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Friday, March 07, 2008

The double standard

Just a reminder that I am in Boston and not Jerusalem right now.

At Townhall.com, Jonah Goldberg comments on the double standard to which Israel is subjected.
The irony is that the "Jewish entity," as Hamas sometimes calls it, is obligated, according to human-rights groups, to provide food, water and electricity to Hamas' subjects, even as those subjects openly support Hamas' ongoing war on Israel. It's a bit like being required to provide a hot meal and a warm bed to an intruder even though he intends to kill you in your sleep.

"Israel has the right and obligation to protect its citizens, but as the occupying power in Gaza it also has a legal duty to ensure that Gazans have access to food, clean water, electricity and medical care," Kate Allen, Amnesty International's UK director, told The Telegraph. "Punishing the entire Gazan population by denying them these basic human rights is utterly indefensible."

There are a few problems here. First, food, clean water, electricity and medical care may be all kinds of things, but they aren't human rights. They may indeed be the minimum obligations a modern state must meet in terms of its citizens' needs, but there is no inalienable right to material stuff.

More important, we are constantly told that the Palestinians aren't Israel's people. Whatever obligations Israel might have to provide food, water, electricity and health care to its own citizens, it's not clear why it has those obligations to the Gazans, particularly when those Gazans are committed to the destruction of Israel.

Human-rights groups say Israel must provide these things because Israel is the "occupying power." But Israel no longer occupies Gaza, which Amnesty knows. That's why they say Israel's "blockade" of Gaza is indistinguishable from occupation.

But whether or not "blockade" is the right word for Israel's actions, it's not the same thing as an occupation. America had a blockade of sorts against Iraq for a decade. Then we occupied it. If there's no difference between the blockade and the occupation, what has everyone been arguing about?

So why does Israel scrutinize Gaza's borders and ports? I'll give you a hint. It has something to do with the fact that Gaza's leadership keeps launching rockets into Israel as part of this overarching policy objective to destroy Israel.
One of the reasons that Israel continues to be subjected to the double standard is that it insists on an obtuse manner of being a light unto the nations in which it insists on judging our most violent enemies in the same manner as our best friends. The 'Palestinians' don't want real peace, and no amount of empathizing with them will ever change that reality. If Israelis can see that reality, maybe they can force their politicians to see it as well. But living in a dream world where - as Goldberg puts it - Israelis believe in both their right to exist and in making the 'Palestinians' whole and happy - is nothing short of delusional.

In the meantime, read it all.


At 11:15 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11:16 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Exactly. Where is it written Israel MUST build the Palestinians a state FOR them? Even the suicidal and delusional Israeli Left has never made that argument. At most, it has said the Arabs should pursue their own lives and Israelis are entitled to the same.

The problem of course is that while Israel has undergone a sea change in terms of accepting Palestinian self-determination, there has been NO similar revolutionary change on the other side. Their narrative is not committed to peace and co-existence alongside the Jewish State but rather to supplanting it. Absent a change in the Palestinian attitude, the Annapolis talks are ultimately going to go nowhere.

At 12:53 AM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

Israel should be so lucky that the peace talks will go nowhere. I fear they will go somewhere, and it'll be the worse for Israel.

At 3:14 AM, Blogger heroyalwhyness said...

normanf asks: "Where is it written Israel MUST build the Palestinians a state FOR them?"

It's in the qur'an . . .the dhimmi laws.. .pay the jizya and feel yourselves subdued (Quran 9:29).


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