Sunday, December 23, 2012
Selective Morality and Hypocrisy in the Middle East
By Ken Spiro
Anyone with a modicum of objectivity can’t help but be dumbfounded by the level of hypocrisy and total lack of even-handedness in the international community’s treatment of Israel. On November 29th, 2012 (exactly 65 after the Arab world rejected the original U.N. partition vote), the Palestinian Authority asked the UN General Assembly to vote to upgrade its status to a non-member observer state. This event constituted a gross violation of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords which prohibit either side from taking unilateral action. Simply put, the PLA chose to reject one of the most fundamental elements of the agreement that is the backbone of any future peace negotiations.
One would expect that such a blatant violation of the agreement and such an open provocation against Israel would be met with anger and disdain from the international community, yet the resolution to upgrade the status of the PLA received overwhelming support from the General Assembly with only 7 countries opposing it!
The government of Israel decided that such a provocation could not be ignored. A few days later Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the beginning of the planning process to build an additional 3,000 housing units over the Green Line (the 1948 armistices line dividing Israel from what was until the Six Day War Jordanian-occupied territory in Judea and Samaria also commonly referred to as “The West Bank.”). Keep in mind that all Netanyahu did was announce that Israel would now begin the process of planning to possibly build these apartments-primarily in communities that already existed. The actual construction, if it ever happens at all, could be years away.
The international community’s reaction in this case was immediate and very different, bordering on near hysteria. Israeli ambassadors in several European countries were summoned and chastised. Western governments voiced their opposition in the strongest possible language stating that such unilateral actions on the part of Israel were not only a serious violation of international law, but that they threatened the whole future of the peace process with the Palestinians and the entire region! If not for a U.S. veto, the U.N. Security Council would have voted unanimously to condemn Israeli actions.
Anyone with a modicum of objectivity should be asking themselves why the U.N. so whole heartily supported PLA’s blatant violation of the Oslo Accords while so strenuously condemning Israeli actions or why the Security Council had no problem immediately creating the unanimity necessary to condemn Israel while not being able (after more than a year) to do so in order to condemn Assad’s slaughter of over 40,000 of his own people in Syria. How is it that the West, and especially Western Europe, so easily overlooks the constant, human rights violations and atrocities that take place daily in the Third World yet seems to have a microscope trained on every Israeli action. Why is there such a double standard when it comes to judging Israel-a country that despite being the only democracy in the Middle East-can do no right?
Maybe it has something to do with residual guilt felt by the West for the damage that its colonial policies caused to the third world. Israel is often labeled both by the Arab world and Western liberals as the one of the last vestiges of colonialism in the world; foreign white occupiers imposing their oppressive colonialism on the natives (This explains the constant use of the word settler to describe an Israeli living in the territories –even though those territories are actually the original and most ancient area of in-habitation of the Jewish people: Hebron, Schem (Nablus) etc). The world seems to have forgotten that the Jewish people entered the land of Israel, led by Joshua, nearly 2,000 years before the birth of Islam. The world seems to have forgotten that Israelis ARE the indigenous people of the region and even though they were exiled from their l multiple times by foreign invaders, they never gave up hope of returning.
Or maybe it has something to do with antisemistism. While criticism of Israeli policies can sometimes be legitimate, the demonization, double standard and delegitimization that Israel constantly faces goes far beyond any rational or realistic critique of Israeli policies or action. But then again accusations against Jews of well poisoning, ritual murder, and control of the world’s economy have never been rational or realistic, so why should this new strain of Jew hate known as Israel- bashing be any different?
Throughout history evil has always seem to hyper-focus on and target the Jewish people and maybe that’s why the most dangerous rogues states like Iran, North Korea and Chavez’s Venezuela are particularly antagonistic to Israel-the Jewish State. If this is the case, than maybe anyone with a modicum of objectivity, who recognized what is truly behind Israel-bashing would think twice before casting stones at tiny Israel, recognizing that those stones may well bounce back and hit him in the face.
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