Does Israel still have the moral high ground?

It seems that ever more Israel is coming under censure for it’s policies with respect to the Palestinians, not by it’s enemies in the region, but from industrially advanced democratic nations, or at least some of the influential entities within them.

Some of these entities see Israel’s behavior in this respect as so bad it is seeking to boycott doing business with Israel as a state. Historically Israel at (at least in the US) has held a sort of moral high ground in being the home of the Jews who were driven out and persecuted by the Nazis and their followers.

Is this moral historical leverage completely spent at this point?

Despite Decades of Enmity, Israel Quietly Aids Syrian Civilians

This is what “moral high ground” looks like, astro.

Israel has lost a lot of friends because of the aggressive settlement-building in the occupied territories. A great many good people have condemned this, and hold it to be one of the larger obstacles to permanent peace.

On the other hand, their enemies fired rockets over their borders, targeting civilian populations. (Are they still doing this? It doesn’t tend to make the U.S. news.)

So…there’s plenty of blame to go around, but a lot of us hold that Israel’s enemies are behaving worse than Israel is. Nobody’s perfect, but I guess I’d (very slightly) rather have someone build an illegal settlement on my land than fire a rocket at my house.

Understood that it’s not black and white but I think re the ASA and others this paragraph below is what people are more concerned about.

If the rockets are inspired by illegal settlements, they are fair game in my humble opinion. If someone was pushing me off of my land, why wouldn’t I try to fight back? If you don’t want your babies blown to pieces, don’t raise them in a battlefield.

I’m generally anti-violence, but I refuse to denigrate people standing up for themselves and trying to hold their own. I understand that Israel’s playing the same land grab game that other civilizations have played since the beginning of time. But civilizations have engaged in all kinds of shitty behavior. “Everyone does it!” is never a good defense.

Israel hasn’t had the moral high ground for a long time. Nor do it’s enemies; they are basically all wrestling in a moral mud pit with no high ground in sight.

The ASA boycott has been encountering a good deal of pushback.

I see your point, and don’t wholly disagree. One problem, though, is that the settlements are in the West Bank, and the rockets are coming from Gaza. You’d think, if there was really any kind of linkage, they’d fire at the settlements, and not at towns that are distant and uninvolved, and that the people firing the missiles would be the people most directly affected, not the least.

I watched Christiane Amanpour’s four part series on religion a few years back.

Great series, and man, did it ever open my eyes with regards to the state of Israel. Those guys are dirty deal’n just as bad as any of them. And the amount of political influence they have here in the US is down right appalling. An influence, I might add, that didn’t come cheap.

Except that the rockets are the main factor *preventing *Israel from withdrawing from the Territories. The way the majority of Israelis see it, we withdrew from Gaza, and they started shooting rockets at us from Gaza - if we withdraw from the West Bank, they’ll start shooting rockets at us from the West Bank, too.

My point is that shooting rockets at Israel may be right, and it may be wrong, but it is definitely fucking stupid.

Ahh…finally, we have the most sensible and accurate description of the Middle East.
Now, if only somebody in the White House would say this out loud!

(meanwhile, this Doper sits back, makes popcorn, and turns up the volume,
as the sound of a trainwreck approaches…) :slight_smile:

Israel isn’t a lily white country and I know even many Israelis have deep regrets about some of the actions their governments have taken toward Palestinians over the years. I think what lots of people, especially in the “intellectual West” struggle with commonly is this idea of equivalency. Israel has done bad stuff, so they are no better than and maybe even worse than their neighbors and the Palestinians, for example. But the reality is a rational analysis of the region would show Israel is a much more positive entity than any of its neighbors and generally behaves much closer to how we want a friend and ally to behave than any of its neighbors.

The international community recognized the right for a Jewish state to exist and Britain drew up the borders, several times since then Israel’s neighbors have attempted to invade Israel to occupy and destroy it, this is fact. Israel has dramatically won every single one of these wars, and has occupied some land that it seized in these wars for years at a time (sometimes in violation of international resolutions), it still occupies some of that land. The reality is most other countries in the world that won a defensive war so overwhelmingly would almost certainly keep land taken from their enemies. If for no other reason it makes them “pay the price” for their aggression. Israel is expected to never do this. When we defeated the Germans in WW2 we cut away a good of their territory, Koenigsberg (now Kaliningrad) had been German for something like 300-400 years but it was decided no more. We also took a lot of German land after WWI. That’s the price of being a belligerent and starting wars–Japan also ceded significant territory it had held for a long time. Places like Korea we didn’t want Japan holding anyway but Japan also lost island to the Russians, again, that’s the price of belligerence.

Israel also conducts its internal affairs much like we do in the West. They have civil rights in Israel, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, a legal system that is not based on religious fundamentalist law. You can’t say that about all of Israels neighbors, some of whom still behead people for witchcraft. Israel is a Jewish state, yes–but there is political freedom for non-Jews. Muslim Arabs who are Israeli citizens have significant rights, are members of the Israeli Knesset and generally are treated in a way fundamentally better than how Jews are treated as a minority in any country in the Middle East.

Israel isn’t perfect and its treatment of Palestinians (distinct from Arab Israelis) is bad, and the Palestinians as mostly stateless, unorganized poor people are far more pawns or casualties of clashes between Israel and its neighbors deserve some degree of sympathy. But they also are simply too violent for Israel to just hug and treat like benevolent friends that should be allowed to organize with even more military capability around Israel’s borders.

Yeah, it’s been too damn long since somebody in the White House took a stand against rocket attacks. What the fuck are you on about?

One might easily say the same thing about the Arab lobby. I would love to have an energy policy based around renewable resources and infrastructure investment rather than catering blindly to the completely repulsive Saudis who spread the most vile sexist, backwards simply fucking stupid nonsense around the globe, finance terrorism against civilians and promote an ideology that is an utter insult to all this country allegedly stands for. I would love to see more attention focused on boycotting them and their repulsive, sexist theocracy rather than throwing Israel under the microscope at every turn.

I’m tired of being told to examine Israeli actions all the time with great judgment and then basically stop looking at any other country or people in the ME.

That kind of wishy-washy statement means nothing, and it’s why many or most Israelis hate Obama. Your link shows Obama saying that he condemns “this violation of the cease fire that protects both Israelis and Palestinians.”
That’s all it is: a minor violation, sort of like a traffic ticket. Except it’s even more minor: a traffic ticket is an actual punishment, and you have to pay for your violation.
Now, if Obama would say that shooting rockets at kindergarten classrooms is terrorism, and if you kkep doing it, you’ll have to pay a penalty–then I’ll respect him.

What penalty? Are we going to invade? Cut off diplomatic relations with a state we already don’t recognize? Cut off aid we already don’t give Hamas?

Most Israeli’s hate Obama? :dubious: Where are you getting your information?

Obama is quite popular in Israel, possibly more there than he is over here. Right wingers from everywhere hate him because he doesn’t apparently fit their mold of a strong leader, but most people see him as being forceful when he needs to be, and deferential when necessary. Obama’s popular in Israel, not everyone who’s an Israeli supporter blindly thinks what their country does is correct

And then, there’s this poll.

The language in that article is screwed up. Here’s the Time magazine report: http://world.time.com/2014/02/07/obama-approval-rating-dives-in-israel/

Basically Obama approval rating (well, “favorable opinion”) in Israel is around 30%.

OP -

This is a joke, right?

You’re about 40 years late to the party, as I reckon it…