There is nothing wrong with criticizing many of the policies of the current Israeli government — and those of the previous ones. And it is completely uncalled for to try to tar such critics as anti-Semites. Indeed, many Israeli citizens are more critical of their government than their American counterparts.
However, such criticisms do turn into a prejudice when they are completely one-sided. Thus, very little was heard recently from the critics of Israel, including many progressive American Jews, when Hamas killed four Israeli civilians, including a couple with six children and another on the way.
Note that Hamas kept to the ceasefire despite the continued blockade and did not raise its arms to support those who tried to break the blockade or against Israeli settlers — until the Israelis and Palestinians sat down to try to negotiate a peace settlement. Thus, Hamas openly set out to kill these negotiations.
For those who hoped to draw Hamas into these negotiations, it one more time articulated what it is seeking: Hamas official Ismail Ashqar deemed the whole of Israel and the Palestinian territories “an Islamic endowment for all Muslims,” adding that the Palestinian Authority and negotiators “cannot give up any single piece of dust of its soil.” Yet none of this seems to particularly trouble those who chastise Israel whenever it needs to be chastised and sometimes when it needs not.
More astonishing is that we have heard nothing — not even simple news reports — in the progressive media, from NPR and New York Times to Huffington Post about the following, revealed by a Washington Post editorial: Palestinian police “rounded up scores of Hamas operatives last week [after the shooting of the settlers] but quickly released them - reminding some of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s duplicitous response to acts of terrorism.” The editorial urges Mr. Abbas to “match intentions with actions.”
A fair-minded critic does not jump on one side and turn a blind eye to the other.
PS : and did you learn from any of these publications that the growth rate so far in 2010 was 16% for Gaza and 9% for the West Bank?
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