Thursday, November 18, 2004

The moral sickness of the world

Melanie Phillips

The degradation and corruption of British and western society, not to mention the United Nations, are now on sickening display for all with eyes to see from the disgusting response to the death of Arafat. This man, the godfather of modern terrorism, who caused the deaths of thousands of souls, who preached death and destruction towards the Jews, who terrorised and swindled the Palestinian Arabs he purported to lead and kept them trapped in penury, servitude and squalour, is being feted in death as a world statesman. The Jerusalem Post reports that the UN lowered its flag to half-mast, while UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was 'deeply moved' by the news, according to a UN statement, and he 'conveyed his condolences to Suha Arafat and the Palestinian people'.

'President Arafat will always be remembered for having led the Palestinians, back in 1988, to accept the principle of peaceful coexistence between Israel and a future Palestinian state," the UN statement said. "It is tragic that he did not live to see it

'Peaceful coexistence'? From the man who spearheaded barbaric acts of mass murder against the Israelis until the end? 'Tragic' that he did not live to see a Palestinian state, when Arafat was the man who turned it down in 2000? What kind of madness is this?

French President Chirac was as usual genuflecting before terror:

'French President Jacques Chirac visited the Percy military hospital to bid a final farewell to Arafat, whose body was to be flown to Cairo later in the day."I came to bow before president Yasser Arafat and pay him a final homage," he said after the 25-minute visit, pledging France would continue to work for Middle East peace.'

While Nelson Mandela showed his true colours as an enemy of decency:

'Yasser Arafat was one of the outstanding freedom fighters of this generation, one who gave his entire life to the cause of the Palestinian people,' said former South African president Nelson Mandela in a statement.

And then let us not forget our own pygmy Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, who on the Today programme (8.10 am) yesterday shockingly and unbelievably called 'President' Arafat a 'towering figure', said it was difficult to imagine the Middle East without him and announced that he would be representing the Britsh government at his funeral. Since when did the British government feel the need to represent itself at the funeral of a mass murderer? How can Tony Blair pose as a noble defender of civilised values against terror when his government honours in this way one of the world's principal terrorists?

On National Review Online, Tom Gross expresses revulsion at the moral corruption of such responses:

'Yet until the very end, some prominent Western journalists never stopped heaping praise on him, or covering up for his countless crimes and misdeeds. It didn't matter how many Jews, Arabs, and others died on his orders, or how many times he let down his own people, or stole from them. For these journalists, as well as for many European governments, he remained a worthy Nobel peace-prize winner and the "sole legitimate representative" of the Palestinian people. To judge by some of the reporting as he lay on his deathbed in Paris — the hushed tone of the television newsreaders, the flattering touched-up portrait photos on the cover of the London Times — Arafat was a figure who deserved to be deeply revered, a kind of ailing pope. There was little mention of the fact that he played a central role in the growth of modern terrorism, and continued to instigate it until the end. That his hijacking of airplanes inspired al Qaeda, that he ruined the modern Olympics by gunning down athletes, that he had a wheelchair-bound American pensioner shot and thrown into the Mediterranean, or that the PLO's massacre of 21 young Israeli children in their school pre-dated Beslan.'

The reaction of the free world to Arafat's death, along with the opprobium heaped daily upon his victims in Israel, illustrates the decadence that now rewards evil and punishes those whom it terrorises. It is a horrifying indication of a world that has simply lost its fundamental understanding of right and wrong. All who value life, liberty and justice should take careful note and shudder at this moral -- and mortal -- sickness. This is the way a civilisation dies.