Tuesday, December 28, 2010
One can hardly go a day without finding harsh judgment on Israel in the media and elsewhere of a kind not visited on any other nation. And along with these judgments come the most amazing suggestions on how Israel ought to behave, where their citizens may live, what and where they may build, how much of their small country they ought to give up and to whom, what risks they ought to take and how they should respond to violent aggression to protect themselves.
What is it about Israel that elicits this?
Aside from it being the Jew amongst the nations, I think a part of it is because Israel almost alone among the countries of the world seems willing to live in a permanent defensive crouch, simply for having the audacity to successfully exist these past 62 years.
Instead of the proper response to these presumptuous assertions, which should be a cold smile and a diplomatic variant along the lines of 'thank you for sharing, but we know best for ourselves and our country' Israel seems compelled to come up with explanations for any possible wrong doing in advance, to take these accusations seriously and bend into various unnatural pretzel shapes attempting to explain things no nation ought to have to explain.
And it is this constant, compulsive need to apologize, to rationalize, to explain that feeds the frenzy of judgment against Israel and by extension, the Jews. It clothes Israel in the guise of squatters caught trying to steal something not legitimately theirs who need to constantly come up with fresh alibis.
Every fresh libel, no matter how bizarre, gives way to an anguished back and forth among both Israelis and diaspora Jewry about how to defend themselves against things that ought to be self evident and need no defending. And the ironic thing is that the verdict is almost always known in advance, no matter how good the defense.
The way it works is insidious and it never changes.
For instance, back in 2002, a Jew hating UN functionary named Terje Roed-Larsen made headlines in the media worldwide accusing Israel of massacring thousands of 'Palestinians' in Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield when the IDF finally responded to Arafat's terrorist War Against the Jews. Anti-Israel media outlets like the BBC convicted Israel out of hand, citing academics' opinions from an anti-Israel NGO as 'growing evidence' of a massacre.
Instead of booting the UN, the BBC and the NGO unceremoniously out of Israel for this blatant libel, instead of openly calling Roed-Larsen a liar, declaring him persona non grata and deporting him, the Israelis did exactly the opposite and went into their typical defensive crouch. So did their allies, especially many Jews in the diaspora, who ought to have known better.
So Roed-Larsen and the UN stayed right where they were ,as did the BBC. The NGO in question, Amnesty International was allowed back into Jenin to investigate, while the IDF was charged by Israel to do its own investigation, giving the impression to the world that the charges actually held some credence.
The end result? Every independent investigation agreed that approximately 56 'Palestinians' died in Jenin, all but four were enemy combatants engaged in fighting with the IDF and those four were killed by booby traps set Arafat's forces. There were 23 IDF soldiers who lost their lives, largely because Israel deliberately used its ground troops to try and minimize civilian casualties instead of using its air and armor to its advantage.
The BBC, along with most of the rest of the European media retreated from their "massacre" language, but never backed down from or apologized for their wildly inflated coverage. Neither did Terje Roed-Larsen or the so-called academics from Amnesty International.
Thus the 'Jenin Massacre' is still accepted fact in the Muslim world and among many of Israel's accusers. And just like the many other ongoing myths, it continues to be hurled against Israel, over and over again...and taken seriously each time, with the same frantic efforts at refuting and defending what should need no refutation or defense.
It's like the old carny game of whack-a-mole. The Jenin myth gets hammered down, and up pops the old blood libel about the Israelis harvesting organs in Gaza. Refute that , and up comes the one about the IDF targeting and killing children. It never ends.
Contrast this, if you will, with the attitude of Israel's accusers, and that of the Palestinians. Here are people who openly glory and celebrate the brutal murder of innocents.
Are they embarrassed in the least about it? Do they have any hesitation about calling a sniper who deliberately targeted and murdered a 10-month baby in her stroller a 'hero of freedom' and insisting on his release, along with his fellow murderers? Not a bit. They hold these 'heroes of freedom' as models for their children to emulate and unashamedly bathe in the glow of what they see as victories in a tribal struggle.
Neither the 'Palestinians' or their allies ever bother over apologies or explanations. In fact, Israel's harshest critics never question the 'Palestinians' legitimacy, let alone their humanity. It is the height of hypocrisy and indecency that the 'Palestinian' national liberation movement with its long record of inherent savagery and inhumanity is glorified and funded by the so-called International Community while Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jews is singled out alone for demonization.
There's a message in that for Israel.
In the end, the explanations, the investigations, the evidence, none of it matters to Israel's enemies and their enablers. No matter how humane the IDF is, they will always be pictured as murderers and war criminals simply for defending their countrymen. The truth changes nothing for Israel's accusers because it's Israel's existence itself that matters to them, and there is nothing Israel can do short of national suicide that would satisfy them.
It's about time Israel realized it.
Every country in the world, including America, was and is built by the plow held in one hand and rests peacefully on the sword held in the other. Israel is no different...nor should it be.
The Israelis are surrounded on three sides by genocidal enemies with their backs to the sea, and for all that, they have managed not only to exist but to prosper. They owe apologies to no one for their success or their survival...and especially not to themselves, let alone those who live in safety outside Israel and place every presumed flaw under a microscope.
With all their considerable accomplishments in a mere 62 years, the very young nation of Israel still needs to master one final task to come into its own as a nation like any other.Because a nation living on its knees is unnatural.
Israel must learn to stand upright. And to cease apologizing for doing it.