The Gaza flotilla incident was a horrid PR nightmare for the state of Israel, despite the released evidence of the “peace activists’” true intentions. The international community has in large part ignored all of it: videos of the fight on the Mavi Marmara, the cache of weapons on board, and the undisputed ties between the IHH, Hamas, and other Islamic terror organizations.
International reaction has been heated, hypocritical, and disproportionate. Bands like Gorillaz and the Pixies canceled their scheduled concerts in Israel following the events (Shuki Weiss, the concert’s production manager, had been trying for over 10 years to bring the Pixies to Israel). The organizers of the gay pride parade in Madrid banned its Tel Aviv delegation in direct response to the flotilla raid, stating it would be “barbaric” to allow Israelis to participate; the Israelis in question responded that Islamists would be happy to “cure” them all. One of the largest unofficial Bob Dylan fansites has banned Israeli IP addresses from visiting the website. The Utopia chain of theaters in France canceled all screenings of the Israeli comedy Five Hours from Paris … replacing them with a French documentary about Rachel Corrie.
How can so many people justify such bigotry?
That’s precisely what it is. The Madrid parade organizers, the Utopia chain, and dylanchords are collectively punishing the Israeli people or Israeli NGOs for the actions of their government — the morality of such actions being irrelevant in this matter.
The Israeli people are not the ones calling the shots in the IDF or making the decisions in the Knesset. It’s the same in every democratic country around the world — the people may elect their leaders, but only someone grossly misinformed about the world of politics would believe they directly control their leaders’ actions as well. The political statement of the Pixies and Gorillaz is cultural carpet bombing. For the love of Shin Bet: don’t the gays in Madrid understand that Israel is the one and only Middle Eastern country where you can be gay in public without losing your life?
The irony of this explodes tenfold when compared to the world’s current relationship with Iran. Here we have a theocracy — a theocracy! — controlled by one of the most disliked governments in the modern world. Its constant sword-rattling has grown both comical and tired. The Iranian regime treats its citizens like cockroaches. The Iranian president himself acts as Rumpelstiltskin’s Middle Eastern cousin: “Don’t get in the way of what I want or I’ll steal your firstborn.” Or, to be more apt: “I’ll build a nuclear research facility under the pretext of peace and then nuke your firstborn.”
But much of the West stands with the Iranian people, as they should, because they are under vicious and widespread oppression by their own government. There is little to no wiggle-room for moral bickering here — the anti-democratic Khomeini regime represents the Western world’s antithesis, the Iranian people its own manifestation. It makes perfect sense that the West supports the Iranian population in the face of its anti-Western government.
Why, then, do the physics of the Western world-Iran relationship undergo sudden reversal when applied to the Western world-Israel relationship?