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.

16 thoughts on “Outrage”

  1. I flew to Israel the morning of the flotilla event, watching BBC in Frankfurt an hour after the Israeli soldiers landed on the 6th vessel.
    Watching the reaction in Israel, and listening to the reaction of the world while being in Israel is again an eye opening experience. I look forward to the editorials that will be printed in the weekend edition of the Jerusalem Post where I can hear some of the nuances in english.
    Once gain Ed, you are able to capture with minimal words and your drawings the situation.

  2. How many decades have gone by with this same story? Clearly the world does not care about the plights of so many around the world, including the only group of people remaining disenfranchised from their own people politically, ethnically, religiously, geographically. Of course I refer to the Arab refugees under the aegis of UN limited and passive oversight and care and Arab oversight and care. When it comes to Jews and to Israel, the world would prefer no defense, just roll over and die. The world wants the huge number and percentage of contributions to every field out there from politics to science to films to archeology to history to economics to medicine to law to what effects every day life. But when it comes to having a Jew exercise defense, protection, self reliance, then the world has a conniption. Who said “there are none so blind as those who will not see”? and none so dumb as those who will not learn (me). None mourn the injuries and deaths more than the Jews in this case and all others.
    Golda Meir: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” And this includes using their children and civilian population as shields and as pawns in their war with the Jewish state of Israel.

  3. I’m going to throw a flag here for selective perception. The story of Burma is an ongoing sore, and the repression after the Iranian elections drew plenty of condemnation — but, in those cases, you’re talking about a government repressing its own people, and so that international response is necessarily a bit different, even when it seems the government is of doubtful legitimacy. The issue of China and Tibet is more akin to that of Israel and Palestine, in that there is substantial discussion in the international community of the sovereignty of those entities. I would say that the reaction to international Islamic militancy is on the front page of the paper every day and several thousand young Americans can attest to the fact that we have responded sufficiently to that outrage. (“Wisely” being another issue.)

    The issue of Hamas rockets is more problematic — Some observers say the vast majority fall into the desert and only a few hit any buildings. Israeli hawks claim the rockets are killing innocent civilians, but we don’t see the destruction on the nightly news — are they hitting hospitals and schools, are they leveling apartment buildings, and we’re not hearing about it? That’s a cause of outrage in itself if its true. Or are the rockets a minor threat but a handy provocation? Don’t scream back — show the pictures of the devastated neighborhoods.

    And, overall, what upsets you more — when the neighbor’s kid, who you already think is a little punk, is out committing vandalism, or when the cops bring your own kid home with the spray cans in his paint-stained hands? I think there’s likely to be more outrage over the actions of a friend than of someone we already disapprove of. I can’t do much about North Korea or Myanmar, but Israel is supposed to be our ally, and that gives us cause to be more, and more loudly, outraged when they screw up.

  4. While the cartoon is great, the potshot at Israel’s policy is absurd. Yes, governing the West Bank and Gaza has created many dilemmas for Israel. I think historical context is critical. In 1947 the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected a plan to create two states. The Arabs attacked creating the Palestinian refugee situation. In 1967 when Israel took the West Bank and Gaza in a defensive war; Israel offered to negotiate a trade of that land back for peace and the Arab League said no peace and no negotiations. Israel was left to govern those areas whether it wanted to or not. In 2000 Israel agreed to a two state plan brokered by Bill Clinton and Arafat said no and started the second Intifida in which the entire Jewish population was terrorized and Jews and Palestinians were blown to bits in buses and public places. In 2005 Israel evacuated settlements from Gaza and gave complete control to the Palestinians who allowed Hamas to take control which then began launching rockets into southern Israel. Mike comments that a lot of those rockets land in the desert, as if that makes indiscriminate shooting of rockets into civilian areas something Israel should be prepared to live with. He should try living a normal life in such circumstances…absurd. And now you say the boarding of the ship was another misstep in a long history of Israel’s flawed policy. You make it sound like Israel has options that would lead to a peaceful Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Clearly it is not so simple. Israel faces enemies intent on its destruction who are not amenable to more rational policies. Whatever Israel does to defend against implacable enemies will result in errors of war and condemnation from the world community. We who have peace and security for the Palestinian people at heart should spend our energy encouraging them to negotiate a real peace agreement with Israel, rather than taking cheap shots at Israel’s attempts defend itself while it waits for a peace partner.

  5. I also am wondering why we pick on the only country that has our back in that part of the world. We helped create that country, they have supported ours in times past all of a sudden our president is in a snit, maybe his turbin is on to tight. I think we should mind our own business at best and not kiss arab u know what.

  6. Thanks for the history lesson, Mark. Here’s one in return: When a government behaves stupidly, it can create sympathy for some very unlikely groups.

    Example: Nobody wanted to defend the Irish rebels who seized the post office in Easter, 1916, until Britain overreacted and turned them into martyrs. Then the Brits continued their policies of overreaction, mistreating Irish civilians as payback for the actions of the rebels/terrorists, and, again, people turned against them.

    They did much the same thing 20 years later in India, killing demonstrators and arousing sympathy for Indian independence.

    You’d think Mother England would have learned, wouldn’t you? But, at a time when the world might have been willing to turn their backs on the Irgun terrorists, Britain overreacted once more, in the way they seized the Exodus 1947 on the high seas, killed some of the occupants of the boat and deported the rest, refusing to let them land in Palestine. They tried to portray them as terrorists, but it soon became apparent that British forces had attacked demonstrators, not soldiers. The world was appalled, and the result was great sympathy for the creation of Israel, despite its terrorist roots.

    Imagine — attacking a boatload of demonstrators with deadly force, as if they were a military threat! How stupid can you be?

  7. Mike, “attacking a boatload of demonstrators with deadly force” is not what happened. The Israelis had no intent to attack. Their intent was to divert the ship to another port. The Israelis have boarded similar boats without incident, taken them to ports, and delivered their non military good to Gaza. This time they had a dismal failure of intelligence and were successfully set up and in the process endangered their own soldiers. They made a mistake but you completely mischaracterize it. If you go to Youtube and enter “censored footage from the gaza flotilla” you can see what really happened.

  8. “They made a mistake.”
    “dismal failure of intelligence.”

    How does this contradict my stating that, even when people consider your opponents terrorists, you can lose support by doing something stupid?

    Ah, never mind. You win. I’m wrong, of course — Israel has not in any way diminished her standing or created any sympathy for the Palestinians through this action because they were right, and, as history repeatedly shows us, being right is more important than what the world thinks of your actions. What actually DID happen invariably trumps the world’s impression of what happened.

  9. I commend the spirit and the truth inherent in both the cartoon and the post. I agree that the outrage feels a bit forced in some cases; the level of sincerity depends on its origins and whether there’s another agenda in play.

    I read a similar sentiment recently, to the effect that Israel has always been surrounded by enemies — it should try not to not lower itself to behave like them. But the point is well taken that the world has a short memory and plenty of double standards. So thanks for the reminder. And Donald the Duck, thank you also for the quote from Golda Meir — I had forgotten that one, it’s worth saving.

  10. What Ed apparently doesn’t understand, is that the United States funds Israel, and provides Israel with military technology. Perhaps this is why Americans are so concerned with Israeli warcrimes, because it is rather disgusting to know that your tax dollars are being used to support such abuses.

  11. Perhaps it was whitewashed too easily yours ago.

    NOONE on the receiving end of the attack on the USS Liberty has the slightest doubt about what for them is the FACT that Israel deliberately attacked and tried hard to sink with no survivors a US Government ship. The apparent goal was have a false flag operation that would drag the US into helping Israel in a war on Egypt.

    Had the US dealt swiftly and decisively with that big mistake by Israel, there is a LONG list of horrible events that the world might not have suffered.

    I don’t mean that the US should have stopped being Israel’s “friend”, but rather made it extremely clear that similar actions would bring progressively harsher responses. At that point it might have been appropriate to have had a few senior military tried and properly executed.

    Instead, those that plan such things believed they had the green light to do as they please over and over.

    Finally some with extreme courage and integrity (sadly so rare in Washington) are waking up, and Mike Mullen this year had to warn Israel in thinly veiled terms that they better behave, and then Ray McGovern had to further clarify what was going on, and Alan Sabrosky had to go on a talk show with a survivor from the USS Liberty attack and spell out his view of what might easily lead to the US attacking Israel.

    “chatter” heard about a new 9/11 with NUKES detonated in US or European cities that would have been made “dirty” presumably to try to have them blamed on Iran rather than on Israel may well have encouraged those three gentlemen to each make it crystal clear that Israel MUST no longer assume it will continue to be able to do false-flag operations with impunity.

    Israel was not alone in some of the operations over the years, but JFK, Adam Klinghoffer, 9/11, London Subway bombing, the shoe bomber, jock bomber, Times Square nonsense, and many more probably ALL had much more than mere Mossad involvement.

    Google for these in a single query: Ray McGovern Mullen Sabrosky

    The “Ray” is there to eliminate some irrelevant hits for the congressman with the same last name..

    It is now time for many “unspeakable” things to be done, and done swiftly.

    AIPAC needs to be registered as a foreign lobby group.

    No “dual passport” people should hold high places in Washington. NONE.

    Israel’s involvement in terrorist false-flag activities over the years needs to be brought out into the sunshine. I’m sure we can handle it, and I see no reason to stop being a friend of Israel once the criminal elements are dealt with.

    Financial crimes Israel has benefitted from also need scrutiny, as well as the financial benefits for violent events.

    Israel must leave occupied territories. Any claim they might have should now be LOST due to many war crimes.

    Israel’s nuclear weapons should be inspected and brought under international control.

    US media can no longer be controlled by people who will supress any truth about false flag conspiracies including the home grown all US ones with no Israeli involvement (if any such even exist).

    The Federal Reserve Bank needs to be eliminated BEFORE it self implodes. Monies syphoned out of our economy by that leach system need to be recovered sooner than later.

    Perhaps we need a Jewish American Patriot for president! Dr. Alan Ned Sabrosky would be a darn good choice.

  12. to fill in Mark’s erudite remark, Clinton made a concerted effort that final year and had agreement with Israel, to give 97% of the territories to the PA. 2nd intifada. International aid put billions into the Arafat Swiss bank accounts. His widow is living high on the hog in Paris. Never did or would Arafat accede to anything. What is called the Palestinian people is a convenient political pawn kept in squalor and camps in their own lands. Across the middle east the Arab people are a nomadic tribal nomadic people living between unreal lines in the sand drawn by the Brits and French, lands that were doled out to families more friendly to the occupying colonizers than other families.
    It should be noted Israel and PLO/PA have had many meetings over many years and made many agreements and concessions. However, it should be noted, too, while Israel has performed as obliged by releasing thousands of prisoners, loosening crossings to varying degrees, supplying infrastructure including medicine, food, power, supplies, etc. On the Arab side, they have yet to comply with one single solo agreement or obligation of quid pro quo.
    to continue of Mark’s remark, Israel removed all settlers from the Gaza area forcibly, as other areas of the so-called West Bank territories. An infrastructure was left intact, including agriculture and greenhouses, and economy ready to rock and roll. Within 24 hours, Hamas destroyed everything left behind by the Jews.
    In these past few days, while Israel already trucks in 10,000-15,000 pounds of aid weekly, Hamas has refused entry of the aid from said flotilla.
    Adam, war crimes? you need a history lesson, not a revisionist history lesson. I have neither the time nor the inclination.
    Henry-Conspiracy theorist with holes wide enough to roll a Mack truck sideways. By the way, Mr Klinghoffer’s first name is Leon; he was killed and tossed overboard by the Arafat organization PLO or PFLP, same difference. Since I expect Mossad is content to let your outrageous accusations slide, so, too, will I.

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