On April 13, 2004, I published an article titled: “I Never Thought Much Of L Ian Macdonald Of The Montreal Gazette” (please see Archives).
He wrote about anti-Semitism in Montreal vis a vis the firebombing of the Talmud Torah Jewish school, and Israeli intransigence through Ariel Sharon.
It was almost beyond me how he tied the two together. I was also amazed at the response my editorial elicited.
Ken Fitzgerald; an ex-Montrealer currently living in the Carolinas sent me an e-mail pledging money for the reward to find and convict the firebombing TERRORISTS responsible. He too finds it absurd, at how the politically correct always find ways to create an equivalence between Israel and the Middle Eastern Arabs.
Dave Mankovsky; another ex-Montrealer now living in Atlanta wrote the following:
Concerning your latest with regard to L. Ian MacDonald . . . this is the columnist who made his name by writing a bio of Robert Bourassa. Then spent several years as a speech writer for Brian Mulroney. One can see L. Ian’s political pedigree. Impressive – Bourassa & Mulroney.
MacDonald practices what is called “moral equivalence” in journalism. In other words, there is equal blame to be apportioned to both sides of a conflict. Israelis are as blameworthy as Palestinians.
In the 1950’s & 60’s, Americans were as responsible for the Cold War as were the Soviets. Anglos are equally to blame for Quebec’s language tensions as the separatists.
The problem with “moral equivalence” is that it fails to locate the true source of a problem. It refuses to distinguish good from evil, right from wrong. It is a form of appeasement.
. . . END LETTER . . .
Michael F Rhodes of White Rock British Columbia wrote:
Read your editorial today, wanted to lend my support and add a slightly different take on your rebuttal of L. Ian MacDonald.
The Israel/Palestine canard boils down to people. People are sacrosanct, not land, history, the tribe, religion, international opinion or any other bogus smokescreen the Arab apologists can get the limp-minded international community to buy.
The problem in Palestine and indeed in the Middle East, generally is crime against people. Palestine needs to get tough on crime and enforcement of tolerance and plurality. Period.
Once it gets decency and tolerance in order, it can start lecturing others, including its lawful, democratic neighbour, about how to move forward in peace-making.
The reason the Palestinian leadership (read Arab leadership) does not want to control crime, especially crime perpetrated against Israelis and moderate Palestinians, is because it would turn the focus inward, exposing the level of Arab, Islamist hatred of others and, indeed, itself.
As long as these despotic Arab leaders can get the lame-minded in the world to focus on Israel (a civil, democratic, plural society) the focus will not be on the failed, despotic policies of these corrupt Arab regimes and the sure fact that, at this time in history, a major religion is at war with itself.
. . . END LETTER . . .
Yesterday, April 14, 2004, President George W Bush, standing beside Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (at the White House) took what I believe is the most decisive step yet to bringing peace to Israel.
Instead of pretending the Palestinians are represented by an equivalent set of moral, legal, governmental, infra structural, and democratic standards as Israel, Bush simply stated the obvious.
Israel has a right to exist in peace and security, and to protect itself. The “settlements” which are facts on the ground and part of Israel proper will remain Israeli. The Security Barrier (Wall) is acceptable as a security barrier. And there will be no Right Of Return for millions of Palestinians to swamp Israel.
In effect; Bush gave Israel what Israel offered Arafat at Camp David in 2000: the deal Arafat walked away from.
As David Mankovsky alluded in his letter: No matter how hard you try to create equivalence, it is impossible to do so where none exists. Yet; for the past 50 years, and certainly since the Jimmy Carter days, the world created the illusion that the Palestinian people could negotiate as equals with Israel.
This delusion of equivalence was the bedrock catalyst for the murder, maiming and suffering for tens of thousands of Israelis, and far more Palestinians. Had the world addressed the players as they really were (and really are), a peace deal or real security could have been achieved a long time ago.
Bush is the first world leader to see the problem for what it is. He has cut through the politically correct garbage, and has set in motion an entirely new dynamic for the Palestinian conflict.
Israel no longer has to negotiate with a pretend government incapable of bringing lasting peace to the area. Israel no longer has to negotiate with Palestinian leaders sworn to Israel’s destruction. All Israel has to do is protect itself and go about its affairs like any normal country.
And for the first time, the Palestinian people have to face reality. No more games. No more pretend. And no more equivalence where it doesn’t exist.
This is good news for everyone.