The image is forever embedded in the Israeli psyche. The smouldering carcass of a passenger bus. Charred metal, burning glass, the faded colours of once happy branding, now turned pale, flecked with brown and black. The eyewitness accounts are familiar too. Loose limbs, decapitation, bodies mangled beyond recognition, death, destruction, blood and terror. The targets – soft and easy. Happy families, blind, oblivious, never saw it coming, never stood a chance.
The perpetrators will be hunted. Conspiracy theories will abound and ultimately the world will urge caution and restraint. Elections, current account deficits, oil prices always take precedence over dead Jews.
The UN Human Rights Council, that farcical body, ostensibly charged with slamming Israel at every opportunity and occasionally referring to lesser human rights abusers such as Sudan and Syria to maintain a facade of legitimacy, will perhaps issue a belated condemnation. True to form, within hours of the Gaza Flotilla incident, a statement condemning Israel had already been issued.
We will no doubt also hear from Catherine Ashton, the EU’s Foreign Policy tsarina. She may even again flavour her sombre words with another obscene rationalisation of the murder of Jewish civilians by suggesting that the Jewish State is doing the same thing to the Palestinians.
The defenders of human rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch will likely remain silent. They can only be roused from their slumbers to issue politicised reports and condemnations if they fit in with their post-colonial vision and their bizarre campaign to unite reds, greens and Islamic fascists into a formidable alliance against the chauvinism of western democracy.
The circus is famous and the clowns are seasoned pros.
The legend of terrorism will grow. More martyrs for the jihadist scrapbook. More posters for the streets of Jenin and Tehran. Brave resistors. Liberating the land. Standing up to the mighty occupation. Striking a blow for Islam. One dead Jew at a time.
All the while Jewish rights are eroded a little bit more. The Jewish right to self-defence. The Jewish right to engage with the world without harassment and boycotts. The Jewish right to travel without fear. The Jewish right to live.
What then is to be done? Can Israel continue to function within an international paradigm dictated by resource wealth, corrupt NGOs and political self-interest? Can Israel’s leadership protect its people from harm while bowing to public opinion conditioned by aggressive Arabist public diplomacy and an unsympathetic global media?
Israel loves to cite examples of its successful integration into the international community. Start-up nation, OECD member, renewable energy, sustainable development, more trees, more female entrepreneurs. All good stuff. All achievements to be genuinely proud of provided they do not detract from that one great truth: Regardless of what Israel does, there will always be people who seek to kill Jews simply because they are Jews. And there is not a foreign state, NGO, high-tech wiz or a court of law that is capable of changing that. Only the State of Israel can be trusted to defend Jewish life.
Perhaps it is fitting to conclude with a quote from the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, the man who likely gave the order for this latest taking of Jewish life:
“We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.”
It would be a fool who underestimates the danger of modern antisemitism. It would be a far greater fool who thinks that this can be overcome through anything other than the collective might of the State of Israel.
Alex Ryvchin is a lawyer and founder of The Jewish Thinker (www.jewishthinker.org), a forum for opinion pieces on matters affecting Israel and the Jewish people. Please ‘like’ our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TheJewishThinker.
This piece was written in a personal capacity and the views contained herein are not necessarily representative of NGO Monitor.