Over the past several years, a growing number of patriotic Israelis have begun to despair. We can’t stand up to the whole world, they say. At the end of the day, we will have to give in and surrender most of the land or all of the land we took control over in the 1967 Six Day War. The world won’t accept anything less.
These statements have grown more strident in the wake of the slaughter of the Fogel family last Friday night in Itamar. For example, on Thursday Ha’aretz columnist Ari Shavit called Israeli communities built beyond the 1949 armistice line the local equivalent of Japan’s nuclear reactors. Like the reactors, he wrote, they seemed like a good idea at the time. But they have become our undoing.
The international community’s response to the Palestinian atrocity in Itamar is pointed to as proof that Israel must surrender. Instead of considering what the savage murder of an Israeli family tells us about the nature of Palestinian society, the world media have turned the massacre of the Fogel family into a story about “settlements.”
Take the Los Angeles Times for example. From the Times’ perspective, the Fogels were not Israeli civilians. They were “Jewish settlers.” They weren’t murdered in their home. They were killed in their “tightly guarded compound.”
And, in the end, the Times effectively justified the murder of the Fogel children when it helpfully added, “Most of the international community... views Israel’s settlements as illegal.”
The Times report was actually comparatively sympathetic. At least it mentioned the murders. Most European papers began their coverage with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s announcement that the government would permit Israelis to build 400 homes in Judea and Samaria.
As for the governments of the world, most were far swifter and more aggressive in their condemnation of Netanyahu’s announcement of the building permits than they were in their condemnation of the murders.
Then there is the US Jewish community.
According to New York’s Jewish Week, there is a new consensus in the American Jewish community that imposing an economic boycott on Israeli communities outside the 1949 armistice lines is a legitimate position. The paper interviewed Martin Raffel, the head of the new Israel Action Network, a multimillion-dollar effort by the Jewish Federations of North America and other major Jewish groups to counter the delegitimization of Israel.
Raffel called the boycott movement misguided, rather than wrong. Then he justified it by arguing, “Being misguided in one’s policies doesn’t mean one necessarily has become part of the ranks of the delegitimizers.”
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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