Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Reasoned discourse in Britain - "We Are All Hizbullah"

The current Israeli/Lebanese crisis has brought out the usual political hysteria in many European countries, including rabid demonization of Israel and increasingly unembarrassed anti-semitic rhetoric. This sort of thing has now become so predictable and unsurprising that it doesn't require much discussion. (The more surprising element is that public reaction in Germany seems to be more balanced and reasonable than in many other European countries, based on what I have read.)

For some illustrative photos and video clips from an anti-Israel demonstration in London on August 5, see HERE.

(I assume there's no need to explain why the world-views expressed at this demonstration are deranged and morally despicable--but if there's anyone for whom that isn't immediately obvious, then trying to explain it would probably be pointless.)

=> N.B. I think the ironic tone of my title should be apparent to most readers. But to avoid any risk of giving a misleading impression, let add some explicit clarifications, even if that sounds pedantic.

Obviously, an openly pro-Hezbollah position has not been the dominant response of European public opinion. That's extreme. And even in less extreme forms, the kinds of political hysteria and media frenzy to which I referred have not been universal. (In fact, at the beginning of the current crisis, the degree of one-sided anti-Israel hysteria was probably less pronounced than in previous crises of this sort. And several important European governments have behaved in a surprisingly responsible manner, all things considered.) But there is no question that they have been disappointingly and perniciously widespread, in the usual boringly predictable manner.

=> Incidentally, the official theme of this demonstration was a demand for "Ceasefire Now!" Well, now that the draft UN Security Council calls for an immediate cease-fire, Hezbollah & its supporters have rejected it (which was also predictable).

--Jeff Weintraub