The angelization of Israel
by Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf
I don't think I'll ever be able to understand why Zionists insist on
singling out Israel for angelization. They have nothing to win and a
lot to lose.
By angelizing Israel, its apologists oblige themselves to prove not
only that its actions are justified (already a daunting task), but
also that the country's behavior is superior to that of "any other
country in its position." This is due to a number of extraordinary
claims the Zionists make: most notably, that Israel holds the moral
high ground not only in relation to its Muslim neighbors, but also as
compared to other developed democracies where its leftwing critics
A key ingredient of the angelization is the claim that the Israeli
Defense Forces are the most moral army in the world, which is
regularly repeated, most recently in relation to the Gaza op.
A case in point is the ineffable Alan Dershowitz. A writer notable
not for the depth of his ideas, but for the influence (itself
telling) he exerts on the lower echelons of the Hasbara troupe,
a.k.a. Zionism's useful idiots. In his book The Case for Israel
Dershowitz describes Israel's doctrine of "purity of arms,"
which "requires that soldiers put their own lives at stake in order
to avoid harming non-combatants" (p. 145). He gives an example:
Recall that when Israel sought to protect itself against Beirut-based
terrorism in 1982, it sent a team of soldiers --led by then Major
General Ehud Barak, dressed as a woman-- to target the terrorists
themselves in a building then being used as their base, instead of
bombing the building from the air, which would have resulted in many
more casualties. This is typical of the Israeli "retail," rather
than "wholesale," approach to targetting terrorism (p. 151).
This is a puzzling example. I thought dressing like women was a very
wrong thing for soldiers to do, and the only reason why so many
Palestinian women died in Israeli attacks. Now it turns out it's
commendable, if done by Jewish soldiers.
More importantly, the incident Dershowitz refers to is not
illustrative that Israel does not perform wholesale murder; it only
means that in some cases pinpoint operations may be more effective.
It did not take place during the 1982 war, as Dershowitz suggests,
but as part of Operation Springtime of Youth, carried out in 1973 to
wipe out three PLO members alleged to have played a part in the
Munich massacre. It was not a time of war and a discreet operation by
a handful of men had a greater chance of success.
The doctrine of "purity of arms" must be tested in war conditions.
And in the recent war on Gaza, I can't think of a single instance of
an Israeli soldier's life being risked so that civilians won't die.
In fact, only about 3 Israeli soldiers died from enemy fire, against
at least 400 Palestinian women and children. I haven't seen any
comment on this imbalance from Israel's angelizers.
So why insist on the "most moral" thing? Why bring up a nonexistent
spirit of self-sacrifice on the Israeli soldiers' part? Such
preposterous claims only invite scrutiny -- and exposure when proved
But of course, the Zionists respond to this by playing the "double
standards" card. "We say that we're morally superior, but if you try
to check out if we're morally superior, then you're judging us by
standards you don't expect any comparable country to meet." Why, of
course, but that's because you claimed to meet higher standards in
the first place. What you're doing is something only bad-behaved
children do, and the name for it is having the cake and eating it too.
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