Monday, July 28, 2003

A Case For Israel

Alan Dershowitz has written a new book. An exclusive excerpt can be found in Jewsweek. Looks spectacular and necessary. But will anyone other than those who already support Israel notice? Thanks to Roger Simon for pointing the excerpt out. An opening quote:
The time has come for a proactive defense of Israel to be offered in the court of public opinion. In this book, I offer such a defense -- not of every Israeli policy or action but of Israel's basic right to exist, to protect its citizens from terrorism, and to defend its borders from hostile enemies. I show that Israel has long been willing to accept the kind of two-state solution that is now on the proposed "road map" to peace, and that it was the Arab leadership that persistently refused to accept any Jewish state -- no matter how small -- in those areas of Palestine with a Jewish majority. I also try to present a realistic picture of Israel, warts and all, as a flourishing multiethnic democracy, similar in many ways to the United States, that affords all of its citizens -- Jews, Muslims, and Christians -- far better lives and opportunities than those afforded by any Arab or Muslim nation. Most important, I argue that those who single out Israel for unique criticism not directed against countries with far worse human rights records are themselves guilty of international bigotry. This is a serious accusation and I back it up. Let me be clear that I am not charging all critics of Israel with anti-Semitism. I myself have been quite critical of specific Israeli policies and actions over the years, as have most Israel supporters, virtually every Israeli citizen, and many American Jews. But I am also critical of other countries, including my own, as well as European, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries. So long as criticism is comparative, contextual, and fair, it should be encouraged, not disparaged. But when the Jewish nation is the only one criticized for faults that are far worse among other nations, such criticism crosses the line from fair to foul, from acceptable to anti-Semitic.
Read it. Buy the book!

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