The following letter appears in today’s Australian newspaper:
Mark Steyn’s article (“If only they had refused to indulge Arafat“, Opinion, 26/7) demonstrates that anti-semitism has not disappeared from the mindset of sections of the Right – it has simply transformed into a malignant bigotry against Muslim Arabs.
Of course, not all the features of classic anti-semitism are present in this new anti-Arab bigotry. Steyn and his ilk do not argue that Arabs control international finance, for example. However, his allegation that Palestinian terrorists drank the blood of the assassinated Jordanian prime minister in 1971 has an eerie parallel in the persistent medieval belief that Jews slaughtered Christian children and drank their blood in accordance with their own depraved rituals.
Like anti-semitism, the new bigotry makes no distinction between Arabs. Whether they be Palestinian or Lebanese, Shiite or Sunni, in essence they are all the same. They all share the same murderous and unappeasable bloodlust towards Jews. It is pointless to try to negotiate with them because they have no interest in compromise, only in total victory. Their genocidal jihadism is ineradicable and can only be countered with violence.
Like his fellow anti-Arab bigots, Steyn has no interest in the historical or political context except where it supports his position. He amply demonstrates Cardinal Newman’s remark that although some people’s opinions may radically change, their casts of minds remain fundamentally the same.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Foreign Minister thinks that supporters of Israel “don’t get out and make their arguments enough.” He adds:
“ ‘Israel is at fault’, ‘Israel should use proportionate force not disproportionate force’, ‘Israel is breaching international standards of human rights’, hang on, what have these people got to say about Hezbollah, about Syria, about Iran? Why do they single out Israel all the time?
“So our position is just based on an objective analysis of the facts, look if people think we are pro-Israel fair enough. I don’t mind being called pro-Israeli, I wouldn’t wear that as a badge of shame by the way. I’ve been to Israel on several occasions and it is a laudable and impressive country.
Finally, a Lebanese Australian writes in the New York Times about the current war in the Middle East:
More is at stake now than the fate of Lebanon. If the West does not persuade Israel to stop its attacks, that failure will add to a creeping sense that, in its fight with Islamic fundamentalism, the West has abandoned its claim to moral superiority based on respect for human rights and international law, and is pursuing instead a war based increasingly on tribal solidarity. What a tragedy this would be, especially for those of us who crave a modern, peaceful Middle East. And what a triumph for the varied strains of bin Ladenism — Muslim, Christian and Jewish alike.