(Meeting the Jabberwocky)
We have on numerous occasions exposed the vile anti-Israel prejudice of Allister Sparks, one of South Africa’s leading journalists. He has just returned from a ‘refresher visit’ to the Middle East and will be littering major South African newspapers for weeks with his avant-garde anti-Israel
insights incites. The first, his glowing impressions of the Hamas leadership in Damascus, was published yesterday in all Independent Group newspapers across the country. (No link for now)
On reading this piece, one can be forgiven for thinking that Allister Sparks fell down a rabbit hole and landed up in a distorted parallel Middle East, not unlike Lewis Carol’s Alice. His adventure began in the terrorist wonderland of Damascus which is now home to more than 10 internationally outlawed groups. So spellbound was Allister Sparks, by this ‘venerable’ city (portraying it as a historical model of inter-religious co-existence) that he missed the fact that today it is controlled by one of the most oppressive regimes on earth.
After some pleasant sightseeing, Allister Sparks met with Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy chairman of Hamas’ Damascus Politburo. Sparks’ describes Musa Abu Marzouk as a ‘softly spoken intellectual with a warm manner and a sharp mind’. So taken was Mr Sparks with Musa Abu Marzouk’s ‘polished urbanity’ that he likened him to a young Thabo Mbeki during his exile in London.
Musa Abu Marzouk is in fact the chief Hamas fundraiser for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and there is a warrant out for his arrest in the United States for engaging in terrorist activities. To compare this racist and cold blooded murderer to President Mbeki is beyond delusional. It is in fact an insidious assault on everything the ANC and the new South Africa stand for. No South African should allow Mr Sparks to get away with this disgraceful comparison. (See here for a rebuttal.)
Mr Sparks’ demented imagination also allows him to transform Hamas, a fanatical Islamist terrorist organisation, into a secular liberal national liberation movement. He makes much of superficial things like Musa Abu Marzouk’s well spoken English and Phd from an American university to downplay his radical Islamist credentials. Mr Spark’s experienced journalistic eye observed that in the Hamas headquarters ‘there were none of the flowing white dishdash that are ubiquitious in the Middle East. Marzouk wore a black suit while everyone else was dressed causally.’ Thus concludes Mr Sparks that ‘Palestinians are the most secular of the Arab peoples’.
Nevertheless, Mr Sparks’ greatest distortion of Middle Eastern reality is his portrayal of Hamas as a pragmatic Palestinian peace partner. He depicts Hamas’ proposal of a total Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 armistice line in exchange for a temporary truce (not peace) in their struggle for all of Palestine as a bold Palestinian concession that could lead to a final settlement of the conflict. He makes no mention of the fact that Hamas since taking office has not made the slightest moderation in their extremist positions. They have both in words and in deeds continuously said no to recognition, no to stopping terrorism and no to adhering to previous agreements.
Israeli government officials, on the other hand, have been traveling the world promoting a major Israeli withdrawal from much of the West bank. But all this escapes Mr Sparks. His twisted worldview only allows him to believe what Marzouk explained to him with a sigh that “the Israelis are not responding”.
If you step through the looking glass into Mr Spark’s Middle East, you find that Hamas is a Zionist created Jabberwocky. Its racist rhetoric and murderous deeds are mere figments of our imagination. And the best way to slay it is not to defeat it militarily but just to announce that it does not really exist.
Unfortunately for us Jews we don’t have the luxury of living in Allister Sparks’ wonderland.
(Photo cred: Matt Jones)