Israeli Double Standard TimeMar 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...
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.