68. Israel applies double standard

Cal Thomas in his January 15 column contends that "when it comes to judging actions in the Middle East, the old double standard for Israel remains." The reason is that the Security Council, by strongly condemning Israel for expelling 12 Palestinians from their homeland, "created the impression that the 12 Palestinians are innocents." Reading Cal Thomas' column, however, one cannot but be certain that he doesn't know what double standard means.

First, the Security Council didn't strongly condemn Israel because it expelled 12 innocent Palestinians, but because it expelled 12 Palestinians period. Whether they are guilty or innocent is irrelevant. So is everything else Cal Thomas said in his column. One thing, however, is not only irrelevant but also totally false. He claims that Israel did not violate the Fourth Geneva Convention because the convention "outlawed mass deportation of the kind used against Jews in World War II and not individual expulsions for security reasons." As far as I know, only Israel and Cal Thomas (and probably all those who devoted themselves for the defense of Israel) give this interpretation.

Second, double standard, according to Webster International, is "a set of principles that applies differently ... to one group of people than to another." In 1990, Rabbi Moshe Levinger was sentenced to five months in jail for shooting and killing a Palestinian in Hebron, a crime that normally carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Israel, however, routinely jails thousands of Palestinians for six months to a year, without a formal charge or trial. Also, Abbie Nathan, an Israeli peace activist, was sentenced to 18 months in prison just for meeting Yaser Arafat. Had he killed him, he would have been better off.

February 3, 1992