Michael Jackson

Israel is becoming a pariah state 

Yes, the UN is completely biased against Israel. It condemns Israel while ignoring far greater abuses of human rights in dozens of other countries. Yes, the Palestinian leadership is corrupt with much of the current and past leadership supporting terrorism against Israel. I acknowledge these two points upfront since discussions on Israel, the Palestinians, and the future usually get derailed by what-aboutism comments on these two issues.

Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of the influential and international Forbes magazine complained about Biden and the Democrats not supporting Israel sufficiently.  In Forbes, he wrote “U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently made a shameful speech targeting Israel. What he did was deeply disturbing for our security. And it’s symptomatic of how the U.S. government is both morally unmoored—it’s ready to betray a democratic country today the way the West did Czechoslovakia in 1938”. Leaving the incorrect analogy aside (it was not the West, it was just the UK and France), it shows how Steve Forbes is trying to cast Israel in a pariah status already, abandoned by its closest friends.  Within a week of Forbes’s comment, it was announced that the US government was sending 1,800 2,000-pound bombs and 500 500-pound bombs to Israel.  An agreement to supply Israel with F-15 planes was announced a week later.  America is still a close friend of Israel.

However, the UK and Germany, fairly reliable allies of Israel, have recently increased verbal condemnations of Israel’s operations in Gaza.  Also, the Biden administration has been more critical.  But these actions are verbal only.  Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the Japanese company Itochu Corporation have suspended arms transfers to Israel.  The European Union also recently discouraged arms exports to Israel.

Despite Steve Forbes’s comments, Israel was not a pariah state before October 7th.   Besides America, the UK and Germany were usually supportive of Israel despite opposing the expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

Pariah status applies to the former apartheid regimes of Rhodesia and South Africa.  Dictators are usually happy to trade with other dictators while disregarding human rights, democracy, or moral standards in other countries.  This explains why Russia still gets support from other dictatorships such as China, Iran, and North Korea.  Perhaps we should limit our concept of pariah status to the attitudes and actions of the developed democratic world, admittedly a small portion of the world demographically, but of great significance economically and militarily.  Today, Russia, Iran, and North Korea fall within the category of pariah status, but China does not.

If Israel can change its course by deposing Netanyahu, come to some sort of ceasefire in Gaza, seriously work on a two-state solution, and curb the settler extremists then its pariah status may gradually fade.  If not, it will remain a pariah state in much of the West.

These steps are hard, very hard.  But the prerequisite is the first which is much easier since it is purely internal – remove Netanyahu as PM.  Thomas Friedman stated he is the worst leader in Jewish history – ever.  No reasonable person, American, European, or Arab trusts Netanyahu.  He is pure political poison to Israel’s soul.

About the Author
Born in London in 1949. Studied Maths at Warwick University. Came to Israel (WUJS program at Arad) in 1971. I became a citizen and served in the army in 1973. Returned to the UK in 1974. Worked in Information Systems. Married an American Orthodox woman in 1977 and moved to America. For a few years I have led a retiree philosophy class.
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