The occasional musings of an Israeli-American writer
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Gideon Levy and Uncomfortable Truths
The political left in many countries has a long history of defending despicable acts of violence when they are committed by the right people. From Norman Mailer’s campaign to free murderer Jack Abbott, who upon release promptly went and murdered someone else, to Bernadine Dohrn’s effusive praise of Charles Manson, right up to today’s disgusting international campaign on behalf of cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, there are few crimes too vile and horrendous for the left not to defend should the perpetrator belong to the correct movement or a fetishized oppressed minority.
Israel recently saw a particularly egregious example of this in the case of Sabbar Kashur, a Palestinian convicted of raping a young woman under false pretenses. According to initial media reports, Kashur was accused because he had claimed to be Jewish and the woman would not have slept with him had she known he was an Arab.
The Israeli left immediately rushed to Kashur’s side, accusing the entirety of Israeli society of racism and denouncing its justice system as akin to Nazi Germany or apartheid South Africa. Much of the foreign press quickly followed suit. But without question the most fervent defender of the convicted rapist was Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy.