Thursday, January 24, 2008

What's So Different About Israel?

Yesterday in New York City, the United Nations Security Council met to discuss Israel's imposition of a blockade on the Gaza Strip, a meeting most vociferously called for by the Arab League but supported by much of the so-called civilized world. And as tens of thousands of Gazans poured over the Egyptian border into the Sinai Peninsula, following the destruction of security barriers by Palestinian terrorists at the Rafah checkpoint, in Geneva the troubled United Nations Human Rights Council decided to stick with tradition - the vilification of a single country, and a democratic one at that.

The Human Rights Council condemned Israel for the most recent measures it had taken to protect itself from rockets being fired from Hamas-ruled Gaza. Predictably, the UNHRC failed to condemn the rocket attacks which sparked the blockade. When it comes to Israel, the UN and its organizations rush to lynch the Jewish State without a second thought; when it comes to Sudan - you know, where genocide is taking place in Darfur - the UNHRC can only express "deep concern".

Why must Israel countenance what no other country is expected to tolerate?

Moscow last week reiterated its right to use nuclear weapons to defend itself against threats to the Russian Federation and its allies...serving us a possible reminder in the process that Russia doesn't believe it can count on its conventional forces to do the job. Even with all the noise these days about Iran's suspected nuclear weaponization programs and U.N. sanctions against Tehran, I don't hear above the din a questioning of the Islamic Republic's inherent right to self-defense. China has reserved for itself the right to take military action against Taipei should an already independent and democratic Taiwan publicly declare its independence from the Communist regime in Beijing.

When Argentina's military junta occupied the Falkland Islands in early 1982, Britain responded to that surprise invasion of a U.K. Overseas Territory by sending the Royal Navy to retake the islands. Just a little over a month after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States were in Afghanistan fighting alongside the Northern Alliance to overthrow a Taliban that had given aid and sanctuary to Usama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda operatives.


If rockets were being fired daily from Saskatchewan into northeastern Montana, you can bet the United States would consider sending warplanes against suspected launch sites if the Canadian government refused to act to stop the missile firing. If suicide bombers were flowing into Arizona from Mexico and blowing themselves up at the Tucson Mall or Arizona Mills, you bet your ass Washington would make demands of Mexico City that, if not heeded, would lead to an occupation of Mexican territory and checkpoints manned by U.S. soldiers charged with the task of preventing the entry of terrorists into America (but not the entry of illegal immigrants).

Continual Palestinian rocket fire against Israeli border towns, the Kassams emanating from the Gaza Strip which are aimed primarily at Israeli civilians, consistently fails to produce Security Council action. No one outside of Israel but America seems to care when the missiles are aimed at the Jews. But
the world community almost immediately calls for UNSC action when an Israeli blockade against the Hamas-ruled territory is declared and enforced by the politicians in Jerusalem and the generals in Tel Aviv. The EU deplores Israel's "collective punishment" of Gazans, wilfully ignoring the 60+ years of "collective punishment" of Israelis and Jews by the Arab world.

"Hypocrisy" is too kind a word to apply to such phenomena; in this case I prefer the actual scientific-technical terminology, viz. "bullshit" or "complete bullshit."

***

Think I'm exaggerating about the United Nations Human Rights Council's tendency to single out the Jewish State at the expense of, well, its mandate? The United States' ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, spoke last year of the "council's relentless focus during the year on a single country - Israel," noting the Council had failed "to address serious human rights violations taking place in other countries such as Zimbabwe, the DPRK (a.k.a. North Korea), Iran, Belarus and Cuba."

Even the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, lamented the UNHRC's bias in June 2007, with his office releasing the following statement: "The Secretary-General is disappointed at the council's decision to single out only one specific regional item given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world."

Now, I do give the world some credit - it pays lip service to an Israeli right to self-defense. But, but, it then condemns every measure Israel can come up with in service of that aim.

Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations states that "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security."

Since the current system of international politics results in the Security Council only very rarely taking measures "necessary to maintain international peace and security" as far as the "Arab War against Israel" is concerned (and UNSC decisions are more apt to exacerbate rather than alleviate the problem), I'd say that nothing in the U.N. Charter prevents the government at Jerusalem from defending the State of Israel - a Member of the United Nations - and its people, Jews and non-Jews alike, however that government prefers to do so, from all threats faced by the Jewish State.

Looking over the course of the past seven years or so, we see that the world thinks Israel shouldn't use missiles to defend itself, nor should it send troops into the West Bank, Gaza Strip, or southern Lebanon when its security is threatened. When Israeli soldiers are kidnapped, Israel is supposed to trade 100 or 200 living terrorists for the corpses of 2 or 3 Israeli soldiers - yeah, 'cause those kidnapped soldiers are usually killed before they're handed back over to the Jews. Israel isn't supposed to maintain checkpoints between Ramallah and Bethlehem, or build a security barrier - to keep out suicide bombers, see - on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

So many governments have a conniption fit when Israel actually does something to defend itself that its easy to suspect those countries secretly wish the world's only sovereign Jewish State - or, at least, its military - didn't exist.
Without Jewish sovereignty, and Jewish nukes, it would be easier to kill us en masse, wouldn't it? Just ask the Nazis.

You know, it's worth remembering that the Romans weren't too keen on the idea of Jewish sovereignty or self-defense either, when they controlled Judaea, Galilee and the surrounding areas. Any time the Jews got uppity, the Legions went to work.

History is rife with examples: The crucifixion of Jesus by the Romans (mocking him - or justifying his execution - as the "King of the Jews"), the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70 CE (toward the end of the first Jewish War against Roman occupation), and the renaming of the Land of Israel as "Syria-Palaestina" by the Roman Empire (following the Bar-Kochba Revolt, the second major Jewish rebellion against the rule of Rome) in the 2nd-century CE.

That last one, boy...we're still dealing with its consequences, aren't we?

2 comments:

terry said...

Come November, you got my vote, kid!

artisisfletcher said...

Hey Jeremy, did you hear Bush's state of the union speech? I got realy frustrated when he said that the U.S. has a responsibility to settle the middleeastern conflict and that the U.S. supports a Palestinian country. Basically he's saying that Israel should give the Palestinians the Gaza and he thinks this will help. HELLO, this won't stop the killing, they even kill each other i mean comeon. Also if we give them any land, they'll just want more. ANd they won't stop till they're all dead or they get it!