Wednesday, June 24, 2009
"Where is Everyone?"
I am cross-posting an article that has appeared on the front page of Ma'ariv, a Hebrew-language newspaper in Israel. It is co-written by Ben Caspit and Ben-Dror Yemini. (I apologize for the dis-jointed lines.)
Where is Everyone?
Ma’ariv (Monday, June 22, 09) by Ben Caspit and Ben-Dror Yemini (opinion) –
"Tell us, where is everyone? Where did all the people who
demonstrated against Israel’s brutality in Operation Cast Lead, in the
Second Lebanon War, in Operation Defensive Shield, or even in The
Hague, when we were dragged there unwillingly after daring to build a separation barrier between us and the suicide bombers, disappear to? We see demonstrations here and there, but these are mainly Iranian exiles. Europe, in principle, is peaceful and calm. So is the United States. Here and there a few dozens, here and there a few hundreds. Have they evaporated because it is Tehran and not here?
All the peace-loving and justice-loving Europeans, British professors in
search of freedom and equality, the friends filling the newspapers,
magazines and various academic journals with various demands for boycotting
Israel, defaming Zionism and blaming us and it for all the ills and woes of
the world—could it be that they have taken a long summer vacation? Now
of all times, when the Basij hooligans have begun to slaughter innocent
civilians in the city squares of Tehran? Aren’t they connected to the
Internet? Don’t they have YouTube? Has a terrible virus struck down their
computer? Have their justice glands been removed in a complicated surgical
procedure (to be re-implanted successfully for the next confrontation in
Gaza)? How can it be that when a Jew kills a Muslim, the entire world
boils, and when extremist Islam slaughters its citizens, whose sole sin is
the aspiration to freedom, the world is silent?
Imagine that this were not happening now in Tehran, but rather here.
Let’s say in Nablus. Spontaneous demonstrations of Palestinians turning
into an ongoing bloodbath. Border Policemen armed with knives, on
motorcycles, butchering demonstrators. A young woman downed by a sniper in
midday, dying before the cameras. Actually, why imagine? We can just
recall what happened with the child Mohammed a-Dura. How the affair (which
was very harsh, admittedly) swept the world from one end to another. The
fact that a later independent investigative report raised tough questions as
to the identity of the weapon from which a-Dura was shot, did not make a
difference to anyone. The Zionists were to blame, and that was that.
And where are the world’s leaders? Where is the wondrous rhetorical
ability of Barack Obama? Where has his sublime vocabulary gone? Where is
the desire, that is supposed to be built into all American presidents, to
defend and act on behalf of freedom seekers around the globe? What is this
A source who is connected to the Iranian and security situation, said
yesterday that if Obama had shown on the Iranian matter a quarter of the
determination with which he assaulted the settlements in the territories,
everything would have looked different. “The demonstrators in Iran are
desperate for help,” said the man, who served in very senior positions for
many years, “they need to know that they have backing, that there is an
entire world that supports them, but instead they see indifference. And
this is happening at such a critical stage of this battle for the soul of
Iran and the freedom of the Iranian people. It’s sad.”
Or the European Union, for example. The organization that speaks of
justice and peace all year round. Why should its leaders not declare
clearly that the world wants to see a democratic and free Iran, and support
it unreservedly? Could it be20that the tongue of too many Europeans is
still connected to dark places? The pathetic excuse that such support would
give Khamenei and Ahmadinejad an excuse to call the demonstrators “Western
agents,” does not hold water. They call them “Western agents” in any case,
so what difference does it make?
To think that just six months ago, when Europe was flooded with
demonstrations against Israel, leftists and Islamists raised pictures of
Nasrallah, the protégé of the ayatollah regime. The fact that this was a
benighted regime did not trouble them. This is madness, but it is sinking
in and influencing the weary West. If there is a truly free world here, let
it appear immediately! And impose sanctions, for example, on those who
slaughter the members of their own people. Just as it imposed them on North
Korea, or on the military regime in Burma. It is only a question of will,
not of ability.
Apparently, something happens to the global adherence to justice and
equality, when it comes to Iran. The oppression is overt and known. The
Internet era broadcasts everything live, and it is all for the better.
Hooligans acting on behalf of the regime shoot and stab masses of
demonstrators, who cry out for freedom.
Is anything more needed? Apparently it is. Because it is to no avail.
The West remains indifferent. Obama is polite. Why shouldn’t he be, after
all, he aspires to a dialogue with the ayatollahs. And that is very fine
and good, the problem is that at this stage there is no dialogue, but there
is death and murder on the streets. At this stage, one must forget the
rules of etiquette for a moment. The voices being heard from Obama elicit
concern that we are actually dealing with a new version of Chamberlain.
Being conciliatory is a positive trait, particularly when it follows the
clumsy bellicosity of George Bush, but when conciliation becomes blindness,
we have a problem.
The courageous voice of Angela Merkel, who issued yesterday a firm
statement of support for the Iranian people and its right to freedom, is in
the meantime a lone voice in the Western wilderness. It is only a shame
that she has not announced an economic boycott, in light of the fact that
this is the European country that is most invested in building
infrastructure in Iran. She was joined by British Foreign Secretary
Miliband. It is little, it is late, it is not enough. Millions of freedom
seekers have taken to the streets in Iran, and the West is straddling the
fence, one leg here, the other leg there.
There is a different Islam. This is already clear today. Even in Iran.
There are millions of Muslims who support freedom, human rights,
equality for women. These millions loathe Khamenei, Chavez and Nasrallah too.
But part of the global left wing prefers the ayatollah regime over them.
The main thing is for them to raise flags against Israel and America.
The question is why the democrats, the liberals, and Obama, Blair
and Sarkozy, are continuing to sit on the fence. This is not a fence of
separation, it is a fence of shame."
Bravo. (or more properly "bravi" in Italiano). This article points out the total hypocrisy of the anti-Israel left that has been so loud in condemning Israel's actions-taken in true defense while standing silent on the brutalities of the Iranian government-against fellow Muslims.
Next week, our school quarter begins anew at the University of California at Irvine, where I teach. I am so anxious to see what the campus Muslim Student Union (MSU) will do to protest the atrocities taking place in Iran. Indeed, I await the reaction of Muslim Student Associations all across North America. But I will pay particular attention to UCI's MSU. Will they hold a week of events dedicated to condemning the repression in Iran? Will they bring in previous speakers such as Yvonne Ridley of the UK-who is a spokesperson for the Iranian Government. Will they bring back Addul Musa, who is also a huge supporter of the Iranian Government? Not likely-unless they want to mount a full-scale defense of the Mullahs and Ahmadinejad. Or will they bring in (again) other knuckleheads such as Norman Finklestein, Ward Churchill, George Galloway or Cynthia McKinney and what will they say now?
And what will be the actions in the coming weeks of the leftist, anti-Israel professors who infest our campuses? Will they come before the podiums to condemn Iran? Where will these people be-conducting more forums to condemn Israel for its "violations" of Palestinian human rights?
The authors of the above piece are spot on. I would expand their questions to include the leftists who speak on US campuses-sponsored by various Muslim Student Associations. What do they have to say now?