Mar 2002 Journal

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A sense of déjà vu (editorial)

It seems only a little while ago that we celebrated the onset of a new century (and millennium) and already the sensation of déjà vu is overwhelming. On recent Mondays and Tuesdays the deserted station concourse at Waterloo has evoked the Winter of Discontent, and the sight of yellow-armletted RMT pickets on TV stirred memories of Scargill. The other Friday night the BBC Symphony Orchestra performed John Adam's The Death of Klinghoffer, an opera about PLO terrorists' hijack of the cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985. This work, in the words of the New Statesman, 'refuses to dehumanise the hijackers who present themselves as idealists and not vandals'.

In point of fact, Palestinian terrorists have as little humanity as the Vehme murderers of interwar Germany. Suicide bombers who targeted a teenage hop on Tel Aviv seafront and a batmitzvah party at Hadera rank no higher on the moral scale than Rudolf Hoess or Martin Bormann. When Jeanette Winterson, injecting the odour of sanctity into BBC's Question Time, condemns the US detention of al-Qa'eda fighters at Guantanamo Bay as revenge and counsels mercy and Christian forgiveness, she has as little purchase on reality as did her confrère Aldous Huxley in 1937. At that time, Germany had been re-arming for years, and had already bombed Guernica, yet the eminent novelist called on his 70,000-strong audience in Trafalgar Square to pledge themselves never to take up arms.

In 1967 Charles de Gaulle visited Montreal and urged the Québécois to break away from Anglophone, US-influenced Canada. It was his way of getting even with the Anglo-Americans for having put him in their debt by liberating France from the Nazis in 1944. In a similar manner, the unholy Pilger-Pinter-Self trinity demonises America as the global terrorist after the US has interdicted the terrorist machinations of Gaddafi, Saddam Hussain, Milosevic and bin Laden.

The perverted logic summed up in Franz Werfel's title Not the Murderer, but the Victim is Guilty takes one back to 1930s Austria. At the time, Chancellor Schuschnigg was corralling Nazi terrorist suspects at the Wöllersdorf detention centre. The kidglove treatment meted out to the detainees gave rise to the spoof news item 'The Wöllersdorf inmates have at last stopped beating up their guards.'

At Mazar-i-Sharif Taliban prisoners had, after surrendering, gone on to kill some of their captors, while at Kandahar Hospital a ward was, until very recently, still controlled by wounded, but heavily armed, al-Qa'eda fighters. It was to prevent further incidents of this sort that the US transferred potential mega-murderers to its facility off Cuba. The widespread expressions of concern about their welfare put one in mind of the character in F N Simpson's absurdist play A Resounding Tinkle who knits anti-glare goggles for swooping birds of prey.

But the supreme déjà vu is the way in which Islam, which has existed for about 1,300 years, replicates thirteenth-century Christianity's virulent animosity towards Judaism - the progenitor of both faiths. The thirteenth Christian century saw the introduction of the yellow badge, the rise of the ritual murder myth, Crusader pogroms in the Rhineland, and the expulsion from England.

Currently, the Muslim world demonises not only Israel, but Jews as such. The very same Muslim Society of Great Britain which complains about Islamophobia in the UK charges the Jewish State, in which a million Arabs live and hundreds attend university, with genocide. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir cites Georg Soros as proof that the Jews manipulate the world's money markets to their benefit and to the detriment of developing countries. Hamas, the clergy-led Palestinian terror group, has incorporated the tsarist forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion into their charter.

One day after the atrocity of 11 September the Saudi Ministry of Information dubbed it a Mossad operation and compounded this Goebbels-style perversion of the truth by alleging that not a single Jew had been in the twin towers when the hijacked planes struck them. Saudi Arabia is the guardian of the Muslim holy places and protector of the purity of the faith enforced by a religious police. It was also the spiritual and financial source of the Islamic fanaticism which took root in Afghanistan in the form of the Taliban. In other words, it is to Islam what Rome was to medieval Christendom - seat of the Popes, headquarters of the Inquisition, initiator of the Crusades. What makes the sensation of déjà vu absolutely complete is that the Royal House of Saudi is no whit less corrupt than the medieval Papacy!

next article:Leftwing antisemitism - an idea whose time has come