Tim Blair


New Criterion



Saturday, April 03, 2004
AUNTIE'S DIFFICULTIES WITH THE ENGLISH language are not always a joke.

Take the word "raid".

Here's an OED definition: Sudden attack made by military party (orig. of mounted men), ship(s), or aircraft; predatory incursion in which surprise & rapidity are usu. relied upon...

I can live with that. Why can't Auntie?

Israeli police raid Al-Aqsa mosque is her headline for the following story:

At least 20 Palestinians have been wounded in clashes with Israeli police who stormed one of Islam's holiest sites to tackle stone throwing demonstrators.

Stone throwing by Palestinian youths after main weekly prayers at east Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound prompted the rare raid by Israeli police in riot gear.

Even though this twisty journalism puts events in reverse order, you can see what happened.

Some Palestinian thugs attacked worshippers at a site of great mutual significance to Jew and Muslim. Surely a sacriligeous act by anyone's definition.

When Prime Minister Sharon just visited the site, that was enough provocation, according to the Palestinian Authority, to justify another intifada.

Then, in response, the Israeli authorities send in the riot cops, and the usual mayhem ensues, with the rioters choosing to use a mosque as a defensive position.

If you chose to call this event a riot by young Palestinian thugs you'd be right, but you'd be on the wrong side.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the police intervention as a "provocation".

And who is Auntie to disagree?

Just in case you didn't see Israel's culpability clearly enough, she drops in this next paragraph:

The raid came after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned up the heat on arch foe Yasser Arafat, warning the Palestinian leader was "not immune" from assassination, a comment which earned a strong rebuff from Washington.

If, like Auntie's communards, you know the root causes of things, then you must never let the facts get in the way of the revealed truth.