Pro-Israel social media activists are complaining non-stop about moral standards required only of Israel. One tweet out of myriad points this out:
Yemen death toll: 1,670 civilians (200 more than UN claims on Gaza) UNHRC response: Resolutions: 0 Urgent Sessions: 0 pic.twitter.com/4juRYWXZjS
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) July 15, 2015
Israeli politicians and spokespeople are the first to use the “double-standard” argument to defend Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu alludes repeatedly to the UN and Europe double standards toward Israel. Following UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s comment on the suffering of children in Gaza, Netanyahu angrily replied: “It turns out there is no limit to hypocrisy.”
Likewise, most pro-Israel people share former Minister of Defense Ehud Barak’s view of the IDF being “the most moral army in the world.”
And yet, true as it all may be, Israel’s insistence on moral supremacy does nothing to alleviate the charges leveled against her. If anything, it only deepens hostility toward a country seemingly unable to meet its own declared moral standards.
Failing to recognize the danger of this vicious cycle, Israel itself continuously raises the moral bar following every commission of inquiry that predictably accuses her of war crimes. In this futile attempt to satisfy her critics, Israel now warns her enemies in advance and prefers conciliatory military tactics over decisiveness, thereby putting her soldiers’ lives at unnecessary risk and prematurely ending vital military operations – all in a vain effort to gain international approval.
It is time to acknowledge that the moral argument has not only run its course, but is in fact bankrupt.
To appease the international outcry, Israel does next to nothing to bring justice to thousands who have killed Israelis. Likewise, it ignores ongoing unconventional terrorism including the torching of fields and forests, theft, robbery and vandalism.
At the same time, Israel spares no effort in condemning the sporadic, non-lethal, childish Jewish vandalism, presenting it as an unforgivable form of “Jewish terrorism.”
It is not surprising, therefore, that when Danish Ambassador to Israel Jesper Vahr was asked to comment on the European “double standard” toward Israel, he said that “Israel should insist that we discriminate, that we apply double standards…” Vahr, so it seems, is taking Israel’s claim for moral supremacy seriously, and, like so many others, uses it to indict the Jewish state.
Though none would argue that upholding moral codes is not important, Israel’s high moral ground position is used as an excuse for more condemnations and more violence. It is a demoralizing strategy that prolongs conflicts rather than ending them. The moral argument has become an effective tool in the hands of the pro-Palestine crowd to defeat Israel.
It is time to stop trying to explain what is actually purposeful self-imposed “Palestinian suffering,” and instead encourage Israel to get off its unattainable moral high horse and act in a manner more fitting a such a time when “all is fair in love and war.”