Getting Israel Right
As the annual hate-circus known as “Israel Apartheid Week” pitches its tent again, it is incumbent on us once more to reconsider what Israel actually is.
March 10, 2010 - 12:00 am
Any open-minded person who has either visited Israel, kept apace of the documentary evidence, or honestly examined the tainted “bona fides” of Israel’s accusers would realize that Israel has been set up as the target for what is nothing less than an illegitimate campaign of delegitimation. Orwell’s Hate Week has escaped the boundaries of the novel, whose “Enemy of the People” is someone with the surname — what else? — Goldstein. (Oddly, the enemy of the Jewish people is someone with the surname Goldstone.) And as Orwell writes about the Two Minutes Hate period instituted by the Party, “Before the Hate had proceeded for thirty seconds, uncontrollable exclamations of rage were breaking out from half the people in the room.”
Watch the YouTube video of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren addressing a group of students at UC Irvine for real-world confirmation.
A triple alliance comprising leftist ideology, Islamic anti-Semitism, and vast commercial interests has coalesced into an aggressive bloc of anti-Zionist calumniators and malevolent defamers of the one genuine democracy in the Middle East. The international left sees Israel as a colonial outpost of the detested United States and a resolute defender of the national patriotic spirit which the left believes is obsolete. Islam continues to prosecute its 1400-year war against the Jews. And powerful economic interests are concerned with opening export markets and preserving and expanding their ties with the oil-rich Muslim states — it truly is all about oil: “Arab oil is thicker than Jewish blood,” Robin Shepherd pointedly writes in his important new book, A State Beyond the Pale.
The favored strategy to reduce Israel to a pariah state and thrust it beyond the international pale operates via what Hitler and Goebbels called “the big lie,” manifest fictions and canards reiterated often enough to lodge in the public mind as indisputable verities. In Goebbels’ words, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” The promulgation of sophistries is quite extraordinary. As in the 1930s, the “big lie” has become a palpable and ubiquitous public institution. “Latter-day anti-Semitism,” as Shepherd puts it, is “a new organizing force in world politics.”
Thus Israel is repeatedly condemned as an apartheid state when the truth of the matter is that Israel is a diverse, multicultural country whose Arab citizens are equal before the law, have the vote and elect representatives to the Knesset, enjoy freedom of worship, and count disproportionately large numbers in Israeli universities. Even lefty columnist Larry Derfner, no friend to Zionism, acknowledges that “another brightly-lit sign that Israeli Arabs aren’t living under anything like apartheid is their wall-to-wall opposition to becoming citizens of a Palestinian state.” Check! The apartheid slander would be accurate, ironically, were it levied against Muslim nations where Jews and Christians are systematically persecuted.
The situation for Jews and Israel is plainly more precarious in Europe than it is here. One gets the distinct impression that significant elements in the European Union have already arrived at a covert decision to sacrifice Israel on the composite altar of political ideology and economic profit, having, as Bat Ye’or has meticulously recorded, established a de facto entente with the Islamic world. They are quite ready to let Israel go, frequently vote with the Organization of the Islamic Conference at the United Nations, fund adversarial NGOs, and impeach Israeli officials as war criminals. (Although, to give them their due, they might shed a few crocodile tears if Iran carried out its threat to obliterate Israel.)
One detects similar worrying signs in the behavior of the current American administration which came down hard on Israel, forcing a building freeze in long-standing Israeli communities and demanding Israeli concessions to a Palestinian negotiating team that was (and is) not prepared to reciprocate. And probably a healthy, or rather, unhealthy, majority of many Western populations — certainly the case in Europe — would have little objection to the disappearance of the Jewish state, oblivious of the extent to which they are Israel’s beneficiaries.