Newly-installed British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond criticized Israel on Wednesday for defending itself against Hamas terror, in terms that neatly encapsulated western elites’ hypocrisy towards the State of Israel.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today, Hammond suggested–without evidence–that Israel might have committed war crimes by using force that is disproportionate to its military objectives.
Hammond added: “Israelis have to understand that while they are defending their security in seeking to root out these rocket launchers and deal with the attack tunnels, they are also undermining the support for Israel that exists in the west.”
In other words: Israel has the right to defend itself, but in doing so it undermines its own political legitimacy.
The unspoken corollary–that a defenseless Israel is better–demonstrates the absurdity of Hammond’s position.
Such posturing by European governments in general is the result of pressure from left-wing parties and from the large Muslim majorities they have absorbed in recent decades, often from former colonial possessions.
British officialdom has a particular history of animosity towards Israel, dating back to the mid-20th century. The same approach is seen on the American left lately, most clearly in President Barack Obama’s policies.
The standard applied by Hammond and others is not merely a double standard but an impossible one, which nevertheless creates real diplomatic pressure on Israel.
At bottom, Hammond and his ilk not only believe should not defend itself, but cannot–as Prime Minister David Cameron’s predictions of the death of the two-state solution indicate.
In the past, Israeli will and innovation has proven them wrong–yet the hypocrisy always returns.