Cliff May

The so-called International Community has justified military intervention in Libya on humanitarian grounds: Col. Moammar Qaddafi was threatening mass murder in Benghazi. Fair enough. But for years, Iran has been threatening mass murder in every city, town and village of Israel. So, too, has Hamas, Iran’s client which rules Gaza and has fired thousands of rockets and mortars into Israel. Fatah, which rules the West Bank, incites terrorism against Israelis while its al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades kill Israelis whenever they get the chance. Would it be unfair to ask: In the eyes of the International Community, are the good people of Benghazi worth more than the good people Tel Aviv?

Of course, Israelis do not want or need foreign military forces to defend them. They would be immensely grateful, however, were the International Community to recognize that Israelis have a right and an obligation to defend themselves.

In December, 2008 Israel defended itself against Hamas. Less than a year later, the United Nations Human Rights Council issued the Goldstone Report, accusing Israel of war crimes. Last weekend, Richard Goldstone, the South African jurist in charge of writing the report, made clear in an essay in the Washington Post that those charges were baseless. Or, as a National Review Online editorial put it, Goldstone offered “the closest thing to an apology that we expect to see from him: an acknowledgment of the incompleteness of the evidence behind his report and an expression of ‘regret’ that his panel did not offer a fuller picture. Reversing himself on the key issue, he now accepts that civilians in Gaza were not targeted intentionally as a matter of policy.” That Hamas intentionally and routinely targets civilians, and uses Palestinian civilians as human shields, too, cannot be disputed.

Would it be unfair to ask President Obama, who has put such stock in the International Community, to demand that the UN now officially repudiate the Goldstone blood libel?

What Obama is doing instead: Telling Israelis he expects them to make more concessions to Palestinian leaders who refuse to make any concessions of their own and who have been unwilling even to negotiate with Israelis as they have during previous administrations, Republican and Democratic alike.


Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.