Moral equivalency watch. Which side, Madame Secretary, gets to be the KKK in this analogy? Which side would find that a gross insult, and which side might not?
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reportedly said in Annapolis this week that her childhood in the segregated South had helped her to understand the suffering on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“I know what its like to hear that you can’t use a certain road or pass through a checkpoint because you are a Palestinian. I know what it is like to feel discriminated against and powerless,” Rice told a closed meeting of Arab and Israeli representatives, according to the Dutch representative at the summit, Franz Timmermans.
“Like Israelis, I understand what it’s like to go to sleep not knowing if you will be hurt in an explosion, the feeling of terror walking around your own neighborhood, or walking to your house of prayer,” Timmermans quoted Rice as saying, the Washington Post reported.
Rice described her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama, during the era of segregation and the killing of four young girls in a bombing at a Baptist church in 1963. She reportedly said the bombing, which killed one of her classmates, helps her understand the fear of terrorism felt by Israelis.
Ugh. And to think I used to like her. I don’t mean to minimize the very real and awful suffering of Rice and other African-Americans during the terrible Jim Crow era, but there just isn’t any useful comparison between that experience and what the Palestinians do. They’re an armed faction, propped up by various bad actors outside the actual fight, that is run by two entities — Hamas and Fatah — that are both still dedicated to destroying Israel root and branch. Their spiritual founder, Yasser Arafat, more or less invented modern terrorism. He was feted at the UN and all over the world before and during his kleptocratic reign. Jim Crow was a blight and an injustice that deserved to be consigned to the dustbin of history. Hamas and Fatah are war criminal gangs dedicated to full-on genocide.
The danger of Rice’s remarks is that they can be seen to legitimize terrorism in the PA and even “direct action” by fringe forces here at home. Unwise, to say the least.
Update: Well, if Rice’s analogy holds, we know who the racists are in the current struggle.
This week the Bush Administration legitimized Arab anti-Semitism. In an effort to please the Saudis and their Arab brothers, the Bush administration agreed to physically separate the Jews from the Arabs at the Annapolis conference in a manner that aligns with the apartheid policies of the Arab world which prohibit Israelis from setting foot on Arab soil.
Evident everywhere, the discrimination against Israel received its starkest expression at the main assembly of the Annapolis conference on Tuesday. There, in accordance with Saudi demands, the Americans prohibited Israeli representatives from entering the hall through the same door as the Arabs.
At the meeting of foreign ministers on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called her Arab counterparts to task for their discriminatory treatment. “Why doesn’t anyone want to shake my hand? Why doesn’t anyone want to be seen speaking to me?” she asked pointedly.
Shameful. We have gone from “you are with us or you are with the terrorists” to this.