Friday, May 25, 2007

Boycotts, Double Standards, and Plain Old Israel-Bashing

I'm having trouble organizing my thoughts these days. I am alternatively feeling rage and frustration, and often, exhaustion. I am sick to death of the ignorance and the double standards when it comes to Israel, no matter what the platform. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for international intervention to stop Israel from attacking Hamas targets in Gaza (and also called for an end to the rocket attacks on Israel, but strangely, this call came only after Israel began to respond...). The world is up in arms because Israel has finally opted to pull their hands out of their asses, remove the covers from the binoculars and start responding to the never-ending volley of qassam rockets slamming into Sderot and the surrounding areas.

I have always shown sympathy for the Palestinian plight (and have been repeatedly condemned for my views by a charming array of individuals), and while I still support a two-state solution, at the moment, I simply cannot bother to muster up sympathy for a people whose government is more interested in perpetuating both internecine and cross-border violence than in trying to improve the lives of its people – people whose lives desperately need improving. It is absolutely pathetic that the most effective tool the Palestinian government has to unite its people is to increase the frequency of rockets fired into Israel, pushing and pushing until we are forced to respond, then crying foul when we follow the utterly predictable script. Despite what the world believes (and grossly incompetent Israeli government aside), there is nothing that regular Israelis want more than to lead a peaceful existence. We do not want to be goaded into battle; we do not want to be forced to respond. Clearly, we are not afraid to do so, and unfortunately for the other side (or perhaps fortunately, depending on one's opinion), we are better equipped, which means that we will most certainly inflict greater damage. Perhaps the world would be happier if we were also to fire crudely made rockets in order to level the playing field. Somehow, I don't think so. We have always been, and will undoubtedly always be considered the bad guys here, as long as Israel lifts a finger to protect its citizens, as long as Israel does anything other than meekly sit back and do nothing, taking hit after hit and being expected to accept it all because the Palestinians are oppressed and therefore not responsible for the violent actions of their militants and extremists, who are supported by their government.

No matter what happens, no matter who starts it, it is somehow always Israel's fault. Rockets are raining down on Sderot and British unions are practically lining up to boycott Israel. Palestinians killing each other in the streets of Gaza? It's because of the occupation, of course. I've even heard that people are claiming it's the Israelis who are pushing the spotlight on Darfur in order to shift attention away from its own problems, and frankly, I don't know if that makes me want to laugh or cry.

When the double standards exist in an organization that purports to be a platform for voices from around the world, you can't help but reach the conclusion that perhaps there really is no hope. When such an organization allows its writers and editors to shift the focus from events in their own countries to spotlight condemnations of Israel, when it prefers to ignore serious issues raised by Israeli members of its community, when they demonstrate time and time again that they are apparently uninterested in ensuring that Israel doesn't become the resident whipping boy, when they make mistakes regarding Israeli contributions, and then try to rectify the mistakes in the most absurd way imaginable… I wait with anxious anticipation whenever I pay a visit to the website, wondering how the latest attack on Israel will manifest itself (today's was a comment that referred to "Zionuts", which somehow made it through comment moderation; I won't even summarize the entry that generated such a comment, as I found it too unbelievable that it was actually given the spotlight). Clearly, they just don't get it, nor do they even really want to. As with the rest of the world, they only like us when we accept our beatings quietly, without a fuss. If we so much as raise our voices, it is we who become the problem, we who become the troublemakers, simply by standing up for ourselves.

Apparently, it would seem that I'm not too impressed by the world these days, either real or virtual. I have no patience for childish boycotts and double standards, no energy to deal with the intentionally ignorant. My mouth is agape as I witness anti-Semitism masked as anti-Israel sentiment enter the realm of acceptable discourse, or read about individuals who profess to be pro-Palestinian peace activists, whose ideas of peace involve dismantling the state of Israel while magnanimously harboring no ill will against Jews. The world has gone utterly mad, and I can't help but wonder what kind of earth-shattering catastrophe will be required to wake people up. And then I wonder if they even want to.


lisoosh said...

Awesome post.

SavtaDotty said...

I can't help but wonder what kind of earth-shattering catastrophe will be required to wake people up.

I think it will have to be the kind of catastrophe from which nobody wakes up. Cheerful thought, no? What a boat we're in!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, brilliant, Liza.

JJ said...

Perfectly put, as usual. It's pretty frightening to see otherwise intelligent people (presumably) hold the most ridiculous views re. Israel. We're ALWAYS wrong, the Palestinians are ALWAYS right. And blameless.

And that comment about Israel wanting to "use" Darfur to take attention away from our "crimes"- whoa, I thought I'd heard it all. WTF????

LOL at your "taking the lenscaps off the binoculars" remark- good one!!

Incognito said...

If the Palestinians truly wanted peace they would stop teaching their children to hate. It's obvious that any peace they envision is sans the state of Israel.

Fabián said...

Thank you Lisa. It is exactly how I feel. Sometimes I think it is too much to bear. And then I remember that after the Holocaust, but before the creation of Israel, Jews who were survivors in Europe were still being thrown from place to place and nobody wanted to receive them. If they were able to stand the indifference (and abismal cruelty) of the world, and live to raise a country from the desert, we, in our own time can do so too. And even fight back. Yes, even fight back.


Jack Steiner said...

Well said.