Lights in the Distance

Observations and musings regarding new mommyhood and life in general.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Israel and the Double Standard...

Yikes. It's been a whole week since my last post. I never intended to leave such a big gap between entries, but it was a hectic week, and I haven't really felt like adding my two cents about the frightening acts being perpetrated by the IDF in Rafiah. While I can certainly understand the need for a secure Israel, it seems to me that destroying the homes of so many people who aren't too keen on us in the first place will only make the situation harder to repair if and when Israel decides to try to make nice again. In the meantime, the entire world is coming down on us once again, and even the US isn't really rushing to defend our actions. Of course, they have been rather busy dealing with the fallout from the photos taken at Abu Ghraib Prison as well as trying to make the world believe that the 40 people they killed in Iraq this week weren't actually celebrating a wedding...

It's quite interesting to think about, really. Here we are, walking a very fine line between self-defense and human rights abuses as we continue with our valid yet sorely misguided attempts to achieve national security. As a result, we are chastised for our efforts to fight terror by everyone except Micronesia and told that we must put an end to these activities at once. It's understandable, given that we are collectively punishing many innocent people for the actions of a few (relatively speaking) in order to put an end to the smuggling of weapons from Egypt. I think it would be easier for most of us to accept though, if bodies such as the EU and the UN would give equal fingerpointing time to other deserving countries as well. Put quite simply, while Israel is rewarded with international boycotts and questions regarding its legitimacy to exist, a country like China, known for its human rights abuses (those students in Tianenmen Square and the Falun Gong followers constituted major threats to national security, I'm sure), is rewarded with the Olympics. Libya, led by the ever-so-quirky archterrorist of yesterday Muammar Qaddafi, is currently the flavor of the month in Europe, with all past atrocities conveniently swept under the proverbial rug and forgotten. When it comes down to it, do we really believe that he's changed, turned over a new leaf and become one of the good guys? Sorry, but that's a bit hard to swallow.

I look at the country that I've chosen as my home, and try to figure out how things went so wrong. Sure, we can be a little rough around the edges, even bordering on arrogant at times, but what was it that turned us into the world's pariah? Why doesn't the world question Russia's involvement in Chechnya, which clearly poses no threat to Russia's existence, while at the same time condemning Israel for actions of self-defense against a hostile neighbor inhabited by elements fighting for its destruction? In most instances, I cannot condone or justify the actions of the current Israeli government, but there is almost nothing that infuriates me more than those who criticize and condemn us from the comfort and safety of their own countries, people who do not have even an inkling of what it is like to live in a country where terror is constantly lurking in the shadows, and you have to make a conscious effort not to let it affect your daily life. I'm sorry if the Europeans find our need to defend ourselves distasteful (even though our methods are often questionable at best), and I truly hope that you never find yourselves in the situation that Israel is in, because frankly, I don't think you're up for the task.


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