Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Moral Equivalence Turned on its Head

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If these were normal times, the American view of the conflict in Lebanon might look something like the street scenes that have electrified the suburbs of Detroit for the past four weeks.

What would be normal times? You mean if Islamic terrorists had not attacked us repeatedly throughout the eighties and nineties leading up to 9/11. You mean those normal times?

In Dearborn, home to the Ford Motor Company and also the highest concentration of Arab Americans in the country, up to 1000 people have turned out day after day to express their outrage at the Israeli military campaign and mourn the loss of civilian life in Lebanon. At one protest in late July, 15,000 people - almost half of the local Arab American population - showed up in a sea of Lebanese flags, along with anti-Israeli and anti-Bush slogans.

As well as Palestinian flags and signs that not only were anti-Israel but anti-Semitic. It must've been a rally of great hope and joy, just like in San Francisco and Washington, DC. I didn't see any Hamas and Hezbollah flags at the Dearborn rally but would suspect they were there as they were prevalent in SF.

A few miles to the north, in the heavily Jewish suburb of Southfield, meanwhile, the Congregation Shaarey Zedek synagogue has played host to passionate counter-protests in which the US and Israeli national anthems are played back to back and demonstrators have asserted that it is Israel's survival, not Lebanon's, that is at stake here.

Just as a refresher, Israel was attacked and two of her soldiers were kidnapped. But why let facts ruin a good hit piece.

Such is the normal exercise of free speech in an open society, one might think. But these are not normal times. The Detroit protests have been tinged with paranoia and justifiable fear on both sides. Several Jewish institutions in the area, including two community centres and several synagogues, have hired private security guards in response to an incident in Seattle at the end of July, in which a mentally unstable 30-year-old Muslim walked into a Jewish Federation building and opened fire, killing one person and injuring five others.

The Muslims are paranoid when it was a Muslim who walked into a synagogue and shot a pregnant woman. Sounds to me as if the Jews should be paranoid. Update: This is not going to help the Muslim cause. Now Americans are getting worried.

On the Arab American side, many have expressed reluctance to stand up and be counted among the protesters for fear of being tinged by association with Hizbollah, which is on the United States' list of terrorist organisations. (As a result, the voices heard during the protests tend to be the more extreme ones.) They don't like to discuss their political views in any public forum, following the revelation a few months ago that the National Security Agency was wiretapping phone calls and e-mail exchanges as part of the Bush administration's war on terror.

If they don't want to be "tinged by association" with Hezbollah, perhaps they shouldn't carry Hezbollah flags and signs. Just a thought.

As for the fear of the NSA, maybe it would be in the best interest of all Muslims if they rallied in support of the United States and against Islamo-fascism. They are as the author says "Arab Americans".

They are even afraid to donate money to help the civilian victims of the war in Lebanon because of the intense scrutiny Islamic and Arab charities have been subjected to since the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration has denounced 40 charities worldwide as financiers of terrorism, and arrested and deported dozens of people associated with them. Consequently, while Jewish charities such as the United Jewish Communities are busy raising $300m to help families affected by the Katyusha rockets raining down on northern Israel, donations to the Lebanese victims have come in at no more than a trickle.

Alright, let's explain this slowly. If they chose to give to the Red Cross, it would probably be okay and would go to help in Lebanon. The charities that the Bush Administration labeled as financiers of terror were in fact financing terror. The UJC is not supporting terror. Pretty simple.

The media, more generally, has left little doubt in the minds of a majority of American news consumers that the Israelis are the good guys, the aggrieved victims, while Hizbollah is an incarnation of the same evil responsible for bringing down the World Trade Centre, a heartless and faceless organisation whose destruction is so important it can justify all the damage Israel is inflicting on Lebanon and its civilians.

The Israeli's are in fact the victims and not the aggressors. I don't recall Olmert waking up one morning and just deciding to invade Lebanon. Hezbollah invaded a sovereign nation. Period. If the Lebanese do not want to be labeled as terrorist supporters, perhaps they should've disarmed Hezbollah as was required. Instead, Hezbollah is a part of their government. The Israeli's have every right to defend themselves when their sovereignty was violated. That response in my opinion was not as fierce as it should've been.

This goes on and on in the same vein. It has the requisite Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin bashing as well as the references to to AIPAC and their support of Jew-supporting politicians.

I'm done with this piece of left-wing drivel. You can take a stab at the rest.

H/T: Hot Air.

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