This op-ed by, Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld, first published at YNET is presented in its entirety here at the Tundra Tabloids, simply because its a brilliant critique of those Western leaders and institutions who stand in judgement of Israel, while turning a blind eye to real human rights abusing states and their leaders. Literally, like a drunk looking for his keys by the lamppost, the just mentioned, continuously set their gaze on the target of convenience, Israel, and it’s got to stop. KGS
Unmasking Israel’s critics
Op-ed: Mideast chaos an opportunity to expose those who ignored Arab world crimes
Gaddafi’s murderous behavior toward his country’s citizens is probably the closest current example to what invading Arab countries and their Palestinian allies would have done to the Jews here had they been successful after Israel’s independence. This is extremely politically incorrect to say. However, that does not make it less true. To prove the point, one only needs to collect statements from prominent Arab figures in 1947 and 1948 and testimonies from Israeli witnesses of the war.
The recent chaotic events in many Arab countries may provide a unique opportunity for Israel to fully unmask many of those who are causing it damage. This includes those who have heavily criticized or delegitimized the country for years, as well as those who have looked away consistently from the massive crimes in the Arab world.
Many categories fit this bill. One can start with a long list of human rights NGOs. NGO Monitor has already accused Human Rights Watch of covering up human rights violations in Libya. How many of the human rights NGOs, if any, have protested against the membership of Libya in the United Nations Human Rights Council? Can they claim today that they didn’t know Gaddafi’s Libya is a nation that should regularly have been on the agenda of the UNRHC, rather than on its board?
This is only one of a long list of questions that will enable Israel to correctly label substantial parts of the international human rights community as imposters. Also included in this category are those who voted for the anti-Israel resolution at the 2001 Durban conference.
Gaddafi’s visit to France
A second category is a selection of Western politicians. Regarding some, one doesn’t even have to ask questions about the policies of their country. British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted a few days ago, during a visit to Kuwait, that the popular uprisings in the Middle East showed that the West had been wrong to back dictators and undemocratic regimes. He added that British foreign policy had put economic self interest above promoting Western democratic values.
This was followed by Cameron telling students in Qatar that some Middle Eastern rulers were using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a distraction from their own oppressive regimes. In this framework it would, for instance, be very useful to investigate what the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said about the Arab states since she was appointed in December 2009 and compare that with her statements on Israel.
As all is relative, French president Nicolas Sarkozy is far from being one of Israel’s major critics. He is the first one to recognize the Libyan opposition, which in the future may no longer have any territory to rule over. Sarkozy received Gaddafi for a state visit in December 2007. The French president announced then that the Libyan ruler would sign a 10 billion euro agreement for military hardware and a nuclear reactor. He also said that he had asked the Libyan ruler to progress on the road to human rights.
The next category in line for exposure is a number of mainstream Christian bodies, mainly liberal Protestants. They have almost consistently looked away from how Christians of many denominations have been oppressed in a variety of Arab and Muslim countries. The murderous attacks on Copts in Egypt over the past decades are one example. These have been followed by several more murders of Copts during the Egyptian revolution of the past few weeks.
It would not be too much work for an Israeli official to peruse the websites of a few of these anti-Israeli Christian organizations and examine whether and how they have dealt with this. A few suggestions of bodies to expose are: the United Church of Christ in the US, the Methodist Church in Great Britain, the United Church of Canada, as well as organizations such as Diakonia in Sweden, Icco in the Netherlands and in particular, the friends of Sabeel in many countries. Israel’s embassy in Norway can help by checking how much or how little a few notoriously anti-Israeli Lutheran bishops in that country have spoken about these abuses against other Christians in Arab countries.
Exposing so-called journalists
In the academic world, the prestigious London School of Economic provides an excellent example of hypocrisy. At the beginning of March its director Sit Howard Davies resigned because the university had accepted money from the Gaddafi foundation run by one the Libyan dictator’s sons. Davies had also travelled to Libya to advise the country about financial reforms. However, what bothered the LSE student union in 2008 was Israel. They voted with a great majority to divest from companies that support Israel’s “apartheid regime.”
Yet another category that merits public exposure is the so-called Mideast journalists. Many of them are decent people. Many others have withheld, in line with their papers’ policies, essential negative information about the Arab world. Will anybody believe these media that there was little or nothing to report about what was wrong in Arab countries in recent years – in comparison to Israel?
In the past, one had trouble proving that a substantial number of journalists reporting from here were mainly news manipulators. Occasionally there was an easy case such as that of Riccardo Cristiano when he was correspondent of the Italian state network Rai in the Palestinian territories. In October 2000, two Israeli reserve soldiers were lynched by a Palestinian mob in Ramallah. Italian network Mediaset filmed the murder and then smuggled the pictures out of the country.
Cristiano thereafter wrote a letter published on October 16th in Palestinian newspaper Al Hayat al Jedida. He disclosed that it had been Mediaset that had taken the pictures. Cristiano also indicated that he would never have published the pictures had they been his own. In his open letter, he also offered “congratulations and dear blessings” to his dear friends in Palestine.
The above list of Western whitewashers of Arab crimes, hypocrites and imposters to be exposed is only the beginning. The blatant misconduct in all the above categories, and a few others, merit far more detailed documentation. This is the moment for the Israeli government to get its act together.
Due to present developments in the Arab world, shortly there will be even more proof of how large numbers of Western individuals and organizations cheated when focusing their moral indignation on Israel. What in the past could be done only by time-consuming exposure of individual cases, can now already be done wholesale. Many more such cases are likely to come to light in the near future.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld has published 19 books, several of which deal with Israel’s international relations