Over at Norm’s, Eve Garrard considers Israel, human decency and common humanity.
“Fintan O’Toole thinks that Israel regards itself as ‘exempt from the demands of common humanity‘ (via Z Word Blog). Iain Banks thinks that ‘simple human decency‘ means nothing to Israel (see this normblog post).
Two well-known writers, very anxious to tell the world that Israel lacks humanity. Israel’s not like the rest of us, the rest of the human family. Compared to other nations, it’s inhuman. It doesn’t recognize what everyone else knows about, the simple requirements of being decently human. It ought to recognize these things, it isn’t hard to do so, since they’re so simple; and most other people do, since they’re part of common humanity.
Leave aside the sinister provenance of that claim, and let’s just consider it on its own.”
Read on for why the claims, made uniquely and with great passion about Israel, are indeed sinister.
June 16, 2010 at 4:39 pm
Eve won’t say it, because she doesn’t need to and is too clever a writer to need to. But I will: such approaches to Israel, with no further ideological underpinning, have to be shown by their writers _not_ to be antisemitic. The claim that the writer doesn’t have time to consider all the evils in the world and do a comparative analysis won’t wash any longer.
_Why_ is Israel the focus of their concern, bile and venom? If it isn’t because it is the only Jewish state (of course not, that would be antisemitic as it stands), then is it because it is a parliamentary democracy and should know better? In which case, why not a similar concern with the actions of the USA and Britain in Afghanistan and Iraq? Or, come to that, with the actions of Russia, also a parliamentary democracy, in Chechen?
This “holding to higher standards” can only work on a liberal, political and ideological level if _everyone_ who could be is held to the same higher standards. Which they patently are not.
So, Shirley, sue me.