The singular phenomenon of double standards

The singular phenomenon of double standards

Maybe I am becoming overly sensitive with age; I am beginning to see double standards everywhere.

Let’s start with a good example: Israel.

Israel is labeled an “occupier.” One definition of “occupation” is “the act or process of taking possession of a place or area.” Another is “the holding and control of an area by a foreign military force.”

Yes, Israel took the West Bank and Gaza with force in the preemptive Six-Day War of 1967. Israel unilaterally left Gaza in 2005, supposedly to be administered by the Palestinian Authority, controlled by Fatah. In 2006, in the one election held under the PA’s authority, Hamas won. Violence erupted between Hamas and Fatah, and Hamas took over Gaza by force of arms. Occupation?

In 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion led the massacre at Kfar Etzion and later conquered the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, expelling the Jewish residents and destroying their synagogues. Was Jordan’s control of the Jewish Quarter occupation? A double standard?

Closer to home, as a result of its victory in the Spanish-American War, the United States acquired Puerto Rico, which is still under its control. Is the United States an occupier? Some in Puerto Rico say yes.

American settlers in Texas revolted against Mexico and declared a republic. Nine years later, Texas was annexed by the United States. Three years after, the Mexican war ended, with the United States acquiring the Southwest from California to the Rio Grande. Occupation? The Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan, MEChA, says yes. Their name for the “occupied” territory is Aztlan, and they want it returned to Mexico.

Let’s move to settlements. The agreed-upon standard for the Palestinian state is Judenrein, Jew-free. The model is the Israeli evacuation of Gaza. The United States, the Quartet, and the Arab League all want Israel to stop all forms of construction, even in accepted Jewish areas, until a final peace agreement is reached.

If Israel were to suggest removing its current Arab population to the new Palestinian state, as was proposed by the late Meir Kahane, and/or freezing all Israeli-Arab construction within Israel, you could imagine the international outrage. Double standard?

Let’s move to clashes of civilizations. Today, the United States and the Western world are involved in a war that dare not speak its name, pursuant to administration diktat.

Gone are words like “terror,” “terrorist,” and “Jihadist.” Why? We don’t want to offend Muslims. So we’re left with euphemisms like “overseas contingency operation” for “global war on terror,” “man-caused disaster” for “terrorism,” and the Orwellian newspeak “anti-Islamic activity” for “Islamic terrorism.” Would this have been done for any other religion?

It would seem that right now the most feared man in the world is Muhammad. Look what his more extreme followers do in his name and how they get treatment that no other religious group would.

There were riots over the now famous Muhammad cartoons published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten. Fatwas were issued in Iraq to expel the Crusaders and infidels and against Danish troops in Iraq.

Here in the United States, where we celebrate diversity and freedom of religion, Yale University Press backed down from publishing the Danish cartoons in an academic work after two dozen authorities, including diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism, unanimously recommended they not be published.

Self-censorship also hit Comedy Central, after South Park’s creators tried to insert Muhammad into an episode in response to the furor over the Muhammad cartoons. Comedy Central said no and Muhammad was depicted in a bear suit. A rerun had the word “Censored” over the character and every mention of Muhammad was bleeped out.

A jihadi website threatened South Park’s creators, warning that they could end up like Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was shot and stabbed to death by a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim for his film Submission, which was critical of the Islamic treatment of women.

In response, an American cartoonist declared “Everyone Draw Muhammad Day,” which gained such publicity and public approval that the cartoonist disassociated herself from it. She was forced to go into a form of witness protection at the suggestion of the FBI after a fatwa was issued against her.

Islam may get the protection of international law. The Organization of the Islamic Conference, representing the largest voting bloc in the UN, wants the UN to pass a legally binding resolution to prevent incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims. While there are recitations about religion in general, Islam is the only religion specifically named.

Is there any other religion today that can make such demands on the entire world?

The social contract demands that all receive equal treatment before the law. A double standard exists when a party is being held to a different — as is the case with Israel — or privileged — as is the case of Islam — standard than others similarly situated.

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