Tribune
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Published on 10 June 2015

The ugly effort to boycott Israel

Orange compte pourtant plusieurs partenariats avec des pays arabes… coupables de graves crimes contre les droits de l’homme…
 

Par Richard Cohen, Editorialiste politique, publié dans le Washington Post le 8 juin 2015
Still, Richard has a venue problem. He upbraided Israel while in Egypt, where Orange also operates. This is the very same country recently criticized by the Obama administration for its rampant violation of human rights, including the occasional murder of dissidents and the wholesale jailing of many others. In Egypt, it is downright dangerous to disagree with Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. His official title is president. He’s actually the military strongman.
Richard said nothing about any of that. He said nothing about the severe mistreatment of women, which a just-revealed State Department report says is a problem in Egypt. “There remain high levels of violence against women, sexual harassment and female genital mutilation,” according to the report. Israel has its flaws, but nothing compared to this.
The report is a litany of Egyptian imperfections: “At least 22 people were killed outside a soccer stadium . . . when police fired into overflowing crowds.” The report also cited the “clearing operations of the Raba’a al-Adawiya and al-Nahda squares in. . . 2013, which left at least 1,000 dead.” Since then, no one has been brought to account.
Israel somehow produces intemperate snits in otherwise gentle people. Some of this, I’m sure, comes from feeling disenchantment and a sense of betrayal; Israel has such lofty national goals, such splendid aspirations, that it is forever disappointing some observers. Some comes from its actual policies, which can be repugnant, and a right-wing cabinet that includes the likes of Ayelet Shaked, the justice minister, who adamantly opposes the creation of a Palestinian state. She is shockingly dismissive of Palestinian aspirations. She would be at home in our own Republican Party.
But some of the vexation with Israel comes from an appalling ignorance of the region’s realities and Israel’s own bloody history. It is forever threatened with war, forever under siege and forever regretting accommodations that cost it land. Gaza went from an occupied territory to a launching pad for countless rockets; and the Golan Heights, had it been returned to Syria as so many demanded, might now be intimidatingly close to Islamic State territory. The region does not necessarily honor good intentions… Lire l’intégralité.
 

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