The Corner

Rhetorical Device

Speaking on the BBC’s flagship morning show, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, former British Ambassador to the UN, explains that the Hamas kill-the-Jews routine is nothing to worry about:

They are not intent on the destruction of Israel. That’s a rhetorical statement of resistance and not part of their programme.

It’s like an Obama pledge to close Gitmo or withdraw from Iraq — just part of the meaningless banter of public discourse, but nothing that’s going to happen anytime soon. The rhetoric’s certainly catchy, though. Here’s a “pro-Palestinian” demonstration from Copenhagen:

Vi vil gerne dræbe alle jøderne verden over, alle jøder skal dræbes.

My Danish is a little rusty but I think that translates to: “We want to kill all the Jews, all Jews should be killed.*” Still, you don’t have to know the lingo to get the first part, helpfully chanted in English:

Down down, democracy!

Indeed. Sir Jeremy compares what’s going on in Gaza to the Northern Ireland “troubles”, and boasts about having introduced Hamas officials to Sinn Fein (the IRA’s political wing). That seems to be paying off. A reader in Ulster sends along this story from The Belfast Newsletter:

A mob of around 20 demonstrators tried to trash the Sea Spa store at Castle Court in Belfast city centre to denounce Israel’s blitz on Gaza.

Waving Palestinian flags and chucking hundreds of protest leaflets, members of republican group Eirigi chanted “boycott Israeli goods” before they were muscled away by security guards, police and staff from surrounding shops.

There was an oft-told joke from the Seventies about a terrorist seizing some guy in a back alley in Belfast and demanding to know if he was a Catholic or a Protestant. “I’m a Jew.” “A Catholic Jew or a Protestant Jew?” Presumably these store clerks were Protestant Jews.

Meanwhile, in downtown Calgary, the neo-Nazi Aryan Guard get the prestigious second place in the “pro-Palestinian” parade. Presumably, they just dig the rhetoric, too.

[*UPDATE: A Danish reader points out that I missed out a word, and suggests: “We would love to kill all Jews worldwide, all Jews shall be killed.”]  

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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