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Friday, July 07, 2006

Livingstone's Syndrome

Today's case of Livingstone's Syndrome (a close relation of Tourette's Syndrome, in which the sufferer experiences an overwhelming compulsion to tell Jews they are Nazis): hard on the heels of Lidice comes the Warsaw Ghetto:

'But destroying the only power source for a trapped and defenseless civilian population is an unprecedented step toward barbarity. It reeks, ironically, of the Warsaw Ghetto. As we flutter our hands about tectonic political change, we must take pause: in the eyes of history, what is happening in Gaza may come to eclipse them all.'

So tell us all about Israel's secret plans to ship the entire population of Gaza off to extermination camps, why don't you? Or maybe this alone is sufficient to substantiate the charge of Nazi-style inhumanity:

'And no radios, television, cell phones, or laptops...'

This garbage emanated from Counterpunch, which is where it should stay. Where it doesn't belong is on Independent Catholic News, which has seen fit to quote an extract. To be fair they've left out the Warsaw Ghetto bit; I'd like to to think this was attributable to a sense of decency, but their track record makes this somewhat doubtful. If not Livingstone's Syndrome, then at least an acute case of Christian Aiditis...

Scrolling through ICN's headlines, I counted 14 features on the Holy Land between 1 June and 6 July. Apart from two neutral statements from the Vatican, all have an anti-Israel spin, presenting the Palestinians alone as innocent victims of the conflict. None focuses on terrorism, indeed the nearest any of them come to an explicit acknowledgment that it is an issue at all is this:-

'Israel froze VAT and customs taxes owed to the Palestinian Authority when Hamas, which has been labelled a terrorist organisation by the United States and other countries, was elected to power and continued to refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist. Hamas will also not lay down its weapons in what it says is an armed struggle for liberation of its still-occupied territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.' (from)

So, terrorism or liberation struggle: take your pick as to how you want to 'label' the targetted killing of hundreds of civilians. Let's not be prescriptive here.

In the same period ICN carried one feature on Darfur.

As Christian Attitudes notes, a 2002 piece by the anti-Semite who goes under the pseudonym Israel Shamir is still in the ICN archive. The coverage of the alleged massacre at Jenin in the same year is also revealing. This appeared on 15 April 2002:

'Christian Aid [who else?] has received reports of Palestinian bodies being dumped in mass graves by Israeli soldiers, outside Jenin refugee camp, in the West Bank.'

The UN report published on 1 August finally placed it beyond doubt that these 'reports' were quite simply lies. You might think that, having given credence to this latter-day blood libel, ICN would have felt they had a duty to set the record straight. But you'd be wrong.

I'm pretty sure that the Pope is not much more impressed by this kind of thing than I am. There are times when one could wish he had as much authority over his flock as some of his predecessors.

1 comment:

SnoopyTheGoon said...

No laptops? Oh, my...

Sorry, I did not want to sound callous, what is going on is terrible for innocent people. However, taking into accoung that the majority of them support the latest Hamas actions...