Actions speak louder than words T

Actions speak louder than words T

A three-judge panel in Tel Aviv this week sentenced former Israeli President Moshe Katsav to seven years in jail for rape and sexual assault, and ordered the disgraced leader to pay compensation to his two victims.
Think of that, the titular head of the Jewish state resigned from office, faced a public trial, was convicted, and now likely will go to prison.
Can you imagine that happening in Libya?
Or Iran?
Or Syria?
Or Jordan?
Or Saudi Arabia?
Or Lebanon?
Or Gaza?
Or …
Well, you get the idea. What happened in Israel didn’t even happen in the United States when Richard Nixon resigned as president in 1974 and never faced trial for his abuses of office.
Such actions are a sign of a democracy’s strength, not its weakness.
And there are other signs of the Jewish state’s internal strength.
Israel has been the subject of an aggressive demonization campaign in recent years. The nation has been branded an “apartheid state” (ridiculous) and a “historical obscenity,” according to one Oxford University professor (also ridiculous).
Certainly, the tone of the anti-Israel rhetoric is being ratcheted up. Look for coverage in the Chronicle shortly of efforts under way to combat this demonization.
But now would be a good time to note just how this rhetoric fails to jive with Israel’s actions.
Is Israel a closed state? The openness with which the state handled the Katsav case, and is handling the pending criminal case against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, tends to quash that argument.
Is Israel’s legal system for Jews only? Ask Arab citizens and Palestinians who have taken several land cases to the Supreme Court, including cases regarding the location of the security barrier, and have won.
Is Israel’s political system designed to steal Arab land, as Helen Thomas can’t stop claiming? Why, then, were 7,000 settlers from Gaza evicted from their homes to make way for an autonomous Palestinian area, which then became a launching pad for rocket attacks on Israel?
Actions speak louder than words, and Israel’s actions tend to disprove its demonizers.