JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE MATCHLESS FOLLY OF MARGARET WENTE ON COMPARISONS OF ISRAEL WITH APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
RESPONSE SENT TO MARGARET WENTE ON A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL WHERE COMMENTS WERE NOT PERMITTED

If you truly believe what you say, then you should be open to public comment.

It is actually, in this day, rather pathetic to write a piece like yours and hide from comments.

Apart from what the overwhelming majority of humane people feel at seeing and hearing regularly Israel’s ghastly behavior, we have the words of two men of shining credentials in the matter, Bishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela, who have said on more than one occasion that Israel has re-created apartheid.

That excellent man, Jimmy Carter, has said much the same. Of course, he was instantly labeled an anti-Semite, a favorite shabby trick of the apologists for Israel’s ugly behavior.

About three thousand souls – including 400 children and a fine Canadian doing his UN duty – have been murdered in the last couple of years in Lebanon and Gaza by Israel. Gaza is treated like a Middle Ages city under siege, not even being allowed the products to rebuild Israel’s destruction.

People who have had homes and farms for centuries in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have their families destroyed regularly as their property is seized by people born in New York or Toronto or London, and the behavior is simply called “facts on the ground.”

Walls are built on the land of others, water is diverted, people living in their own place are abused endlessly by numberless checkpoints and humiliations.

The reasons many people focus on Israel’s behavior are simple.

One, we cannot avoid hearing and seeing it constantly while we do not see what goes on in rural India or parts of South America. We hear of every election, every cabinet change, and every violent act. This is not the case with a place like Ecuador, a country of roughly the same population.

Two, Israel constantly represents itself as a modern democratic state, but its behavior towards its neighbors is that of a ghastly third-world country. We all expect more of modern states than we do places like Ecuador.

Three, Israel’s behavior seriously threatens peace in the world, having as it does its own illegal nuclear weapons and the thermonuclear support of the United States. There is no other way to look at Israel’s many calls for Iraq to be invaded (answered by Bush), Syria to be attacked and Iran to be attacked.

Checkpoints, walls, computerized machine-gun towers, invasions, sieges, mass arrests, kidnapping, torture, assassination, abuse of power over regulations in building and utilities, and constant threats – there is no rational defense of all that ugliness.

All Israel has to do is accept its borders and respect its neighbors to have genuine peace, but it does neither of these things. Its borders expand like ooze over the land of others, and it treats its every neighbor with contempt.

You simply defend what is indefensible.

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