Meryl caught my attention with her post Israel and the double standard. It refers to the recent story about Israel turning away some refugees from Darfur. Here is an excerpt:
Itâ€™s funny when you compare the response to stories like this, where a Hamas childrenâ€™s program demonstrates cruelty to animals while ostensibly teaching children not to be cruel to animals, with the response to stories about Israel refusing to accept any more African refugees. The Hamas childrenâ€™s show story got limited play, of course, while the Israel/Darfur story is already developing very long legs. The AP had constantly updating stories out on it over the weekend, and more today. The New York Times and the Washington Post have picked up the story and run with it.
I am decidedly torn about Israelâ€™s response to these people. Some of them are refugees from Darfur. Others are simply people trying to find work and a better life for themselves. Still others are leaving Egypt because Egyptâ€™s treatment of African refugees is despicable. They have beat and murdered refugees without compunction, and why wouldnâ€™t they? The world stands by and ignores it, even when the AP puts a boilerplate into every one of its articles pointing out that the Egyptian police murdered 30 Sudanese when â€œclearing a refugee encampment.â€ Where is the UN Refugee Agency on this issue? Why no statements from the Secretary General demanding that Egypt follow international law and stop treating the refugees so cruelly? Where is the UNâ€™s response to the Egyptian border policeâ€™s murder of Sudanese refugees trying to escape into Israel? How is it that those incidents pass relatively unnoticed by the world, yet Israelâ€™s policy on refugees crossing the border from Israel merits over 400 articles now, double what it was yesterday, and five times the number of stories that went out about Hamasâ€™ animal cruelty-slash-brainwashing video.
Once again, we see the worldâ€™s double standard for Israelâ€”and Jewsâ€”in full swing. Because Jews suffered, they are obliged to never let other people suffer on their watch. Because modern Israel was created partly due to the worldâ€™s guilt over the Holocaust, Israel must rescue all the refugees from all violence all over the worldâ€”or so goes the current thinking. And it is right there in the lede of all the AP articles speeding â€™round the world.
I am in agreement about how uncomfortable the situation is. In light of our experience it feels shameful to turn anyone away. I’d like to try and come up with a better situation. But as Meryl wrote, there is a double standard at work here. It is quite disgusting to see that there are people in the world who will let others die to try and make a point.