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September 9, 2014 6:25 am

Middle East Reporter Robert Fisk Suggests ISIS is Payback for ‘Palestine in 1948’

avatar by Adam Levick

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ISIS captor with David Haines Photo: SITE Intel screenshot

ISIS captor with David Haines. Photo: SITE Intel screenshot.

When we last visited the Independent’s ‘award winning‘ Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, he was warning about the (previously unknown) dangers posed to U.K. society by “radicalized” British Zionists – and his most recent Indy op-ed on the roots of ISIS jihad strives for similar heights of polemical fantasy.

In a disjointed and tedious piece, Fisk cites several jihadist grievances that he argues have led to the Islamic State’s unparalleled brutality. These include the West’s failure to stop the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and…yes, you guessed it.

All of which takes us back to that phrase “radicalisation” – replaced most recently, I notice, by “brainwashing”, presumably unearthed from the Korean War Communist psycho-war against US prisoners. I have said before that those foreign “Western” Muslims fighting for Isis must surely have been “radicalised” before they left their homes in Europe or America. We put this down to the internet, crazed preachers and a mumbo-jumbo version of religion. Sure. And let us not endow Isis with the right to resolve injustice. Not one word did it utter in sympathy for the 2,100 dead Palestinians in the last Gaza war. In his last weeks, even Osama bin Laden realised that Isis – and the Taliban – represented a sectarian clique rather than a jihad against Islam’s enemies.

But isn’t there also a legacy of history here? Did we think we’d get away with Palestine in 1948? Or Bosnia in 1992? Or Iraq in 2003? Doesn’t injustice get a look in any more?

His prose is quite confusing, but it seems clear – based on the context, as well as his history of animosity against the Jewish State – that he’s suggesting the violence committed by ISIS against innocent civilians, such as Steven Sotloff and James Foley, can rightfully be seen, at least in part, as payback for Western ‘collusion’ with Zionism in 1948.

While we’re of course quite used to U.K. media analyses that (at least implicitly) blame Israel, or support for Israel by Western powers, for Islamist extremism, the mere ubiquity of such Judeocentric explanations for terrorism and its onslaughts doesn’t render it any less appalling.

Adam Levick is the managing editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

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