lundi 8 mars 2010

L'historien Andrew Roberts défend Israël et provoque des réactions haineuses

Article de Melanie Phillips (A rational article provokes bigoted frenzy at the FT)

A few days ago, the historian Andrew Roberts wrote a piece in the Financial Times trenchantly defending the presumed assassination by Israel in Dubai of the Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Habhouh. In this article, which was itself a response to two examples of standard boilerplate bigotry that the paper had run about this, Roberts wrote:

"All that the Dubai operation will do is remind the world that the security services of states at war – and Israel’s struggle with Hamas, Fatah and Hizbollah certainly constitutes that – occasionally employ targeted assassination as one of the weapons in their armoury, and that this in no way weakens their legitimacy. As for the ‘separation walls’ and checkpoints that one sees in Israel, the 99 per cent drop in the number of suicide bombings since their erection justifies the policy. There is simply no parallel between apartheid South Africa – where the white minority wielded power over the black majority – and the occupied territories, taken by Israel only after it was invaded by its neighbours. To make such a link is not only inaccurate, but offensive."

Not nearly as offensive, however, as what then followed. For as Robin Shepherd points out, the readers’ comments on Roberts’s article constituted an outpouring of vicious hatred, lies and libels about Israel. Not for the first time, one has to wonder at the unique and profoundly unbalanced frenzy of this particular hatred, based on a startling ignorance of the history of the Middle East which is thus comprehensively inverted. Here’s a taster, if you can stomach it:

"Is it terrorism when a thief invades my house, kills my family and ends up complaining to the ‘police’ after I try defend my place against him and his criminal acts? Now transport yourselves to years and years and years of ethnic cleansing, bulldozing of homes, killing of unarmed civilians in filthy refugee camps and use of prohibited weapons. Add to that the stockpiling of illegally obtained and undeclared nuclear weapons, the official statement that a certain State is ‘Jewish’ (probably the most blatantly racist qualification ever to grace the constitutional texts of a single State) and HAS to preserve its ‘jewishness’, or the catastrophe brought about by a colonial power that was too incompetent and biased to ensure a home to the REAL inhabitants of Palestine."
Note, inter alia, the reversal of the historical fact that it was only the Jews for whom Israel was ever their national homeland, hundreds of years before the Arabs invaded and most certainly not the ‘Palestinians’ who did not then exist; and the vicious double standard by which a Jewish state which gives full civil rights to its Arab and other non-Jewish inhabitants is deemed to be ‘racist’, while a ‘Muslim’ or ‘Arab’ state which refuses to allow one single Jew to live there is not.

Shepherd notes:

"Some clearly attempt to equate Israel with Nazi Germany by reference to the ‘abused’ having become ‘the abusers’. Others are obsessed with the ‘Jewish’ character of Israel. One (in an irony that would certainly escape him) appears to allege a Jewish conspiracy with the notion that Mossad has taken over the FT newsroom since that is the only explanation for the appearance of a very rare piece of pro-Israeli writing. One refers obliquely to the ‘chosen people’. Another describes as ‘laughable’ the ancient Jewish presence in the Middle East."

But as Shepherd observes, the really disturbing thing is not this tsunami of bigotry – alas, it is now all too common in Britain – but the fact that this filth has been up on the FT website for days without anyone there thinking that the FT should not be playing host to such incitement to hatred.

The FT is most certainly no longer the standard-bearer of cool and rational objectivity that it once was.

Andrew Roberts: Le Foreign Office ne permet pas à la Reine Elisabeth d'aller en Israël

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