The (what about) China syndrome

It’s probably a good sign that Israel’s apologists are increasingly resorting to a sideways defense: What’s with you and Israel? I don’t hear you complaining about China or Syria or North Korea. Implicit in this mantra is an admission that any coherent defense of Israel is in short supply—the only “defense” left is to question why this particular bully is targeted from among the various nefarious bullies on the block. It’s a desperate line that is wielded effectively only because of its insinuation of some dark motive, innuendos that the other bullies cannot exploit. I’ve been doused with it by people as diverse as security agents at Ben Gurion airport to the music critic Norman Lebrecht.

Its absurdity is self-evident. If injustice can be shielded on the grounds that there is other injustice, everyone is silenced. We would disparage those fighting China’s savagery in Tibet on the grounds that they are not active against Sudan’s repression of its lgbt citizens. Those who struggled against Indonesian/US atrocities in East Timor would have been mocked because they were not active in the fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa. At best, only criticism of the single worst injustice (according to whatever chosen criteria) could be permitted: all others simply need point downward.

Freed of this hasbara linkage, the question of why is, of course, important. Why do so many in the United States consider Israel to be very much our concern and responsibility, above and beyond other issues? Bluntly, it is our injustice. We are the ones doing it, and thus it is we with the power and the responsibility to stop it. Far more than any other bully on the block, Israel is directly armed, empowered, shielded, and bankrolled by us, by our tax dollars, by our votes, our strong-arming, our failure to act.

Our own self-defense is another reason: we are among our own victims. Our complicity with Israel has corrupted our domestic politics, robbed the public till, and squandered our moral integrity. It has made a mockery of our nation and the ideals we profess to symbolize.

Just as our democracy makes us responsible for what is done in our name, so is democracy is a reason why Israel is a particularly justified target for boycott. Unlike China or Syria or North Korea, Israelis elect those who run their country, as well as dictate the lives of four million Palestinians who cannot vote in its elections. The Chinese public has no control over Beijing’s atrocities in Tibet; the Israeli public votes for those who continue six and a half decades of ethnic cleansing. One may well still argue for boycott against China and other belligerent nations, and as with the case against Israel, such arguments will stand independently on their own merits, not on whether every activist can address every issue. It’s time to expose the ‘What about’ it for what it is—a cynical attempt to keep eyes from noticing that the Emperor has no clothes.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics

{ 125 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. eljay says:

    >> If injustice can be shielded on the grounds that there is other injustice, everyone is silenced.

    And that’s precisely how the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist Jewish State of Israel and its hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist supporters would like it to be.

  2. Dan Crowther says:

    Good post.

    Whatever else is true about China’s actions in Tibet, they have been in the cause of modernity, whereas Israeli actions in palestine are all about denying modernity to palestinians. I think people need to be more informed on just exactly what the Dalai Lama and his crew are about, before the china bashing starts. Im not an apologist for china, but im also not one to defend feudalism, which is what the lama represents.

    • seafoid says:

      Tibet is in the same colonial boat as Palestine. You could probably say that the US political system is feudal.

      Modernity is such a crock of sh*t. What good will it bring the next generation ? Fish all gone, climate broken down, for what ?

      I saw a newspaper headline today that showed me at least what a short sighted species we are : “Melting glaciers reveal treasures”

      • eljay says:

        >> I saw a newspaper headline today that showed me at least what a short sighted species we are : “Melting glaciers reveal treasures”

        It’ll all be worth it just to see Noah’s ark… ;-)

      • Dan Crowther says:

        I do say that the US political/economic system is feudal – and when I say modernity, i dont mean western consumerism, i mean very basic things like (at least some) access to an education (however informal), (at least some access to running water, healthcare etc. ) I dont want to get into extensive lama bashing, but the history isnt pretty.

        I agree with your sentiments seafoid, I think you know where I stand regarding global capitalism and the social structure it creates, my only point is that I think the Israeli occupation/colonization of palestine is qualitatively worse than the Chinese occupation of Tibet.China takes steps to integrat tibet, israel of course does the opposite

        An important point is raised here; specifically, are we democrats in the sense that we think democracy should be the universal system of administering economies and societies, or are we democrats in the sense of saying to other nations, whatever you decide at the ballot box will be considered democratic – even if the democratically elected government is a tyranny.

        I am a democrat of the former, I think its perfectly appropriate to say as an outsider, I don’t support exchanging one tyranny for another, let alone one that could be worse. The same goes for Palestine, I kind of agree with stormin norman finkelstein on the issue of “self determination” and all its potential definitions. I for one would never in a million years support a religious administration, or a islamic republic of palestine. (just a vulgar example). Self determination should mean exactly that – individuals taking ownership of their present and working collectively to improve their future, as humans. Its a completely secular humanist idea, its the radical opposite of traditional religious ideas of submission to something you cant understand and so on, it is saying the earth belongs to those who are currently living. so to me voting in god (in any of his/her forms) is not an act of ‘self determination’

        • seafoid says:

          I don’t think Han domination is much to write home about, Dan. I know what you mean but it seems to be the same crap as Zionism. Dehumanise the natives. I used to work with a Han settler from Xinjiang which is north west of Tibet and the way he spoke about the Uighurs who are the natives there reminded me of my Israeli colleagues. “The Uighurs are dirty, they are backward, they never had education, we had to show them how to do things”. I’m sure they say the same about the tibetans. Ultimately it is about resource consumption and who has access to resources and whether it is Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, Han in Tibet or Jews in Palestine it is the same militarised shit so that only the chosen ones get the middle class lifestyle.

          Israel is in very exalted company.

          Re modernisation the Lebanese got it . Gazans didn’t. Countries that have control over their own territory can make progress. Both Tibet and Palestine have been asset stripped.

          The main difference between China and Israel is that China will probably get away with it while Israel will collapse and all because you can only be Jewish if your mother is.

      • In mid-June I was in Juneau Alaska to learn more about Tlingit-Haida Tsimshien music during the semi-annual Celebration there. Over 8,000 Alaska Natives came to the festival, to participate in or enjoy the scores of singing-dancing groups from dozens of communities in Alaska, Canada and Washington state.

        In one conversation, a friend related to me that a Tlingit elder from Angoon, when asked why his people lived at that particular place, replied that “We moved here when the ice came to Glacier Bay. Long ago.”

        The elder claimed that his great grandmother could recite the generations of her people back to before “when the ice came,” which would be thousands of years ago. Her recitation took hours. He regretted that in the 20th century his people seemed to have lost the ability to remember that far back.

        • MRW says:

          @Philip Munger,

          I went to a museum in Northern Norway that had fossils from all the animals that roamed the region when there was no ice in the arctic, when it was full of Palm trees and beaches. The museum was waaay north of the Arctic Circle.

          Scientists who study the Ice Age say that the real cause of it is a shift in the Earth’s axis. It creates a different angle between the earth and the sun, and the lack of sun creates ice in certain areas of earth. The lower troposphere (up to about 25,000 ft) between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn is the most sensitive globally to warming and cooling. I check the satellite temps everyday just for shits and grins. It’s been cooling on average since 1998 by minuscule amounts.

  3. Well, it’s simple – when the USA is dragged into multiple wars on behalf of the PRC and/or North Korea, when the USA is politically raped by domestic lobbies who shamelessly fetch and carry for the malign cause of the PRC and/or North Korea, when the USA starts blowing $3 billion+ dollars annually on the PRC and/or North Korea, that’s when I’ll take a much more active hard line on those other two political abominations.

    Just think – from The Light Unto The Nations to “we’re so much less terrible than those other guys” in barely half a century. Yeah, the late [and massively unlamented] Senator Moynihan, as gutless a thraal to the Israeli cause as ever stood up on hind legs, sure would [not] be amused to see his concept of “defining deviance down” make an appearance in this context.

    I’d laugh, except I think that tears are a more appropriate response.

  4. ColinWright says:

    I remain quite pleased with the analogy I’ve employed at least once here already.

    We were pivotal in the creation of Israel and are far and away her major support: it’s doubtful if she could survive without us. Unlike Burma, China, the Sudan, or Canada, Israel is our unquestionably our fault.

    If someone else’s teenage son rapes a girl, that’s deplorable. If my son does, I really am responsible.

    • anan says:

      ColinWright, read Finkelstein. Israel is one of the richest and most successful countries on earth. She doesn’t need any American help. Israel has friends in China, India, Japan, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia and Germany. Israel sells large quantities of military equipment to China and India. Israel increasingly isn’t even that dependent on US civilian trade and investment.

      The US has little influence over Israel. Rather the Israeli lobby in the US keeps telling Americans about how much more America needs a rising power like Israel compared to how much Israel needs America. And they even have a partial point, truth be told. :-(

      You cannot win an argument on the wings of a lie. When you talk like this you become a laughing stock before the world.

      Rather argue that Israel should do right by the Palestinians on its own merits. And inspire Israelis to follow their own values and culture.

      Israel isn’t America’s teenage son. The concept is so condescending and patronizing that it ekes of the “Ugly American” syndrome.

      Leper Colonialist, the US has orders of magnitude more to help and influence China compared to Israel. US policy has facilitated the Chinese economic miracle. US policies continue to provide global public goods that benefit China as much more more than Americans. America is 100% correct to do so by the way.

      North Korea is one of the largest recipients of US aid and has been since 1994. The US, Japan, South Korea and China enable the North Korean government’s negative behavior through their aid.

      The US was dragged into wars by China and North Korea. Pakistan received its missile technology from Pakistan.

      seafoid made some good points above.

      Dan Crowther, China’s policies have harmed select other countries and Chinese minorities (such as Tibetans and Uighurs and Mongols) more than anything Israel has ever done. Remember the Chinese invasion of India in 1962 and invasion of Vietnam in 1979? This said I still believe China is getting better and is today generally a source of global good. I think the US should continue to improve relations with China and work shoulder to shoulder with China all over the world.

      • ColinWright says:

        “…Israel isn’t America’s teenage son. The concept is so condescending and patronizing that it ekes of the “Ugly American” syndrome…”

        We’re Dr. Frankenstein and this is our monster, then. Whatever.

        The point is that we are responsible for, enable, and fund Israel’s behavior in a way makes us uniquely responsible for her crimes.

        …and whining about ‘the Israel lobby’ is no excuse. That only holds sway due to our own cowardice, ignorance, laziness, moral corruption, bigotry, and half-admitted desire to see Israel do exactly what she does. If Israel ‘controls us’ it’s because we let her do it.

      • Citizen says:

        RE: “North Korea is one of the largest recipients of US aid and has been since 1994.”

        Source, Anan?

        Here’s a list of the top recipients of US foreign aid in the last most recent decade–N Korea is not on the list:

        link to vaughns-1-pagers.com

        Between 1995 and 2008, the United States provided North Korea with over $1.3 billion in assistance: just over 50% for food aid and about 40% for energy assistance (de-nuclearization). Since early 2009, the United States has provided virtually no aid to North Korea. link to reliefweb.int

        Israelis are not literally starving, and Israel is not dismantling its nuclear weapons, or even promising to do so.

      • Good, then you will be in favour of stopping the leeching of US taxpayers by Israel. A good example of whataboutery syndrome.

      • Shingo says:

        Israel is one of the richest and most successful countries on earth. She doesn’t need any American help.

        Whaty rubbish. The author of ‘Startup Nation’ conceded, Israel was in an economic black hole before the migration of several thousand Russian-trained scientists and engineers. Russian taxpayers laid out the resources and brainpower to teach and train those people; Israel reaps the benefits.

        Israel is entirely dependent on the world’s largest welfare cheque. If Israel ever has to pay its own way in the world, it will go the way of Greece. That’s why the lobby is so active in the US, becasue if the truth ever got out, Israel woudl be done for.

        Israel get’s little or no aid from China, India, Japan, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia and Germany. In fact, Israel has ver few fiends, which explains why it ranks alongside North Korea in terms fo internatioal popularity and it reagrded as the world’s bigegst threat to peace.

        srael sells large quantities of military equipment to China and India.

        Israel increasingly isn’t even that dependent on US civilian trade and investment.

        Absolute rubbish. Israel’s tade agreement iwht the US has been described as little more than a US$10 billion annuam grant to ISrlae because it is so obscenely one sided. While US industries have gone to ground because of the access given to ISrael to US markets, Israel imposes stict protectionism. Much of it’s so called “innovation” is based on stealing or reverse engineering US technology – in weapons and pharmaceuticals.

        The US has little influence over Israel.

        The US has complete infvluence over Israel utg simply choses not to excercvise it. Every time the US has said no, Israel has had so suck it up. Whern they were told to withdrasw from the Sinai in 1956, they did as they were told. When they were denied permission to attack Iran, they did as they were told.

        Rather the Israeli lobby in the US keeps telling Americans about how much more America needs a rising power like Israel compared to how much Israel needs America.

        You are complattely out fo your mind. If that were trur, there woudln’t be need for any Israeli lobby. Israel’s relies so heavily on perpetuating the myth that it is a strategic asset because evidently, very few people believe it. The last thing Israel wants the public to realize is that it is a strategic liability, as Meir Dagan and Anthony Cordesman both satted.

        You’re seriousl oln another planet Anan. Planet Hasbra and you’ve snorterd way too much Ziocaine.

        • Mooser says:

          “You are complattely out fo your mind.”

          Shingo, meet an old friend. I’m pretty sure it’s Dick Witty. (Yes, that is his real name. There’s some nasty work pulled at the font, isn’t there?)
          Well, I can’t think of anything more humiliating than sneaking back on to a blog you were banned from under another handle, but “annan” may surprise us before it’s over.

          BTW Dick, juicy tid-bits about the young Phil Weiss would more than likely be at a real premium over at the Commentary offices about now. Why not benefit from your long and intimate association with him. After all, you know what he did that summer!

      • “ColinWright, read Finkelstein.”

        Anan..maybe you’re talking about Dershowitz because you never read Finklestein yourself. He doesn’t say ANYTHING like what you posted. You just think, because people criticised him over here, that he’s pro-Israel. He’s absolutely not. Anan. You should read Finkelstein.

      • RoHa says:

        “And inspire Israelis to follow their own values and culture.”

        The values of exclusivity and ethic supremacy, and the culture of murder, theft, lies, and ethnic cleansing?

      • ColinWright says:

        “…The US has little influence over Israel. Rather the Israeli lobby in the US keeps telling Americans about how much more America needs a rising power like Israel compared to how much Israel needs America. And they even have a partial point, truth be told…”

        We need Israel like I need to be confused with a registered sex offender who is using my credit card numbers.

      • MLE says:

        Why are young American Jews supposed to give you our loose change in Hebrew school? If you’re so well off- fund your JNF yourself, in fact- Israeli kids should send us young American Jewish children their pocket change, because we’re so sad being diaspora and all.

      • seafoid says:

        Anan, honey

        Israel is an outpost at the end of an imperial supply chain. If Israel was cut off from Europe and the US it wouldn’t be able to function. It has enough reserves to manage one month of total shutdown.

      • seafoid says:

        “Dan Crowther, China’s policies have harmed select other countries and Chinese minorities (such as Tibetans and Uighurs and Mongols) more than anything Israel has ever done”

        Sabra
        Shatila

      • Mooser says:

        “The US was dragged into wars by China and North Korea.”

        ROTFLMSJAO!!!! You are most definitely not Richard Witty! He was a liberal, who was against the War on Viet Nam. So Israel is a good friend fo the countries which drag the US “into wars”.

        • Mooser
          I may have been off the mark labeling him ‘surrealistic’ when demented/crackpotty was more appropriate. But hold on! Here’s a bit more. Anan also believes Obama is the messiah and no, it isn’t a joke.

  5. Abu Malia says:

    That particular hasbara line has been discussed here at length. Why pick on poor lil’ Israel while the Syrians/Saudis/Chinese/Zimbabweans are doing this or that?

    It appears that the Jewish sages, with all their brilliance in amassing wealth, power and influence, just don’t understand the intricacies of state-craft. Well, either that or they really are trying to piss of the world.

    • anan says:

      Abu Malia, the reason Israelis shouldn’t say this is because Israel is a good, just country. A great and ancient civilization. This kind of action and talk is unbecoming of such a sophisticated and decent people.

      Israel cannot be satisfied by being as bad as the dictators in “Syrians/Saudis/Chinese/Zimbabweans”.

      • Your concept of ‘ancient’ is 60 years or so? as for your idea of ‘good’ and civilisation, let’s just say they are equally elastic

      • MRW says:

        “A great and ancient civilization.”

        Not according to Israeli archeologists. That’s all BS.
        Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho
        link to historykb.com

        A Journal of History, Geography, Language and Archaeology

        Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho

        By Professor Ze’ev Herzog, Tel Aviv University

        Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs’ acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and doesn’t want to hear about it.

        This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. [...]

      • Shingo says:

        Isrlae si a fascist apartheid state Anan. There is nothign just about it.

        And it’s only 64 years old, so it is far from ancient .

      • RoHa says:

        “Israel is a good, just country.”
        Snort!

        “A great and ancient civilization.”

        Palestine was part of the great and ancient Arab/Islamic civilization, but the Israelis don’t want any of that. And there was never an Israeli civilization.

      • ColinWright says:

        I missed this one. Anan really took flight.

        “Abu Malia, the reason Israelis shouldn’t say this is because Israel is a good, just country. A great and ancient civilization. This kind of action and talk is unbecoming of such a sophisticated and decent people…”

        Ahem. Israel’s behavior is a catalog of evils and injustices that is truly mind-boggling for a state so small and of such recent origin. Israel is not ‘a great and ancient civilization.’ Whatever its relationship to Judaism, it has only served to besmirch and befoul that heritage.

        Israelis are not ‘sophisticated.’ They pathetically attempt to ape the West in general, and America in particular. If something catches on here, in very short order you will have an utterly lame attempt in Israel to imitate it. If there weren’t other, more serious grounds for criticism, their utter lack of any positive cultural identity would be interesting to discuss.

        As to ‘decent,’ I cannot think of any group of people with such a tendency to viciousness, cruelty, deceit, and utterly amoral behavior towards others.

        Israel is a profoundly criminal enterprise.

  6. radii says:

    China, North Korea, nor Syria controls our vote in the UN Security Council through their Fifth Column lobby … nor do we give them untold billion$ every single year from the US taxpayers … nor do we engage in policies counter to U.S. national interests for any of those countries

    • anan says:

      radii, Afghanistan received more US aid than Israel before 1976, and after 2002. Israel only gets one five thousanth of US income per year in aid.

      China has a very powerful lobby in America. I would argue it is more powerful than the Israeli lobby and more subtle and behind the scenes. It focuses primarily on business and economic interests.

      • Citizen says:

        Israel is the largest beneficiary of US aid in all of US history. Jewish Israelis get more per capita US taxpayer aid than Americans themselves get per capita.

      • Yes, there are China firsters everywhere, and all congressmen pay obeisance to China, which funds them generously in return for their vote. And the US sacrifices their troops on China’s behalf, and defends all of its human rights violations at the UN every time.

      • ColinWright says:

        “…China has a very powerful lobby in America. I would argue it is more powerful than the Israeli lobby…”

        Logically, the China lobby should be more powerful. China represents approximately two hundred times as many people as Israel does.

        Of course, if that happened, we’d simply be a province of China. Can you imagine something two hundred times more powerful than the Israel lobby? What would US Congressmen do if the premier of China addressed them? Crawl on the ground and offer their daughters as tribute?

      • Shingo says:

        radii, Afghanistan received more US aid than Israel before 1976, and after 2002. Israel only gets one five thousanth of US income per year in aid.

        No, Afghanistan dd not receove more aid – that was the financing of the Mujahadeen.

        China has a very powerful lobby in America. I would argue it is more powerful than the Israeli lobby and more subtle and behind the scenes.

        On the contrary. If it had any power, the US woudl not be sending the US Navy towards the China Sea to threaten China.

      • MLE says:

        anan,

        There is no Chinese lobby. A US politician can be elected into Congress and serve multiple terms being adamantly anti-China. They can make long speeches on the floor of Congress about how the Chinese are evil job suckers and they aren’t to be trusted and we should cut all relations with China, and no PAC will air ads attacking him on the issue.

        We do have a close relationship with China, but that is dictated by the executive branch- the state department and the president need to play nice with the Chinese, but this is due to numerous economic, political, and military factors, no because the lobby says so. Lobbyists primarily work in the legislative branch, and no other country gets as much time spent on them in the US Congress than Israel.

        Likewise, we have to play nice with the Saudis and other Gulf Arab states, but not because they have a lobby, but because they have control over a huge amount of the worlds oil, and by having seats on OPEC, they can have a real affect on the price of oil. That is not a lobby- its just a diplomatic reality.

        Please explain what Israel gives the United States? Do they allow the Americans to build gigantic military bases on their land?, Do they control a natural resource that is needed for the daily functioning of the United States? Do they lend us large amounts of money to the point that our economy would crumble without assurances that the loans won’t continue? Do you have a history of friendship with North Korea that we can use to open discussions with Kim Jong Un about nuclear weapons?

        No- Israel is a two bit country that may have served as a foothold against Soviet influence in the region during the Cold War but the only reason you get as much attention as you do is because there are American Jews and Christian Zionists who view you as a top priority and they will fund the campaigns of politicians who make you a top priority. China has North Korea as its little problem child and Israel is our little problem child.

  7. Krauss says:

    Well, for Jews at least, and even non-Jews, in America(specifically) but also in the West more broadly there’s a more pragmatic argument.

    Namely:

    1. Israel maybe isn’t as closely-resembling to us as it would like to think, but it is nonetheless a much more Westernized country than any other Middle Eastern state or China for that matter(even if China is catching up).

    2. As a Jew, it just makes more sense to be interested in Israel. This is true for those who support the Occupation(in practice, even if they mouth generalities against it for the sake of image/PR) as well as those who oppose it.

    3. As a non-Jew in America, you’re constantly bombarded with propaganda at how wonder Israel (and btw they need our cash, and yesterday at that!). If Israel wasn’t given a blank check, perhaps it’s leaders would try harder for peace? Since it knew that there were real stakes and not another hollow semi-slap on the wrist for the 59045th time by the State department.

    4. Israel is getting increasingly aggressive precisely because it knows it can get away with it. In other words, back in the day Israel actually meant ‘supporting it’s right to self-defence’. These days it means ‘do you support war with Iran without even trying negotiations or diplomacy, we must bomb NOW!’.
    And of course, these events, togther with the corrosive effect the blind support for the Occupation has for America’s image in the world(and especially the Arab world) are affecting non-Jews in a very real sense. If Israel goes cowboy at Iran, which AIPAC will make sure whoever is President at the time will accept, the world economy will tank. People will be outraged at the specific way Israel tried from the very beginning to sabotage negotiations.

    And the ensuing economic decline will most likely hit non-Jews disproportionately as Jews in America is a wealthy community.

    5. The final point is a conjuncture of all previous points and then some. But to be brief: Israel is getting tons more aid than anyone else. It isn’t just the 3-4 billion per year, even if that is a high amount. No, the real support is the understanding that if Israel decides to attack it’s neighbours the U.S will support it unconditionally and if Israel screws up, well America will help either with munitions or with outright bombing(as would be the case of Iran).

    Therefore the actual(including off-the-books) support for Israel dwarfs that of any other country by far. So it is only natural that we must ask why Israel, since the obsession with Israel in our media deserves to be debated. People who talk about Syria or China don’t care about those countries themselves.

    I will readily admit that I don’t either. What’s happening in Syria is a tragedy, but so was Darfur. So are many conflicts.
    There’s only so much you can absorb, you need to shut some things out to stay sane. People should just admit it. It’s not that we think victims all over the world should blame themselves. Of course we care, but our interest varies depending on the relevancy it has in our own lives, based on who we are, how it would impact our life etc. A war between Israel/US and Iran probably worries plenty more people here on this website than, say, a hypothetical war between Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

    • anan says:

      Krauss:
      “a much more Westernized country than any other Middle Eastern state or China for that matter(even if China is catching up).”

      How about Lebonon? Turkey?

      Would a better phrase be globalized or modern? In which case China and Turkey are making more rapid progress than Israel.

      “As a Jew, it just makes more sense to be interested in Israel. This is true for those who support the Occupation(in practice, even if they mouth generalities against it for the sake of image/PR) as well as those who oppose it.”

      Very respectfully I don’t understand this argument. This is the old exclusivity slander thrown at Jews by Jew haters. Aren’t all 7.1 billion of us your family? Don’t you love and respect all of us? Aren’t all 7.1 billion of us created by Yahweh in Yahweh’s image?

      “As a non-Jew in America, you’re constantly bombarded with propaganda at how wonder Israel (and btw they need our cash, and yesterday at that!). If Israel wasn’t given a blank check, perhaps it’s leaders would try harder for peace? Since it knew that there were real stakes and not another hollow semi-slap on the wrist for the 59045th time by the State department.”

      Israelis really do rock. That part is true. Other countries rock too. Turkey for example is awesome!

      You exaggerate US influence over Israel. Israel doesn’t need US help.

  8. Nevada Ned says:

    Some years ago, a campaign was waged to get a measure on the ballot in Cambridge MA, calling for a cutoff of military aid to Israel. The predictable people (Dershowitz and allies) urged a “no” vote, arguing that Israel was being unfairly singled out. The measure lost.

    The activists didn’t give up. They tried again, and this time the revised ballot measure urged no military aid (or military sales) to Israel or Saudi Arabia. (Saudi Arabia buys a lot of weapons from the US. I was surprised by how much). The second time, the ballot measure won because Dershowitz and his ilk had pre-empted from arguing that Israel was singled out.

    • anan says:

      KSA is a threat to the world. Why isn’t everyone on this blog more focused on the Saudi threat than Israel?

      One important reason Israel has to do right by the Palestinians is because the world is counting on Israel to help manage Saudi Arabia. Israel treating the Palestinians with justice strengthens Israel and enables Israel to join the middle eastern minorities and muslim minorities in going after the extremists than threaten all of us.

      • What have you been smoking? The world is counting on Israel?? to manage Saudi Arabia? Ha ha ha, are you serious? Or delusional?

      • MRW says:

        Give it a rest, anan. Start reading the archives. Start with Hostage.

      • ColinWright says:

        “…KSA is a threat to the world. Why isn’t everyone on this blog more focused on the Saudi threat than Israel?”

        For one, my country wasn’t instrumental in the creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Nor does it routinely prevent the international community from imposing sanctions on it. Nor am I treated to the spectacle of my representatives going into paroxysms of gratitude if the King of Saudi Arabia deigns to address them. Nor does Saudi Arabia get three billion dollars of my best arms for free plus all the technology that she can steal. Nor…

        Should I go on? Let me know if you would like me to.

      • Shingo says:

        KSA is a threat to the world. Why isn’t everyone on this blog more focused on the Saudi threat than Israel?

        Probably becasue they haven’t attacked or inavded anyone for over a century, whereas ISrael has attacked and inavded all it’s neighbors.

        One important reason Israel has to do right by the Palestinians is because the world is counting on Israel to help manage Saudi Arabia

        Really? Where did you read that? Or did you make that up as you do with all your other diatribes? ISrael is regardded as a far greater threat to world peace than Saudi Arabia.

        • ColinWright says:

          “Probably becasue they haven’t attacked or inavded anyone for over a century, whereas ISrael has attacked and inavded all it’s neighbors.”

          Technically, that’s inaccurate as far as Saudi Arabia goes. The state was only formed by Ibn Saud starting about one hundred years ago, and he attacked lots of folks. He even chased the Hashemites into Transjordan, and was only driven back by the nascent Arab Legion in the 1920′s. He then conducted some campaign into Yemen to round out his borders in that direction, and only settled down more or less for good in the mid-thirties.

          However, its borders more or less established, Saudi Arabia has pursued a largely pacific policy since then — only responding to such challenges as Nasser sending troops into Yemen. Unlike Israel, Saudi Arabia is perfectly capable of respecting the sovereignty of its neighbors, and usually does so.

      • “Why isn’t everyone on this blog more focused on the Saudi threat than Israel?”

        Read the post, inane. Read the post if you want an answer.

      • MLE says:

        That is really hilarious. KSA are the most loyal friends in the region due to their anti communist position in the Cold War. They buy so many weapons because they pay in cash and it boosts our weapons industry. Their army is so incredibly small, they don’t even use the stuff they buy- they let it sit and rot in the desert. They’re essentially giving away money to Lockheed Martin and Boeing. All the other armies have some technology that’s dated, simply because it’s a waste of money to upgrade all the time, but Saudis have the latest and greatest of everything (it also allows the US to charge them to send their officers over to retrain them every year). The Saudi monarchy are trusted friends for the US- if the monarchy fell, it would be a different story, but the US will not abandon the Al Sauds.

  9. ahadhaadam says:

    China has a policy of integration of Tibet, which is legitimate, as opposed to Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing and dispossession, which is not legitimate. Tibetans are equal citizens of China and just like with Turkey/Kurds, tries to integrate and repress separatist tendencies. That’s why the comparison to China only harms Israel since Israel’s policies are much worse and can be regarded as a crime against humanity.

    • anan says:

      ahadhaadam, I love China and the Chinese. I support a US Chinese alliance if possible. But what you are writing is complete nonsense. What China did to Tibet was and is much worse. Ask the Dalai Lama and Tibetans.

      • Ask any Palestinian.

      • ColinWright says:

        “ahadhaadam, I love China and the Chinese. I support a US Chinese alliance if possible. But what you are writing is complete nonsense. What China did to Tibet was and is much worse. Ask the Dalai Lama and Tibetans.”

        Actually, it would seem vaguely comparable — but if China usually seems merely indifferent to the wants, needs, aspirations, etc of the Tibetans, Israel and Israelis obviously take sadistic pleasure in inflicting as much misery on Palestinians as they feel they can get away with.

        Then too, China has a claim to Tibet. There’s a lot wrong with that claim, and I’d argue against it, but it is there. Zionism is patent nonsense.

        Finally. China’s not my responsibility. Her continued existence and her ability to act as she does isn’t a function of my continued support. Israel does continue to exist and to behave as she does only because I permit it.

        So there are differences between China and Israel. However, while I would not endorse China’s behavior, Israel’s behavior is considerably worse, and more to the point, as an American I bear responsibility for it, which, thank God, can’t seriously be claimed with respect to China.

      • Shingo says:

        What China did to Tibet was and is much worse. Ask the Dalai Lama and Tibetans.

        Tibetans have been given Chinese citizenship, unlike the Palestinians who are treated as stateless by Israel.

  10. schlemiel says:

    Believe it or not, not everyone sees Gaza as the Warsaw Ghetto. While people here start and and their day by transposing Israel onto the template of Nazi Germany with a break for lunch in the middle to point out just how many tentacles this “Zionist” parasite has wrapped around America, most people understand that this is just another regional conflict with refugees, not another Nazi genocide.

    Somewhere in their minds most people know that the Jews who were ethnically cleansed out of Europe were the lucky ones because they still had the gift of life, and thus, the analogies between the territories and death camps don’t quite jibe.
    A lot of populations were transferred around the globe in the 1940s, a lot of refugees were created and then re-settled. Yet this one conflict continues on. People tried to wipe Israel from existence before it was even created. So far they’ve failed, but they keep trying, and crying about their lack of success the whole time, coming up with ever widening delusions about how a secret Zionist cabal pulls all the strings, how the Zionists were behind 911, and everything else.

    So when people wonder why you can draw from a bottomless well of exclusive hate for Israel while remaining indifferent to any other conflict with much higher body counts either near or far to Israel, they’re not trying to excuse whatever wrongs Israel has committed, they’re trying to understand why your hatred is so focused and bottomless.

    This isn’t about Israel, it’s about you.

    • mig says:

      schlemiel :

      No, this is about Israel policy. It’s not about me.

    • petersz says:

      How can you wipe out a country before it comes into existence? Typical hasbara! I suppose Red Indians tried to wipe out the United States when they were defending their land from the white man!

    • radii says:

      er, wrong … most people who post here on Mondoweiss and in the larger progressive community just want to see israel stop behaving like a monster … it is not about hate, it is about finding the humanity lost to zionist bloodlust

      • ColinWright says:

        “…er, wrong … most people who post here on Mondoweiss and in the larger progressive community just want to see israel stop behaving like a monster … it is not about hate, it is about finding the humanity lost to zionist bloodlust…”

        Well, speaking for myself, let Israel go on her bloody way. I could just ignore it — yes, I am that selfish. I go ‘tut tut’ about all kinds of things — then go read about something else. I’d be entirely capable of doing the same with Israel — as I do with China, North Korea, various post-Soviet states, Burma, and a good deal of subsaharan Africa. Tut tut — maybe an exclamation if someone is unusually creative in their vileness. Watch me do nothing.

        However, when it comes to Israel, can we at least stop funding it, protecting it, and enabling it? Can we at least disown our own little monster somehow? Is that too much to ask? Must I keep paying for this?

    • Citizen says:

      Yes, schlemiel, it is about us Americans for we have allowed Israel to be the biggest recipient of US foreign aid in all US history and for no good reason.

      The two biggest recipients in recent decades have been Israel and Egypt, with Israel getting its aid with interest alone attached to add to Israel’s dole, while Egypt has received its dole only so long as it plays nice with Israel.

      Jordan gets a much smaller dole, again, only so long as it plays nice with Israel.

      So in summary, the Americans lavish more than one third of their total aid to foreign states onto Israel as the key beneficiary.

      Here figures for merely the last decade: http: //www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/politics/us-foreign-aid.htm#top-recipient-countries

      Further, Israel gets $3B in loan guarantees each year to match its usual annual direct aid; and Israel loans always become free grants; and US trade agreement with Israel benefits Israel absurdly at the great expense of US business and trade. Lastly, the USA basically underwrites Israel’s debt so Israel borrows cheaply–this despite fact Israel credit rating is higher than USA’s.

      Every American should get a mailer with the following data on US aid to Israel, its total cost and impact: link to wrmea.com

    • straightline says:

      “People tried to wipe Israel from existence before it was even created”? Huh?

    • So when people wonder why you can draw from a bottomless well of exclusive hate for Israel while remaining indifferent to any other conflict with much higher body counts either near or far to Israel, they’re not trying to excuse whatever wrongs Israel has committed, they’re trying to understand why your hatred is so focused and bottomless.

      This isn’t about Israel, it’s about you.

      You know, Apartheid was a far more benign regime than those in China, Mozambique or Saudi Arabia, but only South Africa was subjected to sanctions. Would you describe that as “focused and bottomless” hate against South Africa’s whites? Would you be happy with a situation in which Apartheid had not been eradicated, because other nondemocratic systems were even worse? Answer that. Would you be happy with such a situation?

      Thank you. You now understand why choosing to focus on one conflict and not others has nothing to do with hate and can have a very positive outcome.

    • seafoid says:

      “So when people wonder why you can draw from a bottomless well of exclusive hate for Israel while remaining indifferent to any other conflict with much higher body counts either near or far to Israel, they’re not trying to excuse whatever wrongs Israel has committed, they’re trying to understand why your hatred is so focused and bottomless”

      Fresh hasbara demands intellectual consistency.

      So when you point the finger at the Reich while ignoring what Stalin did to the kulaks you are no better than the Arabs. Collateral damage. Did anyone tell YadVashem ?

    • Dutch says:

      It’s hard to believe that there are people around that would not know the origins of that ‘bottomless well of exclusive hate’ they supposedly believe in. Probably they’ve never heard of Palestinians either. So why not use your energy in educating these folks a bit and warn them for the tsunami?

    • MRW says:

      You are a schlemiel for that maudlin argument.

    • Mayhem says:

      Don’t bother.

  11. Does the US give aid totalling $1,000/citizen/year to any other country? Does it block near unanimous UN resolutions against any other country than Israeli?

    The USA is the enabler for Israel’s horrid policies of ethnic cleansing. This isn’t true of any other country. In former Yugoslavia, the US plays precisely the opposite role that it does in Israel, protecting minorities, including Muslim minorities. If the US behaved in Israel the way it has in the Balkans, the Bibis and the Baraks of Israel would be rotting in the Hague.

    • anan says:

      US aid to Israel is $3 billion/year or $400 per Israeli.

      “The USA is the enabler for Israel’s horrid policies of ethnic cleansing.” The US doesn’t influence Israel that much.

      • Bumblebye says:

        “The US doesn’t influence Israel that much.”
        Haven’t you noticed, anan, that’s the major problem for many commenters! Israel and its supporters somehow exercises too much influence over the US, strong-arming disproportionate amounts of aid and access for itself.

      • ColinWright says:

        “The US doesn’t influence Israel that much.”

        Conduct a thought experiment.

        Imagine the US cutting all ties with Israel. No matter what happens, we don’t lift a finger. Not a dime leaves our shores and goes there. Our UN veto stands idle. We treat it as we — say — treated Red China from 1948 to 1970. Pretend it’s not there.

        Now, seriously try to convince yourself Israel would survive for five years. You can’t. It would wither and die.

        That monster lives off us. We make it — and all its crimes — possible.

      • Tom Suarez says:

        Anan, well, no, the $3b figure is just the outright above-board donation. The true figure is more than twice that.
        As for the US “influencing” Israel, why do you invoke that word? No one’s talking about our “influencing” Israel.

  12. eljay says:

    >> … they’re not trying to excuse whatever wrongs Israel has committed …

    Funny stuff. That’s exactly what Zio-supremacists do.

    >> This isn’t about Israel …

    Israel is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state, born of terrorism and ethnic cleansing, and maintained and expanded by means of a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder.

    Aggressor-victimhood sure is a tough gig… :-(

  13. Blake says:

    What a great analysis. Speaks for me.

  14. I’m the only blogger in Alaska who writes with any regularity about Israel, the Palestinians and Zionist influence on U.S. policy. So I get the “why write about that?” questions fairly regularly.

    Back in January 2010, a commenter at one of my I/P posts asked:

    I don’t understand your preoccupation with Palistine. How about giving some balanced blog space and advocacy for the oppressed people of countries such as North Korea, Tibet, China, Sudan, Somalia, Myanmar, etc.?

    Here’s what I wrote in response:

    link to progressivealaska.blogspot.com

    Some of the stuff in my column has become dated – Rahm has moved on from the White House to Chicago – stuff like that. But most still rings true.

  15. anan says:

    A free democracy and great people such as Israel should hold itself to a higher example than China’s autocratic oligopoly (with growing pockets of pluralism).

    The real China syndrome is Israel’s close friendship with China and the fact that as long as that relationship remains strong, the BDS movement is dead; and Israel doesn’t need America.

    Israel is so rich and successful I think US aid to Israel should be phased out. It isn’t needed and doesn’t even help Israel that much any more.

    • eljay says:

      >> A free democracy and great people such as Israel …

      There’s nothing great about a supremacist people or a supremacist state.

    • ToivoS says:

      Israel is so rich and successful I think US aid to Israel should be phased out. It isn’t needed and doesn’t even help Israel that much any more.

      Pure propaganda to deflect many Americans anger at the aid we give Israel. This is so disingenuous as to be close to a lie. You can say that with the full knowledge that the Lobby would never permit it to occur. You can say that with the full knowledge that the Israeli officials who instruct the Lobby would never say so.

      Israel is a dependent on US welfare payments and military and diplomatic support. That utterly artificial country would disappear within a generation or so without Uncle Sam picking up the bills and threatening Israel’s enemies.

      • Blake says:

        “Israel is a dependent on US welfare payments and military and diplomatic support. That utterly artificial country would disappear within a generation or so without Uncle Sam picking up the bills and threatening Israel’s enemies.”

        I am inclined to agree with that. Well said.

        EDIT: Seems I havent mastered the “blockquote cite” system.

      • seafoid says:

        Israel is so rich and successful that a man self immolated in despair at the country’s welfare program this week.

    • Cliff says:

      Israel is neither a ‘free’ democracy nor the Israeli ‘people’ a ‘great people’.

      How about you stop destabilizing the Middle East, stealing your neighbors land and resources, stop kidnapping and holding an entire people hostage – i.e., the Palestinians. ETC ETC

      Then you can go to your racist, country clubs and talk amongst yourselves about how amazing you are.

      None of us give a ****.

    • Mooser says:

      Turn again Dick Wittington, turn again. Nobody can phase you out>

      “A free democracy and great people”

      Where the heck do you get that crap? But besides that “free democracy” (it is to laugh, but let it go)nonsense, a “great people”? Witty, a great people doesn’t crap all over itself, create problems they can’t solve, and live by parasitism on Palestinians and Palestine. Why don’t you tell us what makes Israel a “free democracy” (you always did have a penchant, if not a neurotic compulsion, for oxymoron’s. Believe me, Dick I sympathise; to talk or write straight requires thinking straight) and what makes them a “great people”. Maybe it was supposed to be ‘grating people’ but you always did have miserable spelling.

      Yup, just scrolled up and read “anan’s” comments. Looks like Witty redux to me.

      • “Looks like Witty redux to me”

        Mooser
        anan is definitely not Witty. He’s an Indian who lives in the US (or an American of Indian backgrounds to be accurate). It would be inelegant of me to reveal more. It’s an insult to Witty ( I know, I know) to be compared to this inane preacher.
        btw, he gets his talking points from right-wing and Israel lover Michael Totten’s blog.

    • libra says:

      anan, congratulations. A hasbara tour-de-force with your comments here today. Every post is so balanced. On the one hand this, on the other hand that.

      Or to put it another, just like every Zionist, trying to have it both ways. And with the nasty little Israeli habit of biting the hand that feeds it. Good luck with the Chinese with that.

      But whilst we are on the subject of the Chinese, what exactly has the Israel got to offer them? Above all, China needs energy and raw materials to feed her manufacturing machine and huge markets to absorb the resulting products. That’s a double whammy for little Israel.

      I know the Chinese love upmarket consumer products but Dead Sea soap – even as expensive as it is – and SodaStream machines hardly make the grade. So what’s left? Peddling western defence technology and influence in Washington. That’s hardly the making of a long-term strategic relationship. If you really believe what you write then Chinese are already playing you as a freier.

    • ColinWright says:

      “…The real China syndrome is Israel’s close friendship with China and the fact that as long as that relationship remains strong, the BDS movement is dead; and Israel doesn’t need America…”

      Well — go for it. Please.

      First, Israel’s value to China will plunge when she’s no longer able to act as a conduit for US technology. Second, Israel will find that however cynical and self-interested the other party, Israel just isn’t a strategic asset to anyone for any purpose.

      But prove me wrong. At least I’ll no longer be responsible for your crimes. Cut those apron strings. Time to leave the nest. Stretch those wings and soar.

      I can’t wait to watch.

    • Shingo says:

      Israel is so rich and successful I think US aid to Israel should be phased out. It isn’t needed and doesn’t even help Israel that much any more.

      That would explain why Israel keeps asking for thesis to be increased. Without the insane financial, military and diplomatic support the US gives Israel, it would be about as successful ad North Korea.

      After all, the 2 share the same level of popularity and international prestige.

  16. David Samel says:

    If I may humbly refer to my own post on this topic a couple of years ago: link to mondoweiss.net

    I believe that I was prompted to write that by a Dershowitz lecture in which he talked about the “principle” of “worst first” as if it were a legal doctrine rather than a dumb Dershowitzian construct to immunize Israel from criticism. As Tom points out:
    At best, only criticism of the single worst injustice (according to whatever chosen criteria) could be permitted: all others simply need point downward.
    I would add only the obvious – that since different people have different criteria, every human rights violator could argue that his/her/its crimes are exceeded by someone else, and that it is unfair to pressure or criticize until the number one problem is solved. Human rights law would be rendered a nullity.

    As I said in my post, if those who make this argument are genuinely concerned with the plight of people supposedly oppressed more than the Palestinians, why not work to mitigate those injustices instead of defending this one? This is a particularly nefarious variation on the “Israel criticism = anti-Semitism” theme that has proved so popular to hasbarists.

    The bottom line is that none of us need a reason to be interested in this particular issue. Those who question our interest are just as interested, but are taking the side of oppression and injustice.

  17. hophmi says:

    Please. We use it because it is a good argument, and you admit why you target Israel – it’s a proxy for targeting the United States.

    You don’t bother with the obvious question. Why is Israel different from any other country because of its alliance with the US? Saudi Arabia gets a lot more money from the US than Israel does. Its human rights record is horrible; women can’t go out alone there. Egypt gets a lot of money from us too. Now they’ve elected a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a party that is not strong on women’s rights, to lead the country.

    “Our complicity with Israel has corrupted our domestic politics, robbed the public till, and squandered our moral integrity. It has made a mockery of our nation and the ideals we profess to symbolize.”

    Whatever. You seriously must be kidding. China has had most favored nation status for 20 years. It has a horrible human rights record and robs us blind. To argue, especially in a political system as driven by money as ours, that Israel has corrupted our domestic politics, is utter BS. Money has corrupted our politics. Very little of it is related to Israel. This is a great example of the hysterical hyperbole you people put out here.

    “Israelis elect those who run their country”

    Yes, including the Arabs living in Israel.

    “The Chinese public has no control over Beijing’s atrocities in Tibet”

    Yeah, I’m sure they’d be quick to stop Beijing’s atrocities in Tibet if they could vote. LOL.

    “the Israeli public votes for those who continue six and a half decades of ethnic cleansing.”

    Americans voted for those who invaded Iraq and killed 100,000 people. As did the British. Will you be boycotting them?

    “It’s time to expose the ‘What about’ it for what it is—a cynical attempt to keep eyes from noticing that the Emperor has no clothes.”

    It’s time to admit that you single out Israel for special treatment, not because of its human rights record, but because it’s a relatively small country, because there are nearly two dozen Arab states who can use their collective oil wealth to pressure the rest of the world to give your campaign a UN fig leaf, because Israel was not pro-Soviet during the Cold War, and because many of the founders of Israel were too white, you focus on it, and not on countries with actual serious human rights problems, like, say, Syria, where there are 14000 people dead, no end in sight, no US intervention (of course, you’re against intervention), support from Russia (they elect their leaders too) and so on.

    Your argument sucks, Tom, and ours isn’t cynical. It’s too much truth for you to handle.

    • ColinWright says:

      “Please. We use it because it is a good argument, and you admit why you target Israel – it’s a proxy for targeting the United States. “

      No it (the worst first) argument is a totally lame argument.

      Let us suppose my son steals a car. Is pointing out that someone else killed someone a valid defense? Should my son not be tried until the courts have dealt with all more serious offenders?

      More to the point, unlike as with every Zimbabwe, Burma, and North Korea out there, we are able to control Israel’s behavior. We have in the past. We frog-marched her out of Sinai under Eisenhower, twisted her arm until she signed the peace treaty with Egypt under Carter, and forced her to suspend building settlements under Reagan.

      We can force anything on Israel — including complete dissolution. All we need is the will.

      Just as I can control my son’s behavior. And if he started stealing cars, I would. Now, other people killing people is another matter entirely.

      • hophmi says:

        “Let us suppose my son steals a car. Is pointing out that someone else killed someone a valid defense? Should my son not be tried until the courts have dealt with all more serious offenders?’

        Let’s suppose there are a hundred car thefts in broad daylight in front of police officers, and your son is the only one prosecuted for it, and the reason is because he’s blue and everyone else is green. Did he steal the car? It’s possible, but he’d have a point if he said there is something wrong with the system.

        “More to the point, unlike as with every Zimbabwe, Burma, and North Korea out there, we are able to control Israel’s behavior.”

        Oh contraire. I think we can control the behavior of these states very easily if we wanted to. We don’t want the trouble, because we have no interests in any of these countries.

        And if we can’t control a place like NK, surely China can.

        “We can force anything on Israel — including complete dissolution. All we need is the will. ”

        I doubt that, but if it’s about will, America can force anyone to do anything by threatening to bomb them back to the Stone Age.

        None of these is any excuse for obsessive focusing on a land conflict in the Holy Land at the behest of the collective efforts of oil oligarchies to the ignorance of much, much worse problems elsewhere.

        • eljay says:

          >> Let’s suppose there are a hundred car thefts in broad daylight in front of police officers, and your son is the only one prosecuted for it, and the reason is because he’s blue and everyone else is green. Did he steal the car? It’s possible, but he’d have a point if he said there is something wrong with the system.

          Poor little blue boy, surrounded by a sea of evil green boys. :-(

          The reality is that all the boys are committing crimes, all the boys are breaking the law, all the boys must be held accountable for their actions, but blue boy says “Not me! I can steal all the cars I want and you can’t touch me until you’ve held everyone else accountable for their actions first, because I’m a Chosen Person, a beacon unto the nations, and if you don’t leave me alone you’re a hater and an anti-Semite and Hitler and blood libel and the Holocaust!”

          And with that he goes out and steals more cars because, as he sees it, he’s just exercising his right to self-(self-)determine himself into other people’s vehicles.

          Poor little blue boy. Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig… :-(

        • hophmi says:

          “The reality is that all the boys are committing crimes, all the boys are breaking the law, all the boys must be held accountable for their actions”

          The reality is that everyone is trying to prosecute the blue boy for stealing a car, while ignoring the green boys, who are murdering people every day, because there are way more green boys than blue boys, and numbers mean a lot in the General Assembly and the UNHRC. It’s easier to persecute the little guy than go after the big guys.

        • eljay says:

          It’s always interesting to see Zio-supremacists passionately insist that they and their supremacist state have a right – damned near an obligation! – to do wrong. If there’s evil being committed in the world, their reaction tends to be: ‘We want our piece of the action!’

          The immorality of it all is rather breath-taking.

          Reach for the bottom, boys! Reach for the very bottom.

        • eljay says:

          >> The reality is that everyone is trying to prosecute the blue boy for stealing a car, while ignoring the green boys …

          And blue boy’s answer is to keep on stealing because doing wrong is the right thing to do. You – like blue boy and all other Zio-supremacists – are fundamentally an immoral person. Congratulations. :-)

    • ColinWright says:

      “Your argument sucks, Tom, and ours isn’t cynical. It’s too much truth for you to handle.

      Believe it or not, that’s a quote from Hophmi.

  18. Abdul-Rahman says:

    A very well written and thought provoking article. This “what about China”, North Korea, Syria, etc. (basically just “insertion blank country here”!) tactic is a fairly common Zionist hasbara propaganda tactic and technique. The logical fallacy of this is self-evident as injustice in once place has no bearing on injustices in another place! The world should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time (i.e. handle and try to stop any number of multiple injustices all over the world all at once!)

    Also the situation of the Zionist entity is unique in my opinion. First the Zionist entity is a relic of colonialism in our modern world (the French got out of Algeria, the Italians out of Libya, etc) and with this the Zionists are a modern apartheid entity as well (a relic of the Zionists old close friend and ally Apartheid South Africa: link to mondoweiss.net). And with this in mind unlike other situations be that China (putting aside Tibet, if we are talking about abuses in main land China here), North Korea, Syria, etc. those are internal conflicts whereas the Zionist project is a brutal colonialist settler project again a relic of what should be long gone colonialism; where indigenous Palestinian Arabs are expelled and live under apartheid conditions and where settler “Jews” from as far flung places as Canada, the US, parts of South America sometimes, into Europe and Russia, etc. come and are given instance “citizenship” to help displace the indigenous Palestinians. The Zionist colonialist project has gotten so desperate on this part of their “demographics war” that they have even imported many Russians who don’t even fit the Zionazis own fanciful idea of supposedly “who is a Jew”; this can be seen in for example the Russian Neo-Nazis that were given citizenship in the Zionist entity a few years back and the little scandal they caused with their videotapes, etc.

    Also American citizens have very important reasons to be especially concerned with and critical of the Zionist entity and its actions in particular; as the US taxpayers and the US government (in the current US two party system/dictatorship of the lobbies like AIPAC and others) that is America lavishes unlimited, massive support to and upon “Israel” something that no other country receives from the US. Also the diplomatic cover and UN support the US provides to the Zionist entity is beyond any other country. That is why Walt and Mearsheimer when responding to critics of their acclaimed work “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”, dealing with this specific issue noted (as wikipedia says): “To the complaint that they ‘catalogue Israel’s moral flaws, while paying little attention to the shortcomings of other states’, they refer to the ‘high levels of material and diplomatic support’ given by the United States especially to Israel as a reason to focus on it.”

    And then finally I find this Zionist hasbara propaganda diversion tactic to be disgusting, pathetic, and also sometimes pretty humorous in its shallowness and contradictions. For example the Zionists turned this tactic against Turkey following the murderous “Israeli” attack and massacre on the humanitarian aid Flotilla the Mavi Marmara (that was in international waters, when it suffered Zionist entity piracy) a peaceful Flotilla that was taking aid to the illegally besieged Gaza Strip ( the UN, Navi Pillay, etc. all confirm the Zionist entity’s blockade of Gaza was and is illegal and must be lifted immediately). Suddenly the Zionists found themselves at odds with there one time good buddies the Turkish government (see Ataturk “recognizing” the Zionist entity in 1949 CE, the close military ties between Turkey and the Zionist entity going up to and even for a while in the Erodgan/AKP Islamist government time, etc). And the Zionist hasbara folks and crew came out attacking Turkey saying such things as “what about the Kurds and the Armenians?!”. The funny thing on this was one on Kurds, it is a known fact that in the “good times” of friendly relations between Turkey and “Israel”; the “Israelis” supplied lots of weapons and support to their Turkish allies that the “Israelis” knew would be used by the Turkish military against the armed PKK Kurdish rebel group (that Turkey, the US, NATO, EU, etc. all consider a “terrorist group”)! In fact the Zionist Mossad was the ones who in 1999 abducted the Kurdish leader of the PKK Abdullah Ocalan in Kenya (Ocalan had to leave Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria, when Assad the elder kicked out his one time PKK bargaining chip when threatened with a Turkish military invasion of Syria to go after the PKK bases Assad had before let the PKK set up in Syrian territory as a proxy chip of his against Turkey). And even an American conservative website noted the Zionists hypocrisy on their sudden supposed “concern” about the Kurds (whom they helped Turkey arm to fight against the PKK Kurdish rebels in the past, as has the US and many other NATO countries!) link to theamericanconservative.com

    “Over the last few days I have seen a few people trying to equate the current status of Palestinians in Gaza with that of the Kurds in Turkey. Apparently Pollock expects us not to know that the status of Kurds has improved significantly under the AKP government. Kurds have representation in the Turkish parliament. Kurds have been granted some language and other rights that they did not have in the ‘good old days’ before the AKP took power, and last year’s ‘Kurdish initiative’ was an attempt to expand on this. This AKP initiative encountered significant political resistance from the Republicans and the National Movement, which means that the one party attempting to address some Kurdish grievances is the one Pollock is attacking. Hurriyet was reporting as recently as Monday that the failure of the initiative was the reason for stepped-up PKK violence, including the attack in Iskenderun on Monday. Diyarbakir and Erzerum are not blockaded enclaves, and there are not over a million Kurds living in government-enforced poverty in the name of anti-terrorism. Can anyone seriously claim that Palestinians in Gaza are currently being treated the same as Kurds in Turkey?”

    And then on the Armenian issue, one of the funny things there is that in the past (i.e. pre-2010 and the Flotilla, and Turkey and the Zionist entity’s past alliance largely breaking part after that, etc) many “Israeli” academics and people from even Yad Vashem had been at the forefront of trying to prevent the WW1 mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman forces as being termed “genocide”. This was a “special group” of people known as “holocaust uniqueness” advocates (people who claim the holocaust in WW2 is allegedly the only example of genocide in all of human history, these people even try to exclude groups like the Roma people aka the Gypsies from being counted as part of those killed by the Nazis, etc), who academic Professor David Stannard and others dealt with and refuted pretty thoroughly. Here is an example of Bernard Lewis (a prominent Western Zionist) back in 2002 saying the mass killing of Armenians in the WW1 period should not be termed a genocide link to youtube.com Also Norman Finkelstein kind of goes into this somewhat in his work “The Holocaust Industry”, etc. But after the Zionists massacre against the Flotilla, I suddenly saw a wave of Zionist supporters clearly terming the WW1 era killing of Armenians a genocide (something Turkey responds to with its own little hits as well, such as when the American government recognized the Armenian genocide, Turkey passed a motion recognized the genocide of Native Americans. And when France just fairly recently recognized the killing of Armenians by the Ottomans as a genocide, Turkey responded by labeling French colonialist actions and killings of Algerians in Algeria as a genocide as well.)

    This Zionist hasbara propaganda tactic to try to cover-up and divert away from their crimes against humanity is something that must be fought wholeheartedly.

  19. All of the above is true, but even members of parliament downunder protest against the occupation of Tibet.
    link to stuff.co.nz

    OK, this is a member of the green party, but even our right wing party didn’t have a go at him. Even more telling: Everytime a dignitary visits from China whole streets are blocked off, and they have to circle around to avoid it. This never ever happens for Isratine.

  20. ColinWright says:

    “A free democracy and great people such as Israel should hold itself to a higher example than China’s autocratic oligopoly (with growing pockets of pluralism)…”

    Israel is most certainly not a democracy, and you have a strange notion of ‘great’ and a shaky grasp of the meaning of ‘a people’ if you think the denizens of that place are ‘a great people.’

    • hophmi says:

      “Israel is most certainly not a democracy, and you have a strange notion of ‘great’ and a shaky grasp of the meaning of ‘a people’ if you think the denizens of that place are ‘a great people.’”

      Israel most certainly is a democracy, and the people are great, if you’ve ever taken the time to get to know any of them.

  21. ToivoS says:

    There is another side of this argument that is not just rhetorical. That is the Israeli whine, “oh no, don’t look here, look over there, look over there” morphs into political campaigns to engage the US into more useless wars. This was how the neocons helped guide us into the Iraq war. Not so widely noticed at that time but there was a second war party campaign going on that was urging US intervention in the civil war in Darfur (I happen to believe if it was not for Iraq, the neocons would have led us into war there). If one goes back and looks into the lobbying efforts to stop Darfurian “genocide” one will see links back to Zionist sources. Of course, these same forces succeeded in severing South Sudan from the North but in that case outside US military intervention was not needed.

    • hophmi says:

      “If one goes back and looks into the lobbying efforts to stop Darfurian “genocide” one will see links back to Zionist sources.”

      Yes, John Predergast is a real hard-right Zionist. Sudan’s record speaks for itself. As does the Arab League’s, who did nothing to protect indicted war criminal Omar al-Bashir’s victims because Omar al-Bashir is an Arab dictator.

  22. Here is what the nice Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim wrote to several papers, the Guardien, NYT and the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, as his wishes for the year 2009:
    ———————————
    “I have just three wishes for the coming year…
    And the third is for the world to acknowledge that this conflict [Israel/Palestine] is unlike any other in history.”

    - “unlike any other in history” – the world should acknowledge that!
    There is no contest to the Israel conflict in history.
    link to guardian.co.uk

    • Why is this conflict unique and “unlike any other in history”? – Barenboim
      - China, Syria, the Kurds, the Armenians – no contest.

      Because it’s not …
      1. A country invades and conquers another one and annexes territory.
      2. A colonial mother country (Britan) rules and exploites a country (India).

      The difference is:
      3. An ‘original indigeneous’ people (Jews) reclaims their ‘homeland’.

      Isn’t that “unique” but also absurd in history? – It’s all about Jewish “uniqueness”.

  23. sciri21 says:

    I don’t blame the Israeli people for the injustices committed by their government against Palestinians. Israelis who vote for Likud and other anti-Palestinian parties don’t necessarily do so because they want the oppression of Palestinians to continue; there are other that factor into Israeli elections and governance. Only those who decide to perpetuate or directly participate in the oppression of Palestinians should be held responsible.

    • ColinWright says:

      “I don’t blame the Israeli people for the injustices committed by their government against Palestinians. Israelis who vote for Likud and other anti-Palestinian parties don’t necessarily do so because they want the oppression of Palestinians to continue; there are other that factor into Israeli elections and governance. Only those who decide to perpetuate or directly participate in the oppression of Palestinians should be held responsible.”

      It’s interesting to apply that statement to Nazi Germany. The magnitude of the crimes shouldn’t matter: if the logic is good in one case, it should be good in the other.

      “I don’t blame the German people for the injustices committed by their government against Slavs and Jews. Germans who supported Hitler and the other Nazis didn’t necessarily do so because they wanted the oppression of Slavs and Jews; there are other (elements?) that factored into their support. Only those who decided to perpetuate or directly participate in the oppression of Slavs and Jews should be held responsible.”

      Now, I don’t know about that. After all, the Germans could have guessed what was happening to the Jews — and they certainly knew what was happening to the Slavs. Slav slave laborers were all over Germany.

      Similarly, of course, Israelis know exactly what is going on in the West Bank, and they really should be able to figure out how all that land in Israel proper came to be inhabited by Jews.

      But then, Israel, you will say, is a democracy — and indeed, for Jews at least it indubitably is. There’s nothing like the Gestapo. People can speak out.

      Excellent point. Why don’t more of them? I’d say the Israeli people most certainly are to blame.

  24. Woody says:

    You’re all missing the biggest “Why don’t you focus on…” question.

    The US??? If you believe Israel is pulling all of the strings, then you conveniently get to avoid the Issue of your own country’s complicity in horrific murder and theft. Why do you append excessively hyphenated insults to the country name “Israel” (” oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist Jewish State of Israel”), but don’t find it necessary to do so with the colonialist, genocidal, corrupt corporate, racist, faux liberal United States? I thought so.

  25. Dutch says:

    @ Tom Suarez

    Great piece — thanks.

  26. MRW says:

    Isn’t this argument the Tu Quoque fallacy?

    • ColinWright says:

      Yeah. The logic is that if I once cheated on my taxes, I am barred from objecting to some thug beating up an old lady in front of my house.

  27. Carowhat says:

    It ought to be obvious why some of us criticize Israel but don’t often bother to criticize China or North Korea. Those countries don’t control our congress or dictate our foreign policy in the Middle East. Those countries don’t demand that we go to war with Iran on their behalf. They don’t agitate for billions in subsidies every year. Those countries don’t complain that whatever concessions we make to them we haven’t done enough, we owe them more, we owe them big time and we owe them forever.

    No wonder we criticize Israel. China and North Korea are sweet willing maidens compared to her.

    • hophmi says:

      “Those countries don’t control our congress or dictate our foreign policy in the Middle East. ”

      Neither does Israel.

      “Those countries don’t demand that we go to war with Iran on their behalf. ”

      Neither does Israel. Most Americans support sanctioning Iran and going to war with it if it gets a nuke.

      “They don’t agitate for billions in subsidies every year.”

      Saudi Arabia gets much more than billions from us, as does China, who robs us blind.

      “China and North Korea are sweet willing maidens compared to her.”

      Really. Now Israel is worse than China and North Korea. No, it’s not anti-semitism, it’s just anti-Zionism.

      • Carowhat says:

        hopni: “Those countries don’t control our congress or dictate our foreign policy in the Middle East. ”

        Neither does Israel.

        Except when they call our congressional leaders to Tel Aviv to tell them how to vote when they get back home. (haven’t you noticed how many members of congress head directly for Israel the instant congress goes out of session?) AIPAC and Israeli write bills and resolutions for our congress to pass. Netanyahu has repeatedly called on the US to stop Iran from getting nucs. It wouldn’t affect us particularly but Israel would no longer have a mid-east monopoly on nuclear weapons anymore.

        “Those countries don’t demand that we go to war with Iran on their behalf. ”

        Neither does Israel.

        Of course Israel does. What do you think Netanyahu tells Obama or Hillary every time he talks to them? Why do you think the US has two aircraft carriers in the Middle East. It’s not for our benefit. Thanks to Texas, Canada and North Dakota, we don’t need Mideast oil anymore. Our grand presence in the Mideast is all for the sake of Israel. And the reason is this: no president or member of congress can get re-elected without Israeli blessing or that of its American apologists.

        Really. Now Israel is worse than China and North Korea. No, it’s not anti-semitism, it’s just anti-Zionism..

        Call it whatever you want. China and North Korea are not currently trying to get us to go fight a war on their behalf. Israel is. And do I object to any country trying to involve us in a war on its behalf? You bet your sweet ass I do.

  28. ColinWright says:

    “I don’t hear you complaining about China or Syria or North Korea.”

    It is pretty lame. Like defending Hitler by saying ‘I don’t hear you complaining about Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun.’ (or as those of us who used to hang with the dude used to call him, ‘Attila the Fun.’)

  29. ColinWright says:

    To return to the beginning (“It’s probably a good sign that Israel’s apologists are increasingly resorting to a sideways defense…”), that is indeed a good sign.

    If that is all Israel’s defenders can say for it, it indeed doesn’t have much of a case left.

    • hophmi says:

      Oh no, there are plenty of positive things we say all the time. You just make up what we say as you go along.

      Israel is the only democracy in the region, it is the only country with human rights protections for women and gay people, the only country with a free press, the only country with a world-class industry, the only country in the region with a world-class economy, etc., etc.

  30. ColinWright says:

    “…And the third is for the world to acknowledge that this conflict [Israel/Palestine] is unlike any other in history.”

    Actually, it is pretty unique. Generally, conquerors just want to subdue and exploit the peoples they have conquered. Even the Nazis visualized a Slavic remnant of sixty million slaves or so in their new empire.

    The Zionists want to extirpate the Palestinians as entirely as they can — to drive them into the wastes. They don’t want to start taking their feudal dues, or convert them to Judaism, or make them agricultural laborers on their own land — they just want to obliterate them. It isn’t even like the rather bumptious American advance into the West, where we generally just kept moving in and starting to farm ‘n mine — and then self-righteously protest when the (rather thinly spread) local Indians objected. As a rule, we ignored the Indians — ‘until there was trouble.’ Then the US government would come along and force the Indians onto some more or less undesirable tract — which largely, is where they are today.

    To take contemporary examples, the Chinese just want to move in alongside the Uighers and Tibetans and things. The Uighers and Tibetans are perfectly free to become good Chinese. Similar processes are occurring in Brazil, in Indonesia, and presumably elsewhere. It ain’t pretty, but it ain’t Israel.

    Zionism wants to expel all the Palestinians. From all of Palestine. Not even a reservation.

    It is indeed ‘unlike any other conflict in history.’ For one, it is far more profoundly inhumane than most. The Palestinians aren’t even permitted to submit.

    • hophmi says:

      “they just want to obliterate them.”

      Really? Then why are there 4m Palestinians in the West Bank? Israel could obliterate them tomorrow.

      You simply make this nonsense up as you go along.

  31. If you are American, and your friend says ““I don’t hear you complaining about Syria or North Korea,”why don’t you make a deal with them?

    Get them to agree to put their signature on a letter to their congressman/woman and senator written entirely by you, complaining about America’s support for Israel.

    You in turn agree to put your signature on any letter that they write to your congressman/woman or Senator, complaining about American support for North Korea or Syria!

    What could be fairer than that?