Ilana Mercer, April 17, 2002

Besides the bodybags that accompany their Islamist beliefs, inhabitants of the totalitarian regimes that surround Israel have a habit of lying a lot. For every statement the collective Arab world issues, there is a parallel subtext. Lying – spinning tales, if you prefer a more multicultural finessing – is as much a part of Arabic culture as is baksheesh (bribery), haggling and baklava.

“Liar, liar, pants on fire!” used to pack a punch as an insult not only on the playground. In the spirit of the times, habitual lying is not the barrier to acceptance in civilized society that it used to be. The idea of truth itself is in disrepute, so why would lying pose a problem?

In a speech at Georgetown University, Bill Clinton, whose allergy to the truth needs no introduction, ventured that, “We don’t believe you can have the whole truth.” Evidently, Clinton thinks a belief in an objective truth is inimical to peace, which is why the Philosopher King of licentious liberals lumps truth absolutists in an epistemological camp with terrorists. An intransigent belief in relative truth, of course, can just as well inspire cold-blooded murder. Was it not under Clinton’s pluralistic watch that Waco transpired?

Add the general disregard for truth to the acceptance of many competing perspectives as versions of the truth and the tolerance for Arafat and his Arab League buddies becomes understandable. Perhaps the lies they spout are simply a form of these multiplying truths?

What habitual liars also seem to have going for them is counterculture chic. Graft a heady intoxication with multiculturalism onto a fascination with extreme forms of baseness and you tap into something even more primitive. Islamists are, in a manner, holding us hostage. A hostage situation is an atmosphere of heightened emotional arousal, in which “girlie boys” and silly chicks can be struck by the Patty Hearst syndrome, and can become, well, turned on to the enemy.

Does CNN’s Aaron Brown find a would-be killer like the Hamas spokesperson a “Sexy Beast”? I dunno, but Brown, who is more visceral than intelligent, sure fawns all over the Hamas hottie without ever disclaiming, “Beware, very bad man ahead.”

What’s even kinkier is President Bush’s solution to Arafat’s lies: “Give it to me in Arabic, Yasser!” Bush is calling on Arafat to “speak out in Arabic” against terror. The guy lies in English, so, unless Bush has some sort of fetish, why would he want to hear Arafat lie in Arabic?

Mistaking Palestinian military weakness for moral innocence seems to further amplify the inattention of journalists to the culture of lies.

Israel regularly intercepts Palestinian ambulances because, very plainly, some have been rigged with explosive belts, while using the time-honored Arab decoys: women and children. As the motorcade of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell sped toward Jerusalem, Israeli security was in the process of foiling an explosives-laden ambulance, on a collision course with the Powell entourage.

If a peek at Arafat’s “shahid’s” (“martyr’s”) shopping list was not as potent as a truth serum gets, the Church of the Nativity fable compensated. Hiding in the Bethlehem Church are not “Christians seeking sanctuary,” as CNN claimed, but hostage-taking Palestinian terrorists. The hostages are the Christians, members of a dwindling community, living in fear of the Muslim majority.

Breaking news we never got came from the Vatican’s Cardinal Pietro Samari. Apologizing profusely, he told the Israeli Defense Forces that a report filed by CNN’s ignoble Rula Amin, claiming Israeli soldiers had fired on the St. Mary’s Church and killed “Father Jackie” was false. Father Jack Amateis is alive.

The many small lies coalesce into larger ones.

“Cycle of violence” suggests a sequence of events that has no beginning or end. Do the media ever pause to pose the no-brainer the Edmonton Journal’s Lorne Gunter poses? “If Palestinians stopped their attacks today, tomorrow there would be no Israeli attacks. But if Israel stopped unilaterally, would you trust the Palestinians to follow?”

Another “oft-repeated Arab claim repudiated by the facts, and disproved by historical reality” is that the Israeli 1967 “occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza is the cause of Palestinian terrorism. As the “Independent Media Review and Analysis” documents:

Arab and Palestinian violence against Israel started well before 1967. In 1952, when “fedayeen” terrorist border incursions reached their height, there were about 3,000 incidents of cross-border violence, extending from the malicious destruction of property to the brutal murder of civilians. In the years 1951-1955, 503 Israelis were killed by Arab terrorists infiltrating from Jordan, 358 were killed in attacks from Egypt, and 61 were killed in attacks originating from Syria and Lebanon.

So many lies, so little space.


April 17, 2002

CATEGORIES: Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism

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