Abusing Israel: The Fashionable Thing to Do

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told France Inter radio recently:

What really hurts me, and this shocks us, is that before there used to be a great peace movement in Israel. There was a left that made itself heard and a real desire for peace. It seems to me, and I hope that I am completely wrong, that this desire has completely vanished, as though people no longer believe in it.

Just a couple of days earlier, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman had written:

[T]he only time America has been able to advance [Arab-Israeli] peace … has been when the parties felt enough pain for different reasons that they invited our diplomacy. ... Today, the Arabs, Israel and the Palestinians are clearly not feeling enough pain to do anything hard for peace with each other. ... If the status quo is this tolerable for the parties, then I say, let them enjoy it.

And it was just a few weeks earlier that Friedman’s colleague, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, claimed that in Israel:

The anxiety of the diaspora Jews has ceded not to tranquility but to another anxiety. ... The annihilation psychosis has not disappeared but taken new form. ... I worry when Israel makes a fetish of its exceptional status.

A people that does not want peace, is not suffering enough pain to desire peace, and has an exceptionality fetish -- is this enough abuse of Israel for a short period? Obviously not. (Regarding the second of those charges, it should be noted that it was issued from the banks of the Hudson to a Middle Eastern statelet that has absorbed scores of suicide bombings and a total of over 12,000 Hamas and Hezbollah rockets, as well as regular threats and predictions of its annihilation from Tehran, in less than a decade.) All those charges and many others, of course, pale before the Goldstone report's concluding section on “Actions by Israel in Gaza,” which states:

The Mission found numerous instances of deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects. ... In some cases the Mission additionally concluded that the attack was also launched with the intention of spreading terror among the civilian population. ... [T]he Mission found that the following [acts] were committed by Israeli forces in Gaza: willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment … and extensive destruction of property.

Israelis are not just being portrayed as psychotic narcissists and people who refuse peace, but as terrorizers, killers, and torturers. Can it get much worse than that? Of course it can. As Swedish journalist Donald Bostrom -- drawing on the same sort of “sources” as the Goldstone commission (i.e., Palestinians who started imbibing ideological Israel- and Jew-hatred with their mother’s milk) -- wrote last August in Aftonbladet, Sweden’s largest daily:

In the summer of 1992, Ehud Olmert, then [Israeli] minister of health, tried to address the issue of organ shortage by launching a big campaign aimed at having the Israeli public register for postmortal organ donation. ... While the campaign was running, young Palestinian men started to disappear from villages in the West Bank and Gaza. After five days Israeli soldiers would bring them back dead, with their bodies ripped open. ...

We know that Israel has a great need for organs. ... We also know that young Palestinian men disappeared, that they were brought back after five days, at night, under tremendous secrecy, stitched back together after having been cut from abdomen to chin.

It’s time to bring clarity to this macabre business.