Are Israel’s critics wrong?

It is politically correct to attack Israel, particularly in the UK.

A discussion in Britain’s House of Commons on 22nd July practically wanted to lynch the whole country: try most of the Israeli government for war crimes, deliberate Israeli campaign to distort customs declarations, open harassment at checkpoints, and so on.

Now these are good people, looking to encourage world peace. They would certainly deny any element of anti-semitism in their hatred. For example, Chris Huhne, is the Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary. He mentioned in a separate debate that:

Britain is setting a shameful new record in anti-Semitic incidents this year, which are running at double the annual rate of the previous record. It is completely abhorrent that anyone should be intimidated on the grounds of their race, colour, gender, sexuality or creed.

Bravo. Yet he continued: “It is absurd that home-grown bigots should hold British Jews responsible for the actions of a foreign government. We cannot have overseas conflicts echoed on Britain’s streets.”

The implication is that British Jews must not support Israel? Israel is an awful place and I will have nothing to do with it? Not quite a double standard, but then a friend of mine pointed out that: –

Liberal Democrats themselves have a great deal to answer for; Jenny Tonge (understands Palestinian terrorist suicide bombers), Nick Clegg (false accusations re Gaza), Chris Davies (Yes, he did actually write “wallowing in your own filth” to a Jewish lady he presumed was a Zionist. He also reported to have denounced something that he called the “Jewish Lobby” and re-stated his position that the conflict between Israel and Palestine is to be rightly compared with the Nazi occupation of Europe.)  The Lib Dems were the first party that invited  Norman Finklestein the Holocaust denier. 

These people are clearly uninterested in Israel’s right to defend herself – for example no mention of the two rifle shooting incidents directed from Gaza this week. No mention that Israel is the one country in the Middle East with a growing Christian population. No mention that Israel is an open society, the one country in the Middle East that accepts UN commissions to investigate – and even when the terms of inquiry state up front that the country is guilty.

Double standards? I don’t know. Not if the House of Commons spends as much time on Israel as with human rights in Saudi Arabia or Libya or Syria? What about the accusations of murder and corruption launched at Hamas….by the Palestinian Authority itself?

The “Economist” is one of the most respected international journals in the world. “The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week published the fifth in a series of hard-hitting reports on the state of the Arab world. It makes depressing reading.”

Six Arab countries have an outright ban on political parties and the rest restrict them slyly. They have failed to make their people rich: despite their oil, the UN reports that about two out of five people in the Arab world live on $2 or less a day. They have failed to keep their people safe: the report argues that overpowerful internal security forces often turn the Arab state into a menace to its own people.

Etc etc etc

There will be little if no referral to this sad and damning report in the House of Commons.

And here is the irony and hypocrisy in one. The debate of 22nd July was led by Rob Marris, who declared that he was briefed by Chris Doyle of the Council for the Advancement Arab-British Understanding (CAABU). CAABUwas originally founded by former British diplomats, who fumed at the founding of the state of Israel. An open pressure group, it is difficult to find practicising Jews amongst its membership.

So let’s cut to the chase. When you look at Israel’s critics, has anybody dared to acknowledge the similarity between the language of the 1930s,including Mosley’s fascist blackshirts in the UK, and the current terminology is used to demonize Israel? Is this a task too intimidating or too abhorrent for Mr Huhne’s team to research?

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2 Comments on “Are Israel’s critics wrong?”

  1. david Says:

    you quote:
    the UN reports that about two out of five people in the Arab world live on $2 or less a day

    I remember when UK & EU politicians were making a big fuss about Gazan’s being so poor that they had to live on $2 a day.

    Given that the Palestinians & the world wanted Israel out – it’s hard to understand why Israel would be blamed for Gaza’s economic meltdown. What you have inadvertantly revealed is that as soon as Israel left Gaza, its citizens simply sunk to the Arab world average.

  2. Michael Horesh Says:

    The issue is poverty. World Bank says that between 1968 and 1999, before the Intifada broke out, the Palestinian economy grew annually in real terms by 5.5% on average. That is massive by any measure.
    What is sad is that few recognise how this major push forward in living standards occured nor why Arab countries refuse to adopt a similar model.

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