Friday, June 09, 2006

Why “Pick On” Israel? Here’s Why

Why “Pick On” Israel? Here’s Why
by John Spritzler [www.spritzlerj.blogspot.com]

Israel’s defenders have a stock argument that goes like this:

"Why do people pick on Israel? Sure, Israel has its faults, just like any country. Its government is not perfect and sometimes it does bad things. What government doesn’t? But how come some people seem to focus only on Israel? Boycott Israel, divest from Israel, they say; but never boycott Russia or China or Saudi Arabia or a host of other countries that do bad things. Israel, they say, violates human rights of Palestinians. If they’re so concerned about human rights, how come they’re not bothered by China’s attack on Tibetans, or Russia’s attack on Chechnians, or Saudi Arabia’s attack on women’s human rights? Hmmm. Why would people want to just pick on tiny little Israel, a Jewish state? Only one reason...they’re anti-Semites."

Nice try, but this defense of Israel is easily refuted. There are a lot of excellent reasons for singling Israel out, and none of them have anything to do with anti-Semitism.

#1. Jesus put it this way. “Why do you behold the mote in your brother’s eye but consider not the beam in your own eye?” For Americans, Israel's crimes are the beam in our own eye. The crimes of China and Russia and Saudi Arabia etc. are the motes in the eyes of others. Our government supports Israel with virtually unconditional diplomatic support and vastly more military and economic aid than it gives to any other nation. Israel gets this overwhelming U.S. aid because it serves the aims not of ordinary Americans but of our ruling upper class (see #4 and #5 below.) No other country plays this role and receives this kind of support from our government today.

#2. Israel is not the only nation that carries out ethnic cleansing, but it is the only nation that is founded on the principle of ethnic cleansing. Israel defines itself as a state of the Jews. Unlike every other state on the planet, which all at least purport to be a state of the people who live in it, Israel adamantly insists it is not a state of the people who live in it, one fifth of whom are not Jewish. Israel is not a state of its residents. It is a state of “the Jews.” And by “the Jews” Israel means Jews wherever they live, including Jews who never lived inside Israel and who have no intention of ever living there. Israel insists that its population must be overwhelmingly Jewish and so it drove out 80% of the non-Jews in 1948 and continues to this day to carry out a brutal ethnic cleansing to get rid of the Palestinians by making life so unbearable for them that they will leave Palestine. No other country does this today.

#3. Israel is the only nation that self-righteously accuses any critic of its ethnic cleansing of being a bigot (anti-Semite.) It is the only nation that insists that its racist policies are “a light unto the nations.” If we let Israel get away with this we are contributing not only to its actual ethnic cleansing, but to its glorification of the principle of ethnic cleansing, which aids and abets this crime everywhere in the world. No other country, not even ones that engage in it, glorify ethnic cleansing this way today.

#4. Israel is the only nation that spreads contempt around the world for the idea of democracy by defining it to mean the government choosing the people instead of the other way around. Israel boasts that it is the “only democracy in the Middle East.” Democracy is an extremely good thing. It is a valuable idea that humanity needs to embrace and that elite rulers try to discredit. But democracy means that the people who live in a state choose its government. In Israel, on the contrary, the government, in the name of democracy, has chosen the people–“the Jews”–and has driven 80% of the un-chosen people out of its borders and made the remaining 20% of them second class citizens completely excluded from the category of people who are officially the sovereign authority over the state. No other country does this today.

#5. No other country surpasses Israel’s polarizing of the entire world, between Muslims versus non-Muslims, by carrying out vicious and gratuitous attacks on the same mainly Muslim population for more than five decades without let up. Israel thereby foments not only a regional ethnic war but a global "War on Terrorism" that serves the same Orwellian social-control needs of all world elites (from the U.S. to China to Russia to Saudi Arabia) that the Cold War served in the past. No other country does this today.

#6. More can be learned about our own United States, and about the source of our own domestic problems and how to solve them, by understanding why it is right to divest from and boycott Israel than by understanding why it might be good to divest from and boycott Russia or China or any other country. The reason is that our domestic problems, like job insecurity, illegal immigration, war, lack of health care, extreme inequality and so on are caused by our corporate and government leaders for the purpose of making us easier for them to control. These same leaders have singled out Israel, unique among all other nations, to enjoy their unwavering and overwhelming support for the same reason–Israel helps to foment the global war that makes the world population easier to control. To understand why our leaders support Israel, and why they pretend to seek peace in that region but never put real pressure on Israel to stop its unjust ethnic cleansing, is to gain insight into how these same leaders control us by deliberately creating the very domestic problems they claim to be trying to solve. We need that insight to build a revolutionary movement to create a real democracy in the United States instead of the fake democracy we have now, controlled by a wealthy and privileged upper class. Of all the foreign nations that we have been lied to about how wonderful they are and how deserving of our support they are, the lies about Israel are the ones that our rulers have used most effectively to get us to support a foreign policy of warmongering designed to strengthen upper class control over working people around the world. No other nation plays this role today.

14 Comments:

At 9:36 PM, June 10, 2006, Blogger Rob Heck said...

Another excellent article! We'll definitely be distributing this at our table.

 
At 9:22 PM, June 11, 2006, Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Sorry but you are wrong. Transjordan was founded on the priciple of ethnic cleansing. No Jews were allowed on the east side of the Jordan river.

 
At 11:06 PM, June 11, 2006, Blogger John Spritzler said...

Hi Ibrahamay,

First, I used the present tense and said, "No other country does this today." Your comment is about the past.

Second, according to Palestine Facts online at http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_mandate_transjordan.php,
"According to Sir Alec Kirkbride, the British representative in the area, Transjordan was:

' ... intended to serve as a reserve of land for use in the resettlement of Arabs once the National Home for the Jews in Palestine, which [Britain was] pledged to support, became an accomplished fact. There was no intention at that stage of forming the territory east of the River Jordan into an independent Arab state.'

"In 1925, the British added 60,000 sq. km. of desert to eastern Transjordan forming an "arm" of land to connect Transjordan with Iraq and to cut Syria off from the Arabian Peninsula. The British continued to favor exclusive Arab development east of the Jordan River by enacting restrictive regulations against the Jews, even when Arab leaders sought Jewish involvement in the development of Transjordan."

But that was then. I'm talking about now.

 
At 1:23 PM, August 31, 2006, Blogger nschuster said...

I think that the fct that you only criticize Israel and no other ocuntry indicates that you are not interested in justice for the Palestinians, but only in bashing Jews. If you are an American citizen, but not a Native American, then you are living on land that was stolen. This fact doesn't seem to bother you.

 
At 1:26 PM, August 31, 2006, Blogger nschuster said...

The fact that you are constantly criticizing Israel while ignorong far worse atrocities, e.g. the Sudan, would seem to indicate that you are not concerned with atrocities, but rathe with bashing Israel. If you are an American citizen, and not a Native American, you are living on land that was stolen.

 
At 5:33 AM, September 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every single point in this article is wrong, and obviously so.

Point 1: "For Americans, Israel's crimes are the beam in our own eye. The crimes of China and Russia and Saudi Arabia etc. are the motes in the eyes of others."

This is ridiculous logic. The second leading aid recipient is Egypt, a brutal and repressive dicatorship that constantly violates human rights. Why not also call for divestment from that country, if human rights is really the issue? Also, your warped logic suggests that even if an urgent genocide is being committed in Africa, for instance, it should be ignored because Israel receives more money for the U.S. This is nonsensical.

 
At 5:36 AM, September 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point 2 is obviously wrong:

"Unlike every other state on the planet, which all at least purport to be a state of the people who live in it, Israel adamantly insists it is not a state of the people who live in it, one fifth of whom are not Jewish."

Are you against the Vatican, which is officially Catholic? Are you against Saudi Arabia, which is officially Muslim? Are you against the many Christian-Democratic states in Europe? Are you aware that the Palestinians have officially adopted Islamic law into their constitution and that they have recently elected Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist party.

Your dislike of Israel stems from anti-Semitism, not the belief in separation of Church/Mosque/Synagogue and State.

 
At 5:36 AM, September 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point 2 is obviously wrong:

"Unlike every other state on the planet, which all at least purport to be a state of the people who live in it, Israel adamantly insists it is not a state of the people who live in it, one fifth of whom are not Jewish."

Are you against the Vatican, which is officially Catholic? Are you against Saudi Arabia, which is officially Muslim? Are you against the many Christian-Democratic states in Europe? Are you aware that the Palestinians have officially adopted Islamic law into their constitution and that they have recently elected Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist party.

Your dislike of Israel stems from anti-Semitism, not the belief in separation of Church/Mosque/Synagogue and State.

 
At 5:37 AM, September 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point 2 is obviously wrong:

"Unlike every other state on the planet, which all at least purport to be a state of the people who live in it, Israel adamantly insists it is not a state of the people who live in it, one fifth of whom are not Jewish."

Are you against the Vatican, which is officially Catholic? Are you against Saudi Arabia, which is officially Muslim? Are you against the many Christian-Democratic states in Europe? Are you aware that the Palestinians have officially adopted Islamic law into their constitution and that they have recently elected Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist party.

Your dislike of Israel stems from anti-Semitism, not the belief in separation of Church/Mosque/Synagogue and State.

 
At 5:39 AM, September 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point 3 is obviously wrong:

"Israel is the only nation that self-righteously accuses any critic of its ethnic cleansing of being a bigot (anti-Semite.) It is the only nation that insists that its racist policies are 'a light unto the nations.'"

Wrong. Plenty of countries accuse other countries of being racist or bigoted. African countries, for instance, often accuse the West of bigotry. And Israel is a light onto the nations. It has been faced with a terrorist onslaught since the early 1900s, and has kept its morality intact (most other countries would have responded much more harshly).

 
At 5:44 AM, September 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point 4 is totally wrong:

"In Israel, on the contrary, the government, in the name of democracy, has chosen the people–'the Jews'–and has driven 80% of the un-chosen people out of its borders and made the remaining 20% of them second class citizens completely excluded from the category of people who are officially the sovereign authority over the state."

As noted earlier, there are many countries in Europe that are officially Christian and yet also Democratic. Turkey is an example of a Muslim country that is democratic (and it's officially Muslim). Your beloved Palestinians have adopted Islamic law into their constitution and recently voted for Hamas.

Israeli Arabs have more rights than any other Arabs in the Middle East (certainly more than the PA affords palestinians). They can scream slander at the Prime Minister from the Knesset Halls and nothing bad happens to them (except maybe some negative press). There are many Arab Knesset members and all Arabs participate in Israel's democracy. Israel is not perfect in this way, but please show me the country that treats minorities perfectly (as I type these words, a Palestinian terror group just threatened all Palestinian Christians because of the Pope's words).

 
At 5:48 AM, September 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point 5 is totally wrong:

"No other country surpasses Israel’s polarizing of the entire world, between Muslims versus non-Muslims, by carrying out vicious and gratuitous attacks on the same mainly Muslim population for more than five decades without let up."

Israel has not "gratuitously attacked" Muslims for five decades. Israel accepted the UN partition plan in '48, the Palestinians rejected it and then waged war with 5 Arab armies. The Palestinians waged a surprise attack against the jews of Israel on Yom Kippur (the Jews' holiest holiday) in '73. The Palestinians wouldn't even recognize Israel's right to exist until the late 80s! In 2000 Israel offered peace. Arafat rejected it, NEVER COUNTER-OFFERED, and then launched a terror war targetting children and babies.

North Korea and Iran are every bit as polarizing as Israel. Besides, the polarizing argument is very weak. What if many people hate another person unjustly and unfairly? Should they be appeased? Is that your morality?

 
At 5:50 AM, September 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point 6 is totaly wrong:

"The reason is that our domestic problems, like job insecurity, illegal immigration, war, lack of health care, extreme inequality and so on are caused by our corporate and government leaders for the purpose of making us easier for them to control."

Like most anti-Semites, you believe that there is a mysterious "they" (probably evil Jews, in your warped mind) who control the world.

This just shows the quality of your thinking. But none of this really matters, as I doubt you will post my debunking of your anti-Semitic theories (although even if you do, how many people read this silly blog?).

 
At 9:35 AM, October 26, 2006, Blogger nmschuster said...

Any person, regardless of Racial background, nationality, or ehtnic origin, can convert to Judaism. It is easier to become Jewish than to become an aMerican citizen. A conver to Judaism is given the same rights and proviliges by the Israeli government as anyon eborn Jewish. Race is irrelevant. This mensa that Israel cannot be racist.

 

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