Chopped Logic and Comment is Free

Comment is Free’s anti-Israel obsession continues. Afuah Hirsch tells us that a plan is afoot to try to have Ehud Barak, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, arrested for war crimes, during his visit to Britain.  One can almost hear the Guardianistas smacking their lips in anticipation.
Lawyers acting for unnamed Palestinians seem confident that they will succeed, in spite of the fact that, like any government minister of a foreign country, Ehud Barak is protected by diplomatic immunity. Hirsch makes a very lame attempt to compare this publicity stunt to the attempt to arrest Major General Doron Almog in 2005 (point to Ms Hirsch – Almog was not a government minister), and in a particularly egregious and utterly false moral equivalence Hirsch tries to lump together the rationale for the attempt to arrest Barak with the arrest in March 2009 of Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan, for alleged war crimes in Darfur.
Anywhere else than Comment is Free it would be strange indeed that, after the comparatively deafening silence there about the plight of the people of Darfur at the hands of Muslims and their own government, the Editorial staff should think it appropriate to wheel out Bashir as an appropriate comparator to Barak. However, the fundamental raison d’être for Comment is Free is to take any and every opportunity, whether based on its own version of fact or outright fiction, to bash Israel (and for “Israel” you may read “Jews” since few Palestinians bother to distinguish between Israel as a state and its Jewish inhabitants).
Comment is Free’s true colours shine through by its even attempting the specious comparison between Barak and Bashir.  This sort of ill-thought-out and utterly transparent chopped logic by Hirsch lends itself easily to a small comparison which ought to encourage intelligent people to think this through rather more fastidiously:
Hirsch fails to make clear (no doubt because of the requirement to pay lip service to the GWV) that Bashir’s crimes were perpetrated on a massive scale and that his army was responsible for the deaths of his own people. Some estimate that over 400,000 were killed. Such Muslim on Muslim violence, indeed, characterises many of the deaths in Gaza, too – the evidence of use of Gazan women and children as human shields by Hamas, and its subsequent brutal murder of its Fatah opponents in government has not yet faded from memory, although Comment is Free seems to be conveniently suffering from a selective short-term memory disorder which allows it to remember only Israel’s alleged brutality.
Sinister, but entirely in keeping, is that such chopped logic allows Hirsch to dispense with any sense of proportion – another point is that any sensible person knows that the alleged “genocide” of Palestinians simply cannot be compared with the genocide in Darfur, not least because the Palestinian birth rate is rising in Gaza and the West Bank.  Nevertheless, in true Big Lie fashion, the actual genocide in Darfur and the alleged one in Gaza are dripped into the minds of the uncritical readership of Comment is Free.
Once we find out the alleged “genocide” of Palestinians for the lie it is, Hirsch’s whole argument collapses like a pack of cards.
Why, then, the support for the attempt to arrest Barak, cheap publicity stunt or not?  Could this be something more sinister?  One clue might lie in what Denis MacShane calls the new antisemitism. In his book, Globalising Hatred: The New Antisemitism, written in 2008, MacShane argues that the 21st century now faces an ideological assault based on hatred of Jews which is as serious as any major threat to universal values as the world has faced.
MacShane’s survey of 21st century antisemitism is based on the All-Party Commission of Enquiry which was chaired by the author in the UK. His book argues that the new antisemitism arises from three main sources: state-sanctioned antisemitism (which in this case bystands whilst ministers of foreign countries are threatened); that of terrorist movements like Al Qaeda; and, most importantly for the purpose of this article, that of political movements like the Muslim Brotherhood and its off-shoots and spokesmen.
As I have written above, Comment is Free’s raison d’être is to vilify Israel by any and all means at its disposal.  It makes common cause with supporters and perpetrators of Islamist terror and Jew-hatred by giving them space in its columns to spout their hideous views and excuse their treatment of their own people as well as of Israeli civilians.  Comment is Free deliberately silences commenters who disagree with these barbarians.  By supporting Islamists and giving them house room it, as ever, opens the door for the normalisation of Jew-hatred in its columns, until people no longer find that remarkable or disgusting. Comment is Free is in the vanguard of the new antisemitism.
That is why, although Hirsch asks the question as to whether Barak should be arrested for war crimes, we know that the majority who respond to her inept attempt at analysis on Comment is Free would be quick to shout for the deed to be done.

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