The Left's Mischaracterization of Israel By Aaron Velasquez, Right Side News, 1 April 2008
The American right loves Israel. We love Israel because Israel is us. Israel has McDonalds, night clubs, a middle class, semiconductor plants, and nuclear weapons. The left hates Israel for exactly these same things. Some liberals go one better and equate Israel with Nazi Germany, with Palestinians acting the part of the Jews. As bizarre as this seems to me, it plays well in the emotionally-driven finger-pointing crowd.
Israel is rich, stable and secure, and Palestine is poor and in turmoil. The fallacy is the idea that Israel's success caused the poverty of the Palestinians. People looking for "root causes" of violence often stop at poverty, and assume that the nearest rich people are to blame. Mexico is poor and backward compared to the United States, but nobody is saying that the United States made Mexico that way. The United States even took some of Mexico into herself and made more states. I live in one of them. However, there is no international outcry for reparations. There are no Mexican suicide bombers blowing themselves up in Dallas or Albuquerque.
Israel is a strong industrial society with a functioning military, a good educational system, infrastructure, and an intellectually high-functioning citizenry. The Palestinians are weak in all of these areas. In the liberal media and academia, this discrepancy is made into a causal relationship. That is, the Palestinians are poor and backward because the Israelis made them that way. It would be as if the Israelis marched into a developed, first-world Palestine in 1948 and displaced its high-functioning populace from the controls of its well-oiled European-style machine.
The myth then tells how the poor Palestinians were herded into the ghettos of the West Bank and Gaza and forced to live as animals. Any defensive use of Israel's military is fuel for the myth of an Israeli 'genocide' against the Palestinians, which completes the picture of Israelis as Nazis.
You may remember the hysterical NPR broadcasts of the last decade describing 'massacres' of innocents in Palestinian areas. Never mind the Israeli military was pursuing the enemy through those areas, or that the enemy chose to hide behind civilians. Not widely reported, but interesting and appalling were the documented cases of Palestinian terrorists dragging animal carcasses into the battle zones to make the smell worse when the sympathetic UN “observers” came around to inspect the “massacre” sites.
Palestine was poor and backward for millennia before the first wave of Zionists came in 1882. It was poor and backward when the state of Israel was created by international decree in 1948. It wasn't until after substantial numbers of European Jews settled there that a modern state appeared. The Middle East is largely poor and backward even today, with the notable exception of Israel. It follows that the Zionists must have taken a poor and backward place and created a thriving industrial country.
How did they do it, if they didn't steal it? Zionist immigrants to the newly formed Israel were largely drawn from Europe and were accustomed to a high standard of living, functioning government, infrastructure, and a fairly open society. None of those things existed in the area in 1948, so the Israelis had to do the work to create the land they wanted.
Could the Palestinians have done the same in Gaza and the West Bank? One would hope so, but experience demonstrates the Palestinians are not yet capable of this. Certainly, the Palestinians are intelligent people, but they have not chosen to use their physical and intellectual resources to the same ends as the Israelis. To the contrary, when they have been given Israeli-held areas, they have ripped up trees, torn down greenhouses and destroyed infrastructure. Why this is the case is a subject for another column.
Aaron Velasquez is a successful business person and a Sleuth of the Realm of The Clue Society, a leading philanthropic and eduational organization existing for the betterment of mankind. Mr. Velasquez writes for the Right Side News.
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