People tend to see idiomatic expressions in their idiomatic light and not at all connected with the reality they are purporting to describe. Anyone who has seen vultures eating from a carcass will appreciate the true meaning of the expression ‘like vultures to a kill’. These birds are savage, vicious and uncivilised as they tear bits from the remainder of the kill. Almost always, however, if one uses the expression ‘like vultures’ to a kill’ this has no connection with either these unsympathetic scavengers or their meals. We keep the expression to its purely idiomatic or metaphorical meaning. A few years back when we witnessed some vultures feasting on a dead impala we could have described them as feeding like vultures.
A person who has handled an eel will be best placed to describe the extent of its slipperiness. He could describe a dishonest witness as follows: ‘Well I would like to say that he was as slippery as an eel, but actually the truth is he is not quite so slippery.’ Perhaps it would be useful to say: ‘The witness was more akin to a moray eel than a European.’
Generally we stick to the idiomatic meaning.
Israel bashers use many idiomatic expressions when talking of Israel, its leaders, soldiers, citizens or sympathisers. Among those myths we all encounter peddled about Israel and its army are that Israel is aggressive, expansionist, ruthless and its leaders exploit or disregard the humanity or human rights of Palestinians. We have as Jews endured the pogroms of blood libels and today we suffer from the slurs of those who imply that Jews, Zionists or Israelis (or the ones who are not anyone’s best friends at least) have a predilection for bloodshed or bloodletting. Even if Zionists do not commit actual ritual murders we all know they love to make Palestinians bleed. Some claim to see nothing inaccurate or disturbing publishing and publicising a cartoon of the Israeli prime minister cementing blood and babies into a wall. Well that is just some cartoonist’s alleged criticism of a leader and his policies; it does not say anything about all Israelis or Jews in general. You see this particular leader happens to be supported by some, how do we put it? Well Zionists who happen to have a tendency to bring about the bloodletting of Palestinians. Perhaps what cartoonists or critics might wish to convey is that Israeli leaders or military leaders authorise the use of excessive force on Palestinians, innocent militants and all others, and this well leads to blood loss. So you see, just being figurative, it is as if the Israeli authorities themselves actually made the Palestinians bleed, rather than the naughty soldiers who were just obeying orders. To use a well known phrase we could say that Israeli prime ministers, military leaders, supporters and the Zionist lobby in general have, what is colloquially termed ‘blood on their hands’.
We are killers, we support killing. We cause killing. We just love to spill innocent blood.
Yet in recent days we have seen a case of someone with literal and figurative blood on their hands. These are not mere upsetting images, conveniently and poignantly conveying multiple layers of meaning to the world. This is not the work of some hidden plot nor simply the outcome of deranged or evil teachings on naive young men. Here stands a killer with blood on his hands, the blood of the victim he has purposely and knowingly murdered.
Those who commit acts of intentional terror are not disaffected protesters. They are literal and culpable murderers. Those who hide behind rhetoric that demonises Jews, Zionists or Israel or western society and its leaders, should look at the savagery of evil these murderers. The blood is on the hands of those who spill it, defiantly and proudly. It is not on the hands of those you blindly accuse by burying them in metaphors and idioms. The anti-Israel rhetoric is the empty combination of twisted expressions and metaphors. There stands the stark reality of the evil in our world, with actual blood on actual hands!
write a comment