Double Standards Muslim/Arab vs. West/Jewish World

October 9, 2003

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The Case Against Jordan
By Alan M. Dershowitz
Jerusalem Post | October 9, 2003

Jordan is the West’s favorite Arab nation. And for good reason, since it is the best of a generally bad lot. Most westerners admired King Hussein, adore his best-selling widow Queen Noor, and respect his son, King Abdullah. U.S. President George W. Bush recently, and appropriately, praised King Abdullah for his devotion to peace in the region. No one has to write “The Case for Jordan,” as I have had to write The Case for Israel.
But any fair comparison between the Middle East’s most reviled and condemned nation, Israel, and its most praised nation, Jordan, starkly reveals the invidious double standard applied to Israel.

A few largely unknown facts about Jordan:

Jordan has a law on its books explicitly prohibiting any Jew from becoming a citizen, or any Jordanian from selling land to a Jew. It has refused to amend this law despite repeated demands.

Jordan has perfected the art of torture and uses it routinely against dissidents, suspected terrorists and perceived opponents of the monarchy. I’m talking about real torture here, not the kind of rough interrogation occasionally employed by the U.S. and Israel. Jordan even threatens to torture and tortures the entirely innocent relatives of suspected terrorists, as it did with Abu Nidal’s mother.

The United States is fully aware of Jordan’s proficiency in torture, having “subcontracted” some of its own difficult cases to Jordanian “experts” (along with Egyptian and Philippine torture experts). Yet the UN has never condemned Jordan for its use of torture.

Jordan killed more Palestinians in one month – September 1970, known as Black September – than Israel has killed during the three years of suicide bombings that began in the fall of 2000. The brutality of the Jordanian Army toward Palestinian dissidents and terrorists was far more egregious than anything Israel has ever done.

The Jordanian Army has deliberately bombed civilian areas of Israeli cities in clear violation of international law. In 1967, before Israel fired a single shot at Jordan, the Jordanian Army fired 1,600 missiles into west Jerusalem, targeting apartment buildings, shops and other non-military targets. Israel did not respond by bombing Amman, which it easily could have done. It responded by attacking Jordanian military targets and then offering a cease-fire, which Jordan rejected.

Jordan is not a democracy. It is a hereditary monarchy which stifles dissent, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Its democratic facades a legislature, cabinet, judiciary are all subject to control by the Hashemite minority rulers who were placed in charge of the majority Palestinian population by a colonial decision.

Why do Americans not know the case against Jordan? Because it is in no one’s interest to make it. Jordan is an ally of the United States (at least some of the time). It is a peace partner with Israel (at least now). It is the best of the Arab states in the Middle East, but “best” is a comparative term with a relatively low basis for comparison.

Why then am I making the case against Jordan? Simply to demonstrate the double standard so widely employed in judging Israel. Nothing justifies this double standard. Yes, Israel receives American aid, but so does Jordan (as well as Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and other Arab states). Indeed Jordan receives, on a per capita basis, more actual aid than Israel, if aid is defined as receiving assistance in return for nothing. Israel earns its aid by giving back an enormous amount especially in the area of military intelligence and technology. The aid given to Jordan is entirely a one-way street that goes primarily into propping up its minority monarchy and preventing its Palestinian majority from taking over. Israel, as a democracy, needs no aid to prevent internal upheaval.

So this case against Jordan is really part of the case for Israel. It invites fair-minded people to ask why Jordan which by any standard of fair judgment is less democratic, more oppressive, and far more racist gets a pass while Israel is subject to so much vilification.

Having made the case against Jordan, let me add that I, too, admired King Hussein, whom I had the pleasure of meeting. I, too, respect his son King Abdullah, who recently met with Bush and restated his commitment to a peaceful two-state solution. But I must insist and the world must insist on a single standard of judgment and criticism with regard to all nations. By any such standard, Israel deserves less criticism and more praise than Jordan.

I’ve edited my quote back to its original state, but there are numerous posts missing. What the fuck is going on with the censorship?

[quote=“Mod Lang”]I’m sorry, but I don’t have a double standard towards right-wing idiots and left-wing idiots. Unlike some otherwise intelligent people such as Cold Front, who lump themselves in with such Neanderthals as Fred Smith. You are one of the most ignorant people I’ve met on my four years on the internet, Fred. A walking-talking Archie Bunker. The only literature you’ve read in your entire life are editorials from the National Review and the Wall Street Journal, obviously.

P.S. Oh, and by the way, your racist “jokes” against Arabs and “stupid” blacks and “bitchy” women are NOT FUNNY. And they’re not jokes, either - you actually mean them seriously, you little pygmy-minded racist. I’ve seen plenty of your type before growing up in the South.[/quote]
Yeah, Fred, c’mon…only jokes making fun of white crackers and white Appalachian hillbillies and white Wall Street bankers and white suburban soccer moms are funny. Didn’t you know that?

Oh, and the odd Polack joke’s okay. But only if you’re Polish.

Dershowitz’s article is patent right-wing propaganda. How does one possibly hold Arab nations up to the same scrutiny as Israel? The very idea!

Okay, enough facetiousness. Dershowitz is clearly correct in his assessment, there’s no argument to be made against it. At risk of piling on with Fred, I offer up the following delicious bit of idiocy posted in the “Guiding Principles” at the website of the “Palestine Solidarity Movement” in the United States.

http://www.palestineconference.org

“Just as the 3rd Conference [of the Palestine Solidarity Movement] condemns the racism and discrimination inherent in Zionism underlying the policies and laws of the state of Israel, the 3rd Conference rejects any form of hatred or discrimination against any group based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.”

A nice sentiment, eh? I have a gay, ethnically Jewish friend here in Canada who is Buddhist and considering a sex-change operation in the future. He’d like to live in the Middle East, having traveled there in his early twenties.

Where do you think he’ll choose to live: Damascus or Tel Aviv?

Oh, right, I forgot–they stone homosexuals in Palestinian Jordan. I wonder if that’s why so many Palestinian homosexuals (read: all) live in Tel Aviv?

“ethnically Jewish”?

no such thing.

Porcelain Princess:

I asked for the postings to be flamed since they were counterproductive to my argument that there is no advantage to treating anyone with a second lower standard for accepted behavior.

It is for this reason that I am greatly encouraged that the Nobel Prize this year goes to Shirin Ebida an Iranian human rights/women’s/children’s activist who is in exile. I think it sends a clear message to the Iranians that the West expects and wishes to see Iran treat its citizens with the same standards that we have come to demand in the West.

For those that want to criticize the West, particularly the United States rather than these kinds of governments, my response is you are part of the problem not the solution. Get behind initiatives to bring democracy to countries like Iraq and Iran and Syria and Libya and stop pretending that this is “cultural” and that we are not in a position to “judge.” Hurray Nobel Prize committee. This is a much better choice than last year. I mean what peace has Carter really helped to achieve? The agreement to end nuclear weapons production in North Korea? Hah! I don’t think so.

freddy

Gee, I wonder why they would have a law like that? Note: Jews initially bought land in Palestine, which they used as a basis for later seizing the region. Jews are currently trying to buy Arab lands in strategic areas such as Jerusalem, as a basis for claiming them later as a part of Israel.

This distinction doesn’t strike me as very persuasive. “Rough interrogation?” Who are we kidding?

The whole point of having a Nobel Peace Prize is to make people think that peace is good. But peace serves the interests of the status quo.

I think the Palestinians are doing fine–keep it up, and eventually the Jews will give up and pull out of Israel (as their young people are largely doing). Of course, they are likely to wind up in New York, which is another problem altogether…

Screaming Jesus:

Nice comments. I am sure that we will be hearing from Modlang and Hakkasonic any minute now. What do you mean if the Jews move to NY? Are they a problem for you?

For more see as follows from Frontpagemag.com (very conservative) but the panelists are not.

Interlocutor: Welcome to Frontpage Symposium ladies and gentlemen. Let

Israeli refugees moving to New York would probably add to the already-disproportionate political power of existing U.S. Jews. Somehow I can’t see them having to wait in line with the Haitians…

Several villages in upstate New York have had a problem with orthodox Jews moving in in large groups, and then basically swamping the existing political and economic system with superior organization. This is why the Mormons were kicked out of Missouri, and the Bhagwan’s people out of Oregon.

Now I realize that most Israelis are secular, but the danger of their political (and criminal) networks and cultural solidarity is very real, and would affect the whole country–not just New York.

What to do about Israel and the Middle East then, when everybody is so wicked? (I refer to the post above about Christian persecution.) Well, since that’s not our country, why not just let them do whatever they want? No skin off my nose. And Israel is welcome to torture and nuke whoever, just as long as they don’t get any money from the U.S. government.

Oh wait, aid money to Israel is a sacred cow thanks to domestic Jewish political clout. So thanks to our beloved Jewish friends and neighbors, we have no realistic chance of extricating ourselves from the foreign policy mess they made.

Screaming Jesus:

Well I will wait patiently patiently patiently for Modlang and Hakkasonic to respond to your point… I am sure that they will be by any minute now… to keep this thread politically correct… yes, still waiting… okay… I am sure that they will be here any minute now… okay…

Now on a different note, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian authority. These all get aid too. As to the Jewish clout in America, what about the Greeks, Taiwanese, Arabs (with their trillion in assets). No one closer to the president of the united states than good old Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia used to be. No one visited the White House more during the Clinton years than good ole Yassir Arafat so… I guess my perspective is somewhat different than yours.

Now pardon me while I go back to stir up hatred against the Germans, French and Arabs… with my demands that they behave with consistency to the same standards that others are held to and my ridiculous connections to publications criticizing them for failure to do so. How incredibly unfair, racist, hatemongering

But this aid was given in order to encourage them to make peace with Israel.

Point taken, but how many senators do they have? (The Jews had ten at last count, which overrepresents their population by a whole order of magnitude. ) How powerful are their lobby groups? (Most observers would place the Jewish lobby up there with retired people and the gun-rights.) What percentage of the media do they control?

Gee, I wonder why they would have a law like that? Note: Jews initially bought land in Palestine, which they used as a basis for later seizing the region. Jews are currently trying to buy Arab lands in strategic areas such as Jerusalem, as a basis for claiming them later as a part of Israel.[/quote]

Buying the land at better than market value (what the Pals could get for it from any other buyer other than Israelis) is certainly better than confiscation.

This distinction doesn’t strike me as very persuasive. “Rough interrogation?” Who are we kidding?[/quote]

It ought to strike you as persuasive. There is enough of a distinction for the U.S. to send some of its captured terrorists to Jordan (as well as Egypt). If there was no practical difference between the U.S. “rough interrogation” and Jordan’s perfected art of torture, that wouldn’t be necessary.

[quote=“Screaming Jesus”]The whole point of having a Nobel Peace Prize is to make people think that peace is good. But peace serves the interests of the status quo.

I think the Palestinians are doing fine–keep it up, and eventually the Jews will give up and pull out of Israel (as their young people are largely doing). Of course, they are likely to wind up in New York, which is another problem altogether…[/quote]

:unamused:

But this aid was given in order to encourage them to make peace with Israel.[/quote]

Yes, and the aid given to Israel was to encoyrage them to go along with the same peace process – to give up land that they had won in several wars for peace.

Point taken, but how many senators do they have? (The Jews had ten at last count, which overrepresents their population by a whole order of magnitude. ) How powerful are their lobby groups? (Most observers would place the Jewish lobby up there with retired people and the gun-rights.) What percentage of the media do they control?[/quote]

So what? Somebody’s got to be the top ethnic lobby. It’s not like the Jews are the only ones trying. You can add Cubans, Armenians and Mexicans to the list Fred made. Because most Cuban-Americans live in important electoral states like Florida and New Jersey, I’m not sure they aren’t nose to nose with the Jews as the nation’s most important ethnic lobby.

And since Jews make up no more than 2 to 3% of the U.S. population, their success in competitive elections speaks to the lack of prejudice most Americans have for Jews. Some Jews even represent states that have practically no Jews in them at all and that can’t be said to be influenced by the big media outlets (Minnesota and Wisconsin, for example). What are you going to ascribe this to? Jewish mind control powers?

Cold Front, you never hear of ISRAEL having to send the people they want to torture to another country, do you? Even their own politicians admit that they sometimes practice torture, they just think they have a good excuse for it. (Oh, and by the way, I wish some court would start holding the U.S. government responsible for “outsourcing” torture, and not just keep ignoring it because it doesn’t take place on our soil.)

Just because somebody is able to buy land in another country, shouldn’t give them the right to oust its government and claim that land as its own country. In Palestine the situation was further complicated by the roles of the Ottoman and British empires, which allowed Zionist settlers without much thought for what ordinary Palestinians wanted. (Hmmm, would that be like the U.S. allowing Mexican immigrants, without much thought for what ordinary Americans want?)

I don’t blame Jews for lobbying, but I do recognize that their interests often oppose those of other groups. Everybody wants monies from the public coffers to flow to their own group. The Jews have just become extremely good at arranging this, and deflecting negative attention toward them from their tax-paying victims.

Don’t think for a minute that all that aid money is to control Israel for the benefit of Jordan etc… It’s obviously the opposite–a bribe to surrounding Arab countries to make peace with Israel. Meanwhile the U.S. government is belligerent to countries that don’t play along, and pose a continuing threat to Israel. There is no corresponding concern that Israel may pose a threat to anyone else. (Compare for example the divergent U.S. policies toward ABC weapon programs in Iraq and Iran on one hand, and Israel on the other.)

No it’s not magic that has allowed Jews to accumulate this kind of influence. The biggest factor right now has to be their stranglehold over U.S. mass media, which allows them to manipulate public opinion in all the familiar ways. This is one of the reasons why “prejudice” against them is so low in the U.S.–because of constant pro-Jewish propaganda which frames the way most people perceive events.

Israel uses torture, and it’s probably unfair of Dershowitz to compare Israel and the U.S. as both just using the same kind of “rough interrogation.” But your comparison of Israel with Egypt or Jordan isn’t any more valid. Given a choice, if I were an enemy of the respective state, I’d much rather be in Israeli hands than, say, Egyptian ones.

Your comparison is specious. Americans are fairly represented by their government and immigration is needed for the American economy, particularly during boom times. I can’t imagine what American agriculture would be like without Mexican migrant workers. Where the inevitable conflicts arise, however, is when the boom times end and some of that labor is no longer needed. I fully support any policies designed to alleviate the worse effects of this need for foreign labor, but they should be smartly applied so that the U.S. economy doesn’t suffer.

There was no Palestinian government when the first Jews began settling in the region; there was only the Ottoman Empire. Palestinians were simply Arabs who lived in that region. The Jews aggressively bought land. The majority of Pals rebelled at the idea of so many Jews moving into the area and war began. The Pals lost. This is nothing new. Groups have been ousting other groups from their lands and claiming it as their own since time began. The Arabs have done the same thing. But this is ancient history. The Jews are there now and no force is going to move them. The Pals need to come to terms with it and make peace or they could end up in far worse straits than they are now.

I support taking the Israelis off the U.S. dole, but they were put on the U.S. dole because they were otherwise not inclined to give up land they won in war for nothing – a position I completely sympathize with.

You mean like Saudi Arabia? You mean like Iraq in the 1980s? You mean like Syria in the 1990s? Stop making up this nonsense. The U.S. has only recently become belligerent towards anyone in the region and when it did, it had nothing to do with Israel.

Oh please. Detail for me this mass media stranglehold. The biggest American supporters of Israel are conservatives, who aren’t exactly fans of the American mass media.

Poor Fred, miserably resorting to his typical tactics of labeling posters and claiming that they are trying to censor him (gosh, not just him this time, but the whole thread! Fellow posters, help Fred beat off all of those PC people; mods, get ready to jump to Fred’s assistance should he ask for it again!).

Yep, I’m with the PC police, Fred. It’s a big change from last week when I was a “reactionary.” Or the week before when I was called a “doomed fuck.” Yawn. Snooze. Keep going Fred, you are looking better and better.

That “doomed fuck” comment was an obvious joke.

You called me “old sport” – a reference to the nickname Jay Gatsby called Nick Carraway, the narrator of The Great Gatsby. In turn, I called you “Gatsby, you doomed fuck,” a reference to Gatsby’s fate in the story.

That “doomed fuck” comment was an obvious joke.

You called me “old sport” – a reference to the nickname Jay Gatsby called Nick Carraway, the narrator of The Great Gatsby. In turn, I called you “Gatsby, you doomed fuck,” a reference to Gatsby’s fate in the story.[/quote]

CF, I know. My point is that Fred whines when labeled, but is quick to get out the tar brush himself. Didn’t mean to suggest you don’t have a pithy sense of humor. Did mean to suggest that Fred likes to whine (package of cheese to go with it already dispatched).

Hakkasonic:

Well I did not jump on screamingjesus because I do not care if he makes remarks about the Jews, but I want it open to everyone. If we can criticize the French and Germans without your pc intervention, why not the Muslims?

THAT is my point. Some whining. I am saying leave the debate open for everyone and everything or protect everyone and all. Is that so difficult for you to understand? Jesus. Well maybe not a doomed fuck but a pathetic one?

[quote=“fred smith”]Hakkasonic:

Well I did not jump on screamingjesus because I do not care if he makes remarks about the Jews, but I want it open to everyone. If we can criticize the French and Germans without your pc intervention, why not the Muslims?

THAT is my point. Some whining. I am saying leave the debate open for everyone and everything or protect everyone and all. Is that so difficult for you to understand? Jesus. Well maybe not a doomed fuck but a pathetic one?[/quote]

Pathetic? Takes one to know one! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! (I just figured I’d reach out and speak your language with that insult Fred, but please don’t expect me to stoop so low ever again, unless it’s your birthday or something.)

Poor Fred. And again with the “PC intervention” comment. You really do depend on those labels as a crutch, don’t you?

Double post.

Well back to work. A bit more time to comment.

First of all, how is this posting of an article by Alan Dershowitz in any way whining? Second, how is it racist?

There is a very big difference between objectives and views on writing restaurant reviews and what is going on in the Middle East today. First, no one is blowing anyone up in Taiwan because of differences over approach to restaurant reviews.

I read on these threads day in and day out about how George W. is a Nazi and America is evil and what about Vietnam? etc. while people are being blown up each and every day in the Middle East. These are not Christian or Jewish terrorists (and the one American who did kill a Sikh following 9-11 the ONE not hundreds or thousands) was sentenced to death in Arizona. My point is again, when it comes to terrorism, there is really only one group that is the problem no matter where you look. Yes, I know about the Irish, Basques and Corsicans but they only blow up government buildings or target government ministers. Innocent civilians are generally untouched by their actions. Big difference with Muslim extremists who target killing as many civilians as possible.

So we have Bush as Evil No. 1 but no one has time to criticize Saddam or have die-ins for his actions or for the mullahs or for the religious police in Saudi Arabia or for the husbands and brothers and fathers who kill women every day in Pakistan. So perhaps, the fact that I am coopting the very language of these groups who are so adamantly opposed to George Bush is wrong but then what does that say about the kind of thinking and moral equivalency that these people are basing their actions and opinions on. Just curious.

Hakkasonic. I already know how you feel about this and we are never going to agree so why not leave off posting on this thread the better to show how little you care about this topic? Rather than constantly corraling this down the same old paths without providing any supporting evidence. I do not think that you have ever posted an article or link that proved that any of my points regarding women in the Middle East and human rights Thanks.

I think that I would like to leave this on a positive note by commenting that I think that awarding the Nobel peace prize to Shirin Ebadi is EXACTLY the kind of move/behavior that I think is most effective in getting reforms on the right track.

freddy