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October 22nd, 2017

Insight

Lies, lies and whoppers in the Middle East

Wesley Pruden

By Wesley Pruden

Published Oct. 20, 2015

Lies, lies and whoppers in the Middle East

A diplomat, as any deputy assistant associate undersecretary could tell you, is a public servant paid to lie for his country. Lies are the hard currency in the land of the girly men.

The truth is rarely heard above the rattle and din of the teacups in the lounges and where the masters of the art gather to collect their strength after a long day's work in the vineyards of falsification, where Israel usually get the shaft plunged up to the hilt.

The knife has become the weapon of choice in the Palestinian war against Israeli civilians, brandished as if it were a holy scimitar of the avenging Allah. The dean of a university in Gaza characterizes this campaign of the short knives as "military operations," and urges that it be aimed at women and children.

"The Jews of Palestine are fair game today, even the women," the dean, Dr. Subhi al-Yazji, a learned doctor of Koranic studies, told an interviewer on Hamas television. "Every single Jew in Palestine is a combatant - even the children, breastfed on hatred for the Palestinian people."

Just who is promoting this villainy launched from the shadows is clear to everyone, but it's not polite in the well-behaved precincts of the West to say so. But we can be reassured, because John Kerry, the secretary of State and the grand master of moral equivalence, is on the job. He spent four hours Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin about how to "defuse" the violence. Their conversation was conducted as the knives played their deadly business in the streets.

Before they sat down Mr. Kerry made the ritual condemnation of the assault on the Jews, composed of equal parts blarney and buncombe, and bravely urged an end to "all incitement and violence." This softly worded admonition by the secretary of State naturally must include the Israelis who have done nothing but offer their Jewish flesh for the Palestinian blade. "There is no question," said Mr. Netanyahu, "that this wave of attacks is driven directly by incitement by Hamas, incitement from the Islamist movement in Israel and incitement, I am sorry to say, from President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority."

This was plain and unvarnished, what everybody knows to be true, but for reasons best known to him President Obama and his men (and women) won't say anything like that. Perhaps they have a fear of cold steel in their ribs, too. What Mr. Kerry offers is a can of diplomatic yah-yah from the archives of claptrap at the State Department:

"I come directly from several hours of conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu and I would characterize that conversation as one that gave me a cautious measure of optimism that there may be some things that may be in the next couple of days put on the table which would have an impact - I hope. I don't want to be excessive in stating that, but I am cautiously encouraged." There are a dozen lies somewhere in that thin treacle of organic gluten-free fat-added diet marshmallow, but only a diplomat could find them.

The moment cries for someone to say something real, and we get that from the secretary of State. And this: "We have to stop the incitement, we have to stop the violence." Well, duh. He said he had talked to [Mr.] Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah, who are trusted to oversee the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, source of the latest Palestinian complaining. Abbas and Abdullah have assured him of their commitment to calm. Of course they do. And if you can't trust a trusty, as a famous Southern governor caught between two fires once said, who can you trust?

The purveyors of calm work in parallel with the inciters of blood lust. This week a Jordanian teacher, of whom in other places you would expect something more, posted on the Internet a video of his 8-year-old daughter bradishing a knife, held up like a crucifix of the faith, declaring" "I want to stab a Jew."

Mr. Netanyahu, who has no fear of saying what he thinks, nevertheless caught a little flak this week in Israel for speaking of some of the dark work of those who encouraged Hitler to proceed with the Holocaust. Hitler's evil was unique, a professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem told Mr. Netanyahu, and splitting blame with others makes him a Holocaust denier. Such a "dangerous distortion" of history "downplays" the Holocaust, the leader of the opposition in the Knesset told him.

Mr. Netanyahu was making a perfectly obvious point. There was enough blame and shame for a lot of people, even including a grand mufti. But that's not diplomatic.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

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