Wednesday, May 07, 2008

REALITY VS PERCEPTION: The State of Israel Turns 60

Bret Stevens on Israel's 60th anniversary:
Sixty years after its birth, Israel continues to test the proposition that reality counts for more than perception.

The Web site keeps a running tally of all United Nations resolutions, decisions and reports condemning this or that country for this or that human rights violation (real or alleged). Between January 2003 and March 2008, tiny Israel – its population not half that of metropolitan Cairo's – was condemned no fewer than 635 times. The runners-up were Sudan at 280, the Democratic Republic of the Congo at 209, and Burma at 183. North Korea was cited a mere 60 times, a third as many as the United States.

Is Israel the world's foremost abuser of human rights? A considerable segment of world opinion thinks that it is, while an equally considerable segment of elite opinion thinks that, even if it isn't, its behavior is nonetheless reprehensible by civilized standards.

I would argue the opposite: that no other country has been so circumspect in using force against the provocations of its enemies....

For reasons both telling and mysterious, Israel has become unpopular among that segment of public opinion that calls itself progressive. This is the same progressive segment that believes in women's rights, gay rights, the rights to a fair trial and to appeal, freedom of speech and conscience, judicial checks on parliamentary authority. These are rights that exist in Israel and nowhere else in the Middle East. So why is it that the country that is most sympathetic to progressive values gets the least of progressive sympathies?

Take a recent example: In January of this year, Israpundit discussed this story :
Ms. Magazine has long been in the forefront of the fight for equal rights and equal opportunities for women. Apparently that is not the case if the women happen to be Israeli.

The magazine has turned down an AJCongress advertisement that did nothing more controversial than call attention to the fact that women currently occupy three of the most significant positions of power in Israeli public life. The proposed ad (The Ad Ms. Didn't Want You To See: ) included a text that merely said, "This is Israel," under photographs of President of the Supreme Court Dorit Beinish, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.

"What other conclusion can we reach," asked Richard Gordon, President of AJCongress, "except that the publishers − and if the publishers are right, a significant number of Ms. Magazine readers − are so hostile to Israel that they do not even want to see an ad that says something positive about Israel?"

When Director of AJCongress' Commission for Women's Empowerment Harriet Kurlander tried to place the ad, she was told that publishing the ad "will set off a firestorm" and that "there are very strong opinions" on the subject − the subject presumably being whether or not one can say anything positive about Israel. Ms. Magazine publisher Eleanor Smeal failed to respond to a signed-for certified letter with a copy of the ad as well as numerous calls by Mr. Gordon over a period of weeks.
A Ms. Magazine representative, Susie Gilligan, whom the Ms. Magazine masthead lists under the publisher's office, told Ms. Kurlander that the magazine "would love to have an ad from you on women's empowerment, or reproductive freedom, but not on this." Ms. Gilligan failed to elaborate what "this" is....

"This flagship publication of the American women's empowerment movement publishes ads that are controversial in the general culture but not so among its readership," Ms. Kurlander said. "Obviously, Ms. believes our ad would enflame a significant portion of their readers."

Of course, the "flagship" of women's empowerment has no problem accusing the Bush Administration of being "bent on rewarding big corporations and the rich, turning back the clock on women's rights and civil rights, and promoting a U.S. empire abroad." Such formidable courage in condemning the evil BusHitler and standing up for poor oppressed American women is simply breathtaking.

Ms Magazine--like almost all the leftist feminists of today--would rather enshrine and perpetuate the eternal victimhood of women (they depend on it actually) than highlight anything so politically incorrect and demeaning as powerful women who don't happen to share their leftist politics. Frankly, Ms and today's feminists are just a joke, continuing to promulgate the same marxist fairy tales.

Don't look now, sisters, but you have been 'victimized' by the overt anti-semitism and latent sexism of the political left.

Now, consider this interesting calculation, which as far as I know, Stevens is the first to make:
But drilling down into the data, something interesting turned up. At the time, 1,296 Palestinians had been killed by Israelis – of whom a grand total of 37, or 2.8%, were female. By contrast, of the 496 Israelis killed by Palestinians (including 138 soldiers and policemen), there were 126 female fatalities, or 25%.

To be female is a fairly reliable indicator of being a noncombatant. Females are also half the population. If Israel had been guilty of indiscriminate violence against Palestinians, the ratio of male-to-female fatalities would not have been

These are not complicated facts. Yet the effort to think them through is rarely made.

And it certainly isn't made by progressives who supposedly champion women's rights--they are far too busy protecting Palestinian murderers by rationalizing and excusing their behavior.

Some time back, Lisa Beyer wrote about the "big lie" of the Middle East:
...the pan-Arabism that once made the Palestinian cause the region's cause is long dead, and the Arab countries have their own worries aplenty. In a decade of reporting in the region, I found it rarely took more than the arching of an eyebrow to get the most candid of Arab thinkers to acknowledge that the tears shed for the Palestinians today outside the West Bank and Gaza are of the crocodile variety. Palestinians know this best of all.

To promote the canard that the troubles of the Arab world are rooted in the Palestinians' misfortune does great harm. It encourages the Arabs to continue to avoid addressing their colossal societal and political ills by hiding behind their Great Excuse: it's all Israel's fault. Certainly, Israel has at times been an obnoxious neighbor, but God help the Arab leaders, propagandists and apologists if a day ever comes when the Arab-Israeli mess is unraveled. One wonders how they would then explain why in Egypt 4 of every 10 people are illiterate; Saudi Arabian Shi'ites (not to mention women) are second-class citizens; 11% of Syrians live below subsistence level; and Jordan's King can unilaterally dissolve Parliament, as he did in 2001. Or why no Middle Eastern government but Israel's and to some extent Lebanon's tolerates freedom of assembly or speech, or democratic institutions like a robust press or civic organizations with independence and clout--let alone unfettered competitive elections.

Indeed, if Israel did not exist, the Arab world would have to invent it, because without Israel to blame all their problems on (and, by extension, America), the nations of the middle east would not be able to go on.

David Frum suggested in an article titled, "Why is it Always About Israel?" that:
Might it not be closer to the truth to say that Arab radicalism is the cause of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute--not the result of it? There is no peace because Israel's neighbours--and too many of the world's Muslims--cannot accept the right of a non-Arab, non-Muslim minority to live unsubjugated in the Middle East. That is the true "core" of the dispute, and it cannot be fixed by negotiation.

Frum was correct in suggesting that the problem cannot be fixed by negotiation, but he is off the mark about the source of the problem. While it is true that Arab radicalism deliberately promotes the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and continually disrupts any possibility of resolving it, the cause of that dispute lies in the psychological dysfunction of the Arabs themselves.

Just as in a clinical case of mass hysteria (which it resembles), Arabs as a group have closed off their rational, thinking minds; and with the encouragement and justification of the most medieval aspects of their religion are operating on the basis of the most primitive and dysfunctional of unconscious needs and feelings.

They are indulging in group projection and paranoia--deliberately developed and encouraged by their dysfunctional leaders--in order to maintain their dysfunctional identity, as well as their dysfunctional political and pseudo-religous agenda.

And there does not seem to be any limit to the self-delusion that is rampant in the middle east.

Psychologically, it is very difficult to abandon a delusion, particularly when that delusion serves the purpose of accounting for an unacceptable status quo. For too long the so-called leaders in the Middle East have --in a manner similar to Jim Jones--been quenching the thirst of their people with poisoned Kool Aid. They have made it easy to believe that all their problems and troubles are caused by the Jews (or America or the West). Maintaining the delusional system and nourishing it regularly is crucial to their identity as individuals and as nations--otherwise it would be necessary to look inside their own hearts and souls for the underlying causes of their political, economic and spiritual stagnation.

SC&A wrote:
Many in the Arab world defiantly declare their ‘Arab pride,’ but of course, that really isn’t true. That is a kind of projection. If there really was Arab pride, they would be digging holes for the foundation of schools and factories, and not digging holes to bury IED’s. If the Palestinians wanted to reflect Arab pride, they would build hospitals and not rockets and missiles.

The Arab world is not fighting for freedom and democracy. They are fighting to retain the values of oppression, tyranny and dysfunction. There is so much self hatred of what they have come to stand for, that they are willing to blow themselves up in the process. Subconsciously, they must know what they are fighting to preserve and how they are fighting, is repulsive to any decent, civilized and religious adherent of any faith.

In truth, the Arab world cannot be proud of itself. The Islamic and Arab cultures that contributed mightily to the progress of mankind, have willingly become the poster children for religious intolerance, hate, violence and even genocide. There is very little the Arab world has to be proud of- and pointing to past glory only serves to highlight how far they have fallen. All the phony ‘Arab pride’ in the world has not motivated them to build. All they have done is destroy- and that destruction is a symptom of self hatred. People who hate themselves, destroy everything around them. People that believe in their higher selves, build. The same is true for nations. Nations, societies and cultures are not remembered for what they destroy. They are remembered for what they have built.

As Siggy points out in his remarkably astute post, the behavior of the Arab world is not really about pride...indeed, what do they have to be proud of? They have perverted beyond all recognition a religion that once upon a time could compete head-to-head with Christianity and Judaism in what it contributed to the whole of humanity. They long ago abandoned the ability to create, and now only possess the capacity to destroy. Their people live in poverty and oppression, controlled only by the belief that their situation is the fault of "the Jews" or America.
This is the legacy of psychological projection and paranoia. The unacceptable thoughts or feelings are denied ("not owned") by the person or group experiencing them, and instead are projected onto another individual or--as in this case--a group (racism, anti-semitism etc. are all projections). Thus, the person who originally had the offensive thought or feeling becomes the helpless victim of the evil "other" and they do not have to cope with the fact that the evil lies wholly within themselves.

Projection as a psychological defense mechanism can eventually lead to full-blown paranoia, where--even to the most casual of observers--the delusion (or projection) is completely out of touch with reality. And, there is plenty of paranoia to go around in that part of the world. Recently we have even been able to witness how the paranoia and hate are eagerly passed on to the next generation, thus preserving the externalization of blame and preventing any real growth or maturity as a people and ensuring the continuation of the pathology that is destroying any ability to build a functioning society.

In fact, it has become the hallmark of Arab/Islamic decivilization, dysfunction and deterioration; and which is psychologically inevitable when a group resorts to paranoia and psychological projection to defend against reality. It took them centuries to achieve this degree of psychological, political and cultural backwardness.

Israel on the other hand, should be very proud of its remarkable accomplishments in only 60 years. As SC&A note:
Israel, a nation the size of New Jersey, can only lay claim to the following achievements:
-Israel has more museums per capita than any other country in the world.

-Israel has the second highest output of books published per citizen in the world.

-Israelis hold more patents per person than do citizens of any other nation.

-More than 85% of all solid waste in Israel is treated in an environmentally sound manner.

-Israeli companies, Amdocs, Comverse and Nice pioneered voicemail, SMS and other cellular phone services.

-Israel has the highest concentration of high tech companies industries in the world, relative to it’s population.

-ICQ, the technology that powers AOL Instant Messenger, was developed in 1996 by a team of 4 young Israelis.

-Israeli start-up company TransChip developed the first high resolution camera that fits on a single electronic chip, for use in cellular phones.

-Israel is one of only eight countries in the world capable of launching their own satellites into space.

-Israelis developed the world’s first cellphone at the Motorola research lab in Haifa, that companies largest research center in the world.

-Israel ranks third, after the US and Canada, in the number of publicly traded companies on Wall Street.

-Israel has more scientists and engineers per capita than any other nation in the world.

-American industry giants such as GM, Ford and Lockheed Martin manage their manufacturing facilities using software written by Tecnomatix, an Israeli company.

-Israeli company Given Imaging developed a video camera small enough to fit inside of a pill. The camera helps doctors diagnose digestive tract diseases.

-Israeli scientists developed the first computerized radiation free diagnostic scanning device for detecting breast cancer.

-Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation in the world.

Not bad for the offspring of monkeys and pigs.

Or, how about these humanitarian accomplishments:
Turkey, 1999- Israel sends 100 tons of relief and a field hospital, as well as a 250 member rescue team. They find 12 survivors and retrieve 146 bodies. The hospital performed 40 major surgeries and delivered 15 babies.

Bosnia, 1992- In one day, Israel sent 13 tons of food and medical supplies to Zagreb. Israel was the first country to grant Muslim Bosnians refugee status and citizenship, in 1993.

Kosovo, 1999- Israel sends a 100 bed hospital and 70 medical personnel, as well as 100 tons of aid for the Kosovar refugees.

India, 2001- Following the January earthquake, Israel sends a field hospital and 150 medical personnel. Over 1200 treated and 12 babies delivered.

Nairobi, 1999- After the American Embassy bombing, Israel dispatches 150 search and rescue, medical and rescue dogs and their handlers. Also sent were 30 tons of sophisticated rescue equipment. Three survivors were dug out of the wreckage.

Mexico City, 1985- Israel sends search and rescue teams as well as trained S&R dogs to assist, after 2 powerful earthquakes leave thousands buried under the rubble.

Armenia, 1988- Israel sends search and rescue units and aid following an earthquake that leaves 30,000 dead and 50,000 homeless. Israeli medical teams treat 2500 at a field hospital and evacuate 61 to Israel for advanced medical treatment.

Buenos Aires, 1994- Israel dispatches 40 search and rescue team members as well as sophisticated rescue equipment, to help in the aftermath of the Jewish Community Center bombing. Many buried victims were rescued and treated.

Afghanistan, 1998- Israel sends 15 tons of supplies, including tents, blankets, food and medicine after an earthquake hit the northern part of that country.

Colombia, 1999- Israel sends aid sent to that country after a major earthquake.

Greece, 1999- Israel send aid and and search and rescue teams to that country after an earthquake.

El Salvador, 2001- Israel send aid after a major earthquake. A medical team was also dispatched.

Vietnamese Boat People, 1977- there were 66 Vietnamese boat people granted refuge in Israel after having been denied safe haven by other countries.

Cameroon, 1986- An Israeli medical team and supplies were sent to help people after a volcanic eruption. Thousand are treated for respiratory problems and burns.

Central America, 1988- In response to the devastation of hurricane Mitch, Israeli medical personnel and aid is sent to Guatemala, Honduras, San Salvador and Nicaragua.

Bulgaria, 1997- Medical supplies (over a ton) were sent as a humanitarian gesture to alleviate shortages of medical supplies.

Rwanda, 1994- As a result of a bloody civil war that left over a million dead and millions more as refugees, Israel send 270 doctors and other medical personnel. A field hospital is established. Over 3000 refugees are treated in a 40 day period.

The list goes on- Mozambique, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka, just to name a few others. And it isn't just about disasters. See this and wonder- wonder, how for even a moment, we would consider seeing Israel the way the Terrorist Supporters & Apologists want you to see her.

Despite her own trials at home, Israel is on record as coming to the aid of over 140 nations.

Meanwhile, on Hamas TV. Kuku and Fufu teach the little children how to kill Jews. Isn't that sweet?

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