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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

September 12, 2002

Sadam is bad, but it is all Israel's fault? British MP Peter Ainsworth writes in the Spectator this week (Sep. 14) that, yes, indeed, Sadaam is bad. Really bad. He does not obviously quibble with any of the points laid out by President Bush before the speech he made at the UN today.

However, as Ainsworth points out, he thinks we should not invade Iraq because we haven't made Israel stop oppressing the Palestinians yet:
The nub of the region’s problems lies in the miserable and continuing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. From this festering sore has poured out more than 30 years of insecurity, hatred and violence. A year ago, a tributary of this tide of grief reached Manhattan and Washington. It is reasonable to ask, therefore, what role a US-led war against Iraq would have in stemming the wound. It is by no means clear that the hawks on Capitol Hill have asked themselves this question, and even less clear that they have an answer. Would an attack on Iraq, especially one undertaken without UN approval, be more or less likely to bring about a lasting deal between Israel and the Palestinians? It is hard to imagine anything more conducive to prolonging and deepening the bitterness which already exists.


Ainsworth does not explain how Sadaam's evil behavior is driven by the "festering sore" of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Or how Bin Laden, who made the focus of his (now presumed ended) life the destruction of the U.S. and the West, was driven by the "tide of grief" from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Luckily, Ainsworth leaves the solution implicit rather than speaking his mind. He simply uses the Israel problem as a foil, to deflect any possible attack on Iraq, because it would not solve the 'root cause.'

Ainsworth's main concern is with being called unpatriotic, as he explains in his first paragraph: "As the likelihood of war grows, raising questions gets even harder. It becomes unpatriotic." He even concludes on this point: "Yes, I expect that I will be called unpatriotic."

What patriotism has to do with his argument remains unclear. I guess that is just supposed to be implied too.