Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Another good British editorial on the Istanbul bombings and the blame-Israel response: The liberalism of fools.


What has happened to the liberal media in Europe that the slaughter of innocent worshippers and the desecration of ancient synagogues in Istanbul should evoke implicit criticism, not of the perpetrators, but of Turkey's ally Israel? Since the last attack on an Istanbul synagogue in 1986 by Palestinian terrorists led by Saddam's late protégé Abu Nidal, a great deal has changed. Then, the condemnation of the killers was universal and unconditional. Now, each new atrocity against Jews is greeted by new attempts at justification or relativisation. When Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir expounded his anti-Semitic conspiracy theory at a recent gathering of Islamic leaders, all 57 present applauded. Western responses were muted. As the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, said yesterday: "Radicals are preaching hate and nobody is protesting."

Nor is the new anti-Semitism limited to the Muslim world. On Saturday, a Jewish school near Paris was burnt down. So common have such attacks become in France that Le Monde did not even consider this incident worth reporting yesterday, but President Chirac appears to have woken up to the danger - late in the day. A poll sponsored by the European Commission finds that Israel is now considered by EU citizens to be the greatest threat to world peace. A liberal consensus is emerging that holds Israel responsible for the resurgence of anti-Semitism. To blame the victim is to exonerate the perpetrator. The carnage in Turkey should be a warning to Europe.



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