Let’s drop the names “Hamas” and “Israel” and make a list of the characteristics of two imaginary warring entities. We’ll call them Entity A and Entity B.
–Declares that its raison d’etre is to annihilate Entity B.
–Sends missiles to explode in the most populated parts of Entity B in order to kill as many civilians as possible.
–Uses families and individual civilians as human shields to protect its own leaders from attack.
–Tortures and kills domestic political opponents.
–Has no political or religious freedom and has no freedom of speech, press, or assembly, and no independent judiciary.
–Is a theocracy.
–Violently oppresses gays.
–Saturates its education and airwaves with a demonic hatred of Entity B.
–Rated a “6” by Freedom House in its 2013 report on freedom in the world. Seven is the worst possible rating. Entity A ranks 6 in freedom, 6 in civil liberties and 6 political rights.
–Recognizes the right of Entity A to an independent existence.
–Has never begun a war with Entity A.
–Has never targeted civilians in Entity A. In fact, it has sacrificed soldiers in order to avoid killing Entity A civilians.
–Domestic political opponents — including even supporters of Entity A — not only have freedom of assembly, press and expression; they have political parties with representatives in Entity B’s parliament.
–Has freedom of the press, assembly, religion, and a completely independent judiciary.
–Allows gays full civil rights.
–Has innumerable human rights groups dedicated to the welfare of people belonging to Entity A.
–Has no education or broadcasts comparable to the daily hate in Entity A.
–Freedom House rating for 2014 is 1.5 in freedom (“1” is best possible); 2 in civil liberties; 1 in political liberties.
So, then, with which entity does nearly every government in the world side? Entity A.
And what is the primary concern of the United Nations, nearly all the world’s media, and nearly all the world’s intellectuals? That Entity B, while hundreds of missiles are launched at its most populated cities, not kill any of the civilians among whom Entity A’s leaders hide.
The moral gulf between Israel, our Entity B, and Hamas, our Entity A, is as clear and as great as the one that existed between the Allies and Nazi Germany. It is one of the few instances in today’s world when the Nazi analogy is accurate.
It is clear that while free and democratic countries such as those in Western Europe value the freedoms of speech, assembly, and press for themselves, the absence of these freedoms among Israel’s enemies means nothing to the Europeans in morally assessing the Middle East conflict.
The news media, too, have no moral focus. They are preoccupied with Gazans who have died, and with the disparity between the number of Gazans killed and the number of Israelis killed — as if that is morally dispositive. Imagine that during World War II, the Western press had converged on German hospitals and apartment buildings and repeatedly announced the huge disparity between German civilian deaths and British civilian deaths. More than 10 times the number of German civilians were killed as were British — but did that have anything at all to do with the morality of the British war against Germany?
The big question, then, is why? Why is decent, free, democratic Israel not fully supported by decent countries against the genocidal Islamist regime of Gaza?
Is there any other example in history of a free state and a police state at war in which the free state was deemed morally equivalent to the police state, or, even more implausibly, deemed the aggressor? Last week, a New York Times editorial put the equivalence this way: “an atmosphere in which each side dehumanizes the other.”
Here, then, are some reasons:
1. The West has lost its way. Europe gave up on its values after World War I. And the American left, which dominates the media, gave up on America’s distinctive values after the Vietnam War.
2. Unlike during World War II, there is a United Nations today, and it is dominated by over 50 Islamic countries, their dozens of allies, and a Security Council on which sit Russia and China as permanent members.
3. The current American president is a product of the postwar leftist morality. Wherever the left is in power, Israel is unpopular at best and loathed at worst. Thus, Israel’s best friend today is the conservative government of Canada.
4. The world’s news media relentlessly show images of wounded and dead Gazans. Israel, on the other hand, though the target of mass-killing missiles, has thus far been able to avoid such casualties.
5. Israel is Jewish.
If there are more valid reasons for why the world equates Israel and its morally primitive enemies — or actually deems Israel the villain — I have yet to hear them.
Dennis Prager’s latest book, “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph,” was published April 24, 2013 by HarperCollins.