Kevin Myers: It seems we are very selective about what makes us angry in this country
WELL, that was a very revealing week. Had I called Uganda a "cancer" after the revelations about missing Irish Aid money there, by now, I'd be hanging from my thumbs, while the various press-quangoes consulted Torquemada on how to deal with heretics, and numerous columnists would be sharpening their blades on my ribcage.
Instead, Vincent Browne called Israel a cancer, refused to apologise, and the affair -- such as it was -- was over by the weekend. As far as I can see, neither 'The Irish Times', 'The Sunday Times' nor the 'Sunday Independent' even mentioned the story.
To stigmatise an entire nation as a "cancer" is to declare that it has no redeeming features, which remained Browne's position until he partially retracted on Sunday.
The accompanying silence probably means that most politicians and media-people are either scared of Browne or privately agree with him. And what do you do with cancers? Do you negotiate with them? Or do you zap them into extinction?
Uganda was simultaneously making a laughing stock of us. Its air force is taking delivery of another squadron of Mach 2 Sukhoi maritime strike aircraft, even as it gobbles up €32m in aid from us annually, with a few million (here or there) going missing.
Yesterday, though, there was talk of the Ugandans paying us restitution
The response when I revealed the initial €670m aircraft sale to the Ugandan air force just over a year ago? Nothing: as in, "Let's not be beastly to the Africans" -- even though just one Sukhoi is probably worth more than our entire Air Corps.
This is idiocy crossbred with moral cowardice, and the gibbering offspring that results is then mated with brainless supinity.
So what did Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore say to President Museveni when they met earlier this year? He simply expressed concern over the possibility of new anti-gay laws in Uganda.
Which reminds me: which is the only country in the entire Middle East to allow homosexual acts? Yes; cancerous old Israel. Just about everywhere else, you get a wall shoved on you by a bulldozer. Browne's diatribe -- if his incoherent drivel merits such a lofty term -- included the allegation that Israel "stole the land from the Arabs". Only partly true. Vast tracts of land were bought from Arabs by early Zionist settlers, and funded by the Eretz Yisrael Office.
Much the same is true of settlements in the West Bank. To be sure, some atrocious things happened in 1948, and many Arabs were intimidated into flight. But that is nearly 65 years ago: as much time as elapsed between the Battle of Little Big Horn and Pearl Harbour. Who would have proposed in 1941 that Montana and the Dakotas should be given back to the Cheyenne and Lacota Indians?
The Arabs who fled Israel were not then assimilated into the populations of neighbouring Arab states, but were confined in refugee camps, which remain to this day.
Compare roughly contemporaneous events in Pakistan and India, where 14 million people fled in waves of terror and mass-murder that dwarfed events in Israel.
Refugees were then incorporated into the lives of both new states. And in 1945, millions of ethnic Germans were expelled from Eastern Europe and were duly assimilated into the Federal Republic of Germany.
In other words, bad things happened: so get on with it. But the one ethnic group that cherishes a grievance, and picks at the scab until it is an open and weeping abscess and finally, yes, cancerous, are Israel's Arab neighbours, who have ruthlessly used the Palestinian refugees as a propaganda tool in their existential war against the Jewish state.
And very successfully too: it seems scarcely believable, with Syria vanishing into a murderous abyss and Egypt and Libya both about to become Islamist theocracies, but it is true: yet another anti-Israeli boat arrived off Gaza just the other day.
Yes Gaza, where Hamas celebrated its accession to power by massacring its fellow Palestinians of Fatah. Wounded survivors fled to Israel for treatment, and of course, were given it -- and no, you couldn't make that up either.
Israel is 20pc smaller than Munster, and as events in Sudan last week confirm, the entire Islamic world is now girding itself to mount a major war against it. And guess what: who do most Irish people empathise with -- those nasty carcinogenic Jews, or the vast landmass of peace-loving Islamists around them?
It would almost be funny, but it's not. The pathetic, conformist, sanctimonious consensus triumphs yet again in Ireland, where a meeting of closed minds is considered an informed agreement.
Thus we ignore the real cancer, the metastasing tumour of Islamo-Nazism, now spreading into sub-Saharan Africa, Mali and Nigeria especially.