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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 25, 2003

Do not compare Israel and Iraq

My Unversity's Newspaper--"The Justice"; decided to publish an editorial in last week's issue, in which they made the an "anti-war" argument claiming that Iraq and Israel are both in violation of UN resolutions...and so we should also punish Israel if we do Iraq...and that we shouldn't circumvent the UN... here's an excerpt:

Yesterday, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters, "The diplomatic window has closed." But this end to diplomacy is too hasty. As early as Feb. 5, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell asked how much longer the U.N. Security Council would allow Iraq to defy its resolutions before ending the regime's 18-month noncompliance. Yet, it goes unnoticed that Israel, a valued ally of the United States, has a 35-year record of noncompliance. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 have called for Israel to withdraw from territories it has occupied since 1967. But it has not, and 3 million Palestinians living under Israeli control continue to suffer. For the United States' efforts to disarm Iraq to be respected, we must hold our allies to the same standards as our enemies. [more]

FortrunateIy, this act of Israel bashing in the above editorial opinion, two students wrote a letter debunking the editorial board's argument, and it is a textbook example of how to advocate the truth for Israel. The letter reads as follows:

At what point can you draw the line and decide that somebody is in noncompliance with the United Nations? For one thing, Israel is a poor example. What you forgot to mention in last week's editorial was that Israel is not required to leave the territories unless they are guaranteed secure borders.

Your implication that the "occupation" is simply illegal according to international law is wrong. The need to bring Israel into the argument at all, whether by the editors of the Justice or Saddam Hussein himself is hurtful to Jews and can be interpreted as anti-Semitic.

You also ignored the fact that when Israel entered a peace deal with Egypt, they gave up over 90 percent of the lands conquered in 1967 (the Sinai Peninsula). Shouldn't this be taken as further proof that it is the Arab side that has refused to finalize a deal?

Besides, Iraq and Israel are two very different countries. Security Council Resolution (SCR) 242 and other resolutions relating to Israel have to do with multi-party conflicts and as such cannot be solved by aggression toward Israel. SCR-242 is a multilateral resolution calling on different sides of the conflict to take action to end it. Iraq is not party to a conflict that the United Nations is trying to end between it and another neighbor, but rather is the foe in a conflict with the international system.

Additionally, there is a legal distinction between U.N. Charter Chapter VI SCRs (not binding) and Chapter VII ones (binding). The 17 Iraq-related resolutions are Chapter VII ones. Iraq was declared to be in material breach of SCR-1441, while SCR-242, being a Chapter VI resolution, does not require Israel to do anything without a peace deal. So, Israel has not even breached SCR-242.