ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | A Stupid Question or Two 3.3.11

A Stupid Question or Two

 6 March 2011

By Yisrael Ne'eman

I have a stupid question. Where are the self proclaimed Left wing humanitarian activists? Arab/Muslim regimes oppress their own people mercilessly over the decades and we are not being treated to mass protests by those good hearted European and North American types. Iran arrests opposition leaders and puts down anti-government demonstrations mercilessly. Tunisia and Egypt saw violence with tens of casualties in the former and hundreds in the later (over 350 killed) – but there were no protests – no tens of thousands marching in the streets, even in Australia. Now we have Libya. The Arab satellite station Al Jazeera reports thousands killed, hundreds of thousands of refugees and the beginnings of a civil war. Pictures show men face down, hands tied behind their backs lying in pools of blood – a typical form of execution with a bullet to the head. Libya only now has been removed as a member of the UN Council of Human Rights, apparently there were no human rights violations by Muammar Qadaffi's government in the past – only now there are suspicions of "alleged" violations. Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez, darling of left wing revolutionary and anarchist self righteousness calls on the world not to judge his good friend Qadaffi, inferring some sort of Western and American plot.

In the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88 at least half a million were killed and another million injured – many of them child soldiers, Saddam Hussein slaughtered Shiites and Kurds by the hundreds of thousands throughout the 1980s – 90s and the Turks have never truly relented on persecuting their own Kurdish population over the years. Has anyone ever seen a massive human rights demonstration on behalf of these groups?

The knee jerk Left wing "humanitarian" demonstrators and their organizing committees have a problem. Previously one jumped into the fray in the name of Arab and Palestinian rights. They screamed hysterically during Israel's "Cast Lead" Operation in Gaza two years ago, pointing out Palestinian civilian casualties despite full awareness that Hamas fired rockets at Israel from heavily populated urban areas in the hope of incurring civilian casualties when Israel would be forced to fire back. Anyone who died was a "shaheed" or martyr. When asked why they were protesting the demonstrators declared the holiness of "human rights" and the Palestinian cause. Israel was deemed fascist, Nazi and any other repressive term that came to mind.

Last spring we saw similar scenes when the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara led by the Muslim Brotherhood Turkish faction IHH decided to break the Israeli shipping blockade on Gaza, implemented for fear of weapons and ammunition contraband reaching the Hamas dictatorship. The Turks could have docked in Ashdod and shipped all humanitarian supplies overland, but no, they had to play the media game of "breaking the blockade". Everyone knows that with close to a thousand tunnels between northeastern Sinai and western Gaza, there is no blockade. The Turkish Muslim Brotherhood activists attacked the Israeli forces landing on the ship, beating them with metal bars and flailing knives. In the Israeli response nine were killed and many were wounded on both sides. In both incidents Israel was condemned.

I have more stupid questions. Were people marching in the name of Palestinian rights? Arab rights? Human rights? When Hamas fires rockets into Israel (two Grad missiles last week hitting Beersheva and Netivot) does Israel have human rights? Ah, I get it, these are not Palestinian or Arab rights – and apparently not human rights either. Somehow the Jews are less than human, or at least those living in Israel. Okay, so the self-proclaimed "Left" does not like Jews – well neither did Stalin or any of those "liberationist" types ruling in Eastern Europe after WWII.

So let's take it from the other side. Don't you feel for the Arab people and their suffering? This has been going on for several generations, whether with former Soviet or Western and American backing. There are said to be "pro-democracy" uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Jordan. There is even a demo or two in Saudi Arabia – remember that far away oil kingdom where there are areas off limits to non-Muslims and "women's rights" are an oxymoron. Iran and Syria are said to be crushing all opposition but the Western press does not really have access, so we may have to believe Assad and Ahmedinejad respectively when they tell us that all is well – or maybe it is just the Zionists stirring up rebellions and propagandizing against these most lovable of regimes. Libya is bombing civilians in the developing civil war and not a peep out of our popular human rights activist types – and I do not mean Human Rights Watch and the institutionalized organizations which for sure have a few honest workers and in any case are expected to put out reports about every country world wide. Oh yes, and where is the big press conference by Amnesty International? They are most probably still collecting data on "alleged human rights abuses". Let's hope the press shows up when they finally file their report.

Why are there no protests? – and I do not mean by ex-patriots from those same countries. Where is the self proclaimed altruistic, peace loving, liberal democratic "Left" when it comes to the Arab and Iranian leaderships attacking their own people? Or take Afghanistan and Pakistan, almost every day there are suicide homicide bombings with every year thousands killed and many more maimed for life. Where is the "humanitarian Left"?

The answer lies as to who is involved in the clash. When Arabs butcher Arabs, or Muslims slaughter Muslims or Iranians torture and kill other Iranians, Western do-gooder types do not care and will not act. When Hamas won the Palestinian civil war in Gaza hundreds were killed in an eight day period in June 2007 and no one protested even when filmed executions were highlighted on YouTube. Encouraged, Hamas fired on unarmed pro-Fatah demonstrators killing several more and injuring dozens – no one cared and no demonstrations ensued. There apparently are no Palestinian human rights when Palestinians kill each other.

When Israel (yes, the Jewish State) is involved in the clash then it is a holy obligation to highlight all casualties and suffering – on the Palestinian side of course. Are there any protests when Hamas or Hezbollah in Lebanon hide in civilian zones firing rockets with impunity? Are rockets landing on Israel and the resulting casualties of any great concern? Barely, or only as far as it elicits an Israeli military response.

These popular demonstrations are neither pro-Arab, pro-Palestinian, pro-democracy nor pro-humanitarian. When these people march they are anti-Israel and by extension antisemitic, eternally defined as Jew hatred and Judeophobia. If these sanctimonious types demonstrated against all state authorities involved in conflict, the human rights logic might stand a chance of being understood, even if somewhat mistaken since states are not categorically wrong when using force – context and circumstance being of overriding importance. Or if they demonstrated against Israel's adversaries as well – in particular when there are suicide homicide bombings or calls for Israel's destruction, then none could accuse them of antisemitism. Most hypocritically they only demonstrate against the Jewish State.

So I only have one last stupid question. Why don't you come clean with us all and declare your unswerving opposition to Jewish independence as your only true goal and halt the hypocritical veneer of advocating Arab/Palestinian/human rights? After all we are waiting with baited breath for a massive demonstration including tens if not hundreds of thousands demanding the much flaunted Arab/Palestinian/human rights, even if Israel and Jews have nothing to do with the events at hand.

***Note: You will see these people demonstrating once again should Israeli-Palestinian attempts at conflict resolution not succeed over the next few months.