On European attitudes to Israel


Now that something only just short of a full-scale war is taking place in the Middle East, we are all going to be hearing a lot of opinions about this small country; opinions which invariably prove to be subjective, often highly so, once their surface has been duly scratched.
For what it's worth, my own subjective opinion on Israel is influenced by two factors that I have found to be shared by very few people, least of all in Catalonia.
First, I have been reading about the Holocaust for many years and so have a fairly clear idea of what happened and when during Hitler's (and other leaders') war against the Jews.
Second, for four years I lived in a London flat chock full of Trotskyists who used to force-feed me their party line on the Arab-Israeli conflict: 'The Israelis are doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews'.
While recognising that the Palestinian plight was, obviously, a very real one, I pointed out that this simplistic reversal of roles was just not true. Take any slither of the history of the Shoah, and you will find atrocities of a magnitude that – fortunately – has not yet been seen in occupied Palestine.
However, some other oppressed peoples are getting something approaching Nazi treatment from their occupiers: the half a million Africans murdered in Darfur by Islamic militias, for example; or the ten per cent of the Chechen population liquidated by Moscow's military. To take just two recent cases among many.
I have often wondered why these events do not receive even a fraction of the scrutiny bestowed on the Arab-Israeli conflict. What have the Israelis got that the Sudanese Janjaweed and the Russian spetznaz haven't?
Answers on a postcard, please.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -