The degree of sheer lunacy displayed by some Israel-haters continues to amaze me.
A few months ago, a writer in the UK Guardian, Deborah Orr, argued that the 1000-1 ratio of Arab prisoners swapped for Gilad Shalit was an indication of Israeli racism. As if Israel had decided to accept the enormously disadvantageous swap and release convicted murderers and other terrorists, because Jews are superior to Arabs! There is no imaginable logic in her argument, only the desire to slander Israel.
Nothing, I thought, could possibly top the stupidity of that.
I was wrong. A Dutch writer, Ilse van Heusden, has published an article in Trouw, a daily newspaper, in which she proposed that the high level of prenatal care provided to Israeli women (Arab women as well as Jewish ones, I might add) is an indication of — guess what — Israeli racism and militarism. The article was antisemitically entitled “The chosen people must be perfect.” (The full article, in Dutch is here, and a Google translation is here).
Here are some quotes:
To be pregnant in Israel is comparable to a military operation. Countless echos and blood tests should produce the perfect baby, nothing can be left to the luck of the draw. The state demands healthy babies and a lot of them too. …
Children should not only be perfect: what makes things even more loaded, is the Israeli demand for many children. The state promotes having children, including a large family. The then Minister of Social Affairs Shlomo Benizri explained in 2002: “The fear of losing uniqueness of Israel compels us to take action, so we are not a minority in our own country.” The battle with the Palestinians is fought with birth rates. It’s about numbers of Jews, the future of the country. The former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said that the Palestinian womb is the strongest weapon. [my emphasis]
As the blogger “Missing Peace” notes, Benizri was not talking about the birthrate, but about the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants and foreign workers. He also points out that National Insurance allowances for children in Israel are much smaller than in the Netherlands. But who cares about facts, when you can accuse Israel of a Hitler-like program of eugenics for military purposes?
As someone with four Israeli grandchildren (and one on the way) I can tell you that the state doesn’t “demand” anything. What it does is provide the best possible care, at a level that the average American woman unfortunately do not come close to receiving, for pregnant women.
This is a bad thing?
Update [1325 PST]: Speaking of insane Israel-haters, I forgot to mention the Israeli graduate student, Tal Nitzan, who wrote a paper arguing that IDF soldiers dehumanize Palestinian Arab women by not raping them. Yes, that’s what she said. And she received high praise from her adviser for it.