“It’s going to spark controversy, obviously, when you deem one side savages and the other side civilized.” That’s what man-on-the-street Colby Richardson says in this news clip, knitting his brows earnestly in the direction of an advertisment (above) posted in the New York subway by organizations run by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.
It is indeed “controversial” to frame the war waged by the Arab-Islamic world — and, don’t forget, its Eurabian patrons — against the state of Israel as The Savage vs. The Civilized, but is it also correct? Is such a question possible to answer from the rut of moral equivalence we have dug for ourselves? Is today’s brain-washed cultural relativist even capable of conceiving of “war” — rather than the muted term “conflict” — between “savage” and ” civilized”?
The postmodern perspective is uprooted from all such concepts deriving from good and evil. “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is the scrim through which we have been schooled to view the “Arab-Israeli,” or, today, the “Israeli-Palestinian” war. In the blur, there is no good and evil, so, of course, there is no civilized and savage. And Lord knows, there is no “jihad.” There is only “conflict” to be channeled into “the peace process,” by which, of course, Israel’s sovereignty and safety is chipped away until there is no more conflict — and no more Israel, either.
But the jihad will continue.
When this poster went up last week, it was attacked, physically, by a small group of “activists.” One of them was Mona Eltahawy, a well-known MSNBC and CNN commentator. The New York Post captured her spray-can assault on the poster on video, and thank goodness. It is riveting but also highly significant footage. Eltahawy, a self-described liberal, secular Muslim with an MSM soapbox, continues to spray pink paint on the poster even as a woman attempts to defend the poster, Eltahawy all the while insisting she is exercising her right of free speech by ruining the poster. What a story for “blasphemy” week — free speech, pink paint, erupting pundit … But I have yet to learn of the video running on any Big Media TV shows, and especially not Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Fox News. (For a quick reality check, imagine if Rachel Maddow were videotaped spray-painting an anti-Obama ad ….)
Eltahawy maintains the poster expresses “racism” and “hate.” These are buzz words, camouflage Elathawy uses to justify her own rather savage response to a printed political idea. But they do the trick. Over time, these words have become dependable conversation-enders to short-circut thinking itself. Here, they are designed to stop all logical consideration of the dichotomy the poster forces upon us: Savage vs. Civilized.
But let us try to evaluate the terminology at its most elementary level: the Islamic jihad to destroy Israel (novel concept) is waged by terrorists who target civilians. The Israeli military response is to target terrorists. The Israeli government regularly orders its soldiers to give their own lives to avoid civilian casualties, as in Jenin, where soldiers went booby-trapped house to house to avoid the “savagery” of killing the terrorists’ human shields. Just as Muslim parents celebrate their children’s accomplishments — achieving Islamic paradise by killing Jewish civilians — the Palestinian Authority celebrates them, too. The PA regularly honors its terrorists — it calls them “shahids,” or Islamic martyrs — by naming streets and squares and soccer tournaments after those who murder women, children, young people in pizza parlors, buses and discoteques.
Is it just me, or is one-size moral equivalence bursting at the seams?
Then there’s the fact that the founding documents of both Hamas and Fatah, the governing parties in the PA, call for a world without Israel. As Andrew Bostom, writing in support of the Geller poster, notes here, in a 2011 poll in Judea-Samaria and the Gaza Strip, 73 percent of Palestinians agreed with the following canonical hadith (the words and deeds of Islam’s prophet Muhammad which have a weight often equal to the Koran), which is quoted in the Hamas Covenant:
the Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] aspires to realize the promise of Allah, no matter how long it takes. The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim).
Come and kill him….
Only in the morally-inverted fact-vacuum of Bizarro World could the man on the street find the Geller poster “controversial” and deny, as a conditioned reflex, that a “civilized” people is engaged in a death struggle with a “savage” one.
But that’s where we are as a “civilized” society. The genius of this advertisement is that in 18 words it has smashed through the wall of noise. Stop. Think. There is a jihad underway against Israel, and, like all jihads, it is savage.
Diana West is a journalist and columnist whose writing appears in several high profile outlets. She also has a website: DianaWest.net.