Why Israel Ignores Criticism of Gaza Flotilla Raid

(Christian Science Monitor) Joshua Mitnick - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's complaint of an "international offensive of hypocrisy" against Israel has been echoed by political rivals and many ordinary Israelis. "When the world confuses a jihadist lynch mob for peace activists, Israelis nod their head and say, 'We recognize this as a Jewish moment,'" says Yossi Klein Halevi, a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. "Almost every Israeli, regardless of the way they feel about the operation, knows that this [flotilla raid] is not a moral failing of Israel," he says. "And yet Israelis see the world entering a spasm of moral outrage that we don't see being expressed over Darfur." "The more Israelis sense they are being unfairly judged, and being held to a standard no country is being held to, the more Israelis freeze up." In a poll of Israeli Jews after the flotilla raid, 61% said Israel should not adjust its tactics to curry favor with the international community. 85% said Israel either did not use enough force or used the right amount of force. Israeli resentment is most acute toward the United Nations. "There has been a structural problem in the UN for many years which leads to situations where Israel is put in the chair of the accused for alleged crimes which it never committed, while countries which are involved in massive human rights abuses are never cited," says Dore Gold, a former Israeli UN Ambassador. "I don't think one has to be exasperated about what the international community says. Israel has to make its case," he says.

2010-06-10 08:44:40

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