June 05, 2007

I have a dream

Charles Moore wrote an excellent piece in the Daily Telegraph entitled: ‘What if Israelis had kidnapped the BBC man?’ He speculates what an outcry there would have been instead of the restrained tolerance and search for understanding that has followed every Islamist outrage since 9-11.

This sentiment is exactly what I feel every time I travel by air.

I watch how hundreds of passengers line up at the x-ray scanner, have to take their shoes off and put them back on again and surrender their aftershaves and other personal items that are on the latest banned list. Once aboard - no matter how great the in-flight movie and other distractions - they cannot fail to have the odd flashback of Pan Am 103 or have anxious feelings about any Arab-looking passengers who happen to be fiddling with their hand luggage or shuffling in and out of the toilets.

If you’re a passenger on El Al, you have the added worry of being blown out of the sky on take-off or landing by the kind of Stinger missile fired on that Arkia flight out of Mombassa. But that’s a price we Jews have always had to pay. They’ve been targeting El Al planes for half a century.

But let’s stick to the gentiles. The ordinary Joes, many of whom travel on business every week of the year and have to put up with these new rites of travel. Just imagine how it would be if the Jews had been responsible for the hijackings, the slaughter of flight crews with box cutters and the sacrifice of innocent holidaymakers and commuters as burnt offerings in a holy war for their religion? Would Tony Blair respond by endowing Jewish schools with massive grants to foster greater understanding of Judaism? Today he announced such endowments for Islamic schools in the UK – even as the BBC’s correspondent remains in captivity in Gaza and British and American hostages await their gruesome fate at the hands of Iraqi insurgents whom the vast majority of hundreds of millions of moderate Muslims have yet to publicly condemn.

Just imagine if it were the Jews that had brought all this upon the gentile world? They would have taken every last one of us out and gassed us.

And yet, the slow-moving security lines are eerily silent at every major international airport.

I have this dream that one fine day I shall be standing in one of those lines and the guy in front or behind me actually loses it and shouts at the top of his voice: “Damn you ****ing Islamists to hell for screwing all our lives up in this way!”

And the whole security hall then bursts into applause.

One day, just maybe...


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