Saturday, March 14, 2009

Time to invoke Shylock in defence of Israel

Eric Lee is the editor of LabourStart. His brilliant piece - Time to invoke Shylock in defence of Israel can be found in the Jewish Chronicle and is recommended reading at a time when the likes of Israel bashing propagandists such as Jeff Halper tour this country with agendas that even include helping the most rabid members of his pro Palestinian audiences avoid being labelled antiSemites by toning down their racist language while keeping to the same dreadful message of hatred.

The questioner will speak softly. Their face will show real concern, even pain. And what you 'll hear is not an accusation, but a real question, because the person is genuinely confused.

They will say something like this: I've been watching the scenes from Gaza on TV. I 've seen small children standing in front of the ruins of their homes. I 've seen parents weeping over the loss of their children. And I cannot understand how you can see all this and still support Israel.

Obviously when these words come from some propagandist for Hamas they are designed to deceive. But sometimes its a genuine question and deserves a fair answer. When it happens, I find the whole room full of people disappears before my eyes and I focus directly on the person who spoke.

I pause for a moment, not for effect, but to think through what is probably the most important answer I will have to give in an evening full of difficult questions and more difficult answers.

What I need to explain to this person is not so much the tactics and strategy of the Israeli army, or the history of the conflict — I have other chances to do this — but something far more difficult, something that is at the heart of the problem. I need to convince them, first and foremost, that we Jews are actually human.

Eric Lee shows how.

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