Why is investing in Israel immoral but investing in Cuba is moral?

By Tom Quiner

The State Department considers Cuba to be a state sponsor of terrorism.

The State Department does not consider Israel to be a state sponsor of terrorism. Nor South Africa.

I mention Israel and South Africa because liberals at various times have called for disinvestment in these nations.

In the case of South Africa back in the 80s, the issue was apartheid, a racist system if ever there was one. Liberals said the world should starve the nation of capital to force change. It worked. Apartheid ended.

Today, the same liberals want us to starve Israel of capital because of their treatment of Palestinians.

Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, a Jew, and a liberal, bristles at any comparison between Israel and South Africa:

“A nasty and immoral campaign is being waged around the world to damage Israel’s economy by coercing universities and other institutions into divesting their holdings in Israel, as some of them did from South Africa during the apartheid regime. There is no justification for the comparison between the two, and the divestment effort should be opposed by anyone who supports human rights.

As fair-minded observers understand, the two cases are entirely different. South African apartheid was a racist system by which a minority controlled and subjugated a disenfranchised majority. The campaign for South African divestment was inspired and joined by long-term advocates of neutral support for human rights across the board. Israel, by contrast, is a functioning democracy that guarantees full equality before the law to all its citizens, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. The anti-Israel divestment campaign has been inspired by pleaders with a particular animus toward Israel and little commitment to human rights in general.”

Translation: the anti-Israel divestment campaign is fueled by anti-semitism.

Here’s what is fascinating: the same folks who call for divestment in South Africa and Israel now call for investment in Cuba.

For more than three decades, our State Department has listed Cuba as a sponsor of terrorism. Here is what our government says about our neighbor to the south:

“Cuba has long provided safe haven to members of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).”

Senator Marco Rubio, whose family was forced to flee Cuba, provided even more detail on their terrorist connections:

“Cuba, like Syria, Iran, and Sudan, remains a state sponsor of terrorism. It continues to actively work with regimes like North Korea to illegally traffic weapons in our hemisphere in violation of several United Nations Security Council Resolutions. It colludes with America’s enemies, near and far, to threaten us and everything we hold dear. But most importantly, the regime’s brutal treatment of the Cuban people has continued unabated. Dissidents are harassed, imprisoned and even killed.”

Tens of thousands of Cubans have been executed under the Castro regime for disagreeing with Castro’s politics. Assets were confiscated without due process. Human rights don’t exist. Prisoners were tortured in “hard labor” camps. A tenth of the population fled to avoid persecution, torture, and death.

The president says that now everything is hunky dory. With the mere turn of a phrase, Cuba is now no longer considered a state sponsor of terrorism by the president, despite the absence of solid evidence to the contrary.

I am truly baffled.

Why is investment in a dictatorship like Cuba now considered to be good by liberals at the same time that they say investment in a democracy like Israel is bad?


  1. oarubio on December 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I’m forwarding yet another quintessential Quiner article!

    • quinersdiner on December 23, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks, Tony. With a last name like Rubio, does your family have any ties to Cuba?

      • oarubio on December 23, 2014 at 11:08 pm

        Several have asked, but no, my father’s family is from Colombia. I believe I’m the 11th generation since the trip from Spain to Colombia. 🙂

  2. Shawn Pavlik on December 24, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    I think you know the answer to that one, Tom. This Marxist president has shown his true colors.

    • quinersdiner on December 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      I have a few reactions to comments from the Left and Right on this issue: 1. I think the embargo was effective. It forced the Soviet Union to prop up an economically weak client state, Cuba, eventually leading to their collapse. 2. Frankly, I don’t know if it even matters having the embargo lifted. One way or the other, Cuba will collapse or have to adapt. This probably won’t happen until the Castro boys depart this world.

  3. rebekalee on December 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks for this brief and informative post. I appreciate your factual and rational viewpoint on this issue.


    • quinersdiner on December 24, 2014 at 11:51 pm

      Thank-you! Merry Christmas!

  4. bluebird of bitterness on December 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    If liberals didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.