This cartoon is in no way intended to absolve Israel of its actions. I’ve been a critic of the way Israel deals with the Palestinians for years. Many years ago, when Israel first occupied the West Bank and Gaza, Amos Oz, the great Israeli novelist (and soldier in the ’67 war), realized that the occupation was a huge mistake–that Israel would lose its soul if it became an occupier, that it would not be able to function both as a democracy and as an oppressor. He was denounced as a traitor, but he was right. The boarding of the “humanitarian relief” vessels attempting to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza was only the latest in a long series of missteps by Israel as it struggles to maintain its deeply flawed policy. That the Turkish relief effort was a setup from the beginning (the stated goal was to goad Israel into a violent response, and it succeeded) is beside the point. Israel gave the world community yet another reason to condemn its actions.
All that said, the hypocrisy of many of those who express such concern for the plight of the Palestinians is especially galling given the scant attention those same folks pay to the human rights atrocities committed by other, more malignant states. Where is the scalding denunciation of North Korea for its torpedoing of the Cheonan and the death of 46 South Korean sailors, the calls for Hamas and Hezbollah to stop lobbing rockets at civilians, the fury over Iran’s routine executions of dissidents? Who among Israel’s critics also stand against China’s appalling suppression of Tibetan nationalism? Where are the voices demanding an end to Cuba’s dictatorship?
Thus, this cartoon.