Sunday, June 05, 2011

NGO’s, the EU, and anti-Zionism

Israel is arguably the most vilified country in the world. This is no coincidence. Before the establishment of Israel, Jews were the most vilified people in the world! Anti-Zionism is simply a modern continuation of this long-standing form of bigotry. Jew hatred is much more than a religious issue. It is equally political, social, economic, and cultural. Anti-Zionism may have religious threads woven into it, but it is primarily a political cloak to Jew-hatred. Israel is vilified because it is a Jewish nation, not because of its policies and behaviors. This does NOT mean that Israel is above criticism. Far from it. Israel, like every nation, and every person, is deserving of plenty of criticism. But the hatred and vilification of Israel is of a different order.

To support that statement, consider the following:

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has historically attracted extraordinary, and largely disproportionate, international attention. Not because of its ferocity: The number of Palestinians killed by Israelis (and vice versa) over the past six decades is probably smaller than the 9,000 Muslim Bosnians massacred in Srebrenica in July 1995 by their Serb and Croatian compatriots and decidedly smaller than the death toll from other conflicts throughout the globe that range in the hundreds of thousands if not millions.

Nor has this obsession been driven by humanitarian considerations. Not only is the Gaza Strip not in the throes of a deep crisis, but the humanitarian situation there is better than in some of the countries whose ships have been sent on occasion to break "the siege" of Gaza. Infant mortality in the Gaza Strip, for example, is 17.71 per thousand births compared to Turkey's 24.84 or the global average of 44; life expectancy in Turkey is 72.23 years whereas in Gaza it is 73.68, much higher than the global average of 66.12, not to mention such Arab or Islamic countries as Yemen (63.36), Sudan (52.52), or Somalia (50). Even by more advanced indicators, such as personal computer use or Internet access, Gazans are in a much better position than many of the world's inhabitants. In the words of the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, no Israel-lover by any stretch of imagination, "an average Congolese citizen would probably have sold his mother into slavery to be able to move to the West Bank."

Those two paragraphs are the opening (but for 1 prior paragraph) of an insightful and well-researched article, NGOs vs. Israel, by Ben-Dror Yemini, the opinion-editor of the Israeli daily Maariv. The full article can be found at Middle East Quarterly, Spring 2011, pp. 67-71,
This article is worthy of your careful attention, whether you have a general interest to be well informed about this conflict, or you want to deepen your understanding of the subtle but pervasive reach of Jew-hatred.

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