The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Friday, November 12, 2004


              Moral Relativism and Historical Ignorance
In today's Boston Globe HDS Greenway manages to display both an inane moral relativism, as well as a stunning ignorance of history.
That hope died in the blood of the second intifada, which still sputters on. In Israel and the United States, Arafat was blamed for that failure, and, in part, blame was deserved. Arafat had promised that violence to achieve political ends would end. It did not. But Israel broke its promises too, especially in the arena of Jewish settlements
So Israel building housing in legally disputed territory is an excuse for, and is the moral equivalent of blowing up innocent people on busses and in cafes? Additionally, while Arafat explicitly promised to abjure violence in the Oslo Accords, the issue of settlements was consciously left out of that agreement and left for final status talks. Israel did not break promises regarding settlements because it did not make any such promises.

Greenway then goes on to compare Menachem Begin to Arafat because of Begin's leadership of the Irgun, and Irgun's "terrorist" actions.
The Palestinian struggle has long been laced with terror. But terror also played its role in the birth of Israel. Life Magazine, back in 1946 during the British mandate, said: "The most sinister word in Palestine today is Irgun, the name of a highly secret, supernationalist Jewish terrorist organization . . . " responsible for many acts of violence. The Irgun told Life: "We fight because we must. The British have become an occupying force in this country."

Three decades later, Irgun leader Menachem Begin became prime minister of Israel and presided over a peace with Egypt. I asked him one morning years ago in his office in Jerusalem about his terrorist past, and he said only, "It was necessary."

Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization took terror to new levels of horror. But Yasser Arafat, in his Beirut hideout, told me the same thing.
This once again ignores, either willfully or ignorantly, the actual history. The Irgun was paramilitary organization, but where it differed from the PLO was in its choice of targets. Irgun targeted British military targets. The most famous of their attacks, the bombing of the King David Hotel, was against a military target - the HQ of the British military command and the British Criminal Investigation Division. The Irgun also made three phone calls warning of the pending attack. Arafat's targets, from the very beginning were innocents. Such a comparison is beyond immoral.
|| Nudnik 2:53 PM
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