When I saw the Magna Mater Melanie was all in a tizz about this BBC story, I sighed inwardly, thinking that sometimes the Great Mother sees anti-semitism whare it don't exist.
I remember her concern when BBC Radio serialised 'Trilby' with its Jewish demi-villain. She'll just have to get used to the fact that, as the most exotic 'other' in early 20th century England, Jews often supplied the villains for a host of crime and mystery writers. Just as the English now do for Hollywood. I assume Mel's not a big Dornford Yates fan.
Then I read the BBC story again :
'Sharon vows vengeance on bombers'
'Israeli leader Ariel Sharon has ordered his forces to shatter a Palestinian militant group, after a suicide bomb killed four Israelis..."I ordered the defence establishment to increase our activity and to do as much harm as possible to the leadership of the Islamic Jihad terror organisation," Mr Sharon said in a speech near Tel Aviv."We will not leave them alone until they stop these murderous acts." '
And The Divine Ms M's take again :
The purpose of this operation is therefore to destroy the source of this terror in order to prevent more Israelis from being murdered. What Sharon has ordered is therefore an operation to defend the lives of his citizens from further attack. Yet the BBC describes this as vengeance. In BBC land, it seems, Jews aren't people like everyone else and entitled to defend themselves from being slaughtered like everyone else. Instead, they do vengeance, a stock jibe straight from the Jew-haters' manual.
Isn't it about time that someone prosecuted the BBC for incitement to racial hatred ?
Now, I thought - hold on a minute. While there's no doubt that the BBC, along with the rest of the post-Soviet left, is institutionally anti-semitic, surely in this case their skin is clean. Take a look at these 31 examples of the BBC reporting Hamas or other Palestinian calls for 'revenge' on Israel.
Now 'revenge' is at least as negative a word as 'vengeance', and it has also been used to describe a Jew's attitude. But the point of the passage is to show that Jews are like, not unlike, other people.
Hath not a Jew eyes ? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions ? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is ? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh ? if you poison us, do we not die ? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
And 'vengeance' is used by the highest authorities.
Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord; I will repay.
Then I read them again. And realised that while Hamas actually was vowing revenge, Mr Sharon didn't use the word 'vengeance' at all.
"I ordered the defence establishment to increase our activity and to do as much harm as possible to the leadership of the Islamic Jihad terror organisation," Mr Sharon said in a speech near Tel Aviv.
"We will not leave them alone until they stop these murderous acts."
I see no call for vengeance - just an elected politician performing what is the first duty of any leader - defending his people from outside attack. When there is no need to protect people ('until' is the key word) Israeli action will stop.
When Blair and various policemen vowed to catch the London bombers, the BBC didn't headline it 'Blair vows vengeance'.
Maybe Melanie's got a point after all.