Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Israel - Rogue, and proud of it

I had recently heard about a debate at the renowned Cambridge debating club on the topic, "Israel is a Rogue State." I heard about it because, by several accounts, Israel fared better in the debate than anyone could have expected. But, I hadn't read more than snippets from the most powerful, effective presentation from the event. One of the speakers on the "pro" side of the issue took a rather unique approach. He declared that Israel is indeed rogue, and that's a very, very good thing for Israel, and for the world:

THE WORD “rogue” has come to have exceptionally damning connotations. But the word itself is value-neutral. The OED defines rogue as “Aberrant, anomalous; misplaced, occurring (esp. in isolation) at an unexpected place or time,” while a dictionary from a far greater institution gives this definition: “behaving in ways that are not expected or not normal, often in a destructive way.”

These definitions and others center on the idea of anomaly – the unexpected or uncommon. Using this definition, a rogue state is one that acts in an unexpected, uncommon or aberrant manner. A state that behaves exactly like Israel.

Given the world that we live in, and the way in which most countries act, do we really want to encourage countries to act like everyone else? I mean, given the countries in that particular region of the world, is being non-rogue (i.e. similar) a good thing, at all?

As the speaker points out, Egypt shoots people who are trying to get into that country - trying to get in, because they're from Darfur, and the alternative is a living hell. Israel? Israel takes them in, makes some of them citizens. Even sends out soldiers to help the ones who can't quite make it.

There's so much more - a free press, equal rights for women, official investigations of governmental misdeeds. In the Middle East, these are indeed "rogue," in the purest sense of the word.

And, we should all be really thankful that there is a country as "rogue" as this. Because, they often do the things that no one else will:

And here’s an argument for all of you – Israel willfully and forcefully disregards international law. In 1981 Israel destroyed Osirak – Saddam Hussein’s nuclear bomb lab. Every government in the world knew that Hussein was building a bomb. And they did nothing. Except for Israel.

Yes, in doing so they broke international law and custom. But they also saved us all from a nuclear Iraq. That rogue action should earn Israel a place of respect in the eyes of all freedom-loving peoples. But it hasn’t.

But tonight, while you listen to us prattle on, I want you to remember something: While you’re here, Khomeini’s Iran is working towards the Bomb. And if you’re honest with yourself, you know that Israel is the only country that can, and will, do something about it. Israel will, out of necessity, act in a way that is the not the norm, and you’d better hope that they do it in a destructive manner. Any sane person would rather a rogue Israel than a nuclear Iran.

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