Monday, January 12, 2009

Israel's Shining Democracy

The shining democratic star in the Middle East dimmed and not because it entered Day 18 of its pummeling of Gaza. Other news caused the Israeli star to wane.

IDF uses live ammo to break up West Bank protests

Palestinians and Israeli left-wing activists claim that in the wake of Operation Cast Lead, the Israel Defense Forces has reintroduced the use of a semiautomatic rifle that uses live ammunition to disperse crowds that was banned after the second Intifada.

Breaking up democratic protests with .22 caliber ammunition? That's Israel. What else?

Israel bans Arab parties from running in upcoming elections

The Central Elections Committee (CEC) yesterday banned the Arab parties United Arab List-Ta'al and Balad from running in next month's parliamentary elections amid accusations of racism from Arab MKs.

How many shots at free speech will Israel take? As for the racist charge, the State Department identified Israel as discriminating on housing and jobs against Arab citizens. It took a few years for George W. Bush to scrub this language from State Department reports.

Israel's democratic credentials are worthy of question. Bush said "Democracies don't war." Israel regularly takes up arms against its neighbors. The viable Arab League Peace Plan was offered in 2002. Israel apparently wants peace in a piecemeal, but violent way.