Israel held to a double standard — even by Obama administration 

‘Shut up. Go back to Auschwitz.” That was the response from the peace flotilla when the Israelis broadcast a radio message warning the Turkish ships that they were about to enter an area under naval blockade.

Such raw hatred of Jews — never mind Israel — is commonplace in the Middle East, even without the excuse of last week’s deadly incident.

The peace flotilla was no such thing. To be sure, it had peaceful people aboard, but its organizer, the Turkish Islamist organization IHH, is part of the Muslim Brotherhood, an openly terrorist organization pledged to the destruction of Israel and the triumph of sharia law everywhere. Scores of the “peace passengers” were Islamic militants pledged to kill Jews and secure martyrdom for themselves.

It’s not surprising that such racist loathing creates a siege mentality in Israel. Worse is the fact that Israelis know that it’s not just “the black Islamic banners” with which they have to contend. The realities of Gaza, Israel and the West Bank — where, with Israel’s assistance, the Palestinian economy is booming — are deemed irrelevant to the conventional narrative. Israel is a cartoon villain, beyond sympathy, beyond even redemption.

Israel is an imperfect society (like any other). But despite living under endless threats, it’s far closer to the liberal ideal of a free society than any other in the Middle East.

Radical Muslims, on the other hand, stone women, hang homosexuals and kill to deny free speech. Do Europeans protest that? Not many, not often.

Israel is held to a far higher standard than any other nation on Earth. Few people seem to care much about North Korean atrocities, let alone its terrifying nuclear defiance. No one marches or calls emergency meetings of the United Nations and the European Union to protest the vicious Muslim brutality against other Muslims. No one demonstrates on behalf of Christians murdered in the Middle East. The Muslim world and the Western left are in an unholy alliance: They do not want to improve the Jewish state, they want to remove it.

Israel has come to expect double standards from Europe and the U.N. Much more serious is the loss of support from the Obama administration. Most recently, Obama backed a U.N. resolution that singled out Israel in calling for a nuclear-free Middle East. No other president has ever done that, and Israelis are understandably concerned.

What Obama does not seem to understand is that his lack of support for Israel not only saps Israel, but more frightening, it emboldens Israel’s enemies. The Middle East and the world is now a much more dangerous place as “the sons [and daughters] of apes and pigs” are delegitimized once again. On their way back to Auschwitz, if their enemies succeed.

William Shawcross is a British writer and journalist. His next book, on the implications of the trial of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, will be published by Public Affairs Press (New York).

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William Shawcross

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