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Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Israeli democracy

By Jennifer Rubin

There is, in some quarters in the U.S. and Europe, the notion that Israel is an oppressive state. Israel's foes particularly enjoy Holocaust analogies to add some oomph to their indictments. But let's get real here.

At the Herzliya Conference yesterday I sat through panel after panel of experts, scholars, and former and current Israeli officials. (As a reminder, in the interests of disclosure, I am traveling with a group of journalists whose travel costs are being picked up by the Emergency Committee for Israel.) Tzipi Livni spoke, with her anti-Netanyahu colors flying. On Iran, there were arguments between those who see its nuclear program as an existential threat to Israel (as does the government) and those who indulge in the fantasy that this isn't anything to worry about. Another panel discussed indoctrination by radical Islamists and yet another considered the U.S.-Israel relationship. The panelists argued with each other and with the moderators; the crowd occasionally applauded one view or another. There was nothing in the least peculiar about the day because this is Israel, where dissent is celebrated, not suppressed.

One can get sucked into the quadruple standard at play in this part of the world: one standard for Muslim countries, one standard for democracies, one standard for Israel and one standard for a Netanyahu government. We forget that Israel is unique in the region -- and as a result uniquely stable. There is debate, not fatwas on opponents. There is free press, not media intimidation. There is intellectual freedom without the risk of retaliation by the government.

And yet around Jerusalem, NGO activists, funded from abroad and committed to Israel's destruction, hobnob with virulently anti-Israel foreign journalists. The arrangement, explicit and implicit, is to ferret out a wealth of information for the West's consumption on the great human rights atrocities in the region. Not the stonings in Iran, the child marriages in Saudi Arabia, and the like. No, the fire is facing all in one direction, at the freest country in the region, one that embraces individual rights and the rule of law. A foreign editor of a prominent U.S. newspaper not too long ago conceded that of course there is a double standard applied to Israel, but that the other countries aren't democracies and really don't give the press free rein. This was said with not the slightest sense of self-awareness.

And even that sentiment might be understandable if the collaboration produced accurate data. But accuracy is the first casualty in much of the foreign press coverage of Israel.

So it isn't "news" when a lively conference takes place in Israel. And it's not "news" when a woman is flogged or political opponents are imprisoned in Muslim countries. It's a wonder, frankly, that Israel -- which is not nearly as effective as its enemies in shaping world opinion -- has survived and flourished in this toxic environment for as long as it has. There is a reason, aside from tourist dollars, that Israel pleads with citizens around the country to come take a look for themselves: It is very difficult for the average person to get an accurate portrayal of Israel unless he goes there himself. Unless Israel can figure out a way to fly hundreds of millions of people there to see for themselves, the Jewish state had better figure out a way to communicate what Israel and its foes are all about.

By Jennifer Rubin  | February 8, 2011; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  Israel  
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Comments

Dear Jennifer,I only have three problems with Israel.
(1)I don't like the Likuds,but that is a temporary problem.
(2)Israel picked the wrong neighborhood to move in,and their moving van was a bit aggressive,that's past history,boo hoo. But the first law of retail success also is relevant to nations/LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
(3)I despise the Policy of ambiguity/relating to Nuclear weapons.

Posted by: rcaruth | February 8, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer writes: "The arrangement, explicit and implicit, is to ferret out a wealth of information for the West's consumption on the great human rights atrocities in the region. Not the stonings in Iran, the child marriages in Saudi Arabia, and the like."

Yes, those anti-Israel media like the Washington Post who published an article suggesting that the Israeli military was not the most compassionate in the world, when you know better. No child marriages although the Talmud allows it at about age six; no stonings in Israel but on the way to the market watch out for the Apache helicopters with their hellfire missiles; no atrocities but if you live in southern Lebanon be careful not to play with any of the million cluster bombs Israel dropped hours before a ceasefire and don't pay any attention to those u-tube videos of IDF soldiers beating Palestinians with bricks and rifles.

"JERUSALEM -- On the morning of Oct. 5, Iman Hams, a slight girl of 13 wearing a school uniform and toting a backpack crammed with books, wandered past an Israeli military outpost on the Gaza Strip's southern border with Egypt.

"The Israeli captain on duty alerted his troops to reports of a suspicious figure about 100 yards from the outpost. Soldiers fired into the air, according to radio transmissions, military court documents and witnesses.

"It's a little girl," a soldier watching from a nearby Israeli observation post cautioned over the military radio. "She's running defensively eastward. . . . A girl of about 10, she's behind the embankment, scared to death."

"Four minutes later, Israeli troops opened fire on the girl with machine guns and rifles, the radio transmissions indicated. The captain walked to the spot where the girl "was lying down" and fired two bullets from his M-16 assault rifle into her head, according to an indictment against the officer. He started to walk away, but pivoted, set his rifle on automatic and emptied his magazine into the girl's prone body....."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16886-2004Nov27.html

Posted by: Lazarus40 | February 8, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Jennifer and Disciples of Jennifer,
Please tell me that Lazarus40 is making it up. Can you do that please?

Posted by: rcaruth | February 8, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

When you compare Israel to its neighbors you show that you have very low standards

Posted by: Beaumanoir | February 8, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Did they take you on any tours of the Palestinian neighborhoods being starved into submission by the occupation? When Palestinians are either citizens of Israel or an independent Palestine, free to travel as they wish, I will respect Israel's democracy. Until then, they are a western style democracy that (unfortunately) has elected people happy to thrive while the people they've subjugated and treat like animals suffer.

Posted by: billyvw | February 8, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"There is, in some quarters in the U.S. and Europe, the notion that Israel is an oppressive state."

Yes, there is. For the very good reason that they are right. Israel proves it on a regular basis. Each outrage seems worse than the last.

Posted by: MarkThomason | February 8, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh the poor, poor palestinians. Those poor babies. Afiliated by language and religion with some of the richest people in the world yet starving.

Why? Is it perhaps because they'd rather kill each other and engage in hate than, you know, get to work growing food and making things others would like to buy? Oh no, it couldn't possibly be that the palestinians are "poor" because their culture is dysfunctional. Oh no. No one in their right minds would find a culture that stones people to death, oppresses its women, confronts poltical differences via death squads and raises children to "martyrdom" to be dysfunctional. Of course not./sarc

Besides it has always been easier for the intellectually lazy, folks like lazarus and billyvw, to blame the jews. Some folks just hate jews. They don't know why, they just do. Mostly those jew haters are found to the left in American politics. I'll wager that both the jew haters here are "liberals".

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 8, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"Mostly those jew haters are found to the left in American politics. I'll wager that both the jew haters here are "liberals".

People that hate Jews are from many nations and a variety of political&religious viewpoints. America has a rich history of Jew hatred as does Russia,Eastern and Western Europe. It might not be possible to have a discussion about the Government of Israel without the filter of Jew Hatred to focus our positions.
You,however,seem to be a hater in your own right. What is the difference between how a jew hater looks at Jews and how you percieve Palestinians and Muslims?

Posted by: rcaruth | February 8, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Nah, rcaruth, my experience is that the left, here and abroad, hate jews.

Tell ya what, when the left comes to its senses about Israel and its neighbors I'll join you in a discussion. In the meantime, I'll stand by my position: the left hates the jews.

I've just seen too much of the left's behavior toward Israel and jews to believe otherwise.

As for my attitude toward the dysfunctional arab/muslim culture, let me ask a question: has Israel named any streets or town squares after mass murdering suicide bombers? Name them.

Does the name samir Kuntar ring a bell?

Oh and who can forget the hero's welcome given to Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi? Yeah, he just killed a mere 270 people, so of course he's a hero.

Seeking to derive a moral equivalence between Israel and the thugs that seek to destroy it is an insult to the intelligence. How typical.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 8, 2011 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"...the Jewish state had better figure out a way to communicate what Israel and its foes are all about."

Israel is remote and alien to most non-politican Americans in part because the names are so strange. Israel made a decision to resurrect Herbrew and Hebrew names -- think Golda Meyerson and Aubrey Eban -- and Israel is paying a PR price for it with non-political Americans. Very few Americans can name the head person in China, Japan, or India, in part because the names are so difficult for the average American to recognize or remember. And the same holds true of Israel. Names like Tzipi Livni, Silvan Shalom, Moshe Ya'alon, Avigdor Lieberman, and Yisrael Beitenu don't exactly roll off the average American tongue.

Posted by: Inagua1 | February 8, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28
Like I said you're a hater,people who see the world as all white/all black are the biggest haters,and they love to hate what they see as black.
BTW,George W Bush is now the first president in the history of the US who can't travel abroad. It all about irrational liberal hatred of W,right?,not about any crimes he may have committed.

Posted by: rcaruth | February 8, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Here's what happens when you visit Israel as I did last month as a tourist. You are forced to go with an appointed guide. Ours was an aggressive Zionist who talked about his military exploits and offered ridiculous versions of even recent events let alone historical events. He had obviously been indoctrinated in his schools or home from a very early age. He literally hated anything Arab or, in our case since we were interested in the Holy Land, Catholic. It felt like a decades ago visit to St. Petersburg where I was also assigned a "minder." Israel is not a democracy in the American sense, it is more like our time as a segregationist democracy with apartheid layered on top. The USA is on the wrong side in the Middle east and sooner or later that will become obvious. How could we even think of stalling Egyptian democratic transitions to protect the injustice and propaganda set up that is Israel. Obviously Rubin is happy to be brainwashed a bit more as she has been since infancy but the Americans in my tourist group were appalled. When someone complained to the tourist office they were treated rudely.

Posted by: jj1123 | February 8, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

rcaruth: I have no hatred, nor even dislike for Jewish people. I think, just as there were many good Americans despite the many atrocities wrought in the name of "freedom" by our country, there are many good Israelis despite the atrocities wrought in the name of their "safety". Hating the immoral acts of a country does not equal hate for the people that live in that country.

Posted by: billyvw | February 8, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer,
You write "the Jewish state had better figure out a way to communicate what Israel and its foes are all about."

Well it would be a lot easier for them if your media published the facts and helped them get their side of the story out; then again the American media is as bi-partisan as the president.

Posted by: barabeiro | February 8, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28: Those are the same arguments the British used to justify their oppression of the Irish. Guess what, after they lifted the yoke, the Irish began to take care of themselves and the IRA lost popular support. What do you expect from an oppressed country. When a people are not free, they are bound to either lash out in anger or wallow in despair.

Posted by: billyvw | February 8, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing protests that Palestinians laud those who have killed Israelis during resistance to the occupation but assures us that Israelis, the most human of humans, would never do such a thing, e.g., "Oh and who can forget the hero's welcome given to Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi? Yeah, he just killed a mere 270 people, so of course he's a hero."

skipsailing hopes he or she can rely on everyone being as ignorant of what Israelis do as your average brainwashed American but sometimes his hopes are dashed, e.g........."A video obtained by Ynet depicts Jewish residents of east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood during their Purim celebrations singing songs of praise for Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish terrorist who murdered 29 Palestinians 16 years ago at the Cave of the Patriarchs.

"The video........shows residents singing and dancing next to their Arab neighbors: "Dr. Goldstein, there is none other like you in the world. Dr. Goldstein, we all love you… he aimed at terrorists' heads, squeezed the trigger hard, and shot bullets, and shot, and shot."
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3857671,00.html

Posted by: Lazarus40 | February 8, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Then again, on reading some of the comments I don't think any factual reporting is going to change the mindset and ignorance of some of the populace.

Posted by: barabeiro | February 8, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

rcaruth: I have no hatred, nor even dislike for Jewish people. I think, just as there were many good Americans despite the many atrocities wrought in the name of "freedom" by our country, there are many good Israelis despite the atrocities wrought in the name of their "safety". Hating the immoral acts of a country does not equal hate for the people that live in that country.
Posted by: billyvw
Skip Sailing and Jennifer are the haters,not you. Where did you get the idea that I thought you hated Jews,I never did.

Posted by: rcaruth | February 8, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Apologies rcaruth. I missed that you had quoted skipsailing in my scrolling back through the comments. My comment should have been directed at him.

Posted by: billyvw | February 8, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

jj1123...

Ha, ha, ha, ha! Must be a different Israel you visited than the one I've visited 15 times over the past 40 years. I must have slipped past the "forced" handlers every time. But us crafty Jews know how to bend the rules, doncha know? What a tool. Are you being paid for your propaganda? Is Hamas now giving grants? Work at home and get paid for your efforts! Help us destroy the Zionist entity and make up to $10K per month! Or maybe the EU is funding your efforts? Such a liar...

Posted by: garyfrank1 | February 8, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

yeah, yeah, yeah, the same old nonsense.
===================
skipsailing28
Like I said you're a hater,people who see the world as all white/all black are the biggest haters,and they love to hate what they see as black.
BTW,George W Bush is now the first president in the history of the US who can't travel abroad. It all about irrational liberal hatred of W,right?,not about any crimes he may have committed
===========================

What a steaming pile of parrot droppings.

I note that you don't mention the arab/muslim hero I pointed out. What's wrong? Nothing to say about Samir Kuntar street in Hamas ruled territory? Nothing to say about the way the Libyan government welcomed a mass murderer home?

Oh no, it is far easier to call me a hater than to look at the thugs you support with clarity.

Frankly, the arabs and muslims aren't worth the energy it would take to hate them. Better by far to demonstrate to them the consequences of bringing their murderous dysfunction to our shores.

which reminds me, how long before some arab/muslim stalwart suggests that a town be named after Major Nidal Hassan? Hmmm?

Nope, it is just so much easier for you to call me a hater than it is for you to see the arabs and muslims for what they truly are.

No siree. I stand by my contention.
Seen much palenstinian TV pals? Take a trip to MEMRI and watch how the arab/muslims inculcate death in their youth. Nice, huh?

Get it right my children: the muslims HONOR mass murderers, the Israelis bring them to justice.

And again, why aren't the palestinians as well off as the Israelis? Do you remember what the pallies did to the greenhouses that the Israelis left them?

This is from the AP:
"NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip — Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.

American Jewish donors had bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza for $14 million last month and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who brokered the deal, put up $500,000 of his own cash.

Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said."

Both rcaruth and lazarus are on record as admiring the dysfunctional culture that brought us the AP story quoted above.

How special.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 8, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

and then there is this excersize in sophistry:
=============================
skipsailing28: Those are the same arguments the British used to justify their oppression of the Irish. Guess what, after they lifted the yoke, the Irish began to take care of themselves and the IRA lost popular support. What do you expect from an oppressed country. When a people are not free, they are bound to either lash out in anger or wallow in despair.
=====================

the assumption being made by billy is that somehow the Israelis are "oppressing" those poor helpless palestinians. yeah, right.

As I pointed out the palestinians are simply the tip of allah's spear. The arabs and muslims are so busy killing each other and hating those who aren't muslim that they cannot bring themselves to care about such mundane things like work.

I posted the opening paragraphs from an AP story in 2005. The Israeli's abandonned some land that the palestinians then moved into. In the process they destroyed greenhouses that could have fed them. Rather than impose some form of civil order, the arabs simply looted. Sound familiar? Its the culture kids, the culture.

Oh course those who hate the jews, people like lazarus and billy, will twist logic to find new ways to blame the Israelis for the uselessness of the arabs in "palestine". It is disgusting, sickening that otherwise sentient beings could be so monumentally stupid.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 8, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing: The British believed that the Irish were lazy louts unwilling to help themselves. Many Americans believed African-Americans were lazy louts unwilling to help themselves. It helps justify contempt and mistreatment if the people you abuse are considered less than you. You, like past oppressors, see the anger and despair and its effects, but are unwilling to look deeper into what causes that anger and despair.

In general, people are the same no matter their nationality. If any people were subjected to oppression, they will react in the same way. It takes an extremely rare person, like Mahatma Ghandi or MLK, to rise above anger and despair to true greatness.

Posted by: billyvw | February 8, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@lazarus40
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16886-2004Nov27.html

How the hell this (2004 year) story proves that Israel is not free and democratic, Lazarus? I opened the link, read it. and really got very angry. With Hamas, with the girl's parents and neighbors (also Hamas?), with the captain, and most of all, with you, Lazarus and the Media.

Let us assume that the captain did kill the girl without provocation (girl was running with a backpack; girls had been frequently used by Hamas to come closer and blow themselves up among the Jews); that in that case she was innocent and the captain was a killer.

Let us look, where you ended your quoting the story: "...set his rifle on automatic and emptied his magazine into the girl's prone body...". Terrible scene indeed.

But this was only one quarter of the story, which was devoted to the investigation in Newspapers, TV, Cabinet, Parliament, and the Courts. You did not tell the readers about it, Lazarus. How shall we such an odd behavior of a Progressive American blogger? Disgusting?

Here are just few quotes from the story.

"...Israeli soldiers to speak out about abuses of Palestinians, despite pressure from superiors in the field..."

"In a vitriolic meeting of the Israeli parliament's law committee this month, legislator Zahava Galon of the dovish Yahad party said, "The army sends across a message of disregard for human life" with such behavior."

"Under questioning from a cabinet member, Yaalon denied press reports that the commander and other soldiers left the outpost to make sure the girl was dead"

"But soldiers who witnessed the incident and told their stories to the Israeli news media eventually forced Yaalon to reverse his claims. Last week, Yaalon conceded..."

Everyone can open the link and read entire story. I read it and saw the direct evidence of the power of Israeli democracy at all the levels and among all the people.

And I see deterioration and the weakness of our own democracy, when we allow the crowds of demagogues free ride and show no resistance to banal lies. Isn't it because of Media Professors we witness the onslaught of idiotic infantile rituals by Obama and in Congress in search for "civility". Like Lazarus, they have stopped talking long ago. They either lick comrade's ass or growl at the ideological enemy. No, no, not Hitler, Stalin, Ahmadinejad, N.Korea, or Putin. It was Banker-the-Jew, Reagan, Bush, Condy, Wolfowitz, Israel.

Posted by: boroda | February 8, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

How could they have known beforehand the backpack was crammed with books and not explosives? That's never happened?

Posted by: aardunza | February 8, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The captain was given a wrist slap and later restored to full duty. The IDF has a history of killing children, and cameramen, as a part of Israel's policy to make life so miserable and terrifying that the Palestinians will leave. About 1/3 of the hundreds/thousands of Palestinians slaughtered by the IDF are children.

Your defense of infanticide is rather sickening. Shooting a frightened, lost child from a distance with machine guns because "her backpack may contain a bomb" is beyond the pale (no pun intended). It is no wonder Israel is a pariah nation getting by only through the liberal application of American taxpayers' laundered money.

The Guardian, a noted British newspaper, took note:

"It was the shooting of Asma Mughayar that swept away any lingering doubts I had about how it is the Israeli army kills so many Palestinian children and civilians.

"Asma, 16, and her younger brother, Ahmad, were collecting laundry from the roof of their home in the south of the Gaza Strip in May last year when they were felled by an Israeli army sniper. Neither child was armed or threatening the soldier, who fired unseen through a hole punched in the wall of a neighbouring block of flats.

"The army said the two were blown up by a Palestinian bomb planted to kill soldiers. The corpses offered a different account. In Rafah's morgue, Asma lay with a single bullet hole through her temple; her 13-year-old brother had a lone shot to his forehead. There were no other injuries, certainly none consistent with a blast......."

"In southern Gaza, the killings take place in a climate that amounts to a form of terror against the population. Random fire into Rafah and Khan Yunis has claimed hundreds of lives, including five children shot as they sat at their school desks. Many others have died when the snipers must have known who was in their sights - children playing football, sitting outside home, walking back from school. Almost always "investigations" amount to asking the soldier who pulled the trigger what happened - often they claim there was a gun battle when there was none - and presenting it as fact. "
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/jun/28/comment.israelandthepalestinians/print

Posted by: Lazarus40 | February 8, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Borodo:

Thank you for going through the effort. Lazarus40, Shingo and a few Israeli bashaers regularly employ the Big Lie technique in an attempt to propagandize. It's pathetic, really.

The story actually shows the strength of the Israelli democracy. Investigations and an attempt to uncover the truth and punish wrongdoing. Is every Israeli is a saint? well, no actually. They are human beings after all. Is every American a saint?

Posted by: gord2 | February 8, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse


skipsailing28 writes:
"Oh no, it is far easier to call me a hater than to look at the thugs you support with clarity."

Jared says, just a small point of grammatical clarification: Is the phrase "with clarity" modifying "look" or "support"? Is this what is known as a dangling participle? That is, should we look (with clarity) at the thugs you support, or are you supporting (with clarity) the thugs?
(Yes, I believe you mean the former, skipsailing, and I absolutely agree BTW, but you never can tell, all you posters have as much clarity as Tom Cruise in Minority Report, really quite scary sometimes! ;-) )

Posted by: aardunza | February 8, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

billyvw write:
"...In general, people are the same no matter their nationality..."

George W. Bush and William Kristol couldn't put it any better. We'll make a neocon out of you yet!

Posted by: aardunza | February 8, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Someone's knowledge of Israel's cruelty in dealing with children is deficient. Of course, to Jennifer and friends the children deserved it, they might grow up to harm a Jew (oops that's another story and another rabbi) Other examples:

"A government that imprisons a 15-year-old girl -- one of several hundred children in Israeli detention -- for the crime of pushing and running away from a male soldier trying to do a body search as she entered a mosque is not a government with any moral bearings. (This story, not the kind that ever appears in the U.S. media, was reported in the London Sunday Times. The girl was shot three times as she ran away and was convicted to 18 months in prison after she came out of a coma.)"
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14042.htm

".......former New York Times Mideast bureau chief Chris Hedges wrote of a most illuminating experience.

Israeli soldiers armed with loudspeakers cursed the inhabitants of one Palestinian refugee camp, knowing children and teens would emerge to ineffectually throw stones.

The Israeli soldiers then gunned down the youths with live bullets, wrote Hedges, who noted he'd covered other wars where children were deliberately slaughtered.

"But I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport," Hedges wrote in a recent Harper's magazine
article. Palestinian police told Hedges their attempts to disperse the stone-throwing children were greeted by more Israeli bullets...."

Posted by: Lazarus40 | February 8, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, make that "billyvw WROTE:"

Clarity! sigh

Posted by: aardunza | February 8, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed tortured grammar and syntax happens. This is, for me, on the fly comments, as opposed to a tretise on the subject at hand. Too many commas, misspellings, dangling whatevers and all manner of heinous crimes against the language are committed by the undersigned on a regular basis.

But the point remains, those who support the arab/muslim thugs can't defend these killers so instead they engage in name calling.

It is as weak as it gets. I get called names while the arabs honor men and women who slaughter innocents in the name of Allah. Disgusting. Just disgusting.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 8, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yo, lazarus, the arabs want a war. And they are getting it. If the arabs don't want the downsides of war they should lay down their arms and seek peace with Israel.

they won't do that and so they get what they want. I have no problem with the Israelis imprisoning arabs "kids". The arabs routinely use their children as part of their fighting force.

As I mentioned earlier a trip to MEMRI will show you just how steeped in hatred the arabs kids are.

In short, the arabs are getting what they want: war. War is hell. If the arabs don't like it, let them sue for peace. If they won't sue for peace then let them suffer the consequences.

when did the left turn into a bunch of sissy mary whiners?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 8, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Lazarus40 writes:

"Someone's knowledge of Israel's cruelty in dealing with children is deficient," as if a few scateterd examples, even if true and stripped of context, proves "Israel's" cruelty. Yes, the "cruelty" of six million Israelis can be so reduced. What of the many examples of Arabs saved by Israeli hospitals and doctors. Do these counter-examples prove the opposite point?

Lazarus40, you are lame.

Posted by: gord2 | February 8, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer Rubin: Israel, Israel, Israel… I love you Israel…. Israel, Israel, Israel… let me kiss you one more time Israel…..

As my little niece says. If you love Israel so much why don't you marry it?

Paranoid, apartheid Israel has nothing in common with the US. They are the source of all of our problems in the middle east. The rest of this blog is nonsense.

Posted by: mbintampa | February 8, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

To: Jennifer

You can talk and embrace Israel so called democracy as much as you wish. But, as long as, Palestanian live under Israeli occupation, and their homes get demolished on daily basis, to appease radical Jewish Brotherhood (Jewish Extremists), there is no democracy in Israel.

Posted by: abraham3 | February 8, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

aardunza said: "George W. Bush and William Kristol couldn't put it any better. We'll make a neocon out of you yet!"
--------------------------------
I think you misunderstand the neoconservative world view. They used "freeing the people of Iraq" as one of many excuses to secure Iraq for American strategic interest. It is a liberal trait to believe that all people are the same and deserve liberty. It is a neocon belief that all countries should be forced, one way or another, to work for America's interests, in a sort of soft imperialism. You couldn't fail to notice that the axis of evil didn't include any dictatorships that aligned themselves with America.

Posted by: billyvw | February 8, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer correctly notes the existence of an extreme double standard for 1st world nation behavior vs third world nation behavior. The really interesting question is: WHY does a double standard exist?

Everyone remembers the decades long caterwauling against the white South African government. How many even care that in the past decade 5 million people have been butchered, mostly by machetes, in the Congolese civil war, or that by many measures of freedom and economic advancement, South Africa has regressed in the past decade.

The difference in the amount of public noise has everything to do with the dominance of progressive moral ideology in the western public sphere. The way we make clear that we are good, well intentioned people is that we announce to whoever will listen that we have the courage to challenge the 'haves' and the compassion to care about the 'havenots'. If you disagree, then clearly you are a hard hearted, mean spirited, racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobe.

This is an extremely powerful, successful 1st person singular moral ideology for praying in public, but it is a lousy guide to successful, or even coherent, public policies. The comical double standards noted above are simply one instance of the problem in a very long list.

In the media, this moral ideology means that all data, of whatever kind, tend to be massaged in an effort to construct simplistic little moral plays, with our hero writers standing against the haves, and for the have nots, no matter how distorted the facts and arguments eventually become.

The great irony here is that in the immediate decades after the Holocaust Jews were considered to be the ultimate have nots. Their collective victim status tended to make any criticism in the public sphere of Israelis, quite impossible. As the decades have past and Israel has, through intelligent hard work under tremendous odds, attained undeniable 1st world status, this same defective moral paradigm has returned to bedevil the erstwhile recipients of our ostentatious pity.

Posted by: TYoke | February 8, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Rubin wrote a cogent article and there are some well written responses. Being an adult means leaving childishness behind. Some posters need to learn debate, the essence of democracy.

If the killing of the little girl Iman Hams is 1% possibly murder, then I, an Israeli, DEMAND FULL investigation and that the alleged murderer be charged and tried. If this did not happen then Israeli democracy has failed. If the soldier was found guilty and reprimanded and permitted to return to the IDF then I am horrified. If there was a whitewash, then Israeli democracy has failed.

The reason is simple. Democracy's first responsibility is to protect the innocent, second to protect the rights of minorities, third to protect and enhance liberty through progressive taxation, civil rights, education and alleviation of poverty, and only fourth to manifest the will of the majority.

The Holocaust is simultaneously no excuse and no protection. Amongst Jews - as among any people - are every shade from the most wonderful humans to mass murderers.

There is always incentive for the government, police and military to corruption, violence, and cover up.

The only counter I know is a vigorous, independent and unfettered free press and a vigorous independent, and unfettered judiciary. Israel has both.

I do not deny that Israeli soldiers commit murders, assaults and war crimes. I demand as an Israeli that these crimes be exposed, and, when exposed, these crimes be vigorously prosecuted.

I cannot tell you just where Israel is on this demand. I have simply no time or funds to research it. The press MUST do it, or it will not be done.

Israeli democracy - as all democracies - is tenuous and can devolve into tyranny. Some say this has already happened. I am open to look at the facts others bring me. But my own judgment at this time is that Israeli democracy is somewhat healthy, but teetering.

It is not the cover ups that will save it. It is the EXPOSURE.

So please Washington Post and the other media, go after the Israeli government and the US government with every investigative tool you have. MY living in a democracy depends on it.

But also, there is a deep need for articles such as Ms. Rubin's. Israel is not an apartheid state. How would I know? I was born and raised under apartheid. Therefore I stand, I know. I have met Americans who refused to visit "apart-hate" Israel on their tour of the Middle East, while waxing eloquent on the wonders of Jordan (where Jews cannot be citizens), Egypt (need I say more?), and so on.

Visit Israel, people, and don't go on a tour. Hire a guide by all means, and fire them if they don't serve your purpose. You can find Arab guides, Catholic guides, secular guides, Orthodox guides and IDF guides - Israel is a FREE country. You can go anywhere, speak to anyone, and hear any opinion or dissent. I urge you to do exactly that.

Try that in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, ...

Posted by: 1eye | February 8, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

A thoughful post 1eye,

“Israel is not an apartheid state. How would I know? I was born and raised under apartheid. Therefore I stand, I know.”

Are you a black person who lived under apartheid, because if not, then will all due respects, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela's opinion carries a great deal more weight than yours.

And seeing as former South African Prime Minister, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd, practically invented apartheid, I will defer to his betyter judgement when in 1961 he said that “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. Israel like South Africa, is an apartheid state” (Rand Daily Mail, 23 Novemeber 1961).

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 8, 2011 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 8, 2011 12:06 PM

Besides it has always been easier for the intellectually lazy, folks like lazarus and billyvw, to blame the jews. Some folks just hate jews. They don't know why, they just do. Mostly those jew haters are found to the left in American politics. I'll wager that both the jew haters here are "liberals".

-------------------------

That would explain why most Jews are liberals right skip?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 8, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 8, 2011 12:31 PM

Nah, rcaruth, my experience is that the left, here and abroad, hate jews.

-----------------------------

How does explain that most Jews are on the left and vote Democrat?

How any GOP Congressman and Senators are Jewsih compared to Democrats?

“As for my attitude toward the dysfunctional arab/muslim culture, let me ask a question: has Israel named any streets or town squares after mass murdering suicide bombers? Name them.”

Sure they have. They've named streets after Menachem Begin and Yiak Shamir, 2 terrorist leaders who they also honored by electing them to the office of Prime Minister.

Baruch Goldstein's grave has become a shrine for right wing settlers.

And of course, Israel celebrated the 60th anniversary of a terrorist attack in it's name – perpetrated against a close ally no less.

What Arab/Muslim state has celebrated the 60th anniversary of a terrorist attack skip?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 8, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh and who can forget the hero's welcome given to Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi? Yeah, he just killed a mere 270 people, so of course he's a hero.

---------------------

I'll do you one better skip.

The Captain of the USS Vincennes killed 296 Iranians and was not only welcomed back to the US, but was given a medal by Ronald Regan.

“Seeking to derive a moral equivalence between Israel and the thugs that seek to destroy it is an insult to the intelligence. How typical.”

Good point. Israeli thugs kill far more people that the thugs that seek to destroy Israel.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 8, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Get it right my children: the muslims HONOR mass murderers, the Israelis bring them to justice.

----------------------

Israel and the US kill more than ten times as many civilians, so clearly, they also honor mass murder.

After all, were those who dropped the nukes of Nagasaki and Hiroshma not honored as heros?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 8, 2011 11:03 PM | Report abuse

"NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip — Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.”

-------------------

Debunked lies.

The settlers houses were destroyed by Israeli soldiers as part of Israel’s disengagement, not by the Palestinians. Some settlers dismantled some of the greenhouses and equipment prior to the disengagement. And, according to news reports, about ten percent of formerly Israeli greenhouses were destroyed by Palestinian looters immediately after the disengagement, mostly stealing plastic irrigation pipe, plastic sheeting, and water pumps . That destruction was repaired within a month or so by the Palestinians and the greenhouses were up and running within 2 months. I could go into several other lies that Cox uttered, but what’s the point. Its already been shown that he is a liar and a bigot.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/28/world/africa/28iht-gaza.html?_r=1

But hey, shy let the facts get in the way of a perfectly good Islamophobic rant right Skip?

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 8, 2011 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 8, 2011 2:56 PM

And they are getting it. If the Arabs don't want the downsides of war they should lay down their arms and seek peace with Israel.

They have. 22 arab States have singed a peace offer not recognize and normalize relations with Israel.

Israel have rejected it since 2003.

“As I mentioned earlier a trip to MEMRI will show you just how steeped in hatred the arabs kids are.”

Does this look like love to you?

http://www.google.com.au/images?q=Israel+children+signing+bombs&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1912&bih=965

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 8, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Another article debunking the Hasbara about eh greenhouses in Gaza:

Israeli Settlers Demolish Greenhouses and Gaza Jobs

JERUSALEM, July 14 – About half the greenhouses in the Israeli settlements in Gaza have already been dismantled by their owners, who have given up waiting to see if the government was going to come up with extra payment as an inducement to leave them behind, say senior officials working on the coordination of this summer’s Israeli pullout from Gaza.

Under international pressure to save what is left for Palestinian economic development, Israeli and international officials are working on a plan to pay settlers to hand over the remaining greenhouses and a dairy to Palestinians, to preserve jobs and production. These businesses provide thousands of jobs to Gazans.

Of the roughly 1,000 acres of agricultural land that were under greenhouses in the 21 Israeli settlements in Gaza, only 500 acres remain – creating significant doubts that the greenhouses could be handed over to the Palestinians as “a living business,” the goal cited by the Israeli coordinator of the pullout, Eival Giladi.

http://tinyurl.com/yhvnvl8

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 8, 2011 11:22 PM | Report abuse

“And yet around Jerusalem, NGO activists, funded from abroad and committed to Israel's destruction, hobnob with virulently anti-Israel foreign journalists.”

Please explain Jennifer, how a nuclear power industry in Iran is a threat to Israel – that is unless you have evidence of a nuclear weapons program you might like to share?

“There is debate, not fatwas on opponents.”

I wonder if that might be because the everyone attending were rabidly pro Israel? I do recall the Lieberman called for the assassination of Arab members of the Knesset, but why let facts get in the way of perfectly good Hasbara?

“No, the fire is facing all in one direction, at the freest country in the region, one that embraces individual rights and the rule of law.”

The rule of law just happens to be extremely racist and discriminatory. One could just as easily argue that the rule of law applies in Saudi Arabia, even if it happens to be Shariah Law.

“And yet around Jerusalem, NGO activists, funded from abroad and committed to Israel's destruction, hobnob with virulently anti-Israel foreign journalists.

Don't you just love how Jennifer pulls the hyperbole out of her neocon hat when she doesn't have a substantive rebuttal?

I sould love to hear Jennifers' thesis as to how NGO's (made up of Israeli national no less) are going to destroy Israel.

“But accuracy is the first casualty in much of the foreign press coverage of Israel.”

Yes Jennifer, it just a coincidence that the accounts from those who gave testimony to Breaking the Silence is reflected in the Gallstone Report and Israel's won subsequent investigations.

NGO monitors complaints essentially come down to one basic problem. Those who gave testimony to Breaking the Silence weren't prepared to indentified.

“It is very difficult for the average person to get an accurate portrayal of Israel unless he goes there himself.”

I agree, which is why I went there myself and was shocked by the brutality of the occupation and poverty that Israel inflicts on the Palestinians.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 8, 2011 11:39 PM | Report abuse

For Jennifer and all others so unaware... The survival of Israel is an absolute necessity not because of what God belongs to whom or who's sperm and egg met where... that's the past... this is now and tomorrow is the future on a planet that despite hurricanes, floods, blizzards and monsoons, produces less than one global inch of rain per year and only one tiny country knows the cost effective secret to removing salt from the 5/7 of the stuff that covers planet Earth. You can't start your car... you can't start yourself without water... So please drop the old argument please. You cannot solve a problem by employing the same level of thinking that created it in the first place...

Posted by: lesliekorshak | February 9, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Shingo my hearty, you are just too late. Do the mullahs who pay you know that you missed your chance to argue with me about how nobel it is for muslims to slaughter indiscriminately?

I would hide that secret from them. I hear that losing a hand to sharia can be tough on a typist.

Just so sad.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 9, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

well stated Ms. Rubin: "...one standard for Muslim countries, one standard for democracies, one standard for Israel and one standard for a Netanyahu government. ..."

When I watched BBC News America last night, I was stunned that they covered the new protests in Egypt, Muslim honor killing in Italy, fire-bombing of two churches and murder of three Ahmadi Muslims in Indonesia as reflection of growing religious intolerance, and, just as I was thinking - wow - no micro-focus on any Israeli "sin", coverage of a photo exhibit of the aftermath of Cast Lead war in Gaza in a London art gallery. Very moving photos.

All I could think is that Israel's great mistake since the 2000-02 intifada's has been to protect Israeli citizens. A terrible public relations mistake. Better for Israel to force the children of S'derot to play on the streets, have no missile warning, and no bomb shelters. Then there would have been hundreds of maimed and dead Israeli children for a photo show in a London gallery while the United Nations turns the other cheek over Hamas war crimes.

Posted by: K2K2 | February 9, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

skippi,

"Do the mullahs who pay you know that you missed your chance to argue with me about how nobel it is for muslims to slaughter indiscriminately?"

Never mind, I woudl have debunked your argument easily enough by quoting Rabbis and Israeli leaders who advocate the same thing. After all, Mordecai Gur(Israeli politician and the 10th Chief of Staff of the IDF) told Ze'ev Shiff (Israeli journalist and military correspondent for Ha'aretz) in an interview that:

"The Israeli army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously. The army has never distinguished civilian from military targets, but has purposely attacked civilian targets."

At least you can pretend you won that round.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: K2K2 | February 9, 2011 10:48 AM

"Better for Israel to force the children of S'derot to play on the streets, have no missile warning, and no bomb shelters."'

-------------

Of course, there's always the option of sticking to ceasefirs rather than violating them, but that just ain't the Isreli way is it K2K2?

It's sooo much better to start a war, and place Israeli civilians at risk so that lemmings like you can be spoon fed propaganda about Isreli having to defend itself.

Posted by: Shingo1 | February 9, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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