Thursday, August 25, 2016

On acknowledging the enemy

Sar Shalom

One of the images from the Rio Olympics that captured international attention was that of a North Korean and a South Korean gymnast posing for a selfie. It is truly the spirit of the Olympics in which athletes disregard the fact the leader of a fellow athlete's leader regularly threatens to incinerate one's home country, or from the other side embracing the embodiment of American imperialism. According to the BBC, some viewers have asked whether the North Korean gymnast will face consequences from her government when she returns home. The answer, according to the BBC, is that North Korea views such events present "one of the few avenues of public affairs diplomacy available to it," and actually encourages such actions.

This raises the question of why people could think such notions to begin with. Could it have something to do with Arab reactions to Team Israel, such as Lebanon refusing to let the Israelis on the bus it was riding or the Egyptian snubbing of the Israeli judoka's offer of a handshake? In the Egyptian case, if there was any censure at home for the Egyptian judoka, it was for participating in the match against the Israeli at all rather than forfeiting as has so often been done by Arab athletes.

This raises the question as to what is different in the dynamic between the Arabs/Muslims and Israel from that between North and South Korea. It would seem that the difference is in such interactions representing a rare "avenue of public affairs diplomacy" for North Korea whereas the Arabs/Muslims enjoy 24/7 a coddle, coddle, coddle approach all over the world. Perhaps if the Arabs were ostracized like North Korea for their judeophobia, they wouldn't be so punctilious about conforming to that stereotype. Would the Global Progressive Left give that a try? Doubt it!


  1. Koreans are not divided because they want to be. It is the opposite. Among other differences. Situations are usually sui generis, and comparisons have limited applicability.

    No question that Islamic states and actors should not get the benefit of political correctness without acting accordingly. There is no harm returning to the practice of "name and shame" to shine a light on violations of modern humanitarian norms.

    There should be a drumbeat against the OIC, which beats its own drums constantly. It has made large inroads to stigmatize any criticism, thus giving cover to abusers, when previously exposing wrong behavior, as that being practiced, was a good thing.

    Added to the fact of their corruption and usurption of humanitarian aid more deserved by people that do not practice aggression, that suffer far more, there are ample independent grounds to ostracize Palestinians.

    It's time to wean the Palestinians from welfare and readily call them out for their bad behavior, and to dismiss any claims that it is a racist endeavor to recognize what is taking place.

    1. One of the biggest problems that we have is not only the demonization of Israel, but the demonization of supporters of Israel as "racist."

      It's an ethical (or moral) inversion in which the aggressors - the great Arab majority - are viewed as victims, while the actual victims - the Jewish minority in the Middle East - are condemned as aggressors.

      No fair-minded reading of Jewish history in that part of the world, from the time of Muhammad to the present, could support such an interpretation... but there it is.