When Israel seems guilty of killing Palestinians to The New York Times, the newspaper is eager to trumpet the story across its front page. We all remember the June 12, 2006 headline “Errant Shell Turns Girl Into Palestinian Icon“, and the article that suggested that in all likelihood, Israel was responsible for the shell that killed 9 Palestinians.
But when Palestinians kill Palestinians, The New York Times is a lot less interested. A car bomb near a Gaza beach on Friday exploded near a Hamas vehicle, killing five Hamas members, a 7 year-old girl, Sareen Safadi, and wounding 22 others (at last count). Did The New York Times put the story on its front page? No, but the article about over-exuberant parents of children at summer camp did. How about the International round-up on page A2. Again, no. Nor was the story featured on page A5, the front of the International Report. Buried on page a8, in the World Briefing at the back of the International Report, was this brief dispatch:
Gaza: Explosion Near a Car Used by Hamas Kills 4
A bomb exploded next to a car used by the armed wing of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, killing three gunmen apparently allied with the group and a young girl, Hamas and medical officials said. The authorities did not immediately place responsibility for the explosion, which occurred at an intersection outside Gaza City. Several people were wounded, including passers-by on their way to the beach. (REUTERS)
Charles Jacobs’ op-ed from The Jewish Advocate, “Amnesty’s Dirty Little Secret“, explains the mind-set behind this inconsistency:
The human rights community consists mostly of decent middle-class white people who, when they see – or think they see – evil done by Westerners like themselves, who feel impelled to act. Think apartheid South Africa, Kosovo, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo.
But when these same folks see evil done by non-Westerners, they choke. It’s prejudiced, they feel, to criticize non-Westerners, and they live in dread of being labeled racist, or worse, “Islamophobic.”
Rather than bringing universal justice to those whose very lives depend on them, human rights groups are narcissistically expiating Western guilt. In the Muslim world there are millions of blacks, women, gays, apostates, atheists, labor leaders, freedom fighters and racial and religious minorities who live without basic human rights and who desperately need help from the human rights community. Yet Amnesty and others ignore non-Western totalitarianism so that they can define themselves in opposition to Western sins – imperialism, colonialism and racism.
White guilt – not anti-Semitism – explains the disproportionate attacks on Israel. Human rights groups frame Israelis as “white, Western, colonialists,” and Palestinians as “indigenous, dark-skinned, and poor.”
It is horribly wrong for “rights” activists to project their white guilt onto Israel, but that may not be the worst crime. In order to pound Israel (and America), Amnesty and other groups must look away, and stay out of the path of non-Western despots, who then oppress millions with impunity. Amnesty’s sin is against those they have abandoned in order to, they think, make themselves clean.