Dangerous Analogy (Vol. 35, Issue 14)
In the midst of the reaction to President Nixon’s widening of the war into Cambodia, a few angry voices have attempted to set up an analogy between our Indochinese involvement and Israel’s military actions. The analogy is unjustified. United States’ interference in Cambodia should be condemned because it is immoral and illegal for the United States to be waging a war in Indochina, It was to aid this war effort that we took a unilateral action and sent our troops into Cambodia. The Cambodian government did not request our presence.
The suffering which we have meted out in Vietnam and which we are now spreading to Cambodia cannot be rationalized through an appeal to our democratic instincts. South Vietnam is run by a cabal of corrupt militarists unrepresentative of the people, a government whose most marked accomplishment in domestic politics was to jail their chief political rival, a peace candidate. Our original support of that dictatorial regime was immoral, and any further support. of that effort should be condemned by citizens of conscience.
Israel stands in bright contrast to South Vietnam. The Israeli people are unified in purpose and are led by those whom they have freely elected. Their Knesset contains representatives of al! political persuasions.
The most important distinction between Israel’s fight and the American involvement in South Vietnam is that while the United States is at war because of the illusive domino theory, Israel is fighting for her survival.
The hastily drawn parallel between Israel and Indochina is incorrect. We fear that if continued, it may undermine Israel’s public support, and thus her security, as well.