Well it did not take long. Less than a day after the news wires carried the story of Ehud Haj Amin El-Barak saying that if were a Palestinian he would be a terrorhoid, take a look around the web. Each and every single Anti-Semitic crank and crackpot on the world wide web has by now picked it up and is reporting it with comments like, Hey you see, we have been saying this all along, and now even Ehud Bark, the head of the Labor party that created Israel agrees with us, that Arabs are perfectly justified when they engage in terrorist atrocities.
Barak's comments were hardly an isolated slip of the tongue. The fact is that the Labor party has been positioning itself to challenge the Meretz campaign strategy of going after the treason vote. Meretz has long regarded treason as a great vote getter, which is why Meretz leaders make hajj to nuclear traitor and spy Mordecai Vanunu and other spies, practically adopting Vanunu as party mascot. Labor seems to resent Meretz getting all the treason votes. SO first Labor becomes more and more explicitly post-Zionist. Labor leaders call for junking Hatikva and banning the Israeli flag with the blue stripes and the Magen David. Then Labor leaders have been promoting a new theory, that the PLO should be encouraged NOT to renounce the Palestine National Covenant - which calls for Israel's destruction and the dispersal of its population.
And now we have Haj Amin El-Barak, becoming the world's favorite apologist for suicide bombers and other partners in peace. Well, if you had any doubts, Israeli politics and elections boil down to a choice between the party of incompetence (the Likud) and the parties of treason (Labor and Meretz). Some choice.
One of the most absurd aspects of the anti-Israel campaign is the attempt to delegitimize Israel and justify Arab atrocities on grounds of arguing that Israel must be prohibited from defending itself unless it does so through the most highly-restrictive rules of behavior. If Israel violates any of these special Israel-specific rules of waging defense, the violation would make Israel into the aggressor and criminal, not the Arab perpetrators of atrocities and aggression.
These rules come in various forms, down to and including "Mirandizing" terrorists. When Arab armies attack Israel, so runs the first rule, Israel should be restricted to killing a number of Arabs that is LESS than the number of Jews killed by those Arabs. For if Israel were to kill a number of Arabs in defending herself that exceeds the number of Jews killed in the Arab assaults, then this would prove that Israel was the aggressor. Such an argument has been heard regarding every Arab military assault against Israel, and also in Israel's camapign against terrorism in Lebanon and elsewhere. Should the number of Hizbullah terrorists who get killed by the IDF exceed the number of dead Israelis on Israel's borders, this proves that Israel is the aggressor and the real cause of the conflict. Of course, by this same logic the US and Britain were the aggressors against Japan and Germany in World War II, since they killed far more Germans and Japanese than the numbers of Brits and Yanks killed by them.
Then we have the special rules regarding dealing with rioters. There is not a country on earth where rioters can throw rocks at police and military with impugnity except Israel, certainly not in Los Angeles - as the riots there proved. Yet the anti-Israel campaign demands that Israel turn a Christian cheek when Jews are assaulted by mobs throwing rocks and petrol bombs.
When Palestinian terrorists hijacked a bus full of women, some pregnant, near Ashkelon a few years back, and when one woman was killed in the firefight that forced the release of the bus, some security officiers summarily executed the terrorists, who had infiltrated from across the Green Line. This became the cause celebre of the Israeli lemming Left, which argues that terrorists who are not Israeli citizens have automatic rights to a trial and due process, with a public defender and appeals to the Supreme Court. No doubt Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon do also. The officers responsible got court martialed instead of receiving medals.
Then we have the rules for interrogating terrorists. Remember we are talking about people who blow up buses of women and children, and make a special effort to target Jewish children. But if Israeli police interrogate them using tactics that any New York cop would regard as sissy pampering, suddenly Israeli "torture" is a headline. As if police in any other nation facing similar terrorist filth would hesitate to do what is right and needed. (Israel is the only state in the Middle East that does not summarily execute Islamic terrorists. Which may be why it suffers from so much terror.)
Then we have the rule that says that if any Arab civilians get killed by Israel while defending herself, this makes Israel the aggressor and criminal. Israel can only fight wars when no civilians get killed. But since there has never been a war in which civilians did not get killed, such a restriction is equivalent to a requirement that Israel not defend herself militarily. Which, now that you mention it, is what the Anti-Zionists want, since surrender to Arab demands is the only form of Israeli defense they will accept. SO the Arabs remain fascist and racist aggressors when Israel is attacked, but only as long as not a single Arab civilian gets killed by Israel while defending herself.
And now we suddenly have the Anti-Zionist maggots rolling their eyes over a Court decision that allows Israel to grab hostages in Lebanon as bargaining cards. Oh the inhumanity they scream. Never mind that Lebanon is crawling with terrorists, and some Israeli hostages are held by the other side.
Now imagine if the US were to fight World War II using the rules of war that the Anti-Semites insist that Israel (and only Israel) follow. Why, the US troops would parachute into Normandy on D-Day, locate some SS troops, read them their rights, invite them to appeal to the US Supreme Court, invite in the pro-German observers to make sure the SS men were getting high-protein meals with sufficient fiber and vitamins, and that the movies in any prison camps for Nazis be all high quality, that agents for Hitler and Himmler be permitted to run for the US Senate and appear nightly on NBC news, that special care be taken that the number of dead Nazis never exceed the number of Americans killed in Normandy, that only rubber bullets be used against Nazis, and then only when 3 days notice is given so that no civilians remain in the area.
In fact, these special rules for Israel are not the expression of high-minded ethical superior beings holding Israel to a higher standard, as the Anti-Zionist maggots would have it, but rather the attempts of Anti-Semites to delegitimate Israel and rationalize Arab atrocities.
Dr. Steven Plaut teaches business at the University of Haifa.