Border Police stand guard outside Yitzhar
Border Police stand guard outside YitzharSraya Diamant/Flash90

“Israel purports, at least in its presentation of self to American Jewry, as being more moral than other countries. Except that it isn't. Hence it comes in for criticism.”

This is the comment on social media of a liberal New Yorker, a Jewish friend, whom I did my best to disabuse as calmly and as politely as possible:

"“Israel is not more moral than other countries.” I will name a few champions of morality who, I am sure, top your list:

1) Switzerland, the model of peace, prosperity and democracy? Let me remind you that Switzerland, despite its abundant wealth, happily launders tens of billions of dollars embezzled by the world’s worst tyrants and crooks from the poorest of the world’s poor. Laws punish those who reveal this laundering with prison sentences. That is the reason the bank employee who exposed Swiss banks’ looting of Holocaust victim assets, fled to America.

2) Sweden, your paradigm of the perfect welfare state? You might have read that the Sweden Democrats, a party rooted in neo-Nazism, polls at around 20% and is tied for second place in the 2022 general elections. Do so many Swedes support neo-Nazis because Sweden is surrounded by enemy countries, because terrorism is a constant threat or because their grandparents and parents survived genocide and ethnic cleansing? No, they do so because they are experiencing maybe 1% of the social and security problems that Israel experiences since decades.

3) France, the birthplace of the Enlightenment and of the liberté, égalité, fraternité you revere and that leads Europe in preaching morality to Israel? Let me remind you that Marine Le Pen, an avowed Putin supporter, garnered over 40% of votes in the latest elections. Why? Because France has experienced in recent years around 10% of the pain that Israel has experienced every year since 1948.

Analogous arguments can be made to show that ceteris paribus all European countries are less moral than Israel. The only candidates whose morality may appear more solid than Israel's are therefore Canada and New Zealand.

And I am sure every honest Canadian and New Zealander agrees that in order to be moral it really helps to be surrounded by ice and sea and to be able to keep away all people who do not revere peace and liberal democracy.

I could write a book or two about how admirable Israelis behave in light of all the hatred, violence and wars inflicted upon them for generations. And I have no doubt that any other people, facing circumstances comparable to those of Israel, would gleefully massacre its enemies.

Why don’t you understand this?

You don’t understand this because in your Weltanschauung all cultures are equal. And you feed this fantasy by reading journalists devoted to perpetuating this delusion.

The only way this delusion can be nurtured is by distorting, depriving of context and blowing out of all proportion the misdeeds of a people whose relative contribution to humanity exceeds that of any other. Since liberal journalists will never criticize minorities, the only way to perpetuate the fantasy that all cultures are equal is to “prove” that in its own homeland, the people in question behave no better than any other people.

This is the real reason the NYT will do everything it can to portray Palestinian Arabs as positively as possible and Israeli Jews as negatively as possible.

Have you noticed that Arab nations haven’t survived a genocide; haven’t been expelled from their countries of birth for the “sins” of coreligionists thousands of miles away; haven’t faced enemies whose leaders advocate their destruction; haven’t suffered decades of sabotage and terror from a religious minority to whom they grant full democratic and civic rights, and despite all these advantages haven’t built a single prosperous democracy that blesses humanity with groundbreaking discoveries?

I am sure you have. That is why you face a simple choice: Realize that Israel is extraordinarily moral given its circumstances or admit that you’d rather remain a fool than admit your original comment was woefully wrong.

Rafael Castro is a Noahide Italian-Colombian who studied at Yale and at Hebrew University. Rafael can be reached at [email protected]