Exit Strategies

Double Standards and Anti-Western Bias

Victor Davis Hanson writes on Israel.

The virulent worldwide reaction to Israeli’s handling of the Gaza flotilla has been quite instructive. The bankrupt Greeks, for example, are taking a holiday from railing at the Germans to demonstrate in solidarity with the Turkish-organized Gaza effort, which puts them on the same side as those whose government supports the occupation of much of Greek-speaking Cyprus and its divided capital.

No one in Europe worried much about the constant shower of missiles from Gaza in the past. No one in Europe said a word when North Korea torpedoed and slaughtered South Koreans on the high seas. No one objected when the Iranians hijacked a British ship and humiliated the hostages...

What explains this preexisting hatred, which ensures denunciation of Israel in the most rabid — or, to use the politically correct parlance, “disproportionate” — terms? It is not about “occupied land,” given the millions of square miles worldwide that are presently occupied, from Georgia to Cyprus to Tibet. It is not a divided capital — Nicosia is walled off. It is not an overreaction in the use of force per se — the Russians flattened Grozny and killed tens of thousands while the world snoozed. And it cannot be the scale of violence, given what we see hourly in Pakistan, Darfur, and the Congo. And, given the Armenian, Greek, and Kurdish histories (and reactions to them), the currently outraged Turkish government is surely not a credible referent on the topic of disproportionate violence.Perhaps the outrage reflects simple realpolitik — 350 million Arab Muslims versus 7 million Israelis.

Perhaps it is oil: half the world’s reserves versus Israel’s nada. Perhaps it is the fear of terror: Draw a cartoon or write a novel offending Islam, and you must go into hiding; defame Jews and earn accolades. Perhaps it is anti-Semitism, which is as fashionable on the academic Left as it used to be among the neanderthal Right.

Neocons want to have it both ways. On the one hand, we must support Israel because it’s just so unique and Western and civilized.  On the other hand, when the time comes to defend its actions they have nothing better than “It’s no worse than North Korea!”

Of course Israel is judged more harshly than third world dictatorships.  But that’s the price you pay for the mainstream acceptance of Jews as part of Western civilization.  Reading about this story I was surprised to learn that Gaza is also blockaded from the Egyptian side.  I wasn't surprised that nobody cares, the same way there’s a double standard in comparing how America and Mexico treat illegal immigrants. 

But selectively complaining about double standards is itself a double standard.  Unlike white South Africa, Israel participates in the Olympics and academic boycotts against it are rare and sporadic.   In 1986 the US Congress passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act over Ronald Reagan’s veto placing sanctions on the last white ethnostate.  Airplanes from South African Airways weren’t even allowed to land in the United States.  Yes, Hanson, Israel is held to a higher standard than North Korea but it has not been subjected to anything resembling the hate campaign that led to the destruction of the only first world country on the African continent. 

Why should I be talking about South Africa when the topic is Israel?  Because if the neo-cons were consistent in their opposition to or support of racialist states that would be one thing.  But to have those called “conservatives” maintain both that South African apartheid was a moral injustice which needed to be ended and explicitly racialist and anti-miscegenationist Israel is a beacon of freedom and human rights should be enough to make anyone belonging to the real Right nauseous. (I wonder if the equivalent of Hanson exists in Israel: a Jew who's passionate about white natioalism in America but anti-racist at home.  How strange we'd find it if such a person was considered to be on the "Right"!)  And to contribute our voices to the howls against this relatively mild manifestation of an anti-Western bias so ubiquitous in the modern world doesn’t help our cause.