David Harsanyi

Unsure whether Israel has acted in self-defense? Just check whether the United Nations has called for an "emergency session." At the U.N., Jews' wielding guns always precipitates an international crisis.

Now, I'm not one of those who reflexively accuse critics of Israel of anti-Semitism. That would be preposterous. Or nearly as preposterous as pretending that Judaism has nothing to do with the defense, criticism or the never-ending war waged against Israel.

And it is undeniable that there are those who consistently and disproportionately vilify the Jewish state as an impediment to peace and rationalize or ignore far greater injustices and dangers in the world -- often simultaneously.

The brouhaha over the skirmish on a Turkish flotilla with humanitarian aid headed to Gaza -- to help fix a self-inflicted crisis -- was only the latest case in point.

Rush Limbaugh

It must be noted that unlike the typical "humanitarian" aid vessels, these were filled with violent activists rather than the normal caches of weaponry.

The impulse toward peace was so strong among passengers, in fact, that rather than allow an Israeli search for armaments -- a blockade necessitated by Hamas rockets falling on Israel daily -- the mob, chanting songs about invading Israel, attacked those who boarded with sharpened iron bars, poles, rifles and clubs.

Before boats were boarded, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, whose Jew hating would make Heinrich Himmler proud, already had said, "If ships reach Gaza -- victory. If terrorized by Zionists -- victory."

Using civilians as human shields, stocking weapons in schools, mosques and boats, and relying on death and martyrdom as forms of depraved propaganda is the game plan.

Yet from the bullet-riddled environs of Time and Atlantic magazines to the crater-filled battlefields of cable news studios, courageous pundits judged that the Israeli commandos' response, which killed 10, was "disproportionate."

They should be content with disproportionate. A proportional response by Israel would have meant upscale Jewish condos on the Gaza beachfront about 40 years ago.

Though all the evidence isn't in, Israel no doubt will investigate the incident, as is the custom in democracies that feature political parties and a free press.

In Gaza, on the other hand, Hamas rarely relies on NGO reports. A boatload of Jews -- any kind of Jews -- would have had no chance.

Still, commentators such as Alan Colmes opine: "To speak out against this despicable act isn't to hate Israel, but rather to love it, and peace."

So why don't left-wing pundits love Turkey for a while? That nation, after all, not only instigated this event but also is home to more than 25 million Kurds living in occupied territories -- Kurds who deal with daily human rights abuses: torture, mass disappearances and assaults on their language and culture.

No emergency sessions at the United Nations for them.

No editorial cartoons depicting their victimhood.

Not many columnists spinning overwrought tales about their plight.

And no U.S. administration is pressuring Turkey to give Kurds their own state.

Why?

Because there is always a disproportionate response by critics who claim that Israel and its supporters are the ones with naked and irrational hostility toward ... well, folks who want to see them as smoldering ash.

In all probability, Israel's biggest failure is taking the bait.


David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.