The Exception Clause

Originally published on June 11, 2005

Alex Bensky, the uber-commenter, has an explanation as to why groups like Human Rights Watch are so focused on Israeli human rights violations, and rarely on violations against Israelis:

You asked if HRW had made any complaints about Hamas before they started killing non-Jews. If they have, they haven’t done so very loudly. I’ve been thinking about this situation for some time and through logic and reason I have figured out why they and similar groups, not to mention governments, haven’t done so.

Sherlock Holmes once said that when you eliminate the impossible then whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be true. I can’t find any actual citations for my conclusion but it is the only one that fits the facts.

According to my analysis, some time in the early 1920’s the League of Nations passed a resolution which is still an integral part of international law. This resolution provided that any statement of principle, any doctrine, any policy, or any precept by anyone, be it individual, organization, or government, tacitly contains the proviso “except for Jews.”

I put it to you that no other explanation fits the facts. Why would feminists support Arabs, of all people, over Israelis? Obviously because their principles are deeply felt “except for Jews.” People who oppose capital punishment support the Palestinians, who engage in that practice right and left–sometimes with a brief swipe at due process, more often not–over Israel, which does not even execute convicted mass murderers. How can they do this? Because they adamantly hold to their principles “except for Jews.” Civil libertarians compare Israel, a functioning and raucously open democracy, to the brutal and repressive Arab regimes and come out on the side of the Arabs. Why? Because they are civil libertarians “except for Jews.”

And so on. This has to be the case, Meryl, and if you test it I think you’ll see that it works. Look at any group’s statement of beliefs, add “except for Jews,” and their attitude towards the Arab-Israeli conflict is easily explained. As I say, I can’t find any actual record of such a resolution, but no other explanation explains the phenomena and so I submit that my conclusion must stand until someone else can come up with a better one.

I think, Alex, that Jews instinctively get that, after a while. I’d call it the Bensky Theory, but it’s a collective understanding. I’m doing some research now on HRW. The results bear out the Exception Clause. Extensively.

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