Wednesday, May 13, 2015

13-May-15: On being sorry to admit what's plainly true

Originally posted here, and based
on the 
Edward Ruscha image
Hypocrisy and double standards happen to be on our minds at the moment. 

We started writing this blog in 2006. It reflects some thoughts we want to share as ordinary citizens of Israel whose primary concern is to get on with raising our children (and more recently, to the extent possible, helping them raise their children) while coping with the realities of trying times and often-challenging situations. 

Terrorism looms large in the list of matters on our minds. The reasons are not hard to figure out, and are embodied by the photograph over on the right of every page of this blog under the heading "Our daughter Malki 1985-2001". And with a focus on terrorism (those who do it, those who help them do it, those impacted by it) comes a deep sense of disquiet about the often-appalling aspects of media reporting and analysis, and the double-talk on display almost everywhere by public officials and especially by politicians.

Evelyn Gordon, whose writings we admire, has an article on the Commentary Magazine site this week that highlights just the kind of concern that gets us so steamed up. Here's part of what she writes:
It’s not hard to find examples of double standards against Israel... [S]uch incidents are made possible not by the rabid Israel-haters, who remain a small minority, but by all the “good” people who know better yet are too intimidated to speak out. Nowhere is this more evident than in the so-called human rights community. 
She then drills down onto the example of a senior Red Cross official, Jacques de Maio, the head of its delegation to what it calls “Israel and the Occupied Territories”:
Not only does he realize that Israel isn’t the Great Satan it’s generally portrayed as by “human rights” activists, but he’s even willing to say so occasionally – which makes him far braver than many of his colleagues. Yet even this braver-than-average member of the human rights community feels so intimidated that whenever he does say something positive about Israel, he feels the need to apologize. So you get astounding statements like this tweet from last November: “It may seem provocative, but I would contend that humanitarian access in Israel & OT is, comparatively, outstandingly good.”The mind simply boggles. It’s “provocative” to state the simple fact that Israel, like any Western democracy, allows humanitarian aid groups relatively unfettered access? ...Yet if that’s the truth, why should it be “provocative” to say so? Shouldn’t it be as natural for human rights organizations to praise countries for enabling their access as it is to criticize them for not doing so? But of course, when it comes to Israel, it isn’t. After all, in the “human rights” community to which De Maio belongs, the loudest voices are people like Human Rights Watch director Ken Roth, who famously criticized Israel last month for sending the world’s largest medical team, 30 percent of all foreign medical personnel, to help victims of Nepal’s earthquake... So De Maio apologizes for telling the truth. And untold numbers of his less courageous colleagues choose the easier route of not telling it at all... So all the people worldwide who truly need humanitarian assistance [Syria, for instance] will continue having their pleas for help go unheard, because the only “human rights” activists raising their voices are the ones obsessed with Israel. The others are too busy proving, yet again, that all that’s needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. [Commentary MagazineMay 11, 2015]
We have some additional thoughts to share on this, but a bit short of time at the moment.

No comments: