotic incitement against Jews pours out of the “moderate” PA as well as Hamas day after day. PA officials and PA TV repeatedly call Jews a “disease’, “worse than smallpox”, claim that Jews living in Jerusalem are a “cancer”; and so on and sickeningly on.

Go to the Palestinian Media Watch website and scroll down through the countless examples of dehumanisation and demonization of Jews and Israelis. You’ll see that these are Nazi-style, diabolical images and paranoid incitement.

Some of these images follow below, depicting the Jew as a scorpion, the Jew as a global disease, the Jew eating the Dome of the Rock, the Jew harming the weak Arab world, the Jew as the mass murderer of Gazans –and, published on Fatah’s Facebook page on October 19, a cartoon depicting the Israelis as wolves surrounding al Aqsa with the accompanying text demanding: “Arabs, the wolves surround your al Aqsa! What are you going to do about it?”

None of this is reported by the western media, which itself incites against Israel through its relentless selective, distorted or false reporting, double standards and blaming the victim.

None of it is acknowledged by the EU, which funds the people purveying this racist incitement.

None of it is acknowledged by those 274 British MPS who voted to recognise “Palestine”. The agenda those British MPs are in fact supporting is the one represented by these diabolical images and deranged ravings.

Today’s atrocity has stripped away the fantasy to which these and so many others in the west subscribe, that the Middle East conflict is about the division of land and can thus be resolved through negotiation. It is not, and cannot. Abbas (let alone Hamas) is calling for a holy war. It was not without the most horrific significance that one of today’s victims at the Jerusalem synagogue where he was praying reportedly had his arm hacked off with a meat cleaver – an arm still wrapped in his phylacteries.

It is Tzipi Livni, of all people, who put her finger on it earlier today when she said she had long feared this was becoming a religious war – “and a religious war can’t be solved”.

Indeed. It’s a question instead of who wins this war: them or us; barbarism or civilisation; a death cult or those who love life. And at present, much of the western political, media and intellectual classes are on the wrong side.

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