Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Blood Libels

Engage posts a clip of a speech delivered by Yvonne Ridley, in which she manifests the logic, reason and sheer fantastic intensity of a mind gripped by raw hatred. She scours the barrel of antisemitic tropes to express what she no doubt calls "legitimate criticism of Israel".

Watch it here.

As I always say, what good is the cause, how worthy is its moral imperative if, in order to maintain your belief in it you resort to lies and mendacity? Seems to me that the Palestinian cause, such as it is peddled by Ridley, can only sustain its credibility by dehumanizing and criminalizing the Israelis, with a view to destroying the Jewish state. How else can you justify brutal, nihilistic terrorism and mindless violence by the constant and relentless vilification of Israel and Jews, who, btw, are rarely referred to as Israelis and Jews but by the term "Zionist"? As though Jewish polity and nationalism are an abomination.

Who is Yvonne Ridley?

Wikipaedia has some information:

Ridley has been married three times. Her first husband was Daoud Zaaroura, a former Palestine Liberation Organization officer. Zaaroura was a PLO colonel when Ridley met him in Cyprus, where she was working on an assignment for the Newcastle-based Sunday Sun. They had one daughter who was born in 1995.[1] Her third husband was Iraqi-born businessman, Ilan Roni Hermosh[2], to whom she was married until 1999.

[edit] Capture by the Taliban and conversion to Islam

Ridley came to prominence in September
2001 when she was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan whilst working for the Sunday Express. Repeatedly refused an entrance visa, she decided to follow the example of BBC reporter John Simpson, who had crossed the border anonymously in a burqa. When she was discovered without passport or visa, she was held by the authorities for 11 days. One of her captors asked her to convert; she refused, but gave her word she would read the Qur'an after her release. She said, "I was horrible to my captors. I spat at them and was rude and refused to eat. It wasn't until I was freed that I became interested in Islam."[3]

In freedom, she kept this promise, partly to find out why the Taliban treated women as they do. Reading the Qur'an she says she found no justification for the Taliban's actions, describing the holy book of Islam as a "magna carta for women!" [4]. She converted to Islam in the summer of 2003, stating that her new faith has helped put behind her three broken marriages and a reputation as the "Patsy Stone of Fleet Street." BBC News point to a popular suggestion that Ridley "is a victim of Stockholm syndrome, in which hostages take the side of the hostage-takers."[5] Ridley rejects this, however, saying "that at no time did anyone try to brainwash her."[6] In 2004, she described her journey of faith for the BBC's religion site (see A Muslim in the Family.)

I highlighted the two sentences that interested me. One, that her third husband seems to have been an Iraqi Jew (judging by his Israeli name). And two, that oddly enough, she seems to think that she owed some sort of civility to the Taliban who captured her and kept her in prison for 11 days.

Her biography seems to consist in a strange melange of unlikely facts. One wonders, have the vagaries of her life caused her to develop a twisted view of life and a pathological hatred of Jews, or was there some deep echoing vacuum void in that wretched soul that needed to suck in some meaningful substance? Yes, hatred and pathology are often the resort of the feeble-minded and cowardly bullies. Take that hatred away, and the large yawning void is back, a frightening prospect. Now where have we seen this combination of antisemitic hatred, rigid conviction and a propensity for justifying genocidal policies? Yada, yada, yada, and the rest is clear.

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