Closing in on the finish to a series of postings from many years ago regarding my first encounter with the BDS “Movement” in Somerville, MA, here was an attempt to draw broader conclusions of what the fight for Israel means to the rest of the world.
The pantograph is a centuries old mechanical device used to create enlarged images. When an artist uses a pen attached to one end of the pantograph to draw a sketch or illustration, the device automatically draws a larger version of the same image on another piece of paper.
A friend once noted how this ancient gadget reminded him of Israel’s relationship to the rest of the world. A curious observation, I thought, which he fleshed out by noticing that many of the tragedies we are dealing with today, including the recent mass murder of scores of civilians whose only “crime” was riding on the London Underground, were first enacted (albeit on a slightly smaller scale) within the Jewish state.
This export of innovative methods of cruelty such as the suicide bomber from Israel to the rest of the planet is no accident. As noted in a previous essay, tyrants or tyrannical wannabees have a habit of singling out the Jew (or, in today’s world, the Jewish State) in order to determine just how far humanity can be pushed to abandon its humane principles.
The threat of Europe’s fascists WAS ignored when their repression was limited to “merely” putting the full force of the state behind the suppression and eventual murder of its Jewish minority. It was only after the Nazis had sharpened their claws on the Jews that the world realized a nation steeped in such brutality was a threat to the entire planet and dealt with the problem at a cost of fifty million lives.
Today’s dictators have similarly used Israel as a staging area to determine just how far they can push a brutal agenda, hoping that the non-Jewish powers (i.e., the other 6+ billion people in the world) will avert their gaze until it is too late.
The suicide bomber, whether in London, Tel Aviv or Thailand, needs more than explosives to do his or her job. They also need a culture that glorifies death (so long as it accompanies mass murder) to create the people willing to strap on the belt and push the button.
Most importantly, they need the intricate web of explanation, toleration and apologia that always manage to justify mass murder with that critical “but” (“Of course the attacks in London were a crime, BUT shouldn’t they be expected given British actions in Iraq?” “9/11 was certainly awful, BUT didn’t America’s support for Israel make it a target?” “I condemn the ninety-ninth blowing up of an Israeli bus, BUT what else can the Palestinians do to “defend” themselves in the face of Israeli might?).
Such apologists have been on full display since the bombs started going off in London (and as of today, show no signs of ending), trying to find “root causes” for turning commuters into ash in the treatment of Muslim minorities in the UK or in Britain’s foreign policy. Yet if Britain contributed anything to its current suffering, it was in trying to put as much distance as it could between Israel’s plague of terror and the terror that afflicts the rest of the world. Not only are the two linked, but the former is the proving ground for the latter, the small pen on the pantograph.
Today in Somerville, a small group of hate-filled fanatics is hoping that they can twist the language of human rights and confuse the uninformed enough to get the city to join their crusade in condemning the Jewish state for the “crime” of defending itself against this onslaught. Yet in trying to get the city to condemn a victim for not allowing himself to meekly be killed, they are trying to justify the notion that no person, no group, no nation has the right to defend itself against indiscriminate terror. If that is the new rule written on tiny Israel by the small end of the pantograph, one does need to think hard to guess to whom the magnified version of such a rule will apply.