Last night I had the pleasure of attending a lecture in Jerusalem by British journalist Melanie Phillips. In a world turned upside down where right is wrong and wrong is right, it was a pleasure to listen to this courageous and intelligent woman. Despite the intense pressure against her in England, she refuses to buckle under and continues to speak the truth and defend Israel against those who try indefatigably to delegitimize the Jewish State.
Amongst her many gems was a comment she made on the proliferation of moral relativism and the difficulty it places on anyone trying to fight the blatant lies and fabrications which are constantly used in the war against Israel. Rather astutely she stated that if according to moral relativism there are no absolute truths then logically it follows that there are no absolute lies. This insightful comment alone made the whole night worthwhile.
Of particular significance, she said that the only answer is for more and more people to publicly speak the truth. Of course the problem with this, as she mentioned, is that after years of repeated lies and propaganda by the Arabs and their supporters, many people including lots of Jews simply do not know the truth. Worst of all, as she correctly pointed out, is that even in Israel itself most of the leaders, ever fearful of rocking the boat, publicly refrain from speaking the truth. Unfortunately such complacent behavior in the face of outright lies and fabrications only lends a sense of legitimacy to the spurious claims that are hurled at Israel on a daily basis.
Overall, it was truly an interesting evening. The one drawback however, outside of the fact that there was no air-conditioning in the stuffy packed house, was the fact that there were no questions following her lecture. This was a real shame because I had a serious question to something she commented upon not once but twice.
At two separate points she stopped in mid-sentence to clarify that despite what she was saying she didn’t want anyone to infer from her words that she supports Israel having full sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria and that in the future some land might need to be given away as part of a negotiated settlement.
My unanswered question is how can someone as brave and intelligent as Melanie Phillips even entertain such thoughts?
I have no doubt that on every angle she knows that justice and truth are in Israel’s corner. I’m sure she knows of the Jewish people’s connection to the Land of Israel from the historic/religious perspective. At the same time, I have no doubt that she is intimately aware of the “Palestinian narrative” that has been cleverly weaved over the last few decades. From the legal side, I’m sure that the Mandate for Palestine and the San Remo Conference are household terms and that British duplicity during the whole period is common knowledge to her. The same I’m sure can be said regarding UNRWA and its role in perpetuating a decades-long humanitarian crisis for the Arabs who fled in 1948, some voluntarily and some by force, and how this issue is hypocritically exploited against Israel, especially given the fact that roughly the same amount of Jews were thrown out of their homes in Arab countries after 1948 and then were, like all other refugees in the world, resettled in another country.
Moreover, nearly one hundred years of incessant Arab violence against the Jews and the repeated refusal for any compromise that will allow for the existence of a Jewish state of any size, are surely not the type of facts that are overlooked by such an intelligent and honest woman.
For all of the above reasons plus a whole lot more, I simply cannot understand how she could even consider the creation of an Arab state in Judea and Samaria since such an entity will certainly bring more instability to an already unstable region and will undoubtedly pose a threat to the continued existence of a reduced and vulnerable State of Israel.
I don’t mean to besmirch the woman since she is a tremendous asset, not only to the Jewish people but also for the larger cause of truth and justice. I just wish I could have posed my question to her.