Kevin Myers: It is as if the authors of Israeli policy are using an unpublished Ludlum plot to chart state policy
'I like Jews, it's Israelis I can't stand," is a common enough sentiment amongst Irish people who have probably never met an Israeli in their lives. This is the one great bien-pensant bigotry that may dare speak its name in Irish life. Can you imagine that kind of witless sentiment about any other group being tolerated in polite society? Yet not merely is knee-jerk anti-Israeliness a norm in Irish life, it is a passport into "acceptable" society. If you sneer at Israel and Israelis, you must therefore be politically sound. I am reluctant to call this anti-Semitism, because it is a grossly over-used term; yet what other word suffices? No other people will adduce the visceral denunciations that the name Israel instantly achieves.
For sure, Hamas will never provoke the same response, though there is barely a more terrible political movement anywhere. Its own charter defines it. "(Hamas) believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered (or) given up. There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavours . . . the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. Their plan is embodied in the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion', and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying."
This is the gibberish that the people of Gaza have electorally-endorsed in Hamas. And that, in turn, is the movement that destroyed the Oslo accords and launched the Second Intifada. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, as the world demanded and its reward has been an endless reign of rocket terror on its border towns. And when Israel replies in kind (even though it phoned warnings to thousands of Palestinians in advance to take cover) it is accused of being a terror state.