Two Nations Are Fighting for Their Existence Against Absolutist Enemies. One Is the Victim of a Double Standard.

(Bloomberg) Niall Ferguson - Two democracies are under attack by a sworn foe of Western civilization. One is in Eastern Europe; the other in the Middle East. One is vast; the other tiny. Both have recently seen unarmed civilians, including children, brutally slaughtered, tortured and kidnapped by their enemies. Both are sending their sons, husbands and fathers into brutal battles. Yet, despite all these resemblances, these two fighting democracies are treated much differently by the world. One is praised for its heroism; the other is condemned - even accused of genocide and ethnic cleansing. One is encouraged to fight on to victory, "for as long as it takes"; the other is told to agree to an immediate ceasefire before victory has been achieved. The armed forces of one country can do no wrong; those of the other are charged with "war crimes." How can we explain the fact that Ukraine is lionized and Israel reviled? Is it because the enemies of Ukraine and Israel are in some way different? In many ways, Russia and Iran are like two peas in a pod. They are brutal autocracies in which the rule of law and human rights count for nothing. They murder without compunction their enemies at home and abroad. They each pose threats that extend far beyond Ukraine and Israel. Thirty years ago, Israel agreed with the Palestine Liberation Organization on the beginnings of Palestinian self-government under the Oslo Accords - "a separate Palestinian entity short of a state," in the words of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Prime Minister Ehud Barak went even further at Camp David in 2000, but PLO leader Yasser Arafat walked away from the table. Have the Palestinians enhanced the case for statehood in subsequent years? No. The Palestinian Authority is an oxymoron; Palestinians despise it, and it has no authority. A large majority of the inhabitants of Gaza, to say nothing of the Palestinians of the West Bank, prefer Hamas. The nature of Hamas was laid bare on Oct. 7, which should be regarded as an event disqualifying the Palestinians from self-government, not entitling them to it. The writer is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

2024-02-25 00:00:00

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