It's good to be home, this is one thing that never changes.
The main good news I heard during the trip abroad was, of course, return of Gilad Shalit. And, even if I am late with it, allow me to say that: no matter what disadvantages and new problems the Shalit exchange deal created, there was one major victory rarely mentioned by the myriad of talking heads deriding the deal: IDF was waiting for that outcome. The message that the Shalit's return home sent to soldiers is a shot in the arm for people who protect Israel.
Saying this, however, I cannot deny the problems created by exchange deals of this kind (without going into much bandied details). Only it will be unfair to blame the current government - after all, it inherited the Shalit issue and most of its solution's parameters from the previous one, and the fact that Israel abandoned its own policy of never talking to terrorists many years ago couldn't be in all fairness placed at Bibi's doorstep. Whatever issues Shalit deal reopened, it is far from being the first (or last) one of the kind.
Now to the talking heads. There were many opinions on the Shalit deal - from positive to most negative. Of course, the most outrageous one was the outstandingly antisemitic piece by Deborah Orr, where she infamously said about the exchange:
All this, I fear, is simply an indication of how inured the world has become to the obscene idea that Israeli lives are more important than Palestinian lives.I don't have to expand on the scandal itself: Honest Reporting have done the job, not forgetting to reflect on Orr's travesty of an apology. Clearly Ms Orr doesn't even understand (or is artfully playing stupid) what she has said to provoke such fury.
Obscene indeed, but not in the sense Ms Orr intended.
The Deborah Orr affair ignited such an outburst of justified fury that even without continuous access to the Internet I was able to catch some signs of it. But let's be truthful with ourselves: the antisemitic declaration is news neither for The Guardian nor for Deborah Orr. The latter has proved it quite a lot of time ago:
"Anti-Semitism is disliking all Jews, anywhere, and anti-Zionism is just disliking the existence of Israel and opposing those who support it," explains Orr. "This may be an academic rather than a practical distinction, and one which has no connection with holding the honest view that in my experience Israel is shitty and little."This was in 2001...
But then, close to the end of that vacation, I have stumbled on an article that, frankly, leaves Deborah Orr standing in so many dimensions that I don't know where to start. The article is titled:
Shalit deal reveals Israel's superiority complex
It appears, of all places, in an Israeli newspaper - Haaretz, about ten days after the piece by Ms Orr. It is written by an Israeli, one Alon Idan. And it is as antisemitic as the Der Stürmer editor's wet dream.
The following quote conveys the essence of the long and rambling piece (but you might as well read the whole):
The equation inherent in Gilad Shalit's release is a trivial by-product of market economics that features the price of a Jew and the price of an Arab, according to how these values are rated by the wealthy buy-side, the Israelis. This is the capitalism seen in the cottage cheese controversy, only this time it features human beings. Its racist foundations are exploited by the oppressed side to gain bargaining power.Yep. Even Ms Orr, who doesn't hide her "anti-Israeli" sentiments, stopped short of saying what she thinks loud and clear. Not so with Alon Idan.
In Idan's case his virulent eruption of Jewish antisemitism is mitigated by his own stupidity and inconsistency. Googling for his articles reveals another "gem" on Gilad Shalit's issue, written several months before. In this piece he complains volubly about the unwillingness of the right-wing government to pay the asking price for Shalit's release:
The shame is being papered over with the gush of energy now being put into the pyrotechnics and choreography that are going into marking the event as a colossal tragedy in a spectacular way. This is done as compensation for the lack of real desire to "pay any price" and for the inability to admit it.And who are the real "freedom fighters", the only people who care about Shalit? You got it:
...the left is in favor of releasing Shalit, the right is against it, and the center says it's in favor but acts against it. Everyone denies that the Shalit issue follows the traditional political blueprint, because Israelis feel ashamed before the Shalit family.Enough for now. What surprised me, though, was the contrast between the outcry about Ms Orr's piece and lack of thereof re Alon Idan. Strange, that.
Update: Apparently colleague Elder of Ziyon published two posts on the subject. And, apparently, I have mirrored the contents. Hat tip: Peter.