Reassessing Some Unfortunate Events

Reassessing Some Unfortunate Events

Editor’s Notebook

By Michael Jacobs |

Michael Jacobs Atlanta Jewish Times
Michael Jacobs

The world has produced some strange, often alarming news of late.

Mindless anti-Semitism flared up in London early March 22 when a bunch of drunk Brits decided to attack a synagogue and created a violent, obscenity-laced struggle at the entrance. Rabbi Maurice Davis played down the apparently unplanned attack as “more antisocial than anti-Semitic,” according to the BBC, but police are investigating the incident as anti-Semitic because of the comments of one of six men they arrested. Chants of “We will kill you” came from the attackers.

You can see the battle on YouTube, just don’t let young children listen.

A couple of days earlier, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talked about progress in the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded March 21 by calling for “death to America.”

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper presented his annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment” to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 26 and somehow decided that Iran and Hezbollah weren’t worthy of attention this year. In fact, if you believe the Clapper report, only Sunni organizations pose an Islamic terrorist threat to the United States; Shia terrorists didn’t make the report.

Maybe Clapper’s report and Kerry’s unrequited positivity are signs of the Obama administration’s carrot-and-no-stick approach to Iran. It would be nice if this administration was as generous in giving Israel the benefit of the doubt.

I could say the same about the United Nations, but of course the world body never gives Israel the benefit of anything. It’s standard operating procedure when U.N. organizations such as the Human Rights Commission single out Israel as the source of all evil.

Still, the latest U.N. attack on Israel is a doozy. The U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, which includes such exemplars of human rights and respect for women as Iran and Sudan, wrapped up a two-week meeting March 20 on how to implement a plan for global women’s equality adopted 20 years ago. The commission adopted a new target date of 2030 to achieve that equality, but before adjourning, it turned its attention to Israel.

You know, the Israel that has maintained legal equality of the sexes for more than 60 years, that expects the same military service of men and women, and that just elected a record 28 women, or 23.3 percent of the membership, to the Knesset. By comparison, women make up 20 percent of the U.S. Senate and 19.3 percent of U.S. House.

Israel, which doesn’t require or ban certain clothing for women, isn’t the site of frequent honor killings, doesn’t subject adolescent girls to circumcision, encourages education for all, and famously has more female jet pilots than Saudi Arabia has female drivers, was the only nation in the world to draw the commission’s attention.

On a 27-2 vote with 13 abstentions and only the United States and Israel voting no, according to The Times of Israel, the commission passed a resolution sponsored by the Palestinians and South Africa. It blames “the Israeli occupation” for blocking Palestinian women from advancement, self-reliance and integration into society.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, said the resolution again exposed the U.N. bias against Israel. “Of the 193 member states in this institution, dozens slaughter innocent civilians and impose discriminatory laws that marginalize women, and yet they all get a free pass.”

Fortunately, the resolution carries no sanctions; it’s merely symbolic, revealing again how few friends Israel has. That’s the scary thing about President Barack Obama’s talk of reassessing the U.S.-Israeli relationship. Somehow, Israel has to make Obama happy; otherwise, the bad news will keep coming.

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