Israel Faces a Soul-Searching Double Standard

Stop applying one set of rules to Israel and another to its opponents

After the recent war in Gaza, Israel has endured a firestorm of criticism worldwide over the deaths and injuries of Palestinian civilians. Yet some of the toughest criticism has come from within. There has been a vigorous debate in Israel on whether the Israeli armed forces committed atrocities during the three-week operation, whether enough effort was made to protect noncombatants, and whether religious zealots who see Palestinians as enemies in a holy war have gained too much influence in the military.

This self-questioning is an important process essential to a democratic society. But it also highlights the rather appalling double standard in the world's response.

The very question of whether similar soul-searching is being done by Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization which is also the elected leadership of Gaza, would be darkly funny. Hamas and its supporters have shown no sign of questioning their flagrant disregard for the life and limb of Palestinian civilians, let alone Israeli ones—and while many civilians in Gaza are angry at Hamas for putting them in harm's way, a robust public debate of these tactics is hardly imaginable.

As for holy-war zealotry, it is explicit in the Hamas charter, which quotes a statement attributed to Muhammad: "The hour of judgment will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them." This is taught to children in Hamas-run schools in Gaza. Meanwhile, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, who wants the United States to be open to talks with Hamas, thinks this charter shouldn't be taken too seriously because surely they don't really mean it, and besides, some Israelis oppose Palestinian statehood too.

For all its flaws, Israel remains a remarkably open society despite decades of existence in a near-constant state of war. This is demonstrated by one remarkable aspect of the current controversy in the armed forces.

Some of the reports of the Israeli war crimes against Palestinian civilians, and of instigation of atrocities by fanatical rabbis serving with the Israel Defense Forces, came from taped conversations in an Israeli pre-military academy. This academy is run by one Dany Zamir, who publicized these allegations (later dismissed as based on hearsay). Zamir is a former officer in the Israeli military who served a brief prison term in 1990 for refusing to follow orders to protect settlers who laid wreaths at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. In an essay published in a 2004 book about Israel's conscientious objectors, Zamir described the Israeli state as "anti-democratic" and asserted that collaboration with it was "illegitimate, unjust and immoral."

Can one imagine a man who publicly voiced such sentiments about Hamas heading a preparatory military school—or, for that matter, surviving very long—in Hamas-controlled territory?

Brigadier General Eli Shermeister, the head of the Israeli military's education corps, has told The New York Times, "The question is, did we do all we could do to avoid hitting civilians? My answer is yes." Was this invariably true? Probably not; in a war zone filled with civilians, such unwavering commitment to avoiding civilian casualties would be superhuman. And, regardless of where one allocates the blame, the human suffering in Gaza is heart-wrenching.

Nonetheless, when the United Nations and international human rights organizations claim that some Israeli soldiers have used Palestinian civilians as human shields, one cannot help noticing the lack of outrage over the fact that Hamas does the same thing systematically. Not, perhaps, in the literal sense of forcing a young boy to walk ahead of its fighters, but in the pervasive sense of hiding its fighters among noncombatants and its military posts behind hospitals and schools. And when the Israeli military is condemned for delaying ambulances transporting the wounded, one cannot help wondering why the condemnation does not include terrorists who turn ambulances into targets by routinely using them for cover.

It's not just with regard to Hamas that the double standard operates. No one proposed to make Russia a pariah among nations for its brutal disregard for civilian lives during two wars in Chechnya, in the mid-1990s and the early 2000s; the criticism of Russia's actions was nothing compared to the relentless flagellation of Israel in the European media. One might add that it is unimaginable that much of the Israeli public would hail as a hero a soldier convicted of the savage murder of a teenage Palestinian girl. Yet this is exactly what happened with Russian colonel Yuri Budanov, who raped and strangled 18-year-old Chechen Ella Kungayeva.

In the latest news, leaders affiliated with the Palestinian Authority and the "moderate" Fatah party have shut down a youth orchestra in the Jenin refugee camp and banned its conductor, Israeli Arab Wafa Younes, from the camp after she took the children to perform for a group of Jewish Holocaust survivors. Imagine the indignation if Israeli authorities had taken such action toward Israeli youth orchestra that played for Palestinian refugees. In this case, though, don't hold your breath for the hue and cry.

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine. This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Elemenope||

    And as Cathy Young writes, this self-questioning also highlights the rather appalling double standard in the world's response.

    This is asinine. Somehow feeling sort of bellyachy about something after-the-fact ameliorates in any way what was done? "After a long period of soul-searching, we have determined that what we did was bad! [Gnash, gnash, weep, weep]. We won't do it again for a little while."

    It only matters if the debate leads to change. Till then it's just national therapy.

  • ||

    As opposed to "we didn't kill enough of them!" which is something that will go away when their real demands, as opposed to merely their stated (for dramatic effect!) demands, are met.

  • EJM||

    This reminded me of something that Crisis Group's Andrew Stroehlein wrote a few months ago...

    I sometimes get stunned looks from Americans when I tell them that, as far as the Arab-Israeli conflict is concerned, the Israeli media are much freer than the US media. But if you spend even a little time looking at the Israeli papers online, you'll quickly realise the range of debate and discussion on the Middle East is far wider there than in the mainstream American media -- and most of the non-mainstream US media too.

  • classwarrior||

    Cathy, there are a lot of double standards in play here. Isael refuses to recognize Hamas as a legitimate government, even though it has had a terrorist (Begin) and war criminal (Sharon) as Prime Minister. It's a "democracy" where some citizens enjoy greater rights than others strictly because of their religeous/ethnic affiliation, and where about half the people under the control of that government cannot vote to be represented, and are continually abused by that government.

    Consider the ethnic cleansing and massacres that led to the creation of this State, the continuous vilations of international law, and the push to strip the Palestinians of virtually all the land they had previously lived on for centuries. The rough ride they get in the European media is only in compariaon to the kid glove treatment given by the media in North America. They're too scared even to accept feeds from Al Jazera, which was alone in having reporters on the ground in Gaza while the slaughter continued apace.

    Face the facts. Israel is a colonialist/apartheid state that has created its own enemies.

  • Anvilwyrm||

    I have always wondered why the occupation of Tibet gets so much less attention from the UN and the EU, when compared to Gaza.

    I guess we don't want to piss off China or Russia...

  • jimt5100||

    The US has only two allies in the world - Israel and Great Britain. The "Palestinians" wish to see all Israelis and Americans dead. We should cultivate our allies as much as possible.

  • EJM||

    FWIW, Google News recently launched an English-language Israeli edition.

    I have always wondered why the occupation of Tibet gets so much less attention from the UN and the EU, when compared to Gaza.

    I guess we don't want to piss off China or Russia.


    You could make a similar argument when it comes to Sudan, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Burma, etc.

  • ||

    Isn't comparing a whole country to Hamas false equivalence? The proper comparison is Hamas vs. Likud or Israel vs the Palestinian people. However, in both cases the double standard accusation would no longer hold. There are internal debates within each larger group of people and far, far less debate within the specific political parties*.

  • ||

    There are no such thing as "enemies"... only friends we haven't made yet and allies who haven't gotten the memo.

  • High Every Body||

    What is this supposed to be? A Bat-signal for a week long MNG comment marathon or something?

  • ||

    Because apologizing for apartheid and war crimes means freedom!

  • ||

    BLECH :P

    I thought I was clear about this.
    ONLY Brian Doherty is permitted to opine on matters regarding the Mid East.

  • Cabeza De Vaca||

    Where is MNG & Underzog at?

  • ||

    Wars can never be garden parties, but during the recent conflict, far from acting like a headless monster, the Israel Defense Forces took extraordinary efforts to limit civilian casualties, including, for example, making phone calls to Palestinian civilians to urge them to leave areas that would be targeted.

    Does Hamas give a heads-up phone call before firing their rockets at civilians?

  • ||

    I'm tempted to do a little thinking into why this STUPID FUCKING CONFLICT is such a proxy-conflict emotional investment for so many people, but then I remember I don't give a shit and just want it to go away.

  • Underzog||

    I already talked about this several times. So has MNG.

    I haven't read the rest of Ekatarina Jung's article (She sympathizes with Muslim terrorists), but Israel certainly didn't kill enough. And don't these Islamic savages want to die? What's the problem?

    Jews acting guilt ridden just feeds into the bullying tactics of the Nazi, Ernst Rhoem wannabes here and the rest of world anti-Semitism.

    If the anti-Semites here and in the rest of the world suspect Jewish weakness and hesitation, they will move in for their own kill like the foul bullies they are.

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    Published October 4, 2004 in FrontPageMagazine

    "What Will the Goyim Think About the Neocons?"

    The Politics of Anti-Semitism

    by Barry Loberfeld

    It's a bit of history otherwise not worth remembering, but when Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ appeared in theaters, a certain Rev. Hymers staged a protest in California that included chants of "Bankrolled by Jewish Money" and signs that read "Wasserman Promotes Anti-Semitism" -- direct references to MCA's Jewish chairman, Lew Wasserman. It was so pathetically obvious that Hymers was threatening anti-Semitism, not warning against it. This was basically what you'd expect from cornpone fundamentalists.

    Which is why it's so unsettling to see almost the same routine being peddled by MSNBC commentator and leftist-about-town Eric Alterman. His Sept. 9 column ("Neocons for anti-Semitism") begins by asking "what could possibly have been a more generous gift to Jew-haters than this foolish war?" Now since this can't possibly refer to Saddam Hussein or any other Middle Eastern "Jew-haters" who found themselves in the cross hairs, what does it mean?

    Alterman's first point: "The American people were purposely misled and are paying for it dearly, in both blood and treasure." Not much help in answering the question, is it? No reference to Jews one way or another. Next point: "The war was planned by neoconservatives, many of whom worked directly with their counterparts in the Israeli government, who helped perpetuate the deception." Okay, so the villain is Israel. Its reprehensible behavior will be exploited by "Jew-haters" as proof of their claim that the Jewish state and its agents (the "neoconservatives") control the American government (the "Zionist Occupational Government").

    After this throat-clearing, Alterman lays it on in full: "The war did improve the security of Israel, but not that of the United States. No other country's population thought it was a good idea, including Britain, save that of Israel." He continues: "Some of the very people who helped perpetrate the deception, most notably Richard Perle and R. James Woolsey, have used the opportunity to make millions for themselves in the process." Don't ask me what to make of this, since Alterman provides neither details nor documentation - not even a footnote. "Pentagon neocons were spying for Israel and using the Israel lobby as a conduit. (How perfectly paradigmatic is that?)"

    Just as we think we've got the read on Alterman, he bursts his bluff by tipping his hand: "It seems to me that all of the above constitutes a gift of enormous generosity to those who seek to blame Jews for divided loyalty, dishonesty, and duplicity in the service of their own financial interests." Well, there we have it. The villain isn't the Israeli government, and despite Alterman's conspicuous WASP-name dropping of R. James Woolsey (who won't be accused of "divided loyalty" unless it's to England -- he's a descendant of Cardinal Wolsey), it's not the "neoconservatives" either. It's the Jews.

    READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

  • ||

    ...And if you call Israel what it is, a theocratic, bullying, apartheid state engaging in war crimes with impunity, you obviously want all Jews gassed.

  • High Every Body||

    Does Hamas give a heads-up phone call before firing their rockets at civilians?

    Leftoid-Jew-Hater A.N.S.W.E.R. - The occupationist fascist nazi zionists will not even allow phones for the Palestinian people!*

    Rational, normal, factual answer - No, they do not.**

    *This one is Tony's position.

    **This one is my position.

  • Underzog||

    Rabbis tell it like it is: "Gazans aren't innocent. Don't risk soldiers lives!"

    Besides... if Israel really wiped out Hamas and the PA for good measure, then the Rhoemites here would scream and that would be a fun sight.

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"
    And the "Underdog" movie was good, too!

  • High Every Body||

    New game: Guess what place MNG will compare living conditions in Gaza to next.

    I pick the planet Mercury.

  • ||

    "The chickens are coming home to roost."

    How does this sentence make you feel if it is said about Israel?

    How about Gaza?

    Personally, I'm more sympathetic to the society with legal medicinal marijuana, legal abortion, recognition of gay couples, and massage parlors than the society without, but that's because I'm culturally conditioned to be such.

  • ||

    The only ones engaging in racist stereotyping and advocating genocide are people like High Every Body, who thinks of the government in Gaza as simply deranged and apocalyptic (they are Muslims after all!)--not the representatives of people with legitimate grievances.

  • Underzog||

    Good ole anti-Semites. So the desire of the Arabs to drink Jewish blood is a legitimate greivance, eh?

    Hey Tony old buddy -- old pal! Would you like me to send you my Jewish blood with a teaspoon of worcestershire sause with it?

    Other people here have documented that Hamas is a genocidal organization toward Jews, but to the primal hatred of the Rhoemite Jew haters here, facts certainly don't matter.

    "And thou shalt call him Ishmael and he will be a wildman. His hand against everyman and everyman's hand against his."

    Genesis 16:22

    "The Arabs are savages who just don't want to use their minds."

    Ayn Rand.

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

    The "Underdog" movie was good, too.

  • ||

    "READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE"

    YOU MEAN THERE'S MORE????

  • alan||

    A state founded on the concepts of racial exceptionalism and socialism has what to do with Libertarianism? I really don't get why the Middle East beyond the fact our policy cost us all a shit load of money keeps coming up around these parts of the 'nets.

  • hk||

    I know it is very strange.

  • ||

    Is there such a thing as an illegitimate grievance?

    I actually feel really bad for the Palestinians wrt the last election. They could vote for Fatah... or they could vote for Hamas.

    That's it. Keep the old corrupt bastards or throw the old corrupt bastards out.

    I truly sympathize with the decision to throw the corrupt bastards to the curb.

    When people say "they voted for Hamas!", my response is usually "what happened appears to be identical to a society throwing the bums out rather than endorsing the new bums".

    Then someone like Tony shows up and starts talking about the legitimate grievances held by people who don't have a free press who happen to live thousands and thousands of miles away.

  • ||

    Yes is there is a double standard between the two groups. But last I checked the one group had its own state and doesn't have its territories blockaded. When you live in occupation there tends to be a little more freedom in what you can and can't do. Create an official Palestine that doesn't have to deal with a blockade of their goods and then you can bring this topic back to the table for discussion, it if even still exists.

  • ||

    On Campus: The Pro-Palestinians' Real Agenda
    by Khaled Abu Toameh

    During a recent visit to several university campuses in the U.S., I discovered that there is more sympathy for Hamas there than there is in Ramallah.

    Listening to some students and professors on these campuses, for a moment I thought I was sitting opposite a Hamas spokesman or a would-be-suicide bomber.

    I was told, for instance, that Israel has no right to exist, that Israel's "apartheid system" is worse than the one that existed in South Africa and that Operation Cast Lead was launched only because Hamas was beginning to show signs that it was interested in making peace and not because of the rockets that the Islamic movement was launching at Israeli communities.

    more at:

    http://www.hudsonny.org/2009/03/on-campus-the-pro-palestinians-real-agenda.php

  • alan||

    To show I'm not entirely biased against the Zionist, if the IDF wiped out the Hamas in one swoop with a minimum amount of baby limbs to swept under the rug, I would raise a toast. It wont solve much of anything but I don't mind seeing a shitty bunch of people getting what they deserve.

  • alan||

    bleh, I accidentally hit the submit before editing.

    To show I'm not entirely biased against the Zionist, if the IDF wiped out the Hamas leadership in one swoop with a minimum number of baby limbs to be swept under the rug, I would raise a toast. It wont solve much of anything but I don't mind seeing a shitty bunch of people getting what they deserve.

  • Underzog||

    Don't be ignorant, Alan. Judaism is not a race. You can convert to Judaism and be a Jew, too.

    A better question would be why do these Ernst Rhoem wannabes speak about Israel and Judaism in such an ignorant fashion.

    Perhaps it's because the enthusiastic cheerleading the Libertarian party has for sexual perverts: homosexuals, bestialists, child molestors; etc., fuels their hatred for Judaism.

    One can read The Pink Swastika, homosexuality in the Nazi party to see how the many homosexuals in the Nazi party felt about the Jews. The Nazi party was basically composed of sex perverts, too.

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

  • alan||

    Underzog, is Woody Allen a Jew. Most would say yeas to that, but Woody Allen is an atheist so how does he fit that profile under your definition?

  • ||

    The debate on this subject is so toxic I can't tell whether Underzog is a troll or not. He's not too far off from the crap Marty Peretz spews on the subject.

  • Wood Allen||

    "Underzog, is Woody Allen a Jew"

    I am not a Jew. I'm Jew-ish.

  • Underzog||

    Killing Jews because one feels like it is a toxic view. The primal scream of anti-Semitism going on these days is not only horrifying, but a theatre of the absurd.

    As for people here complaining about me, so what? Anti-Semites always hate it when Jews fight back, whether it's Israel with its feeble attempts in the Gaza (under the traitor, Ohlmert) or me on this board.

    And Alan's questions show his ignorance of Israel and Judaism. He should learn something before he spouts his mouth byte marks off.

    If he wants answers to his ignorant questions, he should pay me.

    I could give you guys this WEBSITE, but I doubt you Rhoemites would use reason with it instead of your spleens.

  • They\'re all nuts||

    Who cares ? They're stumbling toward a one state solution. The crazies will share the same asylum.

  • ||

    Tony,

    Underzog believes what he is saying, but that doesn't make him any less a troll. He's more of monomaniac like Lonewacko and immigration. They are best ignored and unengaged.

  • Underzog||

    Oops, I mean this website.

    And for the above mistake I do apologize.

  • ||

    The Israel-apologists' persecution complex makes the Christian Right's look positively reasonable.

  • ||

    Now lets get back to how important it is to address the legitimate grievances of Hamas.

  • alan||

    Damn Underzog, I said you can go ahead and blow up Hamas, your telling me I have to like you too?

    So, you really didn't have a good answer. According to William Safire there are those so enthralled to exceptionalism in Israel that even he gets written out of the Jewish race by them. So, if you have an air tight definition that will fit all cases, I'm all ears.

  • alan||

    blech, again. You're Easiest homonym in the world to avoid.

  • Underzog||

    Why I don't trust the Libertarians (excerpts from the link)

    "I've yet to meet a single libertarian that is willing to take Israel's side in the Middle East, and many of them are actually anti-semitic. Just look at the numbers of neo-Nazis that voted for Ron Paul in the last American election.
    ***********************************************
    They will claim that we should not be involved in other areas of the world unless they are our allies or they request help. Israel is an ally of Canada, and yet they are steadfastly against Israel. Afghanistan has requested our help, and yet they are steadfastly against staying in Afghanistan. The same goes for Libertarians in America.

    I can't find much logic in Libertarian thinking at all. I've even met a number who don't think a military is necessary for our country."

    I'm not the only who realizes that so many Libertarians are anti-Semitic -- perhaps the majority of them.

  • alan||

    Libertariansim is a creed founded on the Universiality of human rights. Zionism is founded on the exceptionalism of one single group, so yes, those concepts are mutually exclusive.

    However, the game you play, childish name calling, 'anti-Semite, pervert', etc, is just a coping mechanism, Underzog. A way to live with the profound irrationality at the basis of your belief system.

  • hk||

    I agree completely, it is fucking disgusting that this person is condoning ethnic exceptionalism.

  • ||

    Oi MNG? this thread looks dull where are you man?

  • ||

    "I'm tempted to do a little thinking into why this STUPID FUCKING CONFLICT is such a proxy-conflict emotional investment for so many people, but then I remember I don't give a shit and just want it to go away."

    Because if the Palistinians succeed in destroying Israel through the use of terror warfare it will set the paradigm for the war against Islamists will be fought for a century. Keep trying not to care Epi, right up until the time some Islamist shows up and puts his boot up your ass.

  • ||

    If Oliphant had drawn a cartoon this nasty
    against Muslims, Arabs or Hamas, he'd be in hiding right now with with a price on his head.

    What I fear is that other groups,too will decide that the threat of force is the only way to deal with criticism.

  • ||

    No, Martin. Once we address the legitimate grievances of Hamas, we'll all get along.

    Hell, we'll be greeted with flowers!

  • ||

    I think the double standard is racist, but it is not anti-Jewish. When liberal western governments in the US, Western Europe, or Israel wage war, they are held to a higher standard because the world believes that they should know better than to be brutal. Governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America are not held to the same standard because they are considered less civilized. I believe this attitude to be racist.

  • ||

    When liberal western governments in the US, Western Europe, or Israel wage war, they are held to a higher standard because the world believes that they should know better than to be brutal. Governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America are not held to the same standard because they are considered less civilized.

    I feel that this is completely reversed from the truth. Now we may not do anything about African genocides, but we usually condemn them. When Israel or the U.S. kills hundreds or thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of civilians, it's called collateral damage.

    Much the same way a guy with a bomb strapped to his chest is somehow more morally abhorrent than a jet with one strapped to its underbelly.

  • Underzog||

    Libertarians are dope crazed hippies with a few right wing bounces.

    I think Ernest Van der Haag described Libertarianism aptly by his use of the term anarcho totalitarian.

    Whereas a regular totalitarian believes the state can do anything; the Libertarian believes the individual can do anything. They feel like hating the Jews with their Arab friends, then fine. The Libertarians feel like praising Joe Stalin's Russia (such as the late Murray Rothbard), then that is okay, too. Do Libertarians feel like doing child molestation ( a href="http://www.fortfreedom.org/b29.htm">The child molestors' party ), then that evil is okay, too.

    As for the Libertarian party rhapsodizing about perversion, here is what Alan Bock, said, "The virtue of Libertarianism is its amazing diversity. Priests, monogomists and family men share the same party as Libertarians for leather and those into rational bestiality. On the Libertarian party can bring together the homosexual motorcycle gang, the acid dropper fascinated by the price of silver...."

    The above quote is by memory so its a little shaky, but I think one has the gist of it.

    Libertarians are the party of perversion. Poet Allen Ginsburg told a supreme court justice, in answer to a question was there a society ruled by homosexuals, that there was a party run by homosexuals or sex perverts. That was Germany under Hitler.

    Now there is a party which encourages such sex perverts and that is the Libertarian party.

  • hk||

    Um no this is BS. Libertarians believe in non-aggression, not taking over a fucking state that doesn't belong to you.

    And then afterwards you want us to pay for your wars, well sorry it doesn't work like that. And you have little empathy for the civilians killed in Arab nations. Whereas Libertarians care about everyone.

  • Underzog||

    Yes, that's right! Where is my bud, MNG (Mr Nazi Guy)? Where is Fluffy, shewolf of the S.S. when we need here?

    And where is Baked Penquin who even did a cartoon about me, Underzoggy(!)?

    "There's no need to fear. Underzog is here!"

  • Mad Max||

    'the traitor, Ohlmert'

    Underzog, you anti-Semite, why are you criticizing the Israeli government?

    'Oops, I mean this website.

    'And for the above mistake I do apologize.'

    Why adopt such an apologetic tone towards a bunch of Nazi anti-Semites? The thing that cowardly wimps like Underzog fail to realize is that, by apologizing for so-called "mistakes," they are playing into the hands of the subhuman, animalistic, Ismaelite Arabs.

  • DJF||

    Ekaterina Jung manages to combine her two favorite subjects in this one, her hatred of Russia and her one sided defense of her fellow Jews in Israel.

    I agree, lets not have a double standard when it comes to Israel, we should not give any US tax money or weapons to the Palestinians or the Israelis. If they want to fight over some worthless Middle Eastern territory let them do it without stealing from US taxpayers

  • ||

    We are harder on Israel than we are on other countries because we are the ones who fund, enable and protect Israel. When Israel fires white phosphorous shells, bought with our money, at a UN school, the rest of the world blames us as much as it does Israel. Thanks to our relationship with Israel we are the second most hated country in the world.

    Worst of all, Israel has the power to do what no other country can do--get us into a world war in a single afternoon. All she has to do is carry out Netanyahu's pledge not to let Iran get the bomb and there will be instant war in the Middle East. Iran will launch retaliatory attacks on Israel. The US will enter the war on Israel's side. Iran will sink our aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf and close the straits of Hormuz. Oil will rise to $250 a barrel. Our economy (along with that of the rest of the world) will go into a tailspin for an entire generation. Millions of Americans (myself included) will face an impoverished old age. By the time the dust settles, the United States will no longer be a world power.

    Does the United States single out Israel?

    You bet it does. And with good reason.

  • edna||

    "When Israel fires white phosphorous shells, bought with our money, at a UN school, the rest of the world blames us as much as it does Israel."

    even the u.n. admitted that this was not the case. after the fact. on page 8. so not surprised you missed it.

    now, let's talk about the blood drinking on passover.

  • hk||

    Their drones commit various atrocious acts.

    The point is that you need to protect yourself and leave the US alone.

  • ||

    everyone who wants to live in the 11th century can 't live in peace the rest of the world in the 21st century so lets send them all to allah as fast as possible so they get the clue i can hardly wait until islam is taught in the same class as greek and roman mythology

  • Underzog||

    There are too many medeival type anti-Semites in the Libertarian Party.

    I still suggest the the non anti-Semitic and non anti American Libertarians split off from them and form something else.

    And they should also learn that they shouldn't be infiltrated by Communist and Nazi types as the present Libertarian party is.

  • Brett Stevens||

    As Bradley Burston points out, if Israel does not remove the Palestinians, they're on track to outbreed Jews within 20 years and so take over Israel's democracy.

    That would be a big FAIL for the state designed to preserve the Jewish people, culture, customs, languages, values, learning and heritage!

  • hk||

    That's funny. There better be a two state solution then.

  • Suki||

    Underzog,

    Stuff like this is why I was leaving the left. Did not realize I was not really leaving anything. But I am more with you and edna.

  • dhex||

    underzog is obsessed with homosexuals because _____________.

  • ||

    definition: Zionism: the belief that Jews should be migrate and live in Israel.

    the wall between between Israel and the Palestinian territories is sad and only reflective of the fact that old people hold on to hate much longer then they should.

    There are non-Jews who serve in Israeli parliament (Muslims, Druze and Christians). I've been to Israel many times and the only things I see are true religious freedom (there is a mosque across from a monument for people killed in a suicide bomber attack at a night club) and the fact that the Arab sections of town are not taken care of by the people that live there (people throwing trash in the street) compared to non-Arab. My $.02

  • ||

    Underzog reminds of a troll on Politico that uses the same exact language when ever the topic of homosexuals and the Israel is brought. Obviously he knows nothing about Libertarian philosophy

    As for use having to care about the entire mess, why should we? There is a great article on Nolan chart that explains on how our relationship with Israel really doesnt benefit us.

    http://www.nolanchart.com/article5753.html

    Majority of support for Israel stems from the following:

    1. Christian Right
    2. Neoconservatvies
    3. Interventionist Liberals
    4. AIPAC

    I personally don't care, Im not a Muslim, or a Jew so the conflict is abit of a moot point. I would say to those who want Israel to destroy the Palestinians or vice versa should board a plane and join the IDF or the PLO. Its not America's problem.

  • hk||

    Yes this is exactly it. Both sides are obnoxious and the government isn't spreading democracy in the Middle East anyway.

    People need to fight their own battles.

  • Underzog||

    Suki,

    These guys here also use the language of the Left. They use the language of the Commies of the thirties; e.g., obsession, Underzog has monomania.

    It gets so bad that David Horowitz says the Libertarian party is subverted by the left (Edith Efron says the same thing) and Horowitz calls them The Defective Right

  • alan||

    There are too many medieval type anti-Semites in the Libertarian Party.

    And Zionist who routinely call Arabs animals are
    the epitome of 21st Century enlightenment.

    It isn't just enjoying a pizza with a fellow Cosmotarian at a Sbarro's in Tel Aviv, folks.

    It gets so bad that David Horowitz says the Libertarian party is subverted by the left

    Aside from Charles Manson and a baby rapist maybe, David Horowitz is the moral peer of nobody.

    Suki | April 3, 2009, 6:03am | #
    Underzog,

    Stuff like this is why I was leaving the left. Did not realize I was not really leaving anything. But I am more with you and edna.


    To me that translates to, 'if you don't cut my belief system some slack and play softball, I'm bolting', I have to tell you, I really don't respect that attitude.

  • jtuf||

    Great commentary, Cathy Young.

  • jtuf||

    LibertarianBlue | April 3, 2009, 11:18am | #

    ...

    I personally don't care, Im not a Muslim, or a Jew so the conflict is abit of a moot point. I would say to those who want Israel to destroy the Palestinians or vice versa should board a plane and join the IDF or the PLO. Its not America's problem.



    I would be very happy if the US government took a neutral approach to the conflict. There is a good reason why George Washington advocated neurality. I'll support Israel personally. I don't expect taxpayers to foot any of the bill.

  • ||

    even if israel is destroyed we would still be at war with the rop neutrality is nice but why not help israel take out iran and the egyptians in gaza and jordanians in the west bank and let them take the credit get a clue islam can not live in peace with anything else it needs the same treatment as japan and germany in wwii

  • Jon||

    We (Americans) absolutely should be more critical of Israel's actions for one main reason. We give them so much gosh darn money every year! If we are going to support and fund their military actions, we sure as hell better make sure that they're acting justly.

    You're right that the Euro-Media is more critical of Israel, rightly so in my opinion. They get a completely free ride in the US media, however. It's a shame our media can't bear to report the real facts when it conflicts with national interest.

    I agree that Hamas are nuts, but that doesn't automatically mean Israel are the good guys. There's bad stuff going on on both sides, and the news media should report it all.

  • Rajan R||

    Alan, Tony, et al: Defense of Israel isn't the same thing as the defense of its founding ideology. Especially when Israelis can freely (and frequently) criticize Zionism. How long do you think a Palestinian advocating, I don't know, a free union with Israel or forgeting about the ridiculous "right of return", could survive in the treasured free societies of the West Bank and Hamas-ruled Gaza?

    I'll be happy the day that Israel accept all immigrants regardless of whether they are Jewish or not (as well as other bits, like having civil marriage, de-establishing Orthodox Judaism, etc.) But that doesn't change the fact that Israel is the Middle East's freest democracy and have the right of defense.

    If a libertarian can only defend state action only when the state acting out of this fulfill every one of our libertarian wet dreams, really, there's nothing much we can defend.

  • ||

    It seems that Cathy received some threats from AIPAC prior to writing this article. Oh yeah, Cathy you forgot about the billions of dollars that you and I have given to this war mongering state and its expansionist foreign policy.

  • ||

    "even if israel is destroyed we would still be at war with the rop neutrality is nice but why not help israel take out iran and the egyptians in gaza and jordanians in the west bank and let them take the credit get a clue islam can not live in peace with anything else it needs the same treatment as japan and germany in wwii"

    Yeah lets just kill everyone and everything, that will solve a lot of problems. Why dont you war mongering uneducated dip-sticks get let some of the hot air out of your heads.

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

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