In an interview with PBS earlier this year, Richard Goldstone was quite amazed by a question regarding the suspicion that he and others may, heaven forbid, adopt a double standard in respect to Israel, compared to their attitude to other states, such as the US for example.
Such claims were looked into, Goldstone said without batting an eyelid, adding that the US adopted far-reaching steps in order to protect innocent civilians in Iraq. He further noted that as opposed to Israel's war crimes and vengeful policy in Operation Cast Lead, the Americans made sure to protect innocent civilians, while apologizing in cases where they erred, for example in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Indeed, why the hell should the “bold apartheid objector” (who, as we may recall, happened to enforce racist laws in the past and send dozens of blacks to the gallows) care about some insignificant, trivialities? For example, the fact that during Operation Just Cause in December 1989, US troops in Panama killed 300 to 1,000 civilians; or that in October 1993, a UN force (mostly comprising US units) killed more than 500 Somali civilians, while “carrying out an operation,” of course.”
Elsewhere, 460 to 2,000 civilians were killed during NATO bombings in Kosovo in 1999; in December 2004, in a campaign against Islamist forces in Iraq’s Fallujah, the Americans killed more than 6,000 civilians and obliterated about 10,000 civilian homes. Yet those who determine Israel’s guilt in advance have no use for such humdrum information.
Meanwhile, such trivialities are not at the top of David Cameron’s agenda either. And so, a day after the disclosure of 92,000 documents showing that coalition forces in Afghanistan killed hundreds of local civilians without reporting it, the new British PM found the time (of course, in Turkish PM Ergodan’s presence) to explain why Israel’s flotilla raid was “completely unacceptable,” why Netanyahu must order a “swift, transparent and rigorous inquiry” into the incident (as if Israel hasn’t done so thus far,) and why Gaza is a “prison camp” (of course, Israel’s “blockade” is at fault.)
Probes reserved for Israel
To Cameron’s credit we can say that he is merely another link in the chain of famed British hypocrisy – ranging from senior academicians, the media under the trusted BBC’s orchestration, and all the way to the cultural and artistic elite.
Nonetheless, one still needs to be more than a complete cynic and hopeless hypocrite to slam Israel a day after the Brits themselves were charged with “slightly” more serious offences than curbing the Gaza flotilla (for example, executions of Afghan civilians without a trial.)
When the spirit we see at the White House (and in Britain) is one of harsh condemnation of the disclosure of classified information, without any hint so far to an American or British need to look into the suspicions emerging from the publication, it’s a little difficult to see Cameron or Obama ordering a “swift, transparent and rigorous inquiry” into Israel’s actions.
As we all know, such probes are reserves for a very certain Mideastern state. It’s as though enlightened democratic leaders, just like “progressive” Muslim dictators (who oppress women, minorities, infidels, and in fact most of their citizenry) have trouble managing their own daily affairs without making clear to Israel how morally corrupt it is and how despicable its actions can be.
As we also know, Orwell’s animal farm was an allegory for the pre-1917 Russia and the post-revolution Soviet Union. Yet in our global farm too, “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” of course – for example, the US, Britain, and anything that isn’t Israel in the “unbiased” view of Goldstone, Obama, and Cameron.
In Orwell’s story, the pigs take over the farm and rule it firmly, yet in our own wonderful world - where US presidents bow to primitive kings (such as Saudi King Abdullah) yet constantly criticize the Jewish State, where Jewish judges hang blacks yet preach to Israel, and where British PMs seek to ignore findings on the killings of hundreds of civilians but feel uneasy about stopping anti-Israel flotillas – hypocrites were never doing better.
Dr. Shaul Rosenfeld is a philosophy lecturer
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