Must Read Of The Day: Blaming Israel for Palestinian Violence Is Racist

I’ve been saying it for years. Never as articulately as this from Alan Johnson of The Telegraph:

hamashole1There were some odd media reactions this week to the murder of four Jews at prayer (and the heroic Israeli Druze first responder Zidan Saif who tried to rescue them) by two Palestinians perpetrators in Jerusalem.

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Of course not all reporting was of this character. But still, what explains the exculpatory impulse, also widespread on social media?

Part of the explanation lies in the profound influence that the anti-Zionist ideology (a system of demonising ideas and representations about Israel and the Jews) now exercises in our culture. At the heart of the ideology is a deeply buried, often unconscious, assumption about the dichotomous natures of Israelis and Palestinians that warps our understanding of the conflict. Here it is:Palestinians (and Arabs in general) do not have agency and choice, and so cannot be held accountable and responsible. Israelis do and can; always, and exclusively.

Palestinians are understood as a driven people, dominated by circumstance and emotion, lacking choice, below the age of responsibility, never to be held accountable. Israelis are the opposite; masters of all circumstances, rational and calculating, the root cause of everything, responsible for everything.

It is, palpably, an Orientalist view of the Palestinians as the Other, except this time they are affirmed as noble savages. It’s a bit racist, to be honest. For example, the Liberal Democrat David Ward MP tweeted that the Palestinian synagogue terrorists had been “driven to madness” – which not only removes agency from them but also sanity.

This groupthink is the reason that parts of the media are reluctant to challenge the Palestinian national movement when it is guilty of rejectionism, terrorism, authoritarianism, corruption and the promotion of a vile culture of incitement, demonization and antisemitism. After all, those things are just not the “the Israel story“, are they? As Matt Seaton, comment editor at the New York Times, tweeted recently, his opinion pages will only cover Palestinian racism when “they have [a] sovereign state to discriminate with.”

As Sally once said: “Yes, yes, yes!!”

Read the whole thing.

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media