Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Rage and the Pride

Orianna Fallaci, one of the few European leftists who grasped the inherent contradiction between supposedly leftist values and Islamic radicalism, and dared to articulate it to her fellows, has passed away. She was furious, violent, rhetorically unhinged, often insulting, and more often right than wrong. The obituraries of the moment downplay her anti-fundamentalist writings in favor of her leftist journalism, as is to be expected, and as she no doubt expected. I choose to remember her for a far more generous and moving moment. During Operation Defensive Shield, she called Ariel Sharon and offered her sympathies for the victims of the suicide attack which had set off the operation. Sharon replied that people had been calling him all day asking about Arafat's welfare, urging him to use restraint, etc, and not a single one had asked about the victims of the attack except for Fallaci. Those who will attack Fallaci as a hateful woman need only this anecdote as response. She was far less hateful in that moment, and far more beautiful and concerned, than the myriad self-described beautiful and concerned souls who are no doubt denouncing her today. Zicharon l'vracha.