Israel Focus a Distortion of Real Concerns

(ABC-Australia) Colin Rubenstein - Gazans - frequently typecast as the greatest victims of Israeli "oppression" - have a lower infant mortality rate than Libyans, a higher life expectancy and standard of living than Egyptians and higher literacy levels than Bahrain. The authoritarian governments in these three - and other - Arab countries ensure their tightly-controlled media not only blame Israel for all their problems, but also fabricate lies about the Palestinian situation. The UN routinely ignores Arab dictators killing their own or other subjects, and instead focuses on Israel. Resolution after resolution in all the UN bodies condemn the slightest perceived Israeli transgression. Meanwhile, Arab dictatorships trampling on human, religious, sexual and women's rights is a non-issue. As long as Palestinians receive one-sided international gestures - such as the recent Security Council resolution - without first needing to make moves toward peace, they will feel disinclined to return to the negotiating table, much less begin preparing their people for the concessions every sensible analyst and many Palestinian negotiators privately concede are needed for a lasting peace deal. The international community promised Israel support if it undertook required security risks during the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But Palestinian terrorism actually increased steadily after the signing of the agreement and on through the next decade. Prime Ministers Barak and Olmert made serious offers of Palestinian statehood. Yet UN condemnations of Israel only increased, focusing on the only Middle Eastern country that actually guarantees human rights for all its citizens. The writer is executive director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.

2011-03-04 00:00:00

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