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Mad Dog Englishmen
An extraordinary court case recently occurred in England. Five men were on trial in England for causing $275,000 of damage, back in July 2009, to an arms factory that was supplying parts to the IDF. The men admitted to causing the damage, but said that it was for the purpose of preventing Israeli war crimes in Gaza. The judge told the jury that Israel was indeed committing war crimes, but asked them to put their emotions aside as they think about scenes in Gaza "which one would rather have hoped to have disappeared with the Nazi regimes." The men were acquitted. (See here, here and here for details and op-eds, and see especially here for a review of the judge's summing-up speech.)
At first I thought that this was further evidence for my feeling which I posted about a few weeks ago, that hatred of Jews is a phenomenon that transcends any rational explanation and must be metaphysical in origin. It turns out, however, that this case is more of a reflection on the madness of the British. Two years earlier, environmental activists who sabotaged a coal power plant were likewise acquitted, since they were engaged in the greater good of preventing global warming. (See here for more info.)
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the Gaza case is in this write-up, by a Jewish friend of the judge, who laments the judge's appalling behavior, but notes that he is not an antisemite, and he sees this case as an illustration of how effective anti-Israel propaganda has been at swaying decent people to its cause. Over Shabbos I met someone who works for Stand With Us, an important organization that combats anti-Israel propaganda. Let's hope that they make some headway.