Palestine Is Not the Only Nation in Need of Justice

     

    Israel is certainly far from perfect, but it is a robust democracy, which struggles as every democracy has. Israel is the only country in the region where there is full freedom of religion for Christians, Jews, and Moslems, Druze, Baha’i and numerous others. It has a free press and a parliamentary government with freely elected Arab and Jewish members. 

    Meanwhile, the government of Syria, which has long imprisoned and tortured dissenters, continues to slaughter its own people. Saudi Arabia severs the hands of thieves, executes those charged with “sorcery” and punishes rape victims with imprisonment. In Egypt it is still common for women to be harassed as they walk the streets and openly declaring homosexuality is unsafe. Jordan’s Black September, which ended with violent suppression of the Palestine-Liberation-Organization-led uprising, is not yet a distant memory. Iraq, formerly home to a brutal dictatorship is now home to internecine religious and territorial bloodshed. Surely these injustices and scores more also warrant our attention?

    Thomas Friedman of the New York Times summed it up concisely when he said, “Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction — out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East — is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.”

    — Jonathan Sapan
    Graduate Student,
    Center for Magnetic Recording Research

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