Why you’re not treated like adults
The “Muslim world” and its friends caterwaul constantly that America never gives its leaders and its people fair consideration, that it doesn’t treat them as “full partners” in various and sundry “dialogues” and “processes,” and that it unfairly favors the literate and liberal Zionist regime that causes all the world’s problems. It’s really quite a thing to see, for they don’t merely have a problem with this tilt, but with any assertion of self-defense by either the U.S. or Israel for any reason. Thus the very concept of the war on terrorism is considered objectionable by Muslim populations: The effort by the United States, and the West in general, to undermine the power and capacity of terrorists is considered an offense, for the obvious reason that it is directed at, well, terrorists.
So it’s not surprising that the usual suspects are outraged, shocked, horrified at Israel’s long-overdue (strategically, if not tactically and logistically) assertion of its fundamental right of self-defense. Read this story, and see how many times you search for an actual argument based on fairness or some sense of shared humanity before you give up, as usual:
In Turkey, more than 5,000 people held an anti-Israel rally in Istanbul, waving Palestinian flags and burning effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President George W. Bush. Also in Istanbul, club-wielding police broke up a small demonstration by protesters who hurled eggs at the Israeli Consulate . . .
Israel’s weeklong aerial bombardment of Gaza and the start of the ground offensive Saturday against Hamas have drawn condemnation across the Muslim and Arab world and news coverage of the invasion has dominated Arab satellite television stations.
Thousands in cities from Tehran to Damascus have also taken to the streets to protest the attacks, which have killed about 500 Palestinians and wounded more than 1,600, according to Gaza officials.
In some cases, the protests of the past week were as directed against Arab governments as much as Israel, with many criticizing their perceived inaction or lack of sufficient support of the Palestinians.
On Sunday, the leaders of Egypt and Jordan — the only two Mideast Arab countries to sign a peace agreement with Israel and maintain diplomatic ties — condemned the ground offensive and called for an end to Israel’s onslaught in Gaza.
I’m not saying it’s surprising that they don’t share my view, or that of the Israel government, that this campaign was justified. I’m pointing out that not a single leader, protester or other representative voice is heard in this article by Lebanese reporter Bassem Mroue (more here) explaining why — given the objective fact that Israel has been under bombardment from this territory for months, by the ruling government of it, and no one has said or done anything to stop it — Israel’s actions cannot possibly be justified. The suggestion is not that there is some incrementally different alternative strategy (the French President’s regrettable “proportionality” reflex) Israel should take to acts of war, merely that it has no right to self defense. For if you have no right to exist, why should you be allowed to preserve your existence?
True, EU President risked getting Palestinians sore over his frank acknowledgment of basic morality, but is there hope that someday, someone in the Muslim world will merit that respect it claims so desperately to seek but which it refuses resolutely to give in any measure to those human beings it hates as a matter of principle. Egypt’s leadership demonstrated a tiny measure of welcome and unusual daylight on this issue. Indeed notwithstanding the public posturing, anyone but the hate-Israel crowd on the campuses and among the coastal elite in America and the usual suspects in Western Europe can see that to those closest to the action and most affected by it, besides the genocidal lot being spanked right now, Israel’s action is not an unwelcome development. That is because they want a chance at life.
Thus the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas maintains the necessary posture of condemnation but loses little sleep over the damage being invoked on a rival that hates him nearly as much as it hates the Jews; they brought it on themselves, he acknowledges. And even higher in the hierarchy of hate, interesting tidings in that same article:
Meanwhile, the leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, discussed the situation in Gaza with visiting chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, the group’s Al-Manar TV said.
Al-Manar did not give further details but said Nasrallah and Jalili, who arrived here Saturday from neighboring Syria, discussed “ways of ending this aggression.”
Hezbollah, which is a strong ally of Hamas, possesses a formidable arsenal of rockets and missiles that bloodied Israel during a monthlong war in 2006. Hezbollah has not threatened to join Hamas in its current battle with Israel, but Nasrallah said last week that his men are on alert in case Israel attacks Lebanon.
That’s as good a promise of stand-down as can be imagined, given the unlikelihood of Israel opening up a second front during this campaign.
“Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us,” Golda Meir stated famously. Is someone in the Arab world getting tired of throwing their children into the pit? If despite the usual outrage from the usually outraged, the marginally “balanced” reaction among those closest to the fighting is an indication, perhaps it is. This is a long way from humanity, much respect, but a sadly necessary first step.
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds rounds up similar reactions, including this: “When your advice for peace is to give up, don’t be surprised when others look down at you.””