While it’s clear that Davidson and Shive claim moral superiority in their article “Blind support of Israel erodes American Liberties,” (Aug. 25) their hypocrisy seems to be lost on them. Let’s look at some examples.
They claim there are serious violations of human rights in Israel. They ignore the fact that Israel is the only country in the Middle East to protect freedom of religion for all, equal rights for women and members of the LGBT community. It doesn’t seem to bother them that in most Muslim countries Jews and Christians are subjected to persecution and many risk death by trying to live there. It doesn’t bother them that in Muslim countries women have very restricted rights and are subject to “honor” killings. It doesn’t bother them that LGBT citizens of these countries are abused, tortured and thrown off buildings. Does anyone see a double standard here?
They claim that Israeli Arabs are second-class citizens. Wrong. Israeli Arabs have freedom of education – they can go to an Arab-speaking school or a Hebrew school as they choose, boys and girls with equal opportunity. Israeli Arabs and Jews work with each other, in hospitals, businesses and other settings. Israeli Arabs vote. They serve in the Knesset. Now let’s say you are one of the few Jews left in any other Middle East country (900,000 Jews were expelled from those countries since the founding of Israel; that doesn’t bother the authors). There are no Jews left in Iraq or Lebanon, but there are several thousand in Iran. Does it bother the authors that Jews in Iran don’t have anything close to the rights that Muslims have in Israel? Are you seeing a double standard yet?
They have jumped on the Israel-as-apartheid bandwagon without questioning the accusation. Wrong again. There is absolute freedom of movement guaranteed by law over all Israel for all citizens. Arabs use the same public facilities as Jews. Arabs and Jews are treated equally under the law. Arabs have full voting rights. This is not apartheid. On the other hand, minorities in other Middle Eastern countries (Christians, Yazidis, the few Jews who are left) generally live as separate, persecuted communities. Arabs calling themselves Palestinians live in walled communities in Lebanon. They are second class citizens in Lebanon and other surrounding Muslim countries. There is no mention of this, the authors are too busy blaming Israel to notice. Double standard – again.
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There are many gullible and well-meaning Americans who have succumbed to this double standard and hypocrisy, due to relentless anti-Israel propaganda which has led to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. They don’t understand that there was never any “Palestinian” land. There never was a Palestinian state. Israel was founded legally through the United Nations in peace, which is more than can be said of most countries. Arab countries have kept “Palestinians” in refugee status intentionally since 1948, to use them as pawns to hurt Israel.
The goal of the BDS movement is to destroy Israel. Nothing less. It should be noted that Israel is America’s best ally in the region, and Israel’s support of America is key to protecting U.S. citizens from terrorist attacks. Despite this, BDS proponents have been caught up in anti-Israel hatred, usually spurred by such groups as Hamas, a known terrorist organization. That is why S720 and HR 1697 protect Israel – and any country friendly to the U.S. – from boycotts fostered or imposed by outside organizations.
So is the hypocrisy and the unquestioning belief in anti-Israel propaganda simply due to ignorance? Are the authors truly standing on moral ground?
Amy Rosenthal lives in Chapel Hill.