How on Earth did we get here?Norm Geras puts it so well, it makes me glad I do not have to. Augean Stables points to a similar reflection.
In fact the Telegraph article perhaps summarizes it best:
You could criticise Israel’s recent attack for many things. Some argue that it is disproportionate, or too indiscriminate. Others think that it is ill-planned militarily. Others hold that it will give more power to extremists in the Arab world, and will hamper a wider peace settlement. These are all reasonable, though not necessarily correct positions to hold. But European discourse on the subject seems to have been overwhelmed by something else - a narrative, told most powerfully by the way television pictures are selected, that makes Israel out as a senseless, imperialist, mass-murdering, racist bully.
Not only is this analysis wrong - if the Israelis are such imperialists, why did they withdraw from Lebanon for six years, only returning when threatened once again? How many genocidal regimes do you know that have a free press and free elections? - it is also morally imbecilic. It makes no distinction between the tough, sometimes nasty things all countries do when hard-pressed and the profoundly evil intent of some ideologies and regimes. It says nothing about the fanaticism and the immediacy of the threat to Israel. Sir Peter has somehow managed to live on this planet for 75 years without spotting the difference between what Israel is doing in Lebanon and “unlimited war”.
"Unlimited war". Another phrase I hear, with no shame from its promulgators, is "genocide". The Israelis must be very bad at it if that is the goal. The Europeans who decided to make this a goal for the Jews were far more effective, and I suspect many of the beloved resistance fighters in the Middle East are prepared for similar efforts.
It is shocking to me what discourse can pass uncommented and more or less unremarked. It is even sadder and more shocking that 'the left' (yes, I know it does not mean much, but I felt I was there once) can sign up for this shocking stuff so enthusiastically.
Part of me has tried to think it has to do with age; I was of an early baby-boom generation born not long after the Second World War, and maybe those born later have just forgotten one of the key lessons of that war. But it is not just that. Worse, there seems to be ignorance of the fact that the anti-Semitism of the Muslim Brotherhood and its descendants is tightly tied to that Nazi past.
There is a sad continuity here many are far too ready to forget.