Here's a curious piece from a Canadian columnist called Theo Caldwell:
"Over the past few weeks, I... have written about Sakineh Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to death by stoning in Iran for the crime of 'adultery'. The good news is that folks from all walks of life and political persuasions have rallied to Ashtiani's cause. The strange news is, some still suppose Israel is the problem. You can extrapolate the Ashtiani case to any number of issues - the growing danger of Iran, the cruelty of Sharia law, the misogyny of Islamic regimes - but even if you spend a paragraph, as I did last week, pointing out Israel is irrelevant to the topic, that's still the part that gets people animated. Every public opinion engenders some measure of response, and there are those who perceive hypocrisy whenever one injustice is given press rather than another. They'll complain, 'I notice you didn't write about the expulsion of the Acadians' or 'the theft of the Elgin Marbles' or whatever. But as a reliable tangent and an object of anger, the Jewish state stands alone." (Anger over Israel floods other frustrations, Toronto Sun, 22/7/10)
Poor old Theo. Why is everyone constantly at him over Palestine?
Maybe, just maybe, it's because he's the kind of guy who, as the people of Gaza were being bombed, shelled, incinerated and otherwise disposed of by the Israel Offence Forces in 2008/2009, could write:
"Quite reasonably one might ask about the plight of Palestinian children, and it is a cruel irony that they are victims of the same violence [He's referring to Palestinian suicide bombings]. If only the grown-ups influencing them placed the same priority on barring hatred from their hearts. Instead, they are inculcated with perverse histories and vicious notions of murder and martyrdom from their earliest years... [On the other hand] even as they live in the shadow of death, [Israelis] teach their children to love life." ('How do I raise my children not to hate?' Toronto Sun, 14/1/09)
OK... It's great that Theo's taken up Sakineh's cause, but the above words sort of raise a few questions about where exactly he's coming from, no?
I wonder how he'd respond to Israeli kids, inculcated with perverse histories and vicious notions of murder and Jewish supremicism, attempting to murder a Palestinian kid by stoning:
"I had never been a witness to attempted murder - but that is exactly what a gang of youths from the [Israeli settler] outpost 'Tal Yam' tried to do to Hilal Majaida [a 16-year-old Palestinian resident of the village of Mouasi in the Gaza Strip] yesterday. All of us - media personnel, the army, the police - at first saw these youths as a gang of harmless brats and the word 'summer camp' was repeated again and again in reports. The IDF and police had hoped the matter would die down, but these 'campers' were bent on murder. 'He's Arab - we have to kill him', 'Hakam Lehorgeha, Hashkem Lehorgo' (If someone tries to kill you, rise up and kill him first) was the explanation they gave. These youths, with an average age of 15 or under, didn't see a problem with throwing large stones point blank at the head of a young man lying unconscious. Four or five stones had already missed his head when we, a few journalists, tried to intervene, screaming at them that he was injured, that they should let him be. However, they just laughed and threw another large stone which struck his head. Only then did we pull ourselves together, and begin dragging him away, with the settler youths attacking us from the rear. Someone alerted a paramedic; I do not know his name, though I do know he's a resident of Gush Katif. He wavered for 20 seconds or so over whether or not to treat Hilal while the attackers yelled, 'If you treat him, we'll kill you too'. He turned away with an embarrassed look and left. The injured boy just lay there, his face covered in blood, losing consciousness. He was eventually taken to the hospital in Khan Yunis." (Adapted from I saw youths with murder in their eyes, I saw a paramedic abandon someone wounded, Nir Hasson, Haaretz, 30/6/05, kibush.co.il)