In a very fine editorial, The real racism: Expecting Jews to die meekly, http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=243452, Martin Sherman notices that the world repeats robotically that Israel has the right to defend itself, but he notes correctly, that is an empty mantra. Whatever Israel does to make it more difficult for its enemies to kill us brings down condemnation from the world. They call it “disproportionate” force and even war crimes and crimes against humanity, even though other countries do the same and much worse and face no disapproval for it. This is not new. It doesn’t even begin with the infamous Goldstone Commission report on Operation Cast Lead. Go back to 2001 and Colin Powell, Secretary of State in what is remembered as a pro-Israel first term of George Bush.
Colin Powell is not an anti-Semite. He has never spoken harshly about the Jews. He has had many positive relationships with Jews. He even speaks Yiddish, which not many Jews do. He is not viewed as an anti-Semite and one can be certain that he doesn’t see himself as an anti-Semite. And yet, there was Colin Powell, purveying one of the most pernicious of anti-Semitic motifs, indignantly insisting that the State of Israel adopt and stick to the “Groveling Kike” motif. Does that sound harsh?
Powell blurted out the US view of the true basis of US-Israel relations on August 2, 2001, with his denunciation of Israel’s targeting of Hamas terrorist commanders. Powell explained that for Israel to inflict casualties on the Palestinians makes America’s relations with the Arab countries more difficult. In effect, he is saying, “Hey, guys! Don’t fight back! You’re embarrassing us in front of the Arabs.”
Israel is obligated to facilitate America’s relations with Israel’s enemies, even to the extent of taking casualties without fighting back. It is not acceptable for Jews to fight back. We are supposed to run to a powerful non-Jewish protector to defend us. To ensure that our protector will in fact protect us in the hour of need, we have to constantly suck up to our protector and make sure that we are so useful and so valuable to him that he will reckon it in his interest to do so. That has been the only acceptable strategy of Jewish “self-defense” most of the time for the last 2,700 years.
What if our enemies are more useful and more valuable to our protectors than we? What if the American President firmly grasps the fact that the Jews don’t have oil and the Arabs do? And that’s not all. Contrary to what the whole world believes, the Arabs also have a lot more money. And that’s still not all. In the memorable words of Billy Carter, “There’s a lot more Arabs than there is Jews”. (Former Secretary of State, General George Marshall, said the same thing, in much more elegant terms, but the same thing.) What if America, our protector, has grasped all that? Well, then we Jews are supposed to just wring our hands and cry “Oy veh!” And die, of course. But on no account are we to fight back. That is anathema to Moslems. In Islamic law, it is forbidden for a Jew (or a Christian, by the way) to strike a Moslem for any reason whatsoever. The Christians might as well have had such a law because it is similarly utterly repugnant and unacceptable to the Christian world for Jews to defend themselves.
So, when rioters attack Israeli military positions with stones and fire bombs, with gunmen among the rioters with AK-47 assault rifles, Israel may not fire on them. That’s “excessive force”. But UN “peacekeepers” in Sierra Leone fired on rioters throwing stones, ABSENT the gunmen with sub-machine guns. So did police in Goteborg, Genoa, Cincinnati, Rome and Athens, likewise in the absence of gunmen. No one condemned them for “excessive force” because they have the right of self-defense. They aren’t Jews.
No one picked up on it until now, not even the Jewish papers or the Israeli media. Did no one notice? Or would it just not be smart to say such a thing where your Protector can hear? “Shah! Stille! [Sh! Be quiet!] You’ll get us in trouble.” But of course, Israel has the right to defend itself.
*Prof. J.P. Golbert, formerly a practicing lawyer in New York and California and a law professor in Los Angeles, who has practiced law in Jerusalem since 1986.