Supporting Israel: A Moral Obligation

What is it about Israel, the tiny democratic state located in a sea of dictatorships and absolute monarchies, that causes so much loathing in many parts of the word? It seems that the only friends Israel has are the United States, and sometimes Britain – But these countries have their share of Israel bashers as well.

Take for instance a recent vote by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the denomination that I grew up in. They compared Israeli policy to that of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and called for divestment from Israel. In other words, they want to economically destroy the state for daring to fight for its very existence. The Presbyterian Church has said nary a word about the homicide bombings and terrorism practiced by the Palestinians, who routinely call for another Holocaust.

A Presbyterian minister whom I greatly respect personally told me that the Presbyterian Church Assembly “is a shame and scandal.” I couldn’t agree more.

Sadly, the actions of the PCUSA are simply reflective of a larger world trend against Israel. The World Court recently ruled 14-1 against Israel’s security fence. The term “wall” has been applied in an obvious attempt to conjure up images of the Berlin Wall, but in reality it is mostly a chain link fence. Many of the justices on the court come from countries with no business lecturing anyone on human rights, including China, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Russia, Jordan, and Egypt, as Max Boot points out in The Weekly Standard. This ruling is largely meaningless (It could only be enforced by the UN Security Council, where it would face a sure U.S. veto), but it reflects a world increasingly hostile to Israel.

We all know how rampant anti-semitism is in the Arab World, even in “moderate” Arab nations like Jordan and Morocco, where it is common to see Nazi-like propaganda broadcast as news. Across Europe, anti-semitism is also on the rise, as desecration of Jewish cemeteries and assaults on Jewish people frequently occur. The situation is so bad that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called on Jews to leave France, where crimes against them are especially high.

The United Nations is home to incredible amounts of anti-Israel sentiment. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel for killing Palestinian terrorists numerous times (they have attempted to do so even more often, but the U.S. has courageously vetoed many condemnations).

The United States takes much criticism abroad for supporting Israel. Many Islamic terrorists see the U.S. and Israel as a single nation, and thus hate both. Supporting Israel has not gained America many friends abroad, yet we Americans must continue to stand by our Israeli friends. Why? Because it is the morally correct thing to do.

If we were to pull support for Israel, the Arab states would invade and no one would lift a finger to stop it. This is a real shame, because Israel is one of the most free and liberal nations in the world. The population of Israel is 25% Arab. Arab Israelis serve in the Israeli Parliament. Arab Israelis have the same rights as Jewish citizens, save for serving in the military. Indeed, the Arab Israelis have more rights and freedoms than Arabs living in any Arab nation. Can anyone name an Arab country that grants freedoms to Jews?

In light of all these facts, and the history of suffering the Jewish people have endured, it seems rather cruel to constantly blame Israel for all the problems of the world. Is Israel perfect? Of course not. It is, however, a much better nation than any of its neighbors. Indeed, Israel enjoys a level of freedom that far surpasses anything you’ll find in 98% of the world’s countries. Any honest observer would have to acknowledge this.

Therefore, it seems to me that all this criticism of Israel cannot stem solely from policy disagreements. Certainly, there is much more cause to criticize the policies of Zimbabwe, Sudan, or just about any country in the world. Yet, when was the last time you saw these countries make headlines?

Given Europe’s dark history of anti-semitism, it seems fair to wonder if much of the anti-Israeli doesn’t stem from this. The Arab countries make no effort to conceal their disdain for the Jewish people. European and American critics of Israel are far more covert.

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