The world is sick of Israel and its insanities

Israel is discovering that it’s no longer the center of attention as it always was before.

Rachel Fraenkel at UN
Rachel Fraenkel, mother of abducted Israeli teen Naftali, addresses the UNHRC on June 24, 2014. But does the world care? / Photo by Screenshot
By Gideon Levy
Published 03:50 26.06.14

What a cruel world: Three yeshiva students were kidnapped, and the world isn’t interested; three mothers are crying out, and the world doesn’t answer. It’s all because the entire world is against us; it’s anti-Semitic and hates Israel. The Anti-Defamation League is already preparing a report. But the truth is, that’s just the way things are: When you openly thumb your nose at the world for years on end, eventually, it thumbs its nose back.

The three mothers went all the way to Geneva. One of them went abroad for the first time in her life to go to the United Nations Human Rights Council. But the world, and the council, went on their merry ways. It’s the irony of fate: About two years ago, Israel officially suspended cooperation with that council; together with the Marshall Islands, Palau and the U.S., it opposed the council’s very establishment. But now, in its distress and the mothers’ distress, it has turned to the council, which is indeed hostile to Israel and spends more time on it than on any other country. Suddenly, Israel needs the world. It even needs the UN, which all of a sudden isn’t the worthless body Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion once termed it.

It takes considerable effrontery to demand that the world interests itself in the fate of three abducted Israelis, and considerable chutzpah to be disappointed by the fact that it has kept silent. Granted, Israel tried to move heaven and earth, and its ambassador/propagandist at the UN gave a moving speech in an effort to scrape up a few more public diplomacy points against Hamas. But once it was paying attention already, that bizarre world was more interested in the campaign of collective punishment imposed on thousands of West Bank residents after the kidnapping.

That’s the way things are with the world-that’s-entirely-against-us: It’s more interested in the half-century-old occupation; it’s more upset over the fate of three million Palestinians than the fate of three Israelis. The world has no lack of kidnapping victims, but none of them ever got the attention received by kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. With the three current kidnap victims, however, Israel no longer had a chance. Over the last two weeks, which I spent in Sweden, I didn’t run across a single mention of the abduction in the media. Not one.

That’s what rotten fruit looks like. The world has no reason be more interested in the fate of Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gilad Shaar than it is in the fate of their age mate Mohammed Dudin, a boy of 15 who was killed by live fire from Israeli soldiers in Dura last Friday.

It has no reason to be especially moved by the haunting words of Rachel Fraenkel, who related that her Naftali is a good boy who loves to play guitar and soccer, when Mohammed was also a good boy, who helped his father build their house during his school vacations and sold sweets to help support his family. Rachel wants to hug Naftali? Jihad, Mohammed’s bereaved father, also wants to hug his son. Incidentally, nobody brought him to Geneva. He remained alone with his mourning, at the wretched house whose construction hasn’t yet been finished, and perhaps never will be.

The world is a mess, as they say. In Iraq, Nigeria, Syria and even Ukraine, the situation is far crueler. Yet the complete lack of interest in the kidnapped Israelis doesn’t stem from that alone. It’s impossible to demand sympathy from the world when Israel ignores the world’s decisions; it’s impossible to demand action when Israel is perpetuating the occupation; and it’s impossible to demand solidarity with the fate of Israeli victims when that same victimized Israel continues to kill, wound and arrest innocents as a matter of routine.

Now Israel is discovering that it’s no longer the center of attention as it always was before, and that the fate of its kidnapping victims no longer stops the world in its tracks, not even in the United States. The world is sick of Israel and its insanities. Unfortunately, the world has also lost interest in what happens here. When Israel was a more just country, the world identified with its victims. It continued to do so even when Israel became less just. But now, when Israeli rejectionism is hitting new heights and its oppression of the Palestinians is returning to what it was during the very worst periods, the world has started getting tired of it all. Even the kidnapped Nigerian girls interest it more.



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  • 43.
    The world is sick of terrorists like Hamas., terrorist who fire rockets ar
    civilian populations , hide behind women and children and sacrifice their own people to protect their rockets.
  • 42.
    I support Israel
    I'm Italian and i fully support Israel. It's sad to see this havoc, hoping will end soon, but Palestinians are to blame voting a terrorist group as their representative, which openly ask to kill jew and destroy israel. They are just reaping what they sow.
  • 41.
    The world is sick of Israel killing Palestinians, that's for sure....
  • 40.
    Israel and the world
    We don't hate Israel. You did not cry for our 8000 lost fighting your fight you went on sailing your boats-you set the precident. Israel did nothing to help the war effort you act as though we owe you this. For WW 11 US has 400000 dead young men-only 2 IAF pilots have saluted them. Now you expect us to care for you-we pray for your loss but as Israel PM love to say-we know how you feel it happened to US> But Israel has never fought on a foreign land for a future-always a present and always at your border. Peace Keeping responsibilities nvr brought you to hold the line in Korea you are busy sailing your boats. Perhaps one day you will visit the graves of yng men fght and died in your fight.
  • 39.
    Israel bombs Gaza without offering
    definitive proof that Hamas orchestrated the kidnapping. Then complains that they have to kill civilians when Hamas strikes back. It counts on world having a 12 hour memory span.
  • 38.
    The world's indifference to Israel
    Gideon the world has been indifferent at best to Israel's fate since Britain didn't permit Israelis to have proper weapons to defend themselves thus setting her up to be wiped out in 1948. The world stands by and watches as rockets launched at innocent men women & yes children on a daily basis. Just leaving the West Bank is a great idea. Just like when they left Gaza. All they got was more violence against her citizens. Time to wake up Gideon. The world just wishes Israelis and the Jewish people will go quietly into the night.
  • Maybe if Israel didn't kill so many Palestinian women and children we'd have more sympathy.....
  • Nonsense! The Eurpean immigrants who became the Israelis
    immediately razed 450 native villages, and killed or diasporized the villagers. This was BOFORE 1950. Jewish terrorists also bombed the Kind David Hotel with 99 people inside. Israel violated her borders even before she declared them. You are NOT the victim you are the aggressor, and the goal is to make the entire region Eastern European.
  • No you wouldn't. Their blood is on Hamas' head. They are
    Sacrificing these women and children to protect their own cowardly selves and to protect their stores of rockets and ammunition.
  • 37.
    The Gutsy Author GIDEON
    You Sir is the light shining for true JEWS. May the ALMIGHTY GOD help you always.
  • 36.
    World sick of Isreal?
    Why would I pay for YOUR opinion?
  • 35.
    True Jews
    True Jews, Isaiah's foretold "righteous remnant," those who love God and seek holiness and righteousness, must raise their voices against the false Jew Talmuds - Vatican banker Rothschild Zionism - who execrate (viz. "lie to, cheat, rob, enslave, and kill, with impunity") all not of their satanic cult psychosis. The "State of Israel" is not "Zion." Read Isaiah's prophecy on the subject. The world is becoming fully aware of the "gaslight," praise God.
  • 34.
    Israel
    We are standing with you Israel in prayer and support.
  • 33.
    Praying and supporting Israel
    Believe we are praying and supporting from the West in increasing numbers. You are the chosen, the beloved of Abba our Father. I will continue to pray for your protection and blessings to you the chosen line to Jeshua. Our Christ and salvation.
  • hmm
    wont help
  • 32.
    End the occupation
    Ruthless Israel now feels the heat. Its time to let the Palestinians live in peace. Take your settlers and your machines out of the West Bank now. Your cry as victims does work anymore indeed.. Thanks to the power of the Internet.
  • 31.
    An American perspective
    From half a world away, the kidnapping of the three yeshiva students looks like a feeble attempt at retaliation for the far more widely reported stories of the Occupation, the Wall, and IDF abuses. Levy is right: over here, we'd take Israeli complaints more seriously if Netanyahu and the IDF were honestly working toward peace with a homeland for the Palestinians and respect for their rights.
  • And, the first indicaton of serious interest in peace by your PM
    would be to put an immediate and permanent stop to settler crime and terror. Democracies have ONE rule of law for all people.
  • 30.
    Strange
    It's strange the disconnect between the actions of the government and public opinion, or is this opinion minoritary? People seem to agree much more across borders. I agree with what was said in the article. I am sure many do. They are scattered across the world (including in Israel). So many people across the world have more in common (at that level) than they have with the rest of their fellow citizen or their government or other elected officials. That makes me rethink countries and borders.
  • 29.
    Kiddnapping of three teenagers.
    Justice will reveal. The world understand and see the truth and what the Palestinians went through for the past 66 years. Lies are no longer believed. This land was stolen and should be returned. I have No Problem living with any religion belief, but do not tell me you want a Jewish states. It's not going to happen. In 2050( statistic ) Arabs are 50% of this states. So what Israel going to do? Cleans the Arabs or Israel itself will dissapear ? It's all of us who make a decision , either we accept each other and live in peace or we keep fighting and finish each other. The land doesn't belong to no one, rather we all belong to it.
  • Israel can have any kind of state she wants WITHIN her legal borders.
  • Dreaming....
    Talk to the new Caliphate leader of ISIS. I'm sure he'll agree with you.
  • borders
    Because of arabs there is no border
  • No. The Palestinians and the entire Arab League declared Palestine's border
    at the Green Line, The UN approved that border. Where did Israel set HER border?
  • 28.
    Kidnaping
    The jewish people are tired from you and your antisemitic articles
  • You don't speak for "the Jewish people." Neither does Israel.
    Most Jews prefer not to live in Israel. Plus, over half of Jewish Americans are no longer zionist.
  • Noone speaks for anyone, etc. On the other hand, nope -- both of your claims are untrue.
    Far more Jews live in Israel than in any other country, a strong trend that continue steadily. Virtually all Jewish-Americans assert the Jewish people's right to self-determination. Are there any other "facts" you wish to assert?
  • Nope! The US has the majortity of Jews, including the "mission milllion"
    The "missing million" are the 1-1.5 million Jews who are counted by the Israeli BOS, but live in Southern California. BTW-- Jews have MORE self-determination in the US. They are freer and safer in the US, and can be or do anything that they want, Unlike in Israel, which is an "old boys club."
  • The US has over 8,500,000 Jews. Have you EVER seen them massively
    rally in support of the settlements? Even ONCE? Years ago, the Muslims held a Million Man March on Washington D.C. No one got violent, on either side. Heads up! Over 52% of Jewish Americans are now non- or anti-Zionist.
  • Bravo, Melissa
    For whatever reason ( a wide-spread case of hubris, I suspect) Many Israelis regard the Diaspora as lesser Jews. They fail to see that it is the Diaspora that kept Judaism alive and relevant for nigh on two thousand years. "Next year in Jerusalem" was a prayer uttered by generation after generation of Jews in the Diaspora. The startling fact that Israelis just don't get is that Jews living in the Diaspora don't feel like they are living in exile. The participate fully and freely in the national life of the countries that they are citizens in, and they do not huddle in ghettos, except some self-created ones who prefer to shut out the world and live in their own land of fantasy. They are citizens of the world who have cherished and held on to their ancient heritage, but have also left room to add to their heritage with new traditions while valuing the old.
  • No. Bravo to YOU! Post of the Month, Jack! ;-)
  • 27.
    More from Ramallah. Even as Jezeera doesn't carry dreck like this column
  • Yet, here YOU are, every day.
  • 26.
    Zionists Staged Kidnapping of the Three Israeli Yobs.
    Why would the Palestinians kidnap three Jews when they were making progress in self Determination?? The answer is that they wouldn't! The Kidnapping of these three Bratts is a Staged event so as to give the Criminal Israeli Government an Excuse to Kidnap and Terrorize the Palestinian people even more than they have done before. The World is not Anti-semitic towards Israel! But Israel is the most Anti-Semitic Nation on Earth to the Palestinians who are the Real Semites and the Real people of that Land! Kazars are not From the Desert, but from Eastern Europe and have not a stred of Claim upon Palestine! Zionists are not only a serious Threat to Mankind, but the entire Earth! That means even the Zionists will eventually destroy themselves because Demnic Evil doesn't want Mankind to Exist. Most Zionist serve the Demons very well, even to the point where they will destroy themselves.
  • An Average Haaretz Reader
    Seeing such a clear example of a despicable hate speech getting 229 "likes" is very reveling, both about the editorial policy of Haaretz and the state of mind of its average consumer.
  • 25.
    whilst they hang their heads in shame!
    To be precise, I would say that the world is pissed off because they cannot manipulate Israel. They have not succeeded in forcing us to sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians. They have not succeeded in stopping us from expanding settlements beyond the Green Line. Finally, they are ignoring the kidnapping because they encouraged the pact between Hamad and Fatah. Of course we are not the center of attention whilst they hang their heads in shame!
  • The world community rughtly feels that and shame belongs to the criminal settlers.
  • 24.
    The Present
    It's kinda true. The current global generation are less affected by what happened in 1967 or 1973... but how Israel behaves in the present is what affects people's perception most.
  • 23.
    @a palestinian. You've got to be kidding
    Really, all you people have got is stones? Last time I checked even when you have "stones" the size of grapefruits you still manage to find ways to attack civilians NOT tanks with them, you know like the rock attack last november that left a father injured and his baby in critical condition. Yes his BABY. Maybe the stabbing of fogel family in their sleep was innocuous. Even better was the 1000+ israelis killed through suicide bombings or the rockets from gaza that destroy entire homes. Get real and stop infantilizing your people and your imaginary "righteous cause." It's nauseating.
  • You forget to mention in comparison
    how many Palestinians have been deliberately killed or maimed by the IDF, arbitrarily locked up in so-called administrative detention, tortured in prisons and traumatized for life. How many Israelis rot in Palestinian jails?
  • 22.
    Support
  • 21.
    Credibility
    I don't believe anything Israel says anymore
  • 20.
    True
    Don't be sad they are sick of us Palestinians too , the people of both countries suffer while their government gets richer and more arrogant
  • 19.
    True
    Don't be sad they are sick of us Palestinians too , the people of both countries suffer while their government gets richer and more arrogant
  • 18.
    Viokay
    I don't understand your last sentence. Very in compassionate and out of place. Overall interesting artivle, and sad... on all sides.
  • 17.
    the world is sick of gideon levy
  • He has quite a followig in the US.
  • 16.
    Good article
    As a proud Palestinian, I feel with the Jewish community and the importance of peace. Israel can't continue taking land and arresting children. You gotta understand that we are all humans and we all believe in god. We have 6000 prisoners and we are being patient waiting for them to be released at some point. For every action there is a reaction. You want peace like we do. We can't keep blaming each other for what's happening. Remember you are fighting people with top of the line weapons, and we are gifting back with stones....do you think this is fair. We don't hate the Jewish people. We hate Zionism like most Jews do. BB thinks he is going to crush the Palestinians bu using excessive power, well guess what it's been going on for 66 years and and didn't work. Maybe you need to look at the situation from a diffrent angle. Peace to all.
  • 15.
    Gideon Levy's column today
    Thank you again for your honesty and your guts. Bob Tripp Reston, VA [Yes, I am a Jew!]
  • 14.
    Gideon, that's a true word. Sick!
  • 13.
    Speaking the truth
    Thank you Gideon for your righteous article.
  • 12.
    loosing momentum
    a few weeks ago, the world celebrated 70 years of Normandy, the beginning of the end of world war two, and holocaust. the huge sympathy Israel draws from those terrible events are fading away with time, normal course of life. new generations do not feel the same about things they didn't go through nor were told about by their parents. thus, the world expects a more just behavior now as Israel looses victim status in western consciousness
  • 11.
    Gideon Levy article
    Thank you for your honest appraisal. Many in the west have long felt that the Israeli government is not interested in peace, but in prolonging the stand-off in order to build as many settlements as it can to create a new status quo, and to make life increasingly impossible for the Palestinians. I'm sure that if more people in Israel had access to books like Palestinian Walks by Raja Shehadeh, they would be horrified by what is being perpetrated in their names.
  • 10.
    Gideon Levy article
    Great and thoughtful article. Thanks Gideon Levy, if more Israelis had your attitude there might finally be some hope for peace in the region.
  • 9.
    kidnapping
    Too much is too much .. How would you like to have soldiers come into your home and upset everything ...just as german soldiers did whenever one of them was killed .??? israel is not the center of the world .
  • 8.
    Suprised ???
    So overdue.
  • 7.
    oh so true
  • 6.
    the world is just indifferent
    Gideon Levy is sick of this situation and has been for a long time. The world is just indifferent, just as it is to other suffering, because there is too much suffering in the world to not go numb. And Netanyahu plus wife is the worst leader we have ever had, that is true.
  • 5.
    lol keith israel is heartless
    Great article on the truths.
  • 4.
    The World is not Anti Semitic over Israel at all
    The World is tired of Israel failing to abide by its obligations under International Law and its previous signed agreements. The World is tired of Israel attempting to impose its religious beliefs on others in an attempt to justify Territorial theft of Palestinian Land. The World is tired of Israels Criminal behaviour. It has nothing to do with the fact Israeli's are predominantly jewish.
  • Times have changed
    I remember when my parents and grandparents used to pray, "Next year in Jerusalem". But now, it's just "Nah...let's just go to Boca".
  • Freedom of belief in Israel
    I still wonder why as a Non-muslim, each time I go to the Western Wall, I am never allowed to go to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and I can just watch Arab-looking entering which is supposed to be the holiest site of Judaism... Oh yeah right, because Israel is imposing its religious beliefs. Any other BS for us please?
  • Israel is not about religion. Israelis fight among themselves about religion.
    Israel is about a false sense of white Eurpean superiority.
  • 3.
    Gideon's piece
    Excellent diagnosis of the current situation facing Israel. I don't know what will wake up it's leaders and citizens, but eventually something has to or it's downhill from here on.
  • 2.
    Israel can't cry foul anymore
    Thank you for this very honest article. I am Jewish and a supporter of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but can no longer feel that that what happens in Israel is more important than any where else anymore. "When Israel was a more just country, the world identified with its victims." With the right-wing gov't and ultra-Orthodox monopoly, Israel no longer speaks to me as a Jew. Tel Aviv speaks to me as a proud gay person, but not the rest of Israel. Which of the founders of the State said that there will be peace when our children are loved more than our enemies are hated - to paraphrase. If Netanyahu wanted peace, there would be peace. I wish the connection I always felt for Israel was still there - but it just ain't so. The gov't speaks out and condemns America when it fails to do Israel's bidding. Well, the gov't should be ashamed of itself. I feel sorry for the parents of the kidnapped boys and hope for their safe return, but don't expect the world to stop, just because Israel says so. it doesn't work that way anymore.
  • A Jew that hates Israel, who needs you!
    good riddance. Go to gaza and see how you treated there. They love gay Jews
  • Get a life!
    Everyone who hates Israelis is either a self-hating jew or anti-semite. Grow the Fudge up!
  • 1.
    RE: article - The world is sick of Israel and its insanities
    I disagree, and feel that this kind of writing is seeking of attention rather than spreading any wealth of knowledge. The only points contributing to or be conveyed in this this article is that of which it suggests.I also feel it's slightly irresponsible if you seek to uphold an upright reputable view of the State to the viewers of which you're reaching.
  • comment
    The most frequent comment I hear in Europe is: "What do you care, let them break their own skulls". Yes the world is not only sick, it's fed up with this never ending conflict which is economically and strategically troubling the entire world. It's also an argument for anti-semites world wide who seek a durable solution in this area.
  • The reputable view is thtat Israel is an Eastern European ethnocratic apartheid regime--
    NOT a democracy. US taxpayers are stuck paying for her crimes.