The Shalit Defining Moment

by Victor Davis Hanson

NRO’s The Corner

The Palestinians have just shown the entire world their collective values — and the result is creepy beyond belief. Every once in a while a single incident crystallizes almost everything — all the cry-of-the-heart moral equivalence, all the special pleading, all the revisionism, all the national-liberationist cant. The crude and coerced Egyptian interview of Gilad Shalit says it all. He looked emaciated and short of breath, like the old film clips of those who had just emerged from Dachau; his Egyptian inquisitor, the repulsive Shahira Amin (lately a heartthrob of the Western media, who drew praise in the past from Secretary Clinton), preened like some sort of Lady Haw-Haw reading a script from Goebbels’s Ministry of Propaganda — with a masked Hamas thug in the background, rounding out the cast, perfectly playing the part of a cowardly killer from the SS Einsatzgruppen.

As if a chorus on cue, the released killers immediately boasted that they would murder again. Then, there was the vow to kidnap more soldiers, the anger that the 1,000-to-1 ratio of exchange was not enough, the usual anti-Semitic Hitlerian communiqués boasting of “victory” over the “apes and pigs,” and the mass deification on the West Bank of freed mass killers who looked far better than did Shalit. So all that raises a question in this supposed morally equivalent conflict: Why in the world are we giving one cent in foreign aid to Palestinian groups of any sort? The entire sordid spectacle of the Shalit interview was one of the more repulsive video moments in memory — right up there with the Palestinian street’s cheering on news of 3,000 Americans murdered on 9/11. No other supposedly aggrieved clique has such a talent in moments of its jubilation and exultation for reminding the world why so many can find it so utterly repellent.

On a final practical note: Be careful for what you wish. Now the Palestinian community will at long last have their bombers in their midst and must live with the retaliatory consequences when their heroes go back to what they habitually do.

©2011 Victor Davis Hanson

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