The death of five Israeli servicemen in a helicopter crash in Romania this week raised scarcely a headline.You get that? Fisk is saying, sarcastically, that Hamas is more moral than Israel by over a hundredfold because of the casualties of Operation Cast Lead, a war that Hamas started! As if Cast Lead occurred in a vacuum, where Israel just decided out of the blue to slaughter 300 children for no reason whatsoever. Rockets, terror, Shalit, weapons tunnels, not to mention years of suicide bombings - nope, none of that is in Fisk's calculus of blame.
There was a Nato-Israeli exercise in progress. Well, that's OK then. Now imagine the death of five Hamas fighters in a helicopter crash in Romania this week. We'd still be investigating this extraordinary phenomenon. Now mark you, I'm not comparing Israel and Hamas. Israel is the country that justifiably slaughtered more than 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza 19 months ago – more than 300 of them children – while the vicious, blood-sucking and terrorist Hamas killed 13 Israelis (three of them soldiers who actually shot each other by mistake).
But there is one parallel. Judge Richard Goldstone, the eminent Jewish South African judge, decided in his 575-page UN inquiry into the Gaza bloodbath that both sides had committed war crimes – he was, of course, quite rightly called "evil" by all kinds of justifiably outraged supporters of Israel in the US, his excellent report rejected by seven EU governments – and so a question presents itself. What is Nato doing when it plays war games with an army accused of war crimes?
Or, more to the point, what on earth is the EU doing when it cosies up to the Israelis? In a remarkable, detailed – if slightly over-infuriated – book to be published in November, the indefatigable David Cronin is going to present a microscopic analysis of "our" relations with Israel. I have just finished reading the manuscript. It leaves me breathless. As he says in his preface, "Israel has developed such strong political and economic ties to the EU over the past decade that it has become a member state of the union in all but name." Indeed, it was Javier Solana, the grubby top dog of the EU's foreign policy (formerly Nato secretary general), who actually said last year that "Israel, allow me to say, is a member of the European Union without being a member of the institution".
Pardon me? Did we know this? Did we vote for this? Who allowed this to happen?
Fisk then outdoes himself, implicitly blaming Israel for Afghan casualties!
Israel, by the way, has been praised for its "logistics" help to Nato in Afghanistan – where we are annually killing even more Afghans than the Israelis usually kill Palestinians – which is not surprising since Israel military boss Gabi Ashkenazi has visited Nato headquarters in Brussels to argue for closer ties with Nato.The Israeli Chief of Staff visited NATO only a few months ago. Yet Fisk wants to retroactively blame Afghani civilian deaths on his visit in March? (Forgetting the fact that Israeli logistics is almost certainly being used to reduce civilian casualties by NATO, not to increase them - another perversion that Fisk purposefully ignores in his zeal to demonize and delegitimize Israel.)
Fisk doesn't go down this path of extreme illogic, because if he did, he would find himself tied in a rhetorical knot that would upset his focused anti-Israel agenda.
If NATO is killing more Afghanis than Israel is killing Palestinian Arabs, and if the definition of immorality is a pure death count, then isn't NATO more guilty of war crimes than Israel is? And if it is, then why is Israel's participation in NATO any more objectionable than, say, Great Britain's? Why is he not campaigning to have British generals arrested as war criminals? Why is he not saying that Hamas, by only killing a handful of Israelis in a three week period in 2009, is more moral than his own country and continent? Why is he not calling on Israel to arrest NATO leaders when they visit the comparatively moral state of Israel, using his own definition of immoral?
If he was to be consistent, that would be the logical outcome of his fevered thesis. But since his target is Israel, he would rather try to imply that somehow Israel is behind NATO's "immoral" war against the Taliban, and somehow the Europeans are helpless victims of a sophisticated "Zionist" mind control game that only he is wise enough to see through. That's why deaths by NATO are not the EU's fault - because the sinister Zionists are really the ones behind those deaths as well.
No, Hamas would be a better partner for the EU and NATO. Let's throw Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad into the mix as well. After all, when all is said and done, only one entity is truly immoral in Fisk's mind, and the facts must be twisted in whatever way necessary to make sure that the world understands his deep wisdom.