Sunday, January 6, 2013

Israel and Sickening Double Standards

Israel and Sickening Double Standards

By Ronn Torossian 

Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East – and continually one can see that Israel’s behavior is a far cry away from that of her neighbors and enemies. It is especially relevant that the current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyhau, is regarded as a right-wing conservative. Contrast that with other leaders in the Middle East.

Imagine in an Arab nation if 160 ambassadors and heads of missions abroad would dare complain about the administration’s agenda and leak it to the media. Would their heads be chopped off or their entire families disappear? In Israel, they complain, leak it to the media, and (unfortunately) are able to remain in their positions.

Yaakov Amidror, the head of Israel’s National Security Council, spoke this week at the annual gathering for Israeli diplomats and amidst dissent rightfully told the group they are “clerks” whose job is to represent the current government. As he explained forcefully – the job of ambassadors is to defend and explain policy – not to try and set policy. As he said, “If this doesn’t suit you, quit or run for political office.” Suffice it to say that despite the fact that this is awful for Israel public relations, none of these foreign diplomats will be dragged through the streets as traitors to Israel. It is, however, very damaging to brand Israel for stories like this to appear in papers like The Independent in the UK.

Imagine in another country in the world, that a political candidate representing the largest political party in the country was detained by police for praying at the holiest site for his religion. Yes, you read it correctly – and the police even recommended after his detention that he be prosecuted for the crime of bowing at this site. The man was released from police custody – he was forbidden to pray due to fears that his praying would anger people of another religion.

And yes, in the country of Israel, which is oft-accused of “oppressing” the Muslims, Moshe Feiglin was detained for this behavior. In Arab nations, Jews aren’t even permitted – and in the State of Israel, Jews (even politically connected ones) cannot pray for fear of offending the Muslims. That story isn’t told properly to the media.

Of course, we are all still waiting for the flotilla to Syria. There’s still no “humanitarian flotilla” to Syria where, in less than two years, thousands more have been killed than have been killed during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the past 20 years. No aid reaches the people in Syria who are being butchered by their government – as Israel is wrongfully blamed for the situation on the ground in Gaza and elsewhere. And no one knows the names of the many victims of that war – perhaps because it doesn’t fit the media’s biased storyline of the Middle East.

Maybe it would all be funny if it wasn’t so sad. There is simply a sickening double standard when it comes to Israel.