The blood libels keep pouring in. I wrote this letter to The Economist based on their recent article on the Cracking down on Settlers:
“Jew kills baby” is a tagline that should be raising red flags at any respected journal, as it provokes the medieval Blood Libel slur. And yet, the number of times the press rallied around dead Arab children they hoped to pin on Jews in the past year is staggering.
Which is why I was quite disappointed to see you running the story “Cracking down on the settlers”. It remains to be seen whether a Jewish settler even committed the arson – forensic evidence actually points to the contrary. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/198961#.VckfBSZVhBd
But to take a crime still under investigation, rush to pin it on Jews, and run with it to a criticism of Israeli policies in general, well it only delegitimizes any authority you have on the issue.
Some points I’d like to make:
Settlements aren’t “illegal”. People like to claim it is so, but the area was never a country, and continues to be under dispute.
Gaza 2014 drove the point, at least materially, that evacuating disputed terriroties to Arab rule only exacerbates this situation. Old dogmas die hard, but the fact is the best hope for peace isn’t a Judenrein West Bank – it’s making Arabs and Jews live among each other.
Despite your massaging your wording to even out the casualties, one dead Arab baby makes world headlines, while Jews are quite unceremoniously under constant Arab attack. And it doesn’t matter whether Jews live in disputed territories or well within the confines of Israel. If an Arab is killed, it’s soldiers stopping them from a murderous terrorist rampage, not any sort of Jew vigilante murder.
Finally, suppose the attack were actually caused by Jews. A more rational mindset would understand that, under such a tense situation, blowback is inevitable. Some certainly use it to justify the World Trade Center attacks.