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Sunday, January 25, 2004
As untrue as it is immoral

All that can reasonably be said about the depravity of Jenny Tonge's "I might just consider becoming [a suicide bomber] myself" comments now seems to have been, so I have nothing myself to add on the morality of her statements. In particular, Oliver Kamm's two columns on the subject put the matter in its proper context. With even Charles Kennedy unequivocal this morning that Tonge deserved to be sacked, it seems just about everyone with a moral compass is united in contempt, Tonge's supporters consisting only of the sort of Chomskyites who really do believe Bush is the world's number one terrorist, the Abu Hamzas of academia like Hezbollah-supporting Haleh Afshar, and various other undesirables.

What does need to be stressed further, however, is that there is no deeper truth beneath the warped morality of what Tonge said, either. Her comments were not a cack-handed way of stating reality, but a reflection of her complete ignorance of why people in that part of the world are becoming terrorists and how they recruit others. As Stewart Steven, who died this week, noted when Cherie Blair made a similar argument, it is not desperation which motivates these murderers, but ceaseless indoctrination. Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority attempts to poison the mind of every child with the most hateful anti-Semitic propaganda, in schools and on television, ranging from the vulgar caricature of Jews that appeared on German beermats in the thirties to full-blown holocaust denial.

I can scarcely believe the ignorance or indifference shown by the usual 'anti-Zionist' of the way the Palestinian Authority operates. Many of these people are so closed-minded they think it means bigotry or mental illness to believe in marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but they are happy to support political advances by a state which responds to homosexual acts by throwing men into pools of sewage. They often think the appropriate response to the arguments of men like David Irving is not contempt but imprisonment, but they cheerfully support a state whose idea of intellectual output would make Irving blush. It is not desperation but year on year of filthy propaganda which encourages the blind, psychotic hatred of those who become suicide bombers. Those who believe the Middle East can be at peace must recognise that this will never occur until we see regime change in the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders have for forty years proved themselves opposed to any peace that does not entail Israel's destruction, and whose state apparatus is at all times directed towards ensuring the Palestinian people share that view. Blaming Israel for provoking the murder of her civilians, which is what Tonge and her apologists are doing, is not only morally repugnant but contrary to facts available to anyone willing to do a little reading.

There is a reason why so many on the left like in a subtle or an open way to blame free nations for the attacks upon her. Explaining terrorism in this way allows them to assert not only the futility of defending against those people who try to destroy us, but the necessity of their own aims. Just as blaming crime on material poverty allows them to justify the existence of their every social programme, blaming terrorism on inequality or international injustices ensures liberals can smugly assert that only when the victims of terror come around to their views can they hope for an end to their misery. It is a self-serving argument and a morally warped argument, using the bodies of innocents as platforms from which to proclaim a doctrine of appeasement and self-loathing often very similar to that of the terrorists. It is an argument which, if ever applied, would have horrendous consequences in the form of what one of Oliver's commenters describes as "the surrender of civilised values to those who are prepared to use violence". And it is also a lie, contrary to the facts of terrorism and of those who live by it and kill by it.

UPDATE: Gene at Harry's Place examines Palestinian TV.

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