Recently, I heard a critic of Israel acknowledge that Israel’s neighbors engaged in the same activity as Israel, but the critic quickly pointed out that Israel is held to a higher standard. I used to hear this type of argument made more often—both by Israel’s defenders and critics—but it seems to have become less common. One might wonder why it has declined and whether such a higher standard can be justified. While holding Israel to a higher standard can be useful in particular instances to critics of Israel who are making an argument, its overall effect is to enhance Israel’s reputation.…
The recent abstention by the United States in the Security Council of a resolution condemning “settlements” in Israel has raised the issue of how a Trump administration will treat both the U.N. and its treatment of Israel. Trump’s Twitter statements suggest that he will adopt a much more pro-Israel foreign policy. Already, some Senators have suggested that the U.S. should withhold its U.N. dues until the resolution is withdrawn. The main problem for Israel in the U.N. is that it treats Israel in a discriminatory manner. While it strongly condemns Israel for certain actions, it refuses to condemn other countries for…
Israel is subject to all sorts of double standards. This happens over and over again. One area where this is the case involves Israel’s treatment of its non-Jewish citizens. Israel is said to be an apartheid regime, even though it confers equal rights on its non-Jewish citizens. The harsh treatment by Arab states of non-Muslims is often barely mentioned. Another area involves the UN’s special rule for refugees. Many Israeli critics don’t realize that Palestinian refugees would not be considered refugees if they were former residents of any other place in the world. But because the U.N discriminates against Israel, many more Palestinians are treated as refugees. As Wikipedia states:
Palestinian refugees from 1948 and their descendants do not come under the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees [which governs all other refugees], but under the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, which created its own criteria for refugee classification. The great majority of Palestinian refugees have kept the refugee status for generations, under a special decree of the UN, and legally defined to include descendants of refugees, as well as others who might otherwise be considered internally displaced persons.
But perhaps the greatest double standard is the attention that the world—especially Europe, the Muslim world, and the Left in the United States—pays to Israeli actions. If there is a conflict in Israel, it is front page news. In the many other places throughout the world, not nearly as much. Usually, this attention is focused on criticisms of Israel.
By the end of March, 2015, it is conceivable that the members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany, the so-called 5+1 group, will reach an agreement with Iran to halt its suspected nuclear weapons development program and ease the economic sanctions that have isolated Iran from much of the world’s trading system. Even before the ink is dry on the possible agreement, however, it has become the subject of partisan controversy in the United States, Israel, and Iran. Before evaluating the merits of the agreement, it may therefore be worthwhile for readers of a journal devoted to Law…
At a recent emergency session to discuss Israel’s military operation against Hamas, the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a resolution—proposed by Palestine, which enjoys observer status there—to convene a special enquiry into whether Israel has been guilty of any war crimes in its current action in Gaza.
Speaking during the proceedings, at which, among the Council’s 47 members, only the United States voted against the resolution, Navanethem Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, remarked of the Israeli Defense Forces operation in Gaza:
There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated in a manner that could amount to war crimes.
Ms. Pillay, a former South African judge, has a remarkable record of scenting out when there have been human rights violations.
Based on a pointer on Facebook, I saw this piece about how left wing Shlomo Avineri had admitted that he and his compatriots were mistaken about Oslo and the Palestinian desire for peace. He writes: The initiators of Oslo and the process' supporters saw the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a conflict between two national movements, and believed - as I believed - that in direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO, a solution could be found to the territorial and strategic issues that are the source of the dispute between the two movements. But the basis of this concept had a mistake. All…
As Hamas empties its current stock of artillery rockets (some 10,000) from Gaza onto Tel Aviv and southern Israel while its allies in Lebanon launch similar projectiles into Galilee, and as half of Israel’s population rushes in and out of shelters, no one can forget that the Arab world (minus Egypt and Jordan) is at war with Israel in fact as well as formally. Nor does the Arab world leave doubt about its war aim: to destroy the Jewish state. But as the Israeli air force strikes gradually at the rockets’ launch sites and storage areas and picks away at some of Hamas’ mid-level leaders, as some 40,000 army reservists prepare for a possible invasion of Gaza, the aims of Israel’s military operations are by no means clear. It is clear, however that these operations do not amount to war. That is because, obviously, they do not aim at winning peace for Israel.
Obama is making sure that nothing will stand in the way of Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. Veiling that with a transparently insincere claim to be “freezing” Iran’s quest, and leaving in the lurch governments and peoples that had counted on his promises, he dishonors America. Thus does he guarantee that many more governments will acquire such weapons, and consigns to history the very ideal of nuclear non-proliferation.
But let us look on the bright side: There is value in leaving no doubt about reality.