Refer to Shlomo Ben-Ami’s article, “Why should Israel be judged more harshly than other countries” (The New Times, September 3). Anti-Semitism in Europe is a problem. No disagreement there. What many object to is the implication that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is justified, and should not be questioned, so long as anti-Semitism exists anywhere in the world.
The logic that Israel must continue to oppress a people, to ensure that Jews are never again oppressed, is a clear obstacle to peace.
If scenes of anti-Semitism in Europe trouble us, we should also be troubled by the increasingly common sight of far-right demonstrations in Israel, where Israelis regularly chant “Death to Arabs!” and police do nothing.
We should be deeply disturbed by frequent violent attacks on Israeli Arabs, and the hateful words from far-right Israeli politicians that dehumanise Palestinians.
Is Israel judged more harshly than other countries? To which countries can we compare Israel? Which other countries have maintained a 47-year illegal military occupation of over four million people? Which other countries have done that with the financial and military backing of the US? Which other countries have done that whilst the US vetoes every single UN resolution against them?
Ultimately, it’s not just about who has killed more civilians. People aren’t only upset about the 2,100 recently killed Palestinians in Gaza, which is certainly less than the fatalities in Syria and Iraq. People are upset for every other Palestinian who lives each day under an unjust and illegal military occupation, or as a refugee denied the right to return to their village in what is now Israel.
People are upset at their own governments for condoning that, and upset that their taxes are supporting it.
Rowan Seymour, Rwanda
Well said, Mr Ben-Ami. Europe and entire West have developed standards that they want the whole world to follow. Talk of one size (read policy) fits all. In short, only UN and EU know best.
They preach democracy but when our democracy says no to homosexuality they say its injustice. Talk of double standards. How I wish Russia, Israel and China could join hands with Africa and together push for a shift in balance of power!