Does not public criticism of Israel give aid and comfort to the enemy?
The unfortunate answer to that question is that it does. (I myself learned this somewhat painfully years ago, when I said some critical things about Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s settlement policy. The very first letter of commendation I received was from the Syrian ambassador to the United States. Ouch.) It is easy to be so fixated on the events of the day that we overlook — some of us — that Israel’s ill-wishers are very real, and will eagerly pounce on any confirmation of their view that Israel is evil — evil, hence illegitimate.