By Stephen Pollard
May 5, 2007
Mary Ann Sieghart's Times column yesterday argued that the Winograd Commission's interim report mans that people who attacked Israel for defending itself against Hezbolah can say 'I told you so'. I intended to deal with her piece today, as its arguments were so confused and so beneath Mary-Ann that it needed taking apart, big time. I don't need to do that now as a withering Melanie Phillips has done just that. Her post needs t be read in full, but here's one of the main points:
Her argument today is singularly ill-judged. The fundamental difference between the strictures of the Winograd Commission and the attacks last year in Britain is that Winograd is concerned for the safety of Israel — while the British attackers were concerned for the safety of Israel’s murderous assailants. Yes, Winograd is devastating, and deservedly so; but the thrust of it is that Israel should have defended itself better, and the manifest incompetence of its Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Chief of Staff have exposed it to greater danger by undermining its reputation for military prowess. The point about last year’s hysterical denunciations of Israel, and the reason so many British Jews got so upset about it, was that Israel was painted falsely as the aggressor (and thus deemed to have no right to defend itself by military means against an act of war); that it was falsely accused of committing atrocities which it did not commit; and that the presentation of the war was effectively dictated to the media by the true aggressors, Hezbollah, whose propaganda of unremitting falsehood was uncritically reproduced as the truth and resulted in an upsurge in the demonisation of Israel and hatred of the Jews. Now Sieghart repeats this libel.