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Why Is Israel the Only Country with No Right to a Normal Foreign Policy? – Evelyn Gordon (Commentary via Daily Alert)

By   /   July 18, 2018  /   No Comments

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  • The news that Hungary’s prime minister will visit Israel this week has sparked outrage, an example of the way Israel is routinely held to standards applied to no other country. The objection is that Viktor Orban is an authoritarian.
  • The reality is that most countries in the world today are authoritarian. Thus, any country which wants to maintain relationships with more than a handful of other countries will end up hosting a lot of authoritarian leaders, which is why every other Western democracy also does so.
  • Just this month, Switzerland and Austria welcomed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as did France and Italy in 2016, even though Rouhani’s government is actively abetting the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people in Syria and Yemen and brutally crushing dissent at home.
  • That’s far worse than hosting Orban, whose government isn’t killing anyone. Moreover, Hungary is genuinely important to Israel’s core foreign policy interests, since it has repeatedly helped quash anti-Israel decisions by the EU.
  • According to a JTA report on Hungarian anti-Semitism last month, Jews in Britain or Austria were far more likely to suffer anti-Semitic violence than their Hungarian brethren. Indeed, unlike in France or Belgium, Jews with beards and kippahs said they feel safe walking Hungary’s streets.
  • Once you remove the straw man of anti-Semitism, you’re left with the double standard in all its glory: Israel alone has no right to host authoritarian leaders important to its interests, even as other Western democracies routinely host worse leaders with less justification.
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