Karl du Fresne on Israel

Karl du Fresne writes:

Israel recently celebrated its 70th birthday – no mean feat when nearly everyone around you wants to wipe you off the map.  …

To our shame, New Zealand has fallen into line with the anti-Israel bloc. Last year, we supported 16 of the 19 UN resolutions that condemned the Jewish state. 

This is perplexing, because according to the international Democracy Index compiled by the British magazine The Economist, Israel remains the only democracy in the Middle East.

Yep. The scores are:

  1. Israel 7.79
  2. Tunisia 6.32
  3. Morocco 4.87
  4. Lebanon 4.72
  5. Palestine 4.46
  6. Iraq 4.09
  7. Jordan 3.87
  8. Kuwait 3.85
  9. Algeria 3.56
  10. Egypt 3.36
  11. Qatar 3.19
  12. Oman 3.04
  13. Bahrain 2.71
  14. UAE 2.69
  15. Iran 2.45
  16. Libya 2.32
  17. Sudan 2.15
  18. Yemen 2.07
  19. Saudi Arabia 1.93
  20. Syria 1.43

Admittedly, Israel hasn’t always made it easy to be its friend. The provocative habit of building Jewish settlements in occupied territories claimed by Palestinians has been a consistent impediment in efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement. 

I agree – they should stop that.

Take the most recent flare-up. We’re told it was Arab anger at Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital that triggered Palestinian protests, resulting in the deaths of 60 people.

But just this once, Trump may have got it right. Jerusalem is central to Jewish history and culture. It’s mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible and the Torah, but not once in the Koran. 


Western observers wrung their hands over the recent suffering in Gaza, but it could have been halted in the blink of an eye. All it took was for the Hamas fanatics to stop firing rockets and mortar bombs across the border, or digging tunnels underneath it, with the intention of killing Israeli citizens.


Western politicians bang on about the two-state solution, but there can be no such solution as long as a key player such as Hamas vows never to recognise Israel. 

And all this because a few million people, having survived unimaginable horror in Europe, sought to create a sanctuary in their ancestral desert homeland. For all the Israelis’ faults, I have no trouble deciding whose side I’m on.


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