Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Israel is the Defining Moral Issue of Our Time

Via Thunder Run, here's a powerful case for (blogging and defending) Israel, from Melanie Phillips:

I have noticed a persistent complaint by some readers posting comments on my blog entries which I think requires some comment and clarification. Referring to my last entry on Barack Obama, they appear to find it objectionable that I singled out his attitude towards Israel for criticism. They seem to believe that it is wrong for me to write about Israel as often as I do, not least because they think that, since I am writing on the Spectator website, I have some kind of duty not to write about it so much. Some of these readers, as is painfully obvious from their comments, simply have a big problem with Jews – at least, Jews who identify with and defend the Jewish people. But others, whose instincts may be rather more decent, seem to be labouring under one or two misapprehensions. So let me make a number of things clear.

First, this is my personal blog and it represents my own views and interests and mine alone. The Spectator very kindly hosts it on its website, thus choosing to give me this splendid platform on which to air my views -- for which I am very grateful. Nevertheless, the content of my blog is wholly independent of the Spectator, and it does not try to replicate the magazine’s standpoint or its range of interests. People read my blog because they are interested in what I have to say. If they are not interested, they need not read it. Blogs hosted by mainstream media outlets are a relatively new phenomenon and so I can understand why some people are confused; but that’s how it works.

Second, my blog does cover a range of issues. However, one of the reasons I started it some years ago was very specifically to provide an alternative voice and an antidote to the stranglehold of left-wing group-think in the mainstream media, the domination of the msm by anti-American, anti-western and anti-Israel propaganda, and the resulting collapse of reason and (literally) murderous anti-Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice that has so twisted public discourse in Britain and western society.

Third, as far as Obama is concerned I have indeed previously written about him in a more general context. I was one of the first to identify, for example, concerns over his association with Pastor Wright and his 20-year membership of a black power church which preaches black racism against white people, as well as identifying additional concerns over his apparently troubling connection to the Islamist-endorsing, anti-democratic political opposition in Kenya.

Fourth, the suggestion that it is somehow illegitimate for a Jew to write in defence of Israel is in itself highly unsavoury. The implication is that this proves that Jews are only concerned with their own interests and wrench everything into that template. Exactly the same charge was levelled in the 1930s against those Jews who (vainly) tried to wake the world up to the dangers of Nazism. Unfortunately, this vile prejudice is not confined to a few cranks but is now widespread, mainstream and considered an acceptable viewpoint. It is precisely this poison that this blog seeks to expose and to combat.

Fifth, the reason why Israel figures so heavily in any discussion about the predicaments of our era is that Israel is the defining moral issue of our time. It is Israel, and the century-old existential onslaught against the Jewish people in its ancient homeland, which stands at the very centre of the titanic fight by truth against lies, fact against propaganda, freedom against totalitarianism, liberty against slavery, justice against injustice and reason against irrationality in which the entire free world is currently engaged. Israel is the quintessential canary in the mine. It is the front-line in the defence of the free world. If it goes down, the rest of us will go down. Those who are on the wrong side of the Israel issue are on the wrong side in the great struggle for civilisation against barbarism. That is why I return to it again and again.

I hope this makes things clearer.
Regarding the left-wing group-think in particular, I started American Power for precisely the same reason.

I'm honored to be in such good company with Melanie Phillips. Her post is epecially timely, considering all the debate around the blogosphere concerning anti-Semitic comments and
gotcha politics.