Israel Crisis of Conscience

The Palestinian crackdown stirs consternation among foreign friends

For 40 years Israel has been not just a country but an idea: a symbol of moral strength, an island of democracy in a sea of authoritarian Arab states and a testament to the righting of wrongs that had been visited upon the Jewish people. Perhaps for that reason, Israel last week found itself subjected to moral censure from many of its strongest foreign supporters, and even some of its own citizens. The reason: a continuing military crackdown against a two- month-old Palestinian uprising in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, where Israeli troops had responded to rock-throwing youths first...

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