Israel the Infallible
In the Middle Ages, the Pope was believed to be endowed with what was called "Papal Infallibility", which essentially meant the man could do no wrong. Today, there is a general sense that anyone opposing Israel is universally wrong, generally evil and has no legitimate right to dissent. The idea that any one group can be universally right under all circumstances is intellectually bankrupt, and Israeli Infallibility is no different.
Before any reasonable discussion about Israel can begin, one must understand the history of the Zionist movement. Zionism, simply, is the idea that the Jews should own and occupy the area that was once Palestine, and is now Israel. The reason being that Jewish scripture describes this area as the "Promised Land" given to the Jews by God Himself.
If one takes the "Promised Land" as the absolute truth, and many devout Jews do, Zionism is the natural offshoot. The movement gained steam in the late 19th century, and the Jews of Europe started to move to Palestine. By the 1920's tens of thousands of Jews whose families had left Palestine hundreds or thousands of years prior had returned to Palestine, which had been controlled by Muslims since roughly 700 AD.
It was during these early days that it became fashionable for Zionist Jews to changed their European names to Hebrew names. For instance, current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's father's name was originally Mileikowsky, and Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, was born David Grün. Many people do not realize this, and from their names assume that the Jews have continuously controlled the region and that it is the Palestinians that have no hereditary claim.
As tens of thousands of Jews came from all corners of the world to Israel, the locals began to resent the newcomers. In 1917, Great Britain endorsed the creation of a Jewish state ontop of the existing Palestinian nation, which was, at that time, mostly occupied by Arabs. By 1936, the Arabs revolted against the British colonizers and the hundreds of thousands of Jews that had wisely fled Europe in the years preceding the Holocaust. The Arabs were soundly defeated by the British and the Jews.
After World War II, the Jews fought the Arabs over a clumsily partitioned Palestine, won, and established the state of Israel in 1949. In the following 64 years, the fight has continued between the displaced Palestinians and the relatively recent European Jewish immigrants.
As fate would have it, the sympathies of the world have firmly chosen Israel. From this situation, has grown this albatross of Israeli Infallibility, and the logical fallacies that must follow.
- Any nation that resents Israel is pilloried in the press as wrongheaded, evil, and a seat of terrorism.
- Military action against Israeli dissenters is universally regarded as acceptable.
- Military action against Israel is universally regarded as wrong.
- The enemies of Israel and their sympathizers are typically branded irreconcilable terrorists.
- To not support Israel is often regarded as un-American.
- Anti-Zionism is nearly always equated to antisemitism, and often Nazism.
- The "creation" of a Palestinian state is almost never even considered, even though it existed long before Israel.
- The legitimacy of Israel is never questioned, even though the nation is younger than television.
- The existence of Israel is never considered as the cause of violence in Israel. It is always the other guy's fault.
- Palestinian resistance is always regarded as unreasonable, religious extremism, rather than legitimate dissent.
- Religious motives of Israel are never questioned, or even mentioned.
Israeli Infallibility is an unreasonable position to maintain, and is stated by terrorist groups worldwide as their chief motivation for violence against the West.
I've heard many people state that Muslims are irreconcilable terrorists and violent by the nature of their religion, but people need to remember the IRA. It was only 30 years ago that Irishmen were toting AK-47's, wearing black masks, staging hunger strikes in prison and indiscriminately bombing the "occupying forces" in London. It sounds perfectly absurd to say that Anglicanism and Catholicism are "radicalizing and dangerous" religions that create inherently violent people. The first suicide bombing in the Middle East happened in 1983; the phenomenon is not as ancient as Islam. Its only slightly older than Nintendo.
History repeats, and it's time we looked inward for the reasons for terrorism, and the motivations of those who would do us harm. We are fooling ourselves if we feel anti-American sentiments only live in the minds of lunatics and religious extremists. While violent actions are carried out by the most-crazed and fanatical, the resentment is all but mainstream.