A recent publication from the Center for Security Policy Web Site, No. 01-F 64, dated August 15, 2001, claims to expose “the Bankruptcy of U.S. Moral Equivalence in the Mideast” using two commentaries: “Where Have All The Moderate Palestinians Gone?” by Robert L. Pollock, published in The Wall Street Journal on August14, 2001, and “Mideast Myths Exploded”, by Michael Kelly, published in The Washington Post on August 15, 2001. Frank J. Gaffney, the influential founder and President of the center, hopes that President Bush would adopt the views expressed in the commentaries as policy.
No, the commentaries do not mark the launching of Israel’s much-anticipated global propaganda blitz. They highlight an existing campaign whose tactical objectives ostensibly aims to expose Arafat as a dictator in the typical Arab tradition and to portray the Palestinians as aggressors who started the fight against Israel. In reality, however, the commentaries’ strategic goal evidently aims to frustrate Palestinian aspirations for independence.
Pollock, for example, blamed the Palestinian leadership for the lack of Palestinian moderation and completely exonerated Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister who is currently being investigated in a Belgian court for crimes against humanity. Israel’s role in killing Palestinian moderation notwithstanding, while Pollock sells a Machiavellian tactic that aims to kill off moderate Palestinian opposition to journal readers, George Orwell is wistfully turning in his grave.
Kelly, on the other hand, aimed his commentary at the jugular of Israeli restraint in the face of Palestinian terrorism: the American administration. “This official U.S. policy statement is beyond stupid.” Justifying Israel’s draconian policies against the Palestinians, Kelly joins Charles Krauthammer, another Washington Post columnist, in prescribing an Israeli full-scale attack to kill [insert adjective] Palestinians as a solution to the conflict.
Don’t adjust your televisions. The crusade against moral equivalence does criticize Palestinian incitements!
In this continued effort of blaming victims for their victimization, moral equivalency, filed under doublespeak, however, has become one of those qualitative measures that Israeli propaganda had succeeded in selling to the world.
Actually, there is no moral equivalence between aggression and self-defense. Israel had exercised a brutal occupation on the Palestinian people of the West Bank and Gaza for 34 years, confiscating land, demolishing homes, imprisoning residents, torturing prisoners, assassinating activists, and crying victim. It is an occupation that Lebanon endured 22 years too long, and an occupation that must end in Palestine. Now is not too soon.
500 Palestinian (compared to 150 Israeli) dead doesn’t even come close to describing the imbalance created by a brutal Israeli occupation.
The thousands of Palestinians (children and all), who have been injured, many maimed, by Israeli intentional rifle (mostly sniper) fire aimed at the upper body, don’t even have a counterpart on the other side. Yet Israel’s brutal subjugation of Palestinian demonstrators (mostly non-combatants) is but a symptom of the greater moral incongruence imposed by the occupation.
Israel celebrated a premature honeymoon from 1993 through 2000 that saw the lifting of Arab boycotts, opening previously inaccessible doors to its economy, while the Palestinians watched a viable landmass for a state being confiscated. So now that Israel’s honeymoon ended, the Palestinians have simply gone from the frying pan into the fire of this occupation.
Yet that didn’t stop Pollock and Kelly from capitalizing on recent Palestinian violence to position Israel as a victim of aggression. Avoiding many pertinent facts, Pollock and Kelly instead focused on the sensationalism that had previously been limited to the tabloids.
Describing why Palestinians hadn’t accepted the partition of 1948, Pollock conveniently avoided the issue of Zionist leaders’ intent to colonize Palestine as a wholly Jewish state since the Balfour Declaration of November 2nd, 1917. Zionism’s colonial intent is noted in The British White Paper of June 1922, which many, evidently not Pollock, consider the root cause of this terrible conflict.
Providing an unqualified statistic about the number of Israelis who fell victim to Israeli violence, Kelly, on the other hand, conveniently avoided a comparative number of Palestinians who have been killed by Israelis in the same time period.
Gaffney’s Center of Security Policy, however, takes the cake. The Publications of the Center for Security Policy Web Site feigns to enrich the foreign policy debate, but completely avoids any meaningful Israeli responsibility for the Middle East situation, sentencing innocent Palestinian and Israeli lives to the adventurism of armchair generals.
But I really shouldn’t be surprised. Publication No. 01-F 64 stated its quest from the very beginning as to “Bare the Bankruptcy of U.S. Moral Equivalence in the Mideast.” And what self-evident moral bankruptcy it proved to be!
(Author of upcoming novel, “Israel, By Any Other Name”, Ghassan Ghraizi was Born in Beirut, Lebanon, and has lived and earned his education internationally. A US military veteran, he’s experienced both war and peace. A CPA working for corporate America, his friends and family time is divided between individuals who are as varied as the countries he’d adopted.)