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Israeli Double Standard Time

Mar 6, 2012 at 05:50:41 AM

Over at Bloomberg, Jeffrey Goldberg speaks about the unfair double-standard imposed upon Israel, whose sins are quite often exaggerated, while the sins of its enemies could not be more heinous. Goldberg writes:

Let us consider Israel's four principal adversaries of the moment: the Islamic Republic of Iran, Bashar al-Assad's Syria, and the fundamentalist terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas...

Iran is run by a regime whose first, defining act was of mass hostage-taking. It is a country that has used its children to clear minefields with their feet and that guns down others when they protest repression. It is a country that uses rape as a weapon against dissidents. It is a country that, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, funds al-Qaeda.

Hamas is an organization that boasts of killing innocent children and regularly kills Palestinians with whom it disagrees, sometimes by throwing them from buildings. Hezbollah, of course, is a proxy of Iran's regime, its external terror apparatus. Hezbollah has killed Americans, and its members have been indicted in the assassination a Lebanese prime minister. It seeks to impose an Islamist regime on Lebanon, and it functions as an arms supplier to Assad, who is Saddam Hussein's successor as the world's leading butcher.

I am not arguing that Israel should be held to the debauched standard of behavior set by Iran or Syria. (Israel should be held to the standards of a Western democracy, albeit one under threat of missile attack and other, similar unpleasantness.) I'm actually arguing something different: That Israel, like the Jewish people for whom it is a refuge, attracts the hatred of terrible people, people whose terribleness would still be profusely evident even if the Jews or Israel never entered the frame. (Hitler and Stalin ― and Saddam ― come to mind, of course, as well as the Crusaders, the inquisitors, the pogromists, and I could go on)…

Good people should take the hatred directed at Israel by evil people as a sign that, just maybe, Israel's basic cause is just. Israel and its supporters should understand that the enmity reflects well on their cause, and they should do whatever they can to guarantee that their behavior could never possibly be seen as analogous to the behavior of their enemies.

I've written extensively about the media penchant for promoting "Israeli Double Standard Time."

For example, one insidious method of vilifying Israel is to set some standard of "perfection," and note where Israel falls short. Consider National Public Radio's report on the problem of illegal African immigrants sneaking into Israel. NPR emphasized how "Israel is sending a very clear message to all asylum seekers: Beware. We are not interested in your presence here. We will do whatever is in our power to prevent you from being here."

While Israel in the past has welcomed refugees in need (Vietnamese boat people and even Bosnian Muslims), it simply cannot have the open door policy that NPR seems to demand. Even the United States, 450 times the size of Israel, cannot survive with such a policy. Is there any country in the world that actively seeks or welcomes migrants from Africa? (Egyptian policies are to shoot them on sight.) But to NPR, Israel is to be castigated for supposedly falling short of some absurd idealized standard. As Elder of Ziyon writes, this is criticism without context, calumnies without comparisons, arguments without considering the alternative.

The next time somebody criticizes Israel, just ask them to put it into perspective.

March 6, 2012

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Visitor Comments: 4

(2) Beverly Kurtin, March 8, 2012 4:14 AM

Going, going, gone

On Purim, without warning, I fell, landing on my right hip. I was unable to move for several minutes. My sister said that it looked as though I was a marionette and that someone had cut all of the strings at the same time. I know that nothing in this world happens on accident; there is always a good reason. I had wanted to go to Purim services and as I was getting ready, I fell hard, landing on my right hip. At 71, falling like that is not the wisest thing a person can do. After several minutes of laying on the floor (people know not to even try to move me when something like that happens) I started to laugh and thanked Hashem because I knew what caused the fall (aside from the obvious reason) it proved beyond a shadow of a doubtt that I don't have osteoporosis! So what does this have to do with Purim? King Saul had been told by G-d to destroy Amalek and all of his people and even Amalek's livestock. King Saul was a great King in many ways. He had a great heart and gave liberally of his fortune. No bride was without what she needed because of the generosity of Saul. Much of the sheer goodness of what he did is overlooked because he could not kill Amalek. The result of his refusal to obey G-d's command has cost millions of Jewish lives throughout the millennia. Direct descendants include monsters such as Haman, Hitler and Ahmadinejad, another Persian who wants to destroy Israel. He has boasted that he can wipe Israel off the map in 9 minutes. Imagine that! In 9 short minutes another Holocaust could happen. The ONLY ally we have that we can count on is the United States and President Obama who has stated in no uncertain terms that he has Israel's back and he will not permit Iran to destroy Israel. Just as Queen Esther got the King's permission to permit us to defend ourselves, so has President Obama made it clear that Israel will not be destroyed! G-d used Esther back then to save us from total destruction. He has appointed President Obama to do the same now!

(1) Sofia Dochmacka Bain, March 6, 2012 11:48 PM

Israel has the right to exist! It was always the Land of Judea, and this tiny little piece of land, is flourishing due to the sweat, tears, and hard work, to make it into a green paradise, with people that are working to make the world a better place. Long live Israel.

Beverly Kurtin, March 9, 2012 5:52 AM

Amen should it always be.

Chanah, June 10, 2012 11:09 AM

Eretz Yisroel

Israel is the land of milk and honey, but only under it's rightful owner, only the Jewish people can make the desert bloom, look at all the centuries that Israel lay as a waste land, (Mark Twain)spoke of it while visiting, he said " this land is arrid, full of thorns and ungiving, that was in 1848, few years later, the land yield the best fruits and the magnific flowers we often see in post cards! Only her true owners could love this land so much that it responded with such beauty!! Today Israel is the model for the entire world to see, and try to copy, but no, her foes rather protest and plant bombs(human bombs) so their sides (Gaza. west bank) cannot yield anything good...Sad but true!

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