As published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March/April 2019, pp. 6-7

A recent issue of The Economist featured a short opinion piece that mentioned anti-Israel bias at the United Nations Human Rights Council but fails to provide even a glimpse at the historical context that might explain this stance. The author seemed particularly unimpressed with the fact that Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights continues to be a standing issue on the council’s agenda.

The writer mentions the hypocrisy of council members Eritrea, Libya and others with poor human rights records, as if to imply that they have no right to an opinion on the conduct of a nation that proclaims itself the Middle East’s only democracy. Since Israeli politicians and their supporters never tire of this self-praise, it is reasonable to hold them accountable to the rule of law; even at the risk of predictable anti-Semitic slurs.

So long as Israel enjoys U.S. diplomatic, financial and military support it will continue to act with impunity and disregard the U.N. resolutions and international laws that forbid one nation from keeping, populating and developing territory seized by military force. The state of Israel is literally an American protectorate rather than a truly independent nation, at least in its current manifestation. Israeli politicians are well aware that their brutal policies are slowly alienating large numbers of liberal American Jews, who still offer financial and political support.

Unfortunately for their safety, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have the right, under international law, to retrieve any territory and property taken from them wholesale in 1947-49 and 1967 and incrementally since then. I say unfortunately because fairness is only applicable to those equal in power and influence. The weak are expected to bow meekly and accept the dictates of the mighty. Even a cursory glance at the kill ratio in the recent Gaza violence vividly illustrates what happens when Palestinians dare to even approach their former homes, let alone attempt a serious military attack. I can’t even imagine the carnage that would result if hundreds of Israeli settlers were killed by Hamas in the West Bank.

The Economist, like most mainstream journals, is mainly content with current Israeli state policy and will continue to report on events as if the facts of history bear no relation to the present. In this way such publications serve their function as purveyors of views that serve those who own the world.

Morgan Duchesney, Ottawa, Canada

We’re trying to come up with the right image to convey a protectorate that issues orders to its protector!