Given the Facts, This Demonization of Israel Is Bewildering

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Byline: GUEST VIEWPOINT By Craig Weinerman and Margot Helphand

Kermit the Frog once said "it's not easy being green."

Borrowing Kermit's sentiments, it's not easy being a supporter of Israel and a reader of The Register-Guard, when the latter publishes propaganda by Israel-haters that unfairly promotes the demonization and delegitimization of the nation-state of the Jewish people.

The last guest to climb aboard The Register-Guard's anti-Israel platform is the spokesperson for the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (Feb. 24) who relies on distortions of history, hypocrisy and lies to discredit Zionism - the national movement of the Jewish people that created a nation-state in their ancestral homeland.

Among the many inflammatory falsehoods:

1. Israel is an "apartheid" state that has engaged in the "ethnic cleansing" of the Palestinians.

Why, then, is 20 percent of Israel's population Palestinian Arabs who participate in the political process by voting and serving in the Israeli government?

2. The Islamist organizations Hezbollah and Hamas are not "terrorist groups" and pose "no threat to the United States."

Why, then, have both been designated terrorist organizations by the United States and Canada? Why does the European Union designate Hamas as such?

Hezbollah attacked the U.S. embassy in Beirut with a car bomb in 1983 killing 63 people, including 17 Americans. They attacked the U.S. Marine barracks with a truck bomb in the same year, killing 241 Americans who were stationed in Lebanon as peacekeepers. Hezbollah has engaged in other bombings and terrorist acts that have killed Americans and other innocents. Hamas has admitted responsibility for suicide bombings that have killed Americans visiting Israel.

3. "Israel and its U.S. lobby pushed us toward the Iraq war."

Last we looked, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell, the so-called "deciders," were not regularly attending synagogue. A 2005 poll by the American Jewish Committee revealed that 70 percent of American Jews opposed the Iraq war. Considering that the war weakened Iran's mortal enemy and set the stage for holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a nuclear Iran to threaten Israel, Jewish opposition was prescient.

4. "Jews need to oppose Zionism."

History teaches that Jews have not fared well in either European or Arab countries due to rampant anti-Semitism. Between 1948, when Israel declared independence, and 1967, Arab countries expelled more than 800,000 Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews. The survival of the Jewish people depends on the existence of Israel. …