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International Community Holds Israel To Unfair Double Standard

Jonathan Kalfus |
March 21, 2013 | 3:18 p.m. PDT

Guest Contributor

On December 18, 2012, the 67th United Nations General Assembly strongly criticized Israel and adopted nine resolutions on Palestinian rights and the Golan. By the end of the week, 22 resolutions were adopted by the Assembly against Israel, with only four resolutions passed on the rest of the world.

Israel's crimes are consistently magnified to unfair levels. (Rob Young, Creative Commons)
Israel's crimes are consistently magnified to unfair levels. (Rob Young, Creative Commons)

Syria—a country plagued by a civil war against a ruthless dictatorship that has reportedly claimed the lives of over 50,000 people, half of which are civilians—received one of the four resolutions. Iran, governed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a man who denies the Holocaust, represses gay rights and constantly calls for the annihilation of Jews and the Jewish state, received one resolution. Iran is the largest state-sponsor of global terrorism.

The other two resolutions were given to North Korea and Burma, both dictatorships with consistent systematic human rights violations. Yet Israel, the only country in the Middle East that has true democracy, free speech, religious tolerance, gay rights and equal protection for all citizens of the State, was handed 22 resolutions.

Israel has surely made mistakes, as all governments and nations have. However, the crimes that Israel has committed are consistently magnified to unfair levels, while those of other nations receive no attention. The continuous agenda of international organizations like the UN to pardon nations like Iran and terrorist organizations like Hamas for heinous human rights violations, but villainize Israel for building settlements or defending its citizens from rocket fire has created an unfair double standard. This double standard holds true for international aid, border security and military defense.

The critics of U.S. foreign aid to Israel in European and Arab nations claim the aid supports a military occupation and impedes progress toward a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. However, other top recipients of international aid like Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq and the Palestinian Authority don’t receive nearly the same amount of attention and criticism as Israel.

Israel’s security fence, which was installed in 2003 to protect Israelis from terrorist activity, is another strongly debated topic in the international community. In the year before the fence was implemented, 457 Israelis were murdered by suicide bombers and other terrorist activities. Yet, the UN adopted a resolution condemning Israel for the barrier and demanded that they reverse and stop all “construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” The UN has not revised or revoked their condemnation against the Israeli fence despite its success in reducing the number of Israeli casualties to just nine in 2012. Meanwhile, the UN continues to remain silent on the United States’ own wall along its border with Mexico, which was constructed to prevent drug smuggling and illegal immigration.

The international community and media often criticize Israel for Palestinian civilian casualties suffered as a result of war, while ignoring the challenges of fighting terrorists who operate within civilian areas. The international media seldom mentions tactics the Israeli Defense Force implements to reduce civilian casualties, such as dropping leaflets written in Arabic over Gaza to warn the civilians of impending danger and encouraging them to stay out of harm’s way. Instead, headlines that frame the public’s perception into thinking the IDF kills any civilian in their path, such as “Palestinian death toll continues to rise” and “Gaza Crisis: ‘More than 100’ killed in Israeli strikes,” are published. In contrast, Bashar Assad and his Syrian regimes’ slaying of over 25,000 civilians have received limited media attention and only two UN resolutions.

Israel undoubtedly makes mistakes, but they should be treated and punished the same as every other country. Scolding the Israelis for receiving aid, building security fences, and defending their citizens, while pardoning or ignoring other nations for the same things, is unfair and creates a double standard that no country can live up to.


Jonathan Kalfus is a Fellow for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. Reach him here.



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