This week, Melanie Phillips is H.A.M.A.S. [that's Held Accountable for Misinformation and Anti-Semitism, kids]
Melanie Phillips was abroad last week. Just thought I would point out that rather important piece of information. She certainly saw fit to start with it two days ago in her article on Hamas winning the Palestinian elections, perhaps as a disclaimer to all her salivating readers. In her head she believed that this article was going to be eagerly anticipated, that somehow it would matter. After all, having spouted uninformed nonsense about the Middle East for several years now, why wouldn't we be waiting with bated breath?
In the time between the elections and the return of Melanie Phillips to her disciples [presumably from underneath a rock rather than from behind one], I myself read a lot of comment on this, to be honest, rather worrying event. There was trenchant analysis in The Independent and on ZNet, middle-of-the-road blandness from The Economist [is it just me, or do the eyes tend to glaze over while one reads this magazine?] and just for kicks, some rightwing scaremongering in the yokelish National Review Online. After all this I was understandably not going to learn too much from the return of the Messiah.
She does the basic stuff pretty well, but has a nasty habit of pushing things just a bit too far. Hamas are bad, look at their covenant. This sick piece of work is indeed a worrying sight, but long-term observers of Phillips will know that nothing will ever be good even for her because while she can chop and change her opinions, she will retain her deeply racist and culurally biassed core values. This is evident is statements like:
"...the danger is that Hamas will adopt the brilliant strategy employed by Arafat – to be sufficiently ambiguous in their public pronouncements to enable the west to continue with the farce of the 'peace process' ..."
In other words, even if they reform, by renouncing their threats to take back all of what was historic Palestine before 1947 and giving up on terrorism, that will not demonstrate that they have changed. To an extent I agree. Which then makes me wonder why she has never condemned former terrorists-turned Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, nor Golda Meir [no doubt about to be sympathetically immortalized in Munich] who claimed that the Palestinians did not exist, nor Ariel Sharon, a war criminal who has repeatedly claimed that Israel should emcompass 100% of what used to be Palestine. Except Sharon [again, i theory], none of these leaders effectively renounced these views, or provided the necessary actions to prove it.
Her comparison of Hamas to Arafat is also pathetic. In 1988 the PLO did precisely what everybody now wants Hamas to do: renounce terrorism and accept a two-state solution [as we know the PLO were particularly generous here, lumping the Palestinians with 22% of historic Palestine]. Their reward was to be excluded for a further five years on negotiations over their territory, leading to sideshows like the Madrid peace conference of 1991 that could never have hoped to have achieved anything without them.
Her second exaggeration is brief but staggering. As somebody who has repeatedly highlighted how unique the Holocaust was, she is strangely trigger happy in declaring:
"But the danger is that Hamas will adopt the brilliant strategy employed by Arafat – to be sufficiently ambiguous in their public pronouncements to enable the west to continue with the farce of the 'peace process' while Hamas continues either to kill Jews or plot how to achieve a final solution to the Jews’ presence on the Jews' own, historic, reclaimed land."
That's my emphasis. In this case a reference to the Final Solution is childish beyond belief. She must have known what she was doing in writing this.She has adopted an event, which, through her disgusting manipulation of it I can only assume had nothing to do with her or her family, as a wholescale Jewish tragedy without ever considering whether or not it may have been gravely insulting to the actual victims of the Holocaust. In the past Phillips has smacked down others for allegedly comparing lesser events to the Final Solution. Here she has betrayed those principles in a sickening fashion. It certainly was not Arafat's intention to wipe out the Jews of Israel [Hamas is tricky, I really don't know how to call this one] and given the scant resources of the Palestinian population it certainly was never within grasp. Arafat's "brilliant strategy" must have been even more self-defeating than the Oslo Accords, since under Ariel Sharon his main activity was to stay trapped in his Ramallah compound while Israeli soldiers under Sharon's command bulldozed and bombed it piece by piece. This while wrecking Palestinian police and security institutions. Paradoxically, Sharon held Arafat reponsible for every little act of terror against Israel, claiming that that Arafat should have been there to stop them. And ridiculing Arafat's contribution to the sham "peace process" is a bit rich given Sharon's settlement building frenzy. As I write this the Israeli government is violating the Road Map in this manner; cutting out slices of the West Bank. Sharon himself was reported in 1998 as saying:
"Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours..."
In previous posts I have called for Melanie Phillips to be ignored, before swinging to the opposite extreme and demanding a "watch" site. While the former is appropraite for those who actually benefit from time wasted giving them them attention [Coulter, O'Reilly, Littlejohn] and the latter, free-speech unfriendly choice hands too much importance to the target [it would be better for the likes of Blair, Bush and Perle], the happy medium here is knowing that by refuting what I despise, I am reaffirming what I truly believe: a just peace in the Middle East. Under these conditions, the ranting that Melanie Phillips directs at her targets becomes a sick kind of endorsement.
"Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere." - George W. Bush (March 24, 2004)