Israel at 60: So vilified, yet so deserving of praise
The world should appreciate what it has accomplished.
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No one has ever named such a country, nor could they. Certainly not the United States, which repeatedly bombed enemy cities (Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Tokyo, Cologne). Certainly not Britain, which in addition to bombing cities fought one of the dirtiest colonial wars in Kenya. Certainly not France, which also fought a brutal colonial war in Algeria. Not Russia. Not China.Skip to next paragraph
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This is not to say that Israel's actions have always been commendable. They have not. Israel deserves perhaps a grade of B-minus, but in a world where 'C,' 'D,' and 'F' is common, that's pretty good.
Yet, despite this remarkable history of achievement, not only for its own people, but for the world in general, Israel remains a pariah nation.
It is reviled by the United Nations, which helped create it, and by a large number of the world's countries and people. It has been condemned by the General Assembly more than all the other nations of the world combined – a world that includes such tyrannies as North Korea, Iran, Cuba, China, Syria, Libya, Belarus, and Saudi Arabia. It has been subject to calls for academic boycotts, despite having one of the highest levels of academic freedom in the world. It has been threatened with divestment, though it exports more life-saving technology per capita than any nation on earth.
What explains this vast disparity between Israel's accomplishments and the near-universal condemnation it has received? When one of the world's best nations is condemned as the worst, we must consider the motives of those who are condemning.
Let me be crystal clear: I am not suggesting that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. To the contrary, criticism of Israeli policies and actions is healthy. I have been on the forefront of criticizing Israel for establishing civilian settlements on the West Bank. Within Israel itself, criticisms of Israeli policies and actions are pervasive. Just read the Israeli press. Or attend the numerous antigovernment demonstrations in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. What I am talking about is not criticism of Israel but rather demonization, delegitimization, and disproportionate attacks that go to the very essence of the legitimacy of the Jewish state.
Consider the following question: Would any other country that struggles so hard for its survival, while at the same time trying so hard to remain within the rule of law, be subject to the kind of irrational hatred to which the Jewish nation is exposed? Is the Jewish nation now being treated with the same irrationality with which "the Jews" have been treated for centuries? This is the daunting question that must be faced by those who single out Israel for unique condemnation as it celebrates 60 years of unequaled accomplishments.
Imagine how much more Israel could contribute to the welfare of the world during the next 60 years if it were blessed with peace and were allowed to turn its swords into plowshares!