Monday, September 11, 2006

The Israeli Double Standard

As someone who was raised as a Jew and doesn't believe in illegitimate aggression, I am rather enraged at how the media and government acts about Israel. I've been called an anti-smite and "isolationist" (that buzzword to smear anyone who dissents from foreign policy) simply for critizing the Israeli state's actions and Zionism. When things make it to the point of calling Jews anti-semites, there is something very wrong indeed. Talk about political correctness gone wild.

The fact of the matter is that there is a huge double standard about Israel. The media rightly condemns Islamic radicalism and violence, yet the moment someone points out Israel's lack of innocence in the matter they are demonized, and thus any honest debate about Israel and Zionism is completely thwarted. The distinction between Judaism and Zionism is purposefully blurred, and the distinction between the Israeli state and the Jewish people is purposefully blurred. The media gives you the choice of unquestioningly backing Israel all the way or being demonized as an anti-semite and isolationist.

When I critisize Israel, I'm not talking about "the Jews", I'm talking about the actions of a particular government. And when I critisize Zionism, I'm not talking about "the Jews", I'm talking about what really is a Israeli nationalist movement that has much more to do with geopolitics then religion or race. Simply put, Zionists are political extremists who treat the Israeli state as a god-ordained and omnipotent entity, and they exert an alarming amount of influence on the foreign policies of western nations. They also believe that overt aggression is justified.

The principle we should be using is simply non-aggression, non-intervention. I don't think it's legitimate to willy nilly kill people and intervene in their internal affairs. It's precisely what has created these problems in the first place, and to beat the war drums simply makes the problems even worse and causes new ones to occur. I believe non-intervention and non-aggression is the path to peace. Not nationalism, internationalism and war-making. Diplomacy, cultural exchange and trade secures peace more then bombs and sanctions ever will. Sanctions, protectionism, bombs, regime change and nation building are precisely what creates the chaos and hostility.

At a certain point, Israel is not defending itself anymore, it becomes an aggressor. That's what I resist. It is total nonsense to overtly agress against others and wave the self-defense banner once you get attacked back. It's like a pearl harbor game on both sides. Aggression is aggression. Wrong is wrong. Murdering civilians is murdering civilians. People always try to give Israel a double standard when there simply is none. It is guilty of acts of overt aggression. No media rhetoric can change that.

You would hope that people would take "thou shall not kill" to heart. Apparently not. Instead, they find excuses to circumvent the most basic of moral principles - don't murder people! Murder doesn't suddenly become legitimate just because a state happens to be doing the murdering. The notion that bombs bring peace is the most oxymoronic pile of immoral malarky I've ever heard. Non-aggression (real peace) brings peace. What I find doubly distressing is leftists who are against the Iraq War but somehow don't see anything wrong with Israeli aggression.

Unfortunately, the mainstream and politically correct view pushed on people is to apply a double standard to Israel, to declare that two wrongs make a right and argue that the ends justify the means. This double standard has to stop, and I hope more Jews speak out about it. The Israeli state has no less blood on its hands then Palestinians and the American state does. It's time to stop treating the world as a G.I. Joe video game and act like mature adults for once.

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