Out of all proportion

April 27, 2018 by Michael Kuttner
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We are admonished almost on a daily basis that our reaction to any threat or terror must be “proportional.”

Michael Kuttner

Unsolicited “eytzes” (advice) from so called friends pours forth in an incessant torrent warning us not to “over react” to any sort of provocation no matter how outrageous or lethal it may be. Lo and behold, when we eventually do take action, it inevitably brings down on our heads the wrath of all the self righteous nations gathered together in solemn conclave in New York or Geneva. Never mind that a fair number of these countries are themselves guilty of actions which one can deem non proportional, the fact remains that the Jewish State is singled out for special admonition.

Most of us are by now immune to this demonstration of double standards. It does no harm, in fact it is mandatory, to point out and call out the most blatant examples because if one ignores them it gives the perpetrators a license to continually endorse such irrational behaviour.

Some recent examples may be illuminating.

The terror emanating from Gaza whether via tunnels, rockets or staged use of civilians is a classic case. Here we have a terrorist group using foreign aid to manufacture and produce lethal weapons rather than spending the funds on health, housing and welfare. When their lethal actions invite an Israeli response the cacophony of outrage issuing forth from friend and foe alike is deafening. Deliberately ignored is the plain fact that Hamas is in a state of war with Israel and its self proclaimed aim is to murder as many Israelis as possible. This agenda although self evident to the intended victims seems to be invisible to some Hollywood “stars” and others who are detached from reality.

The track record of many of the nations admonishing us for “over reaction” is nothing to cheer about. Their past colonial or post colonial policies were definitely non proportional. Whether we are talking about Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, North and South Africa, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and a myriad of other places, Israel’s actions to counter terror are disproportionally mild compared to the carnage perpetrated by a huge number of United Nations members who deign to sit in judgment over us.

Unfortunately there are still far too many Jewish communal leaders whose “galut” mentality makes them run for cover rather than react to hate actions in a really proportional manner. The latest example is provided by the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews. His advice following an attack on a young Arab Israeli wearing a kippah on the streets of Berlin is classic “keep a low profile” policy. While maintaining that wearing a kippah in public is “right in principle” he advised Jews “against showing themselves openly with a kippah.” This sort of advice has been given by others in various countries for some time now and many Jews when travelling wear caps in order to avoid potential trouble. Keeping safe is of course paramount but one has to wonder whether the scourge of Jew hatred is going to be eliminated by trying to disguise oneself. It has never worked in the past. It has an eerie resemblance to the way Jews had to hide their identity during the days of the inquisition.

Israel’s refusal to suffer in silence and its determination to confront and combat those who plot evil undeniably makes all those who prefer to go underground very uncomfortable. That is why whenever we assert our right to act there is a howl of protest from near and far. The days when we proportionally bent our heads and suffered in silence are well and truly over and the sooner all concerned realize that fact the better.

Being singled out for special treatment is nothing new and it is something we have had to endure for thousands of years. Another manifestation of this sick non proportional obsession occurred this week. In response to a question from a member of the German Parliament as to when Germany will recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel the response from a Government spokesperson demonstrated yet again the totally disproportionate thinking of the international community. The Minister of State in the German Foreign Ministry stated: “as a matter of principle every State has the right to determine a city in its territory to be its Capital.”

This simple fact however does not apply to the Jewish State because according to the German spokesperson the status of Jerusalem can only be settled through Israeli – Palestinian negotiations. Never mind that Jerusalem was our Capital since the time of King David, the fact remains that after 3,000 years we remain the only country in the world which is barred from choosing its own Capital. Perhaps we should suggest that Berlin be once again divided and shared with some other group whose connection to the city is tenuous.

How many times is a country expected to be the target of continual campaigns of slander and lies? For how long is one expected to remain mute and unresponsive?

The non-stop campaign by the Palestinian Arab Authority and its supporters to vilify Israel continues. They are now filing a complaint against Israel under the terms of the UN anti racism treaty. Their accusation is that “Israel has the aim of displacing and replacing the Palestinian Arabs for the purpose of maintaining a colonial occupation and seeking to maintain a Jewish demographic majority in the entirety of historic Palestine.” Please note that this latter claim encompasses Israel which according to their warped version of history has never had any sort of Jewish sovereignty or connection.

There have been reports that Israel was trying to be elected a member of the UN Security Council. Any sensible person knows that this is a complete waste of time and effort. Trying to aspire to be a member of that useless body which cannot bring itself to condemn threats by Iran to annihilate another UN member is lunacy.

The month of May promises to be a busy time. It can be guaranteed to produce plenty of occasions whereby Israel is again the target of untoward attention. Those who hope for appeasement and weakness by Israel in the face of further provocations are bound to be disappointed.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.


One Response to “Out of all proportion”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    Colin Powell, former USA Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declared that his military doctrine for his country was the use of “overwhelming force” against the enemy.
    For Israel, however, he sternly prescribed “restraint” and “proportionality.”

    The degree of his hypocrisy was overwhelming.

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