‘Ocean’s Eleven’ may yet become ‘From the River to the Sea’

by Thane Rosenbaum
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Amal Clooney, yes, wife of George, was one of the three “experts” that advised the ICC to equate Western democracy with Islamic terror.

(JNS / Jewish Journal) Middle East heat indices aside, the truest hot spot on the planet is, always, wherever the Israel Defense Forces happens to be killing Muslims, no matter the reason.

Jews taking the lives of Arabs always commands the world’s attention. Muslims killing Muslims—such as the savage sectarian violence between Shi’ites and Sunnis, with a body count in the millions—is never newsworthy.

A cause of death brought about by Jews, however, is of special interest to the “human rights” community. Jews fighting for their survival after the Holocaust, Israelis facing unambiguous existential threats—that’s precisely when the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, and the International Criminal Court all awake from their naps. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International re-enact the Maytag Repairman TV commercial—watchdogs over Jews alone, even before Israel has the chance to retaliate.

Remember how words like “de-escalate” and “ceasefire” entered the public discourse almost instantly after the Oct. 7 massacre?

For the entirety of Israel’s brief history, it has been forced to defend itself against Arab armies and Islamic terrorists—in Egypt, Syria and Jordan in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973; against Palestinians murdering random Israelis during the first and second intifadas in 1987 and 2000, respectively; against Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006; and Hamas in Gaza in 2009, 2012, 2014, 2021 and 2023.

Each campaign was waged in self-defense. Not once was Israel the aggressor. Peace treaties were eventually negotiated with Egypt and Jordan—but Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and, of course, Iran have never retired the language denying Israel’s existence and promising its elimination.

And, yet, that’s not how Israel’s existential vulnerability gets reported. The public ignorance about the genocidal maniacs who are Israel’s next-door neighbors is truly astounding. Decade after decade and hundreds of thousands of rockets launched, indiscriminately, not at Israel’s army but its civilian population centers.

Why do you think the Iron Dome and David’s Sling missile defense systems, and roadside bunkers and bomb shelters, became a national priority? Suicide bombings, car rammings, knife-wielding assassins—that’s the reason for the shared-border security barriers and checkpoints.

Despite this backdrop of one-sided aggression, it is Israel that the world pressures into ceasefires. The tiny Jewish democratic state, surrounded by bloodthirsty theocratic Muslims, is always accused of disproportionate responses in its defense.

How do I know that Israel’s just wars against Muslim fanatics gets twisted in the public imagination, the moral lines blurred, the focal points unrecognizable? Name a single student protesting against Israel, and cheering wildly for Hamas barbarians, who is aware of any of Israel’s wretched history with its many warring neighbors. Name a single college professor who teaches this history rather than the antisemitic agitprop that goes by the names “settler-colonial enterprise,” “apartheid” and “genocide.”

I’ll wait. Take your time. Good luck.

Jews are simply not permitted to defend themselves in war, or against terrorism—no matter the cause or provocation—if it means the loss of a Muslim life. The world much prefers the Holocaust to a Jewish state preserving its sovereignty and existence.

No further proof is required than recent events. The carnage on Oct. 7—the beheading of Jewish babies, gang-raping of Israeli girls, kidnapping of Holocaust survivors—and the continued withholding of hostages are mere incidental news, of no special importance in explaining why the IDF must prevail.

And yet the Biden administration, which loudly declared its disapproval of any renewed Israeli incursion in Rafah, quietly now acknowledges that Israel somehow managed to evacuate 950,000 Gazans from the city. Its military operations have become more targeted and limited, too.

Still, that didn’t deter the ICJ from calling upon Israel to halt its military offensive immediately, just when Hamas’ remaining battalions, weapons stockpile and tunnel escape routes were being destroyed by the IDF.

How convenient—coming to the rescue of Islamist butchers, allowing them to reconstitute and live to kill more Israelis, gradually taking aim at the whole of Western societies.

It was a busy past few weeks for international tribunals. The ICJ had competition. The ICC prosecutor announced that he was seeking arrest warrants for Israel’s prime minister and the terrorists who head Hamas in Gaza. (The actual leadership is slumming in five-star Qatari hotels, scanning real estate listings, looking for new ways to squander the international aid meant for ordinary Gazans.)

That’s right: If the warrants are granted, an avowed terrorist responsible for the savagery of Oct. 7 will share the global Most Wanted List with the leader of a democratic country fighting a war of self-defense.

The ICJ and ICC are nothing but letters that spell antisemitism, along with BLM and DEI. Neither court has any jurisdiction over Israel. The endgame is Israel’s global isolation. The Jewish state has been in this position before; the Jewish people have been scapegoated and blood-libeled for thousands of years the world over. Yet another reason why a Jewish homeland, with a fearsome army, is so morally imperative—as if another reason was necessary.

International law is toothless. The United States and Israel purposefully refused to sign the Rome Statute in 1998, which created the ICC. To Bill Clinton’s credit, he knew that submitting to the court’s dubious jurisdiction would entail American officials forever apologizing for American exceptionalism, and risking incarceration by kangaroos not from Australia. Israeli prime ministers would have to ship them babka cakes with tiny saws baked in.

The arrest warrants were not a surprise. Amal Clooney, yes, the wife of George, was one of the three “experts” that advised the ICC to equate Western democracy with Islamic terror. Apparently her antisemitism runs so deep, she hasn’t learned much from her husband’s film career—she is unable to distinguish between good and bad guys.

Actually, hating Israel is one of her specialties as a “human rights lawyer.” In 2014, she was assigned a similar task by a U.N. commission investigating Israel after its last major war with Hamas. At the time she was engaged to Clooney. Doubtless his publicist pleaded with her to step down, and she did.

Nowadays, everyone feels more secure in their antisemitism. Why should she pass up an opportunity to demonize Israel and trivialize the barbarism of Hamas?

A man in love will do, and believe, anything, it seems. Danny Ocean, that quintessential con artist portrayed by George Clooney, always so heads-up, may have been hoodwinked into believing all kinds of nonsense about Israeli war crimes and passive Palestinians uprooted from a mythical nation called Palestine.

All of Hollywood—Jews and non-Jews alike—have been largely indifferent to what happened to Israelis on Oct. 7. The entertainment industry, generally, lives in terror of social media backlash placing paydays at risk. Wonder Woman, alone, remains fearless.

Clooney and his wife might, actually, share different views. If not, he is free to join the chorus of morally bankrupt A-listers chanting, “From the River to the Sea.”

Originally published by the Jewish Journal.


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