Pilger’s lie

John Pilger’s cover screed for The New Statesman (“Blair’s Bombs“) is so rhetorically predictable that it is almost not worth commenting on. This, after all, is the man who famously told the anti-imperialist Left that it can’t afford to be choosy about supporting an Iraqi “resistance” which beheads prisoners and blows up children and mosque-goers along with Americans and Iraqis trying to secure a democratic future for the country.

What more is there to say about his tired arguments?

Except what are we to make of a simple, utter, easily-documented falsehood like this?

There were no suicide bombers in Palestine until Ariel Sharon, an accredited war criminal sponsored by Bush and Blair, came to power.

There were in fact at least 14 suicide bombings in Israel before the “accredited war criminal” Sharon took power in March 2001. Many of them, in fact, were carried out in the supposedly hopeful era after the signing of the Oslo accords and before the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

If Pilger– or the apparently clueless editors of The New Statesman– need more evidence, I can testify to having heard the bomb explode outside the Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv in March 1996, and to later knowing a guy who lost his mother and sister in that blast.

There are, I suppose, two possible explanations for this lie appearing in The New Statesman:

–Pilger and/or the editors knew it to be wrong, but figured New Statesman readers were too anti-Israel to notice or to care.

–Pilger’s and/or the editors’ minds are so clouded by years of anti-Israel demonization that they have (consciously or otherwise) suppressed any memories or facts that might interfere with their one-sided narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I’ll be charitable and guess the latter.