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When Criticizing Israel is OK!

When Criticizing Israel is OK!

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When is Criticism of Israel Acceptable?

It was Nathan Sharansky who developed a test for gauging acceptable criticism of Israel. 

When is something fair comment, and when does it cross the line into something uglier? He calls it the “3D” test: 

The first "D" is the test of demonization. When the Jewish state is being demonized; when Israel's actions are blown out of all sensible proportion; when comparisons are made between Israelis and Nazis and between Palestinian refugee camps and Auschwitz—this is anti- Semitism, not legitimate criticism of Israel.

The second "D" is the test of double standards. When criticism of Israel is applied selectively; when Israel is singled out by the United Nations for human rights abuses while the behavior of known and major abusers, such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Russia, Ukraine, China, Cuba, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Egypt, is ignored; when Israel's Magen David Adom, alone among the world's ambulance services, is denied admission to the International Red Cross—this is anti-Semitism.

The third "D" is the test of delegitimization: when Israel's fundamental right to exist is denied - alone among all peoples in the world - this too is anti-Semitism.

What all of these three “D”s have in common, if you think about it, is that all of them constitute criticism that goes far beyond a comment on any specific policy, or action. 

Demonizing and delegitimizing are explicitly an assault on the core identity of Israel. They claim that Israel’s problems are inherent, and unchangeable. A double standard canard implicitly suggests a similar level assault. 

By applying a double standard to Israel, and raising issues that are apparently irrelevant for other nations, the implication is clear. The problem is not the issue, but with Israel. I don’t hate what Israel does; I hate Israel. Period. And therefore whatever she will do I will criticize her. She can never placate me, because I despise her in her core.

And this is the type of criticism Israel faces so often.

 

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