Who Suffers From
Israel is obviously the major victim of anti-Zionism, the most powerful political force on earth. Israelis are threatened by rockets. They must always fear war and devote attention and money to defending themselves against possible attacks. But Israel is certainly not the only victim of this virulent hatred. Here are some other groups and nations that suffer as a result:
• Homosexuals in Islamic countries: Homosexuality is a capital offense in Iran, where gay men are hanged. Gay activists estimate that some 4,000 gays have been executed by Iran since its 1979 revolution.
In Saudi Arabia, they may be stoned.
Gay rights activists have been relatively silent about this extreme form of discrimination. It makes no sense. At some level, perhaps subconsciously, they fear that talking about executions of gay men in Islamic countries might make Israel look less bad.
• Schoolchildren: On December 16, 2014, a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, was attacked by the Taliban. At least 140 victims died in the attack, most of them children.
The story immediately received publicity and was widely condemned. Then it was quickly forgotten. The only items that remain in the news forever are the results of Israel’s campaigns against terrorism in Gaza.
Boko Haram kidnapped 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria on April 14 and 15, 2014. Most of them are still in captivity.
Nigeria is fighting a war against Boko Haram, but there is insufficient international cooperation. There has not been enough protest in the western world. Europe and America should do more to help Nigeria win its struggle against Boko Haram. These young women need to be rescued. The world, alas, is diverted by its anti-Zionism.
• Palestine: The Arab world rejected a Palestinian state when the U.N. voted to create one in 1947. It did so again with the Three No’s of Khartoum in 1967. Yasser Arafat did so Taba in 2001.
The BDS Movement condemns only Israel, meaning that it keeps telling the Palestinians not to compromise. Israel is depicted as the only reason that the Palestinians have not achieved a state. Actually, they have such a state. It is a mini-state, and exists in Gaza. After Gaza elected Hamas, whose charter denies the possibility of peace, Gaza has not been able achieve a working relationship with Israel that could lead to prosperity and eventually to union with the West Bank.
Ariel Sharon, considered a hawk, was preparing to withdraw unilaterally from two-thirds of the West Bank. He suffered a stroke and could no longer do anything, but his plan did not proceed because Gaza’s reactions to the unilateral withdrawal showed Israel that they had better not go ahead with such a generous—but risky—idea. The world keeps pushing Israel to leave all of the West Bank, which is impossible, since half a million Jewish Israelis live there. Some of them have been there since 1967. The Palestinians cannot compromise as long as the world puts pressure on Israel and Israel alone.
• The United States: The United States is big, rich, and powerful. It is natural that many people hate such a conspicuously successful nation. However, there is another factor leading to America’s unpopularity: its friendship with Israel. If Israel is hated, it follows that Israel’s ally and supporter will be hated as well. Iran has agreed to a deal with the United States, but demonstrators in Iran still refer to America as the Great Satan—a way of linking it to the Little Satan—Israel.
• Cuba - The Solution: There may be a way to take a major step away from the world’s hostility to Israel. Fidel Castro, in 2010, told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, that Israel has the right to exist, without a doubt.
Fidel Castro has been replaced by his brother, Raul. Nevertheless, Fidel’s statement should have been earth-shattering. He is an unambiguous leftist. Now that Cuba has established diplomatic relations with the United States, it should take the next step and establish relations with Israel. President Obama should encourage Raul Castro to go ahead and follow his brother’s advice. Why hasn’t this happened? Obama, like almost everybody else in the world, believes that Israel needs to be pressured to make concessions. If Raul Castro recognized Israel, the Palestinians too would be expected to compromise. Whether they did or not, Israel would lose a bit of its pariah status if a country as leftist as Cuba switched its policy. Cuba would have nothing to lose. The world would have everything to gain.
Go ahead, Raul. Do it.
This article appeared in Arutz Sheva on July 26, 2015.