Israel Isn’t the Brilliant Friend of Freedom the Beltway Claims It to Be
It certainly wasn’t the only time calling a perceived ally of DC a democracy became a tradition with India. While India could have been the first non-European “ally” to receive such treatment since the heydays of the Cold War, the immense support India currently enjoys despite a litany of human rights violations will never outclass the kind of prowess Tel Aviv has from the grassroots and political elite in the Beltway. Between the dying enthusiasm for nation-building on the right and the militant demand for greater involvement in the world on the left, support for Israel occupies a sweet spot.
Without a doubt, the massacre or kidnapping of innocent civilians Hamas initiated during the surprise offense in southern Israel should be condemned. People are right to be outraged about such atrocities regardless of political affiliation or thinking, but whether intervention is warranted is another question. Many (including myself) have already gone to the arena and brawled with one another on the issue. When news of the atrocities hit the front page, reluctant Republicans suddenly sounded like they had been cheering throughout the war for nation-building with bombs two decades ago, engaging in a competition with the Democrats to see who could defend the Holy Land and the “only democracy in the Middle East.”
From a glance at the Freedom House Index, the answer would be, “Yes, Israel is a democracy.” Compared to neighboring countries, the Gulf states, and Iran, Israel appears as a bright spot that even rivals Western countries. Remember, Freedom House is not a conservative institution saddled somewhere in Texas or Florida but funded by progressives of the Beltway. Even as far away as Thailand, progressives of the country often cite Freedom House as an indicator of how their country is doing.
Hamas: The Creature Israel Created and Financed
But it’s a bad summary. Between Israel and the broader Arab world after more than seventy years, nobody stands right. Politics in the Middle East is complicated, but one word summarizes the situation perfectly: sectarianism. I can’t do much justice to Arab-Israeli history here, so I’ll advance to recent events. When Hamas launched its blitzkrieg into southern Israel and committed atrocities there, people didn’t think much about the organization other than merely another terrorist group dedicated to wiping the Jewish state off the map. By any decent person’s definition, Hamas is a terrorist organization.
But there’s a plot twist not many are aware of: Hamas is a creation of Tel Aviv intended to further Israeli interest in annexing the Gaza Strip by dividing the Palestinians into factions. It wasn’t a conspiracy theory but a full-fledged project in the 1980s by Tel Aviv
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