The resistance to rapacious power, to epic crimes of invasion (which the Nuremberg judges called the "paramount" crime) is humanity at its noblest; yet the paradox warns us that no resistance is pretty; that each adds its own form of violence in order to expel an invader (such as the civilians killed by Hizbollah rockets); and this has applied to heroic partisans in Europe and heroic Kurds and those faceless, despised Iraqis who have succeeded in pinning down the American homicidal machine in their country.I won't dwell here on the judgement, breathtaking though it is, that Hizbollah or the Iraqi insurgency represent 'humanity at its noblest'. Nor on the lame excuse which is its companion, namely, that 'no resistance is pretty' - as if this could obliterate all distinctions between ways and ways of fighting. What I want to focus on is that Pilger can write something like this without uttering a single word about the fact that Hizbollah's attitude to Jews is frankly and straightforwardly racist - with Hassan Nasrallah on record as having said the following:
... if they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.One might think this a detail that was relevant to any assessment of the organization by a veteran journalist of the left. But it seems not. Anti-Semitism is, perhaps, just a bit of that understandable lack of prettiness.
On the same day in the Guardian, Jonathan Steele delivered himself of this:
Lebanon has a government of national unity in which Hizbullah has two ministers. Being anti-Syrian is not the same as being anti-Hizbullah, and the election winners from the March 14 movement, which developed after the car-bomb murder of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri, wisely recognised that the party is an authentic part of Lebanese society. It was better to have it in the government rather than outside.OK, so it's more restrained than Pilger's encomium, and if Hizbollah is a force to be reckoned with, then there's nothing wrong with saying so. But if recognizing its 'authenticity' is what you're doing, and recommending against 'demonization', then don't the goals of the organization vis-à-vis Israel merit attention, and the hostility to Jews likewise? Forget it.
Demonising Hizbullah as terrorists or Iranian and Syrian agents confuses the picture.
These are only the views of two journalists, of course, but the two of them express those views in the major newspaper of British left-liberalism and on its website, one openly commending an anti-Semitic organization, the other calling on us not to judge it too harshly. And this has now become entirely normal. No one is surprised, let alone shocked, by it. Hey, it may not be my opinion exactly, but it's a point of view and unremarkable; it falls within the range of respectable political opinion. Neither writer even sees a need to explain himself on the matter of Hizbollah's anti-Semitism. Nobody will feel that they here place themselves, so to say, beyond the pale. Not a bit of it. Hizbollah may hate Jews but... 'humanity at its noblest', or at any rate not to be 'demonized'.
It's just another day at the office. Let free comment follow - in which you can bet there'll be a proportion of commenters cheering.