Western appeasement of anti-Israel fanatics threatens to hand victory to axis of evil

Feb 12, 2024 by

by Jake Wallis Simons, Telegraph:

As Israel tackles the enemy at the gates, the West is in a state of deep sleep.

Almost five decades ago, following a seminal visit to Israel in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, the American novelist Saul Bellow wondered whether there wasn’t one Israel but two.

The first Israel, he wrote, was next to “insignificant”. Accounting for less than a quarter of a per cent of the Middle East, with a population of three million in a region that was home to 75 times that number, it was both territorially and demographically negligible.

While the Vietnam War, from which the United States withdrew that same year, had claimed millions of lives, the total deaths on both sides in all of Israel’s wars amounted to about 67,000. This blip on the world stage was the Israel of reality.

The second Israel, he wrote, was a phantasm of the imagination. As the umbilical cord of Western civilisation and the foundation stone of Christendom, Israel, alongside classical Greece, formed the wellspring of our morality and the template for our sensibilities and cultural richness.

It also functioned as catnip for anti-Semites, who have always both fetishised Jews as the string-pulling chosen people and despised them as the lowly killers of Christ, a dynamic that persists to this day with smears like “Zionist lobby” and “genocide”.

As Bellow inimitably put it: “The mental Israel is immense, a country inestimably important, playing a major role in the world, as broad as all history and perhaps as deep as sleep.”

Since he wrote those words, the Jewish state has undergone an economic miracle, added a further six million people to its population and become a regional military superpower. But its reality remains relatively small. Until October last year, for example, its total combat deaths over 75 years had risen to 86,000; still far fewer than, say, the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in three years when we joined the invasion of Iraq.

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