Israel, Gaza and Double Standards, Including Our Own

Does the West have a double standard when it comes to Israel, pouncing on everything it does with undue harshness?

When he was challenged about the bloodshed in Gaza on “Face the Nation” last weekend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel responded, “What would America do” after something like the Oct. 7 Hamas attack? “Would you not be doing what Israel is doing? You’d be doing a hell of a lot more.”

Rabbi Marvin Hier in The Jerusalem Post condemned “an unprecedented double standard” that relentlessly criticizes Israel’s bombing of Gaza but is unbothered by the Allied bombing of civilians in Germany and Japan in World War II. And the World Jewish Congress cites “criticizing Israeli defensive operations, but not those of other Western democracies” as an example of antisemitism.

All this strikes me as both right and wrong, a fair point and a false one. I’ll come to why it’s wrong in a moment, but it is undeniably true that the world applies more scrutiny to Israel’s oppression of Palestinians than to many other horrors.

In 2023, for example, the United Nations General Assembly adopted 15 resolutions critical of Israel, and only seven resolutions critical of all other countries in the world together, by the count of one pro-Israel group. Does anyone think that represents even-handedness?

People are more focused on Israel than on what Unicef describes as a “wave of atrocities” currently underway against children in Sudan, while the number of children displaced by recent fighting in Sudan (three million) is greater than the entire population of Gaza. University students in America and Europe protest about Gaza but largely ignore the 700,000 children facing severe acute malnutrition in Sudan, after a civil war began there last April.

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