Friday, June 4, 2010

The real problem: Jews defending themselves

I titled this post "The real problem: Jews defending themselves" but the more I read about the world's reaction to the blockade incident I am tempted to conclude that, for many of the critics, the real problem is Jews. A. Barton Hinkle of the Richmond Times-Dispatch explains the reason that Israeli behavior causes notably more outrage than that of anyone else:
What's the real problem with Israel's assault on the Gaza flotilla? It's not the loss of life. Almost nobody cares about that. It's not the suffering of Palestinians. When Palestinians suffer, the world shrugs

Remember the worldwide condemnations, the protests across Europe and Asia, the stern rebukes from the world's high councils in January of last year — when Hamas militants executed 54 members of the Fatah party and tortured 175 more for (allegedly) collaborating with Israel? You don't? That's because the killing and torture went on with almost no notice or comment.

How about the world's outrage in November 2007, when Hamas gunmen killed seven civilians and wounded 80 more during a rally memorializing Yasser Arafat in Gaza? If you don't remember the outrage, the marches in the street, the scathing U.N. resolutions, that's because there weren't any. ....

Two wrongs don't make a right, and none of the above is meant to excuse Israel's clumsy, ill-orchestrated boarding of the Mavi Marmara. Nor is it meant to offer an unequivocal defense of the blockade, a legitimate point of contention. ....

The point is simply that those professing to be so broken up about the blockade and Israel's enforcement of it have been remarkably subdued whenever suffering is inflicted by someone other than Jews. ....

Nor did the world object as more than 10,000 rockets rained down on Israeli civilians over the course of several years. It was not until Israel finally had had enough and began going after those firing the rockets in late 2008 that the world sat up and began to insist the fighting stop. On one side, anyway. Across Europe, protesters and vandals went after Jewish synagogues, neighborhoods, and congregations. Attacking Jews in the West, in other words. As if it were somehow their fault.

Nor have there been any marches in the street to protest the behavior of those who organized the flotilla and assaulted the Israeli commandos. There has been equally little objection to the footage from al-Jazeera of men on board the flotilla, the day before the fiasco, chanting "[Remember] Khaibar, Khaibar, oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!" Khaibar was the last Jewish village taken by the Prophet Muhammad in 628. These are peace activists?

So what's the real problem with Israel's assault on the flotilla? Not the loss of life. Not the suffering of Palestinians. The real problem is that Jews defended themselves. That is the one offense in the Middle East the world simply will not forgive.
Hinkle: Israel Committed the One Unforgivable Offense | Richmond Times-Dispatch