Imagine, if you will, a crowd of tens of thousands of Mexican and Central-Americans, many belonging to known criminal and terrorist organizations, at our southern border north of Tijuana. Imagine also that they were launching stones, throwing Molotov cocktails, and launching kites across the border filled with explosives. Moreover, imagine that the group’s founding charter called for the destruction of the United States and that they considered killing Americans to be a holy act. Imagine, too, that time and time again they rushed the border fence, trying to tear it down, enter the country illegally, and kill, injure, and maim the citizenry. Imagine also that the group organizing this “protest” was the same group that had been launching missiles across that border, landing and exploding randomly along the corridor to San Diego, creating terror among American citizens who were forced, repeatedly to retreat to bomb shelters.
A similar situation unfolded along Israel’s border with Gaza in recent days. Many of the protesters are doing so purposefully – embracing the mission of their leaders, Hamas. Others were duped into participating. “Hamas manipulated many of these demonstrators into unwittingly rushing the Israeli border fence under false pretenses in order to produce injuries and fatalities. As the New York Times reported, “After midday prayers, clerics and leaders of militant factions in Gaza, led by Hamas, urged thousands of worshipers to join the protests. The fence had already been breached, they said falsely, claiming Palestinians were flooding into Israel.” Similarly, the Washington Post recounted how “organizers urged protesters over loudspeakers to burst through the fence, telling them Israeli soldiers were fleeing their positions, even as they were reinforcing them.” (http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/262329/gaza-media-explainer)
What would the United States, the oldest and greatest democracy in the world, do about this situation? Please, close your eyes and imagine. What would the Trump administration do? Even, what would the Obama, Bush, or Clinton Administration do? Think for a minute.
You minute is up. And if you came to any conclusion other than we would send regiments of our national guard and armed forces to the region and meet this threat with deadly force, you are truly kidding yourself about the state of this country and its obligation to protect its citizens.
I feel for the Palestinians, and particularly for the people of Gaza. They have been badly led, poorly represented, misused and mistreated by those trusted to govern and lead them. They have been lied to for 50 years, promised that the State of Israel would be wiped from the map and that they would take over the land. Their governments have been corrupt, stealing billions from their citizens. What funds have not been stolen have not gone to build schools, roads, hospitals, the electrical grid or to provide basic social services. Those funds have been directed to buying arms, building tunnels under the border to attack Israeli citizens, and paying the families of the murderers of civilian Israelis to compensate them for their “sacrifice”.
Gaza is not occupied. Gaza has been fully governed by Palestinians for years, first by Fatah, then Hamas. It is hard to believe, but Gaza has not been occupied by anyone other than Palestinians since 2005. In those 13 years, little has been done to help build a nation. Rather, much has been done to try to destroy a different nation, Israel. Contrast that, if you will, to the first 13 years of the State of Israel. From 1948 to 1961, Israel built a nation out of the desert, incorporated close to 1 million emigrants, many from Arab states that expelled them after the 1948 partition. Israel built farms, housing, power plants, and made the desert bloom, all while being surrounded by enemies devoted to its destruction. The point is that leadership and a collective vision can make seeming miracles to happen.
The Palestinians do not have the right leadership, and the leaders they do have, unfortunately, have embraced a collective vision that does not benefit their people. Left to their own devices, I am confident that Palestinians and Israelis could live productive, happy and safe lives in their own countries, with cooperation and cross-border trade providing opportunities for both peoples. But, with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Fatah providing leadership, supported by Iran, it is not going to happen anytime soon. The Israelis will not negotiate under threat and like it or not, Benjamin Netanyahu – as Prime Minister – has as his first priority the safety and security of the citizens of the State of Israel.
Think about it. Thousands of Rohingya die in Myanmar and the UN does nothing. The Indian/Pakistan border of Kashmir produces hundreds of casualties each year with no action from the UN or the European Union. China crushes the Tibetan people with impunity and similarly commits pogroms against ethnic Uighurs without constraint. Syria uses toxic gas on its own people with the support of Russia – one of the four permanent members of the UN Security Council. The Russians invade the Ukraine without meaningful reaction from Europe and the UN. Venezuela and the Philippines kill their own people with no action from the rest of the world. Boko Haram kidnaps, rapes, and kills at will. And in Yemen and South Sudan, everyone is killing everyone else as far as I can tell – and the world does absolutely nothing.
And yet, some two-thirds of the United Nations and the United Nations Commission for Human Rights have at one time or another voted against Israel. In 2017 alone, there were 21 resolutions against Israel compared to just 6 for the rest of the world. Some specifics:
- UN Human Rights Council: Between June 2006 and June 2016, the council adopted 135 resolutions criticizing countries. 68 out of 135 of those resolutions targeted Israel.
- UN Nations General Assembly: Between 2012 and 2015, the Assembly adopted 97 resolutions. 83 out of 97 resolutions targeted Israel.
- UNESCO: Every year, UNESCO adopts 10 resolutions criticizing only Israel. It was only in 2013, under pressure from the NGO UN Watch that they adopted a resolution against Syria. Apparently, Israel is more deserving of condemnation than Syria.
- World Health Organization: The decision-making body of the WHO, the UN World Health Assembly, meets to adopt global health issues. There is only one country singled out for condemnation: Israel, with the annual resolution entitled “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan”.
- ILO: The International Labour Organization aims to improve conditions of labour, normalize working hours, decrease unemployment and protect workers worldwide. Predictable, its annual conference produces one country-specific report that criticizes Israel.
The outpouring of vitriol aimed at Israel – by the UN, the European Union, and the progressive left in the United States is a complete vindication of the Hamas strategy of sacrificing its citizens, women and children and young men, to the false ideal of a world without Israel. What the UN and the EU and the host of non-democratic states ask of Israel is something they do not and have not asked of any other country in the world and certainly not of themselves — allowing an armed and dedicated enemy to commit violence against you and react not at all.
It is easy, facile, and entirely wrong to condemn Israel alone for what is happening at its border. Such condemnation comes from an altogether too simple view of the situation and a total ignorance of (or willful disregard for) the stated purpose and mission of the groups fomenting the problem.
Sometimes, it strikes me that the world only cares for Jews when they are being oppressed and killed. When they fight back, demand respect, and fully refuse to be bullied, the world reacts with unease, disgust, and discomfort. A singularly different reaction compared to almost every other country in the world.
If you understand why this is, please share. I can think of only one reason.