The witches’ incantation from Macbeth succinctly describes the developing chaos now facing many citizens in various countries.
As they stirred the boiling cauldron the opening stanza has an eerie echo for today’s current situation.
“Double double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
Double double toil and trouble
Something wicked this way comes”
From the United States of America to Europe, the Balkans, UK and the Middle East, almost no part of the globe remains untouched by toil and trouble. Even those countries which consider themselves immune from the chaos enveloping others need to wake up to the possibility that like the Covid virus, transmission of hate mutates at a frighteningly rapid pace and infects growing swathes of humanity.
Unfortunately, there are still far too many people who are prepared to make excuses for those promoting and carrying out terror attacks.
Take the totally ineffective and pathetic non-reactions to the torrent of inciting invective emanating from Ankara as the nascent Ottoman pretender hurls insults left, right and centre. Only someone detached from reality or conversely determined to deliberately appease the increasingly shrill outpouring of hate would refuse to “talk Turkey” and internalize the logical lessons. Yet this is exactly the unbelievable situation that exists today.
There are politicians and diplomats who still cannot connect the dots between poisoning the public’s minds, accusations of blasphemy, blood-curdling threats of violence, boycotts and the resultant carrying out of terror against civilians. The French are learning to their cost that years of appeasement of Islamic extremists on the one hand and regular condemnations of Israel on the other buy them neither plaudits nor immunity. The chickens of homegrown and imported Islamic terror have come home to roost with a vengeance. France recalled its ambassador from Ankara and President Macron uttered some strong words of reproof. Erdogan cast doubts on the French President’s mental state which in turn elicited a limp wrap on the knuckles from the rest of the EU. When Erdogan asserted that “Jerusalem is ours” and implied that Turkey would liberate the city there was nary a peep from the rest of the international community. Is it any wonder therefore that Turkey continues to remain a member of NATO and can continue to spew hateful incitement without fear of any meaningful repercussions or sanctions?
Austria is the latest victim of unrestrained terror and even there one can find voices denying that it is really a growing threat to life and limb. Despite the fact that the attack in Vienna took place in front of the main synagogue and Kosher shops and at least one of the dead terrorists had an ISIS connection, assertions that Jews were not the prime targets soon surfaced. Based on subsequent comments by local communal leaders one could easily come to the conclusion that the perpetrators really only had aliens from Mars in their sights. This refusal to acknowledge hard truths, unfortunately, runs deep in the thinking of far too many individuals.
Europe has been a prime target for terror events over a long period of time. Given pathetically weak responses and a refusal to seriously address the incubating bacillus of hate among large sectors of their populations, it is not surprising that we now witness a gathering epidemic. As long as countries promoting, financing and sponsoring these outrages are not sanctioned and punished in any meaningful way they will continue unabated.
In our own backyard, we have perfect examples of how ignoring ongoing incitement only encourages further manic stupidity. The worst part is that pretending the propagation of lies is harmless and if ignored will disappear only increases the motivation of the slanderers and entraps more young people in an insidious web of deceit and extremist fantasies.
Ever since Arafat, the fatal Oslo accords and the PLO were given a kosher certificate by politicians oblivious to the deadly consequences of their folly the level of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement has been escalating. Once again because neither the international community nor our own decision-makers ever seriously confronted this torrent of delegitimisation it has become a standard feature of daily PA discourse.
Some latest manifestations should serve to illustrate my point:
Lawyers representing Palestinian Arab NGO’s are suing the UK in a Nablus court over the crimes of the Balfour Declaration in 1917. As reported by PMW here is an extract of the sort of poisonous rubbish being peddled by those whom the UN touts as democratic, peace-loving and willing to live in peace with us:
Balfour Promise (i.e., Declaration), by virtue of which Britain gave the Jews the right to establish a national home in Palestine.
The Balfour Promise was tantamount to the West’s first step towards establishing an entity for the Jews on the land of Palestine, while acceding to the desires of Monday, Nov. 2, [2020,] is the 103rd anniversary of the issuing of the ominous global Zionism at the expense of a people that has been rooted in this land for thousands of years (sic., there is no Palestinian history prior to modern times)…
Our Palestinian people did not submit to the promises, to the British decisions, and to the facts that the Zionist movement and its armed gangs began to establish on the ground, but rather it rebelled time and again. The first rebellion was the 1929 Al-Buraq Rebellion (i.e., the 1929 Hebron Massacre and accompanying riots), and after it the 1936 rebellion (i.e., 1936-1939 Arab Revolt)…
The Jews succeeded in exploiting this piece of paper of [then British Foreign Secretary] Arthur Balfour… the [British] Mandate [for Palestine], and the partition resolution of Palestine that was accepted by the [UN] General Assembly in 1947 (i.e., UN Resolution 181; see note below) in order to realize their dream, and on May 15, 1948, Israel was established. This entity gained membership in the UN due to pressure from the large states. Israel became the first state in the history of the global political system that is established on the land of others, and that merits international support that causes it to behave arrogantly in the region, to expand, to swallow up additional Palestinian and Arab lands, and to behave brutally and mercilessly towards the Palestinians who were left on their land.
The Balfour Promise gave the Jews a national home, while they are not residents of Palestine; at the time of the promise’s issuing, there were only 50,000 Jews in Palestine out of all the Jews in the world at the time, whose number was estimated at approximately 12 million. This was at a time when the number of Arab residents of Palestine in the same period was close to 650,000.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 2, 2020]
This was followed up by a declaration from Ramallah that unless statehood was agreed to now there would be violence and terror.
After a delay the PA belatedly “condemned” the terror outrage in Vienna and in the same breath denounced “Israeli occupation, terror, repression and violence.”
As an added bonus the PA Minister of Culture declared: there is no such thing as an Israeli, there is no Israeli culture – just a group of settlers from the rest of the world.”
We can be certain that the immediate future is fraught with danger which we ignore at our peril.
The witches in Macbeth certainly knew a thing or two when they chanted:
Double double toil and trouble
Something wicked this way comes
Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.