Check out the previous installments in P. David Hornik’s ongoing series exploring how Israel is perceived around the globe.
August 4: Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 1: The Whole World Against Us
August 11: Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 2: That Bird Could Be a Mossad Agent!
August 18: Israel: Leper or Light Unto the Nations? Part 3: From Woodstock to the Promised Land
Ever since Israel won the 1967 Six Day War and assumed rule over Palestinian populations in the West Bank and Gaza (Israel has by now left Gaza), the world has adopted “the Palestinians” with a special fervor. The cause of turning these territories into a Palestinian state is a cause célèbre; the Palestinians in them have received more aid per capita than any other group; even Israeli defensive measures like checkpoints and the security fence draw obsessive scrutiny and condemnation.
Special concern for one group might seem morally acceptable. The problem is that the concern gets directed only at Palestinians interacting with Israel; otherwise “the Palestinians” don’t seem to count even when subjected to severe abuses and hardships—by other Arabs.
For instance, hardly anyone seems to care that:
● Palestinians in Lebanon are confined to refugee camps and restricted by apartheid-type laws.
● In 1991, in the wake of the First Gulf War, Kuwait forcefully expelled about 200,000 Palestinians (and denied return to another 200,000) as retribution for the PLO’s (Palestine Liberation Organization’s) support for Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait. At around that time, Israel’s deportation of four convicted Palestinian terrorists received vastly more condemnation. It may seem incredible, but you can read all about it.
● Egypt has been engaging in a crackdown on Gaza that—if Israel were to take remotely comparable measures—would have the world abuzz. As Walter Russell Mead observes:
In a word, Egypt has the power to make life in Gaza unlivable, and they’re using it.
We can’t help but think that if Israel made life miserable for Palestinians—intentionally and without compunction, as in Egypt’s case—the world would be up in arms.…
One thing some people in Europe might want to think about: If something fills you with rage when Jews do it, but doesn’t bother you at all when others do it, you might consider asking yourself why that is.
Just a thought.
Yes, it’s just a thought, and Israelis have it often. When the hypocrisy on the Palestinian issue is so naked and so brazen, it doesn’t fill us with confidence that pointing out the facts and inconsistencies will have much effect on those to whom the “Palestinian cause” is so dear.