What you think about Israel is it a litmus test for what think regarding many issues in life. Many people would rather not think about Israel, and therefore have no opinion on the matter. And my guess is those people are probably that way on many other controversial issues in life. But what is it about the tiny Jewish state of Israel that makes it so controversial? How could a country the size of New Jersey with a population smaller than the state of Virginia or NY City be the center of so much controversy and debate? If I said “Spain, France, El Salvador, Guam, Zimbabwe, or any other nation (other than Israel and the United States of America) was an Ultimate Issue“, no one would have a clue what I was talking about. So why is the smallest, freest, and most democratic state in the Middle East supposedly the cause of so much of the world’s problems? Why are Israeli citizens (not military) regularly targeted as the enemy and terminated or captured as if they were soldiers?
Just recently we learned of the tragic fate of three Israeli teenage students who were kidnapped, murdered, and their bodies dumped in the desert. Hamas, while not claiming responsibility, cheered the news. Who does that? What kind of thinking conduces a person, let alone a people, to cheer upon hearing the news of the murder of three teenage students? My best guess is those who are filled with hate and disgust towards certain people. Actually that is not even enough, they have to believe the Jews are not human, or subhuman, or perhaps a demonic form that only appears human.
Below is the final phone call to the police from one of the boys phone. You can hear the murderers speaking in Arabic, praising Allah, as well as cheering, singing, and rejoicing over their victims fate:
Everyone knows there is “tension in the Middle East”, but few people want to say why. Everyone knows the Middle East problem is complicated, and requires a complicated solution. But perhaps, once again everyone is wrong. The masses of minds do little critical thinking, and even less inquiry into facts or history.
So rather than discussing the Middle East problem in my own words, please allow me to let Dennis Prager do it far better than I could:
So if the problem is so easy to understand, then why do people, seemingly much of the world – not just Arabs or Muslims, primarily hold Israel accountable. Why is there a strong movement for “BDS Israel” (boycott, divest, sanction) in American universities where many Jews proudly send their children? Why does the news constantly and consistently report Israel as morally equal or morally guilty of terrorism or apartheid?
As I have learned from Dennis Prager and further from George Gilder: A huge dilemma Israel faces is in regards to how the media and much of the world does NOT divide reckoning based on GOOD vs. EVIL. In fact, when leaders like Reagan or George W. Bush used the term “evil” they were panned and ridiculed by the press and university professors. No, the media and much of the intelligentsia divide the world based on:
- Rich vs. Poor
- White vs. Black
- Oppressor vs. Underdog
Once you realize this mindset is what dominates much of the determinations of those who voice their opinions then it all becomes clear. By the way, this formulation for judgement of the world holds true for Marxism and Leftism in general. So if you are a Marxist or simply a Leftist, then you should have no issue with the current bias or my allegation. Rather, you should agree that that is a better determinate than some immaterial “values” system based on some preferred religion over another.
Again, to be more clear what I mean by all this let me play another course from Prager U, and lets see if you “pass” the “Israel Test”:
Unfortunately our news sources and politicians have horrifically failed the Israel test. For those of you who are only recently becoming aware of the Israel vs. World issue, understand that this has been going on since the current Israel’s founding just over 60 years ago. And it transcends the State of Israel… it holds true for Jews outside the land as well.
There are so many false reports and allegations about Israel it is mind boggling. For instance a more recent incident (probably within lifetime for most of you listening or reading) was the “Jenin Massacre” of 2002. Basically the press made headlines claiming a “Horrific massacre beyond belief” occurred when the Israelis attacked Jenin and supposedly slaughtered all the innocent people living there to one degree or another. Even the UN (not known for being an allied with Israel) claimed that in fact there was NO MASSACRE in Jenin. But of course the correct story was rarely, if ever, reported.
Or the Muhammed Al-Durrah video that turned out to be a fraud. This was the famous video of a boy and his father shown hiding on the streets and mercilessly gunned down by the IDF. The whole thing was a hoax. Philippe Karsonty completely exposed the faked video. How much press did that get?
Events that happen here in the United States have a similar fate. In 1991 a religious Jew was driving a car in a motorcade and was involved in a car wreck which resulted in the death of a seven year old black boy, Gavin Cato. Rather than labeling this tragic incident as an “accident” or “negligence”, the people and the media begin painting a scenario of events based on racism. For instance, the New York Times reported it as a “race war”. And people who are supposedly black leaders like Al Sharpton spurred on the malicious allegations against the large Chasidic Jewish community in Crown Heights. The result of these slanderous reports and rhetoric included the murders of: Yosef Rosenbaum – for being a Jew, and Anthony Graziosi – for being mistaken as a a Jew (as he also had a long beard and wore a black suit.) According to wikipedia: “Twenty years after the riots, Sharpton regretted some aspects of his involvement. He insisted that his marches were peaceful, although his language and tone ‘sometimes exacerbated tensions’.”
Once again, actions, and not intentions, are what matter most. Sure, there are people who say they like Jewish people, and they like Jewish food, or they like Jewish humor, but they don’t think Israel should exist as a Jewish nation. How do you explain this? Well, this is still a form of what is called Anti-Zionist, but that term is a bit misleading in most cases. Most people who are against the Jewish State of Israel are in fact anti-Jew (Typically mislabeled as anti-Semitic as Arabs are usually also of Semitic ancestry, and they are not “anti-semitic”. Many are however anti-Jew.) Why would I say they are anti-Jew?
Prager makes a great point about this. “If you say you love Italians, or Italian food, or Italian operas but you don’t think Italians have the right to their own sovereign Italian nation, then wouldn’t you think that ultimately that person is anti-Italian?”
***UPDATE 7/15/14***New Course From Prager U on the BDS movement taught by Alan Dershowitz:
It is a simple question, DOES THE JEWISH STATE OF ISRAEL HAVE THEIR RIGHT TO EXIST?
In the Middle East there are 22 Arab nations, and 1 Jewish nation the size of the state of New Jersey… And the Jewish nation is the one whose existence is threatened. It is the Jewish state whose founding is constantly questioned. Tell me… why do they question the legitimacy of Israel and not Pakistan? There are many parallels between the two nations in terms of when they were founded, and that they were both for religious reasons. But the world is silent regarding the horrendous treatment of the Muslim Pakistani forces against the Pakistani Hindus throughout the years. There is nothing analogous between the genocide and ethnic cleansing done in Pakistan and the reality of the freedom enjoying Arab-Muslim living in Israel, or those who live in Judea -Sumaria (West Bank) or Gaza.
Here is another course from Prager University discussing exactly this issue and why Europe in particular has a problem with Israel:
As rabbi Daniel Gordis makes clear, much of Europe and many Europeans fail the Israel test, but what about our American government? How are they currently responding to the Middle East problem and Israel?
A recent article in the Daily Beast by Josh Rogin clues us in on one issue America’s leader seem to have with Israel. Below is an excerpt:
(Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement to the Trilateral Commisssion) “A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state,” Kerry told the group of senior officials and experts from the U.S., Western Europe, Russia, and Japan. “Once you put that frame in your mind, that reality, which is the bottom line, you understand how imperative it is to get to the two-state solution, which both leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.”
According to the 1998 Rome Statute, the “crime of apartheid” is defined as “inhumane acts… committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” The term is most often used in reference to the system of racial segregation and oppression that governed South Africa from 1948 until 1994.
Former president Jimmy Carter came under fire in 2007 for titling his book on Middle East peace Palestine: Peace or Apartheid. Carter has said publicly that his views on Israeli treatment of the Palestinians are a main cause of his poor relationship with President Obama and his lack of current communication with the White House. But Carter explained after publishing the book that he was referring to apartheid-type policies in the West Bank, not Israel proper, and he was not accusing Israel of institutionalized racism.
“Apartheid is a word that is an accurate description of what has been going on in the West Bank, and it’s based on the desire or avarice of a minority of Israelis for Palestinian land,” Carter said.
So is Israel an apartheid state?
Once again let’s take a course from Prager University and decide for ourselves:
And if that wasn’t enough and you need more convincing here is Kenneth Meshoe a black South African who survived apartheid and is not a member of the South African parliament. He too taught a course regarding Israel and apartheid for Prager U.
I know that if you scan the internet you will find all kinds of videos and posts trying to debunk the facts I’ve presented here. For instance, if you go on youtube you will find all kinds of propaganda akin to Nazi Germany’s which demonizes Israel, Jews, and/or proves there is a global conspiracy where the Jews are supposedly plotting a demonic world take over. So here is the deal, look for facts. Cold. Hard. Facts. Not emotional arguments. Not graphic imagery. Not brooding music. Strip them of their theatrics and then… strip them of their adjectives. Look only for the objective truths and not subjective opinions or passionate desires. I think that once people think with their minds regarding Israel (rather than being lead astray by their hearts or eyes), they will finally begin thinking clearly about this ultimate issue, and stand on the side of the only free, democratic nation who happens to be Jewish, and wants the right to exist as a nation.
In the final analysis, if you are still on the fence or know someone who does not think clearly about Israel, ask this: Do you really think that if the Jews left Israel and created their own little paradise in Antarctica would there be: A) Peace in the Middle East, B) Peace regarding the land of Israel and Jerusalem, and C) No more desire from certain Arab nations, Muslim sects, or other anti – Jew groups to destroy the Jews?
Really, do you think if the Jews left Israel completely… then all would be peaceful and fine in the Middle East and no one would ever bother the Jews again? Really?