Jewish Journal

For Shame!

The world forgets the past and turns its back on the Jews.

by Oriana Fallaci

Posted on May. 9, 2002 at 8:00 pm

I find it shameful that in Italy there should be a procession of individuals dressed as suicide bombers who spew vile abuse at Israel, hold up photographs of Israeli leaders on whose foreheads they have drawn the swastika, incite people to hate the Jews. And who, in order to see Jews once again in the extermination camps, in the gas chambers, in the ovens of Dachau and Mauthausen and Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen et cetera, would sell their own mother to a harem.

I find it shameful that the Catholic Church should permit a bishop, one with lodgings in the Vatican no less, a saintly man who was found in Jerusalem with an arsenal of arms and explosives hidden in the secret compartments of his sacred Mercedes, to participate in a procession and plant himself in front of a microphone to thank, in the name of God, the suicide bombers who massacre the Jews in pizzerias and supermarkets. To call them "martyrs who go to their deaths as to a party."

I find it shameful that in France, the France of liberty-equality-fraternity, they burn synagogues, terrorize Jews, profane their cemeteries. I find it shameful that the youth of Holland, Germany and Denmark flaunt the kaffiyeh just as Mussolini's avant-garde used to flaunt the club and the fascist badge.

I find it shameful that in nearly all the universities of Europe, Palestinian students sponsor and nurture anti-Semitism. That in Sweden they asked that the Nobel Peace Prize given to Shimon Peres in 1994 be taken back and conferred on the dove with the olive branch in his mouth that is on Yasser Arafat. I find it shameful that the distinguished members of the committee, a committee that (it would appear) rewards political color rather than merit, should take this request into consideration and even respond to it. In hell, the Nobel Prize honors he who does not receive it.

I find it shameful (we're back in Italy) that state-run television stations contribute to the resurgent anti-Semitism, crying only over Palestinian deaths while playing down Israeli deaths, glossing over them in unwilling tones. I find it shameful that in their debates they host with much deference the scoundrels with turban or kaffiyeh who yesterday sang hymns to the slaughter at New York, and today sing hymns to the slaughters at Jerusalem, at Haifa, at Netanya, at Tel Aviv.

I find it shameful that the press does the same. That it is indignant because Israeli tanks surround the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, that it is not indignant because inside that same church 200 Palestinian terrorists, well-armed with machine guns and munitions and explosives (among them are various leaders of Hamas and Al-Aqsa), are not unwelcome guests of the monks (who then accept bottles of mineral water and jars of honey from the soldiers of those tanks).

I find it shameful that, in giving the number of Israelis killed since the beginning of the second intifada (412), a noted daily newspaper found it appropriate to underline in capital letters that more people are killed in their traffic accidents (600 a year).

I find it shameful that the Roman Observer, the newspaper of the Pope -- a Pope who not long ago left in the Western Wall a letter of apology for the Jews -- accuses extermination of a people who were exterminated in the millions by Christians. By Europeans. I find it shameful that this same newspaper denies to the survivors of that people (survivors who still have numbers tattooed on their arms) the right to react, to defend themselves, to not be exterminated again.

I find it shameful that in the name of Jesus Christ (a Jew without whom they would all be unemployed), the priests of our parishes or social centers or whatever they are, flirt with the assassins of those in Jerusalem who cannot go to eat a pizza or buy some eggs without being blown up.

I find it shameful that they are on the side of the very ones who inaugurated terrorism, killing us on airplanes, in airports, at the Olympics and who today entertain themselves by killing Western journalists. By shooting them, abducting them, cutting their throats, decapitating them.

I find it shameful that almost all of the left, the left that 20 years ago permitted one of its union processionals to deposit a coffin (as a Mafioso warning) in front of the synagogue of Rome, forgets the contribution made by the Jews to the fight against fascism.

I find it shameful that in part through the fault of the left -- or rather, primarily through the fault of the left (think of the left that inaugurates its congresses applauding the representative of the PLO, the leader in Italy of the Palestinians who wants the destruction of Israel) -- that Jews in Italian cities are once again afraid. And in French cities and Dutch cities and Danish cities and German cities, it is the same.

I find it shameful that in obedience to the stupid, vile, dishonest, and, for them, extremely advantageous fashion of political correctness, the usual opportunists -- or better the usual parasites -- exploit the word "peace." That in the name of the word "peace" -- by now more debauched than the words "love" and "humanity" -- they absolve one side alone of its hate and bestiality. That in the name of a pacifism (read conformism) delegated to the singing crickets and buffoons who used to lick Pol Pot's feet, they incite people who are confused or ingenuous or intimidated. Trick them, corrupt them, carry them back a half-century to the time of the yellow star on the coat.

I find it shameful that many Italians and many Europeans have chosen as their standard-bearer, the gentleman (or so it is polite to say) Arafat. This nonentity who thanks to the money of the Saudi royal family plays the Mussolini ad perpetuum, and in his megalomania believes he will pass into history as the George Washington of Palestine.

I find it shameful and see in all this the rise of a new fascism, a new nazism. A fascism, a nazism, that is much more grim and revolting because it is conducted and nourished by those who hypocritically pose as do-gooders, progressives, communists, pacifists, Catholics or rather Christians, and who have the gall to label as a warmonger anyone like me who screams the truth. I see it, yes, and I say the following: I have never been tender with the tragic and Shakespearean figure Ariel Sharon. ("I know you've come to add another scalp to your necklace," he murmured almost with sadness when I went to interview him in 1982.) I have often had disagreements with the Israelis, ugly ones, and in the past I have defended the Palestinians a great deal. Maybe more than they deserved. But I stand with Israel, I stand with the Jews.

I stand just as I stood as a young girl during the time when I fought with them, and when the Anna Maria were shot. I defend their right to exist, to defend themselves, to not let themselves be exterminated a second time. And disgusted by the anti-Semitism of many Italians, of many Europeans, I am ashamed of this shame that dishonors my country and Europe. At best, it is not a community of states, but a pit of Pontius Pilates. And even if all the inhabitants of this planet were to think otherwise, I would continue to think so.

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