When I began blogging I was surprised—although I shouldn’t have been—to find that virtually every time I wrote about Israel it drew the trolls.
And not just any trolls, either; a very specific type of anti-Semitic troll. And I don’t mean “anti-Semitic” as a synonym for “anti-Israeli,” although the two can often coexist in the same body/mind. I won’t bother to give you examples of what these trolls write, but suffice to say it’s not equivocal and it’s very vicious.
Most of you will never see these comments, due to various mechanisms I’ve put in place to delete and/or block them. But since that process is not fail-safe, every now and then one slips by. Other than that, however, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
There is no other topic on earth that predictably draws this volume of venom. And we can’t blame the internet; anti-Semitism has the longest and most illustrious history of any hatred on earth.
Countless volumes have been written about the causes of the phenomenon, so I feel no need to add to the speculation here. But suffice to say that, despite all the theories, no one really knows for sure. It’s probably a case of overdetermination—“all of the above.”
In recent decades the actual, human, imperfect-but-trying-its-best country of Israel, besieged on all sides by enemies sworn to destroy it, has come to be criticized for every single effort to survive and to defend itself. The flotilla incident is no different, but there is something new in the mix: the United States, Israel’s historical ally, has sent subtle and not-so-subtle messages through Obama and his underlings that it will wink at or even support efforts to undermine Israel’s security.
Mona Charen connects the dots for us and lists ways in which Obama subtly gave the flotilla “activists” a green light to provoke Israel and to assume afterwards that there will be no bad consequences forthcoming from this administration:
By 1) declaring through Secretary of State Clinton that the blockade of Gaza is “unsustainable and unacceptable”; 2) joining the United Nations Security Council in “condemn(ing) those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and many wounded”; and 3) having a White House official tell the Washington Post that there is now a “general sense in the administration that it’s time to change our Gaza policy”…
The administration [also] let it be known that it had “warned” Israel to “use restraint” against the Gaza convoy. There was no corresponding warning to Turkey about supporting and supplying the illegal flotilla.
Charon leaves out the preparatory steps of (1) changing policy on whether Israel should be allowed to build in its own capital, Jerusalem; and (2) insulting and humiliating Israel’s leader Netanyahu when he visited the US (this sort of message is especially well-understood in the mideast).
Charles Krauthammer sums up the picture nicely:
…[T]he blockade is not just perfectly rational, it is perfectly legal. Gaza under Hamas is a self-declared enemy of Israel — a declaration backed up by more than 4,000 rockets fired at Israeli civilian territory. Yet having pledged itself to unceasing belligerency, Hamas claims victimhood when Israel imposes a blockade to prevent Hamas from arming itself with still more rockets…
Oh, but weren’t the Gaza-bound ships on a mission of humanitarian relief? No. Otherwise they would have accepted Israel’s offer to bring their supplies to an Israeli port, be inspected for military materiel and have the rest trucked by Israel into Gaza — as every week 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are sent by Israel to Gaza.
Why was the offer refused? Because, as organizer Greta Berlin admitted, the flotilla was not about humanitarian relief but about breaking the blockade, i.e., ending Israel’s inspection regime, which would mean unlimited shipping into Gaza and thus the unlimited arming of Hamas.
Israel has already twice intercepted weapons-laden ships from Iran destined for Hezbollah and Gaza. What country would allow that?
But even more important, why did Israel even have to resort to blockade? Because, blockade is Israel’s fallback as the world systematically delegitimizes its traditional ways of defending itself — forward and active defense…The whole point of this relentless international campaign is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense.
Krauthammer is not optimistic about the prospects. Those who demonize Israel and hate Jews will call his article typical inflation of Jewish victimhood (and hey, those crematoria didn’t really exist, right?). Others will simply say that he is being depressingly realistic:
The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, six million — that number again — hard by the Mediterranean, refusing every invitation to national suicide. For which they are relentlessly demonized, ghettoized and constrained from defending themselves, even as the more committed anti-Zionists — Iranian in particular — openly prepare a more final solution.