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November 28, 2002

Whether or not you bomb Iraq, support Israel

On November 13, Zion Blogster posted on IsraPundit an article concerning Amr Sabry, an associate professor of computer science at Indiana University, Bloomington, who suggested "Don't Bomb Iraq. Bomb Israel."

In attempting to retrieve the "Don't Bomb Iraq” wisdom, as dispensed by Prof Sabry, I discovered that the relevant page had been removed, but thanks to Google I was able to retrieve a cached copy nonetheless.

(Prof Sabry, as a computer science professor, may not know this, but hiding in the Google era is not easy, and if you goof, you’re stuck with your foot in your mouth.)

I am reproducing Prof Sabry’s text below because it provides an excellent example of the level to which anti-Israel propaganda can descend. My comments follow the quotation.

Don't Bomb Iraq. Bomb Israel.
  • Iraq has violated a few UN resolutions. Israel has violated ten times more UN resolutions.
  • Iraq is threatening to manufacture weapons of mass destruction. Israel has already manufactured weapons of mass desctruction. [sic]
  • Iraq attacked two of its neighbors. Israel attacked four of its neighbors and bombed two other neighboring countries a few thousand miles away for good measure.
  • Iraq is ruled by a dictator. Israel is ruled by a war criminal.
  • In Iraq, the Kurds are second-class citizens. In Israel, the Arabs are third-class citizens and the Palestinians are nothing.

It is far too easy to refute these ludicrous comparisons between Israel and Iraq, and therefore the effort is hardly satisfying intellectually. Still, for the record, suffice it to note that:
  • Violation of UN resolutions: In 1947-48, Iraq, together with Lebanon, Transjordan, Egypt, and Syria, rejected UN resolution 181 on the partition of Palestine; these countries then proceeded to violate several Security Council resolutions that called for a cease fire. (On July 11 to 14, I posted on
    CitCUN a series of four articles providing full details.) Leading into the 1956 and 1967 wars, Egypt violated several UN calls for unhindered Israeli navigation in international waters concerning the 1956 war (see CitCUN article dated June 3, 2002). Since the Gulf War, Iraq has repeatedly ignored the Security Council resolutions concerning the inspectors; the number 16 is repeated on CNN time and again. To describe these as “Iraq has violated a few UN resolutions” is patently absurd. Furthermore, Iraq and her Arab allies are in breach of the the UN Charter, which requires resolution of international conflicts by peaceful means, but since 1947-48, Iraq has chosen the path of war against Israel (see CitCUN). Beyond these details, however, there is little doubt about the big picture: the UN is indeed a cesspool of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and anti-US propaganda; but whereas the US has the protection afforded to a “permanent Security Council member”, aka as veto power, Israel stands defenceless, as illustrated by the infamous UN Resolution equating Zionism with racism (see CitCUN article). Israel would do well do ignore the UN as best she can.
  • WMD. One has to be a barefaced liar to claim that “Iraq is threatening to manufacture weapons of mass destruction”, when in fact Iraq has actually used WMD, such as the poisonous gas Iraq used in the Iran-Iraq War as well as on the Kurdish population is Halabja.
  • Aggression against neighbors. In the 1980's, Iraq attacked two of its neighbors, Iran and Kuwait, in an unprovoked war of aggression. Israel attacked nobody, but rather was attacked by Iraq and four other Arab countries in 1948. In 1956 Israel had to resort to arms after Egypt turned the Gaza strip into a terrorist base that menaced Israel ceaselessly (as noted above, see CitCUN article). In 1967 Israel had to resort to arms after Egypt produced one casus belli after another, from closing international waterways to Israeli navigation, to ejecting a UN buffer force in the Sinai, to mobilizing aggressive armies in the Sinai. In 1973 Israel was attacked again, and this time the Arabs could not even cover themselves with the figleaf of Israel’s pre-emptive strike. Israel did bomb Osiraq in June, 1981, for which the Gulf War Coalition has yet to thank Israel: imagine having to wage the Gulf War with an operable nuclear weapons outfit in Osiraq! (See CitCUN article.) To present Israel as an aggressor on par with Iraq is utterly absurd. It also characterizes the principal principle of Arab propaganda: confuse the world by inversion of the truth.
  • War Criminals. Anyone who has followed the Sabra/Shatila affair and the subsequent failed attempts to sue Sharon as a “war criminal”, can only laugh at this accusation. War criminals may be those who ordered the slaughter of 20,000 Syrians in Hama, 1982, or those who slaughtered 10,000 Palestinians in Jordan’s Black September, but definitely not Sharon, regardless of how insistent the Arab propaganda is. A lie is not transformed into truth by Arabs repeating it ad nauseam. .
  • Internal oppression. The Arabs in both Israel and Yesha have easy access to Israeli courts, including the Israeli Supreme Court; without the US-UK aerial umbrella, Iraq’s Kurds have access to nothing but poisonous gas. Israeli Arabs vote like any other Israeli, and their representation in the Israeli Parliament is quite visible to all but blind professors.
Of course, one can continue refuting Prof Sabry’s arguments to the end of time, citing facts, dates and figures. But to my mind, it is important to appreciate the strategy employed by the Arab propaganda, rather than to focus on a detailed rebuttal.

The global picture is quite clear: Iraq is a brutal dictatorship that engaged in aggression against her Arab neighbors and in oppression of all her citizens. Israel is our sister-democracy and it is our sacred duty to support her. She is trying to survive under the harshest conditions imaginable, and the fact that she is still successful in maintaining a civilized, democratic society is nothing short of a miracle. (During WW II, with the Japanese enemy many miles away from North America, both the US and Canada herded their Japanese citizens into concentration camps; Israel, during her 54 years of constant war, and with the enemy on her doorstep, has never resorted to actions even remotely similar.)

And yet Prof Sabry has the temerity to compare Israel to Iraq, and to imply that in this comparison, Israel comes up short. Using quarter-truths, inversions of truth, cheap slogans, and outright lies, the Arab propaganda machine has been trying to confuse and obfuscate, and Prof Sabry’s text is a good example of this methodology.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland