The Jewish state is not treated equally to other states. She is lambasted for minor or imagined transgressions while normal states wage wars for dubious reasons, grossly violate human rights, and slaughter masses of enemy populations. With 80% of the UN’s Human Rights Commission’s resolutions devoted to Israel, there is no doubt she is singled out for prosecution.

The modern view of Jews as less than normal people is rooted in the Holocaust. Having been slaughtered like sheep, Jews are viewed as little more than a herd. Add to that the contempt state officials felt for a stateless people, and the contempt they later felt for citizens of a town-sized state perpetually in danger of annihilation. Consider also the biting moral dilemma: human and Christian sensitivities suggest supporting the Jews, but realism calls for siding with their numerous and oil-rich Muslim adversaries.

Jews, accordingly, are viewed as pets, in need of international protection, counseling, and guardianship. That attitude solves the moral dilemma: under the guise of guiding Jews to observe their best interests, Israel is pushed toward capitulation to the Arabs. It is sort of like wicked relatives scattering the insane rich man’s property while professing to manage it for him. The moral dilemma also fosters hatred: no one likes to act immorally, and so everyone demonizes the object of his immorality instead. For Europeans, declaring Israelis to be evil assuages their Holocaust guilt, slight as it is.

religion more expedient than history

From the beginning, other nations did not view the Israeli state as something Jews were entitled to like other people. To be sure, in a world of nation-states (rather than city-states), most ethnic groups lack a state, but presumably Jews are sufficiently distinct to be left alone in their own state. During the UNSCOP deliberations (October 17, 1947), only the Norwegian delegate defended the Jewish right to a state based on our connection to this land. All the others, more or less explicitly, saw the partition as an affirmative action to rectify the wrongs done to Jews and eliminate the need for such wrongs in future by transferring them to the Middle East. Recipients of affirmative action benefits cannot be too choosy or demanding. Everything they gain is seen as a concession. Arabs have rights; Israelis are accorded benefits. International tolerance of the “excessive” affirmative action offered to Jews is less than what Americans accord to their blacks. The difference is this: Afro-Americans are basically integrated into their society while Jews remain different in the world’s society. More benefits are due to one’s own than to an odd crowd.

Israelis had the bad sense to exacerbate the no-right-to-a-state attitude by avoiding religious rhetoric. The Jewish right to Jerusalem and Judea is indisputable on religious grounds, but extremely weak on historical ones, as many peoples have been displaced from their original homeland. Israeli leaders did even worse when arguing for territorial acquisitions based on security concerns: obviously, Palestinians today cannot wipe out Israel. The international community counters Israeli security concerns easily, and pushes her to make concessions.

The Israeli state had a hard time coming into being because neither Jews nor foreigners believed Jews have a right to this land. Uncertain of their right, Jews didn’t press for a nationally homogenous state within defensible borders like other independence-seeking nations did, but accepted a ghetto-sized state which, naturally for a ghetto, offered only temporary safety.