#47 Harris - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Ernst
    • 17.08.05 | 10:59 (IDT)

    Dear Mr. Harris, it is too bad you didn't react to my questions nor to my arguments. In stead of giving an answer to all the things you disagree with, you start using another, new argument. That is not debate, discussion and can hardly be called communicating. Ok, I will attempt to answer your last argument (#47): Correct me if I'm wrong, but in short you say that the crimes in the occupied territories committed by Israel are far less then the horrors of Chechnya, Tibet, Sudan, etc. so somehoe the rest of the world shouldn't critize it so much. That is like a rapist saying since he didn't murder people shouldn't be so excited so much about what he did. Yes, mr Harris, there is (sadly) always something more evil happening in the world, but this doesn't mean the crimes committed in the Palestinian occupied territories are less of a crime, that the criminals should be punished less. The Torah states '"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth", meaning: each crime will have it own measured punishment, independent from the other crimes. Crime and punishment are absolute values, not relative, or at least we should try to make it that way. Now you second argument is that people in the world have tunnel vision when criticizing Israel, whereas Sudan, China and Russia can commit there occupation crimes virtually without criticism. This is partly correct and partly a mistake. mistaken because Sudan got criticized very strongly, and in the whole western world people are protesting the Chinese occupation of Tibet(Richard Gere!) But in part you are right that Israel?s occupation of the Palestinian territories gets more attention then from such a pathetic little corner of the world could be expected. For this, I think, there are a number of explanations: 1. Israel is a product of European treatment of the Jews (mainly anti-semitism) and of European nationalist and colonialist thinking (zionism). As such Europeans feel involved with the country. For example in Holland, Israel is still highly regarded: Dutch people tend to say ?Israel is a great country?, although the two intifada?s have shown the Dutch the evil side of the occupation and oppression of the Palestinans. Anyway, the Dutch media always have a strong presence in Israel, because like the USA, GB, France, Israel matters to the Dutch. 2. Israel is a democracy, or at least a country that is trying to be one. This means free press. Shalom Ahshav, Gush Shalom, the ISM and many other national and international organizations have the legal right to criticize Israel in all the (to you: annoying) ways they like. This free press may have for you the negative effect of all these people that (you might say) are complaining too much about Israel, for me it is the opposite: it proves the democratic strength of Israel, and as such is a positive phenomena. 3. I haven?t found an internet site where Chinese from all over the world are complaining about the international condemnation of Chinas illegal occupation of Tibet, nor have I ever in my whole life met one single person that tried to convince me that what the Sudanese government does in Darfur is necessary thing and that things are not so bad. In stead with the Israeli illegal occupation of Palestine, I?ve met dozens of people trying to convince me that Israel?s actions are all ok. So, people that defend clear cut crimes get criticized! If there wasn?t such a strong nationalist and zealot movement in Israel, screaming of the roofs how correct there actions are, there wouldn?t be so much attention to Israel! (there might not be this disastrous occupation in the first place) I hope you will now reaction substantially to my words and don?t start another, new theme. Thank you in advance.

    from the article: Misuse of the army
    First published 00:00 16.08.05 | Last updated 00:00 16.08.05
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