Get your facts straight on Israel before you talk

A word of advice, kids: don’t meet at Starbucks to discuss the injustices facing the world. Please do not sit outside, in the beautiful Miami weather, sipping your triple-shot-iced-venti-mocha-frappuccino, nonchalantly pretending to feel disgusted about Darfur or Tibet or the Middle East. Don’t get me wrong-I’m addicted to green tea frappuccinos. I’m just trying to say that you should think about where you are before making comments on a situation-or better yet, think about what you know. I know there have been times when I failed to take this into consideration, but I’m not here to talk about that.

One of my pet peeves is WASPs who decide they are expert arbitrators on the situation in Israel-because they watched a thirty second news clip on CNN or because they know someone who knows someone who is in Iraq. Two summers ago, I was at a fair in California where I stopped by a booth distributing pro-Palestinian information. I suppose it would have made sense if the guys manning the booth were Arabs, or even Israelis, but no-they were two middle-aged white guys.

Being curious as I am, we naturally struck up a conversation. Turns out, they knew very little about the information they were distributing. These guys at the fair really had no idea about the other side of the story. They “explained” to me how anti-Semitism is a false device meant to validate the behavior of Israel. They ranted on and on, applying wonderful double standards and displaying the very anti-Semitism they said never existed.

Before I go on, let me say that anti-Israel sentiment is really anti-Semitism, despite what some people would think-because in case you forgot, Israel is a country for Jews. Anti-Semitism is a hatred for Jews, and Israel (being the Jew of the United Nations) often gets a wonderful red-carpet treatment that other nations of righteous conduct such as Cuba, Sudan, and China are not even privileged to receive.

Let me pose a scenario that will put America in Israel’s shoes: suppose the separatist movement for a free Quebec started launching missiles into Chicago, and Canada did nothing. Do think the U.S. would just sit there, letting the missiles come in, or would they send forces into Canada to remove the problem? If you said yes to waiting, you are an idiot, and I hope you choke on a hidden ice cube in your next double mocha frappuccino.

One more question to consider: Jordan, Israel’s neighbor, is 90% Palestinian. The other 10% is a ruling class of a different ethnicity. Why isn’t there any international outcry to make Jordan a Palestinian state? Because everyone loves to point fingers at Israel, the Jew. Israel, by the way, is the only true democracy in the Middle East and treats its Arab citizens much better than Arab countries treat their Jews, I can assure you. I could go on, but I encourage you to read more for yourself; that way, you can have an informed discussion while you drink your Starbucks coffee. Until then, please shut up and wipe the whipped cream off your upper lip. Thank you.

Charles Hanna is a sophomore majoring in architecture. He may be contacted at