Commentary Magazine


Contentions

The Newspaper Column of the Day Award…

…goes to A. Barton Hinkle of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Read it. Here are some excerpts:

What’s the real problem with Israel’s assault on the Gaza flotilla? It’s not the loss of life. Almost nobody cares about that. It’s not the suffering of Palestinians. When Palestinians suffer, the world shrugs.

Remember the worldwide condemnations, the protests across Europe and Asia, the stern rebukes from the world’s high councils in January of last year — when Hamas militants executed 54 members of the Fatah party and tortured 175 more for (allegedly) collaborating with Israel? You don’t? That’s because the killing and torture went on with almost no notice or comment.

How about the world’s outrage in November 2007, when Hamas gunmen killed seven civilians and wounded 80 more during a rally memorializing Yasser Arafat in Gaza? If you don’t remember the outrage, the marches in the street, the scathing U.N. resolutions, that’s because there weren’t any.

Nor did the world weep when the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) suspended operations in Gaza after two staff members were caught in a Hamas-Fatah crossfire and killed. When Palestinian factional violence impedes humanitarian aid, well, tsk-tsk.

Last February, Amnesty International reported that numerous prisoners injured by an Israeli bombing of a prison were “shot dead in the hospitals where they were receiving treatment.” But they weren’t shot by Israelis, so nobody objected.

According to a report by Reuters, “An estimated 616 Palestinians have been killed in factional fighting since Hamas defeated Fatah” in January 2006.

World reaction? Shrug.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, and none of the above is meant to excuse Israel’s clumsy, ill-orchestrated boarding of the Mavi Marmara. Nor is it meant to offer an unequivocal defense of the blockade, a legitimate point of contention….

The point is simply that those professing to be so broken up about the blockade and Israel’s enforcement of it have been remarkably subdued whenever suffering is inflicted by someone other than Jews….



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