Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Love of the Land: Calling a Crime a Crime

Calling a Crime a Crime

Evelyn Gordon
13 December 09

(Definite food for thought in this article. One needs merely to compare the non-response to the terrorist stabbing of a young woman Motzei-Shabbat in Gush Etzion or at the gas station here 3 weeks ago, to gauge the different reactions. Terrorist attacks rarely are considered an impediment to the process, therefore ignored, free of pious condemnation by both PM and DM. Given who benefited from a defacing of the mosque, it may be more profitable to look towards those who wish to demonize an entire sector of Jews who stand in the way of a 2nd or 3rd Hamastan.)

It’s a measure of how badly the “peace process” has warped Israel’s language of values that the most intelligent response to Friday’s torching of a mosque near Nablus, allegedly by extremist settlers, came from the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Its secretary general, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, correctly identified the crime as “blatant aggression against the sanctity of sacred places.”

That’s more than Israeli politicians seemed capable of doing. Defense Minister and Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak, for instance, sounded as if the real crime were the potential damage to the peace process. “This is an extremist act geared toward harming the government’s efforts to advance the political process,” he declared. Similarly, opposition leader and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni condemned it as a “despicable act of provocation” — as if the crime were the response it might provoke.

If the perpetrators were settlers, they probably did intend to undermine the peace process by provoking a violent Palestinian response. But that’s not what made their act criminal. The crime isn’t the impact on the peace process; it’s the wanton destruction of a house of worship.

This perversion of language began when Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres deemed the suicide bombings that followed the 1993 Oslo Accord “crimes against the peace process” and the victims, “sacrifices for peace.” For them, this was a political necessity: If Oslo were seen as producing more anti-Israel terror rather than less, Israelis would turn against Oslo — and its sponsors. Hence they had to paint the attacks not as the same old anti-Israel terror, but as a new form of terror, aimed equally at Israel and its Palestinian partner — i.e., at the peace process itself.

(Full article)

Love of the Land: Calling a Crime a Crime

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