Why attack Israel when it is so clear that things have been and are so much worse in nearly(?) all the other countries in the Middle East?
[Introductory note from EE: I have looked for this via Google but haven't been able to find it. It was sent to me by Eva who received it from...from... from.... It has been around. I hope it is legitimate. I don't agree with all of it; just 98.3% of it.]:
Mr Bowen, in your reports on the BBC, you warned us, and the brilliant diplomats warned us. The think tanks warned us. Even the Arab dictators warned us. For decades now, you have all been warning us that if you want "peace in the Middle East," just fix the Palestinian problem.
A recent variation on this theme has been: Just get the Jews to stop building apartments in East Jerusalem and Efrat. Yes, if all those Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would only "freeze" their construction, then, finally, Palestinian leaders might come to the table and peace might break out.
And what would happen if peace would break out between Jews and Palestinians? Would all those furious Arabs now demonstrating on streets across the Middle East feel any better?
What bloody nonsense.
Has there ever been a greater abuse of the English language in international diplomacy than calling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the "Middle East peace process?" As if there were only two countries in the Middle East.
Even if you absolutely believe in the imperative of creating a Palestinian state, you can't tell me that the single-minded and global obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the expense of the enormous ills in the rest of the Middle East hasn't been idiotic, if not criminally negligent.
While tens of millions of Arabs have been suffering for decades from brutal oppression, while gays have been tortured and writers jailed and women humiliated and dissidents killed, the world -- yes, the world – has obsessed with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As if Palestinians -- the same coddled victims on whom the world has spent billions and who have rejected one peace offer after another -- were the only victims in the Middle East.
As if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has anything to do with the 1,000-year-old bloody conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, or the desire of brutal Arab dictators to stay in power, or the desire of Islamist radicals to bring back the Caliphate, or the economic despair of millions, or simply the absence of free speech or basic human rights throughout the Arab world.
While you and your fellow self-righteous Israel bashers have scrutinized every flaw in Israel's democracy -- waxing hysterical that the Jewish democratic experiment in the world's nastiest neighborhood had turned into an embarrassment -- you have kept your big mouths shut about the oppression of millions of Arabs throughout the Middle East.
Oh yes, it is now opportune to suddenly villify President Mubarak, previously held up by you as a bastion of democracy, an thanked by President Obama previously " for his willingness to work with us on critical issues, and to help advance the interest of peace and prosperity around the world."
Mr Bowen, you cried foul in your reports if Israeli Arabs -- who have infinitely more rights and freedoms than any Arabs in the Middle East – had their rights compromised in any way. But if a poet were jailed in Jordan or a gay man were tortured in Egypt or a woman were stoned in Syria, all we heard was screaming silence. Now suddenly, it is self-serving to expose breaches of human rights in Egypt.
Think of the ridiculous amount of media ink and diplomatic attention and Jeremy Bowen reports that have been poured onto the Israel-Palestinian conflict over the years, while much of the Arab world was suffering and smouldering, and tell me this is not criminal negligence.
I do not ever recall seeing a UN resolution or an international conference in support of Middle Eastern Arabs not named Palestinians Why?
Of course, now that the Arab volcano has finally erupted, you and all your chronic Israel bashers have suddenly discovered a new cause: Freedom for the poor oppressed Arabs of the Middle East!
Imagine if, instead of putting Israel under your critical and hypocritical microscope, you and your fraternal world's Israel bashers had taken Israel's imperfect democratic experiment and said to the Arab world: Why don't you try to emulate the Jews? Why don't you give equal rights to your women and gays, just like Israel does? Why don't you give your people the same freedom of speech and freedom to vote that Israel does?
And offer them the economic opportunities they would get in Israel? Why don't you treat your Jewish and Christian citizens the same way Israel treats its Arab and Christian citizens? Why don't you study how Israel has struggled to balance religion with democracy -- a very difficult but not insurmountable task? Why don't you teach your people that Jews are not the sons of dogs but a noble, ancient people with a 3,000-year connection to the land of Israel?
Yes, imagine if you Israel bashers had spent a fraction of their energy fighting the lies of Arab dictators and defending the rights of millions of oppressed Arabs. Imagine if President Obama had taken one percent of the time he has harped on Jewish settlements to defend the democratic rights of Egyptian Arabs -- which he is suddenly doing now that the volcano has erupted. Maybe it's just easier to beat up on a free and open society like Israel.
Well, now that the cesspool of human oppression in the Arab world has been opened for all to see, how bad, Mr Bowen, BBC Middle East Editor, is Israel's democracy looking? Don't you wish the Arab world had a modicum of Israel's civil society? Would you still be worrying about "stability in the Middle East?"
You can preach to me all you want about the great Jewish tradition of self-criticism -- which I believe in -- but right now, when I see poor Arab souls being murdered for the simple act of protesting on the street, I've never felt more proud of being a supporter of the Jewish state.
I do hope that you will take the time to read this message as you shelter from bricks and molotov cocktails, and wonder why Israel alone in the area is able to change administrations without such civil unrest.