Israel spotlights violence when it is committed by Palestinians and plays it down when it is committed by Israeli Jews or settler fanatics. Even the punishments are different, with Christians and Muslims being punished to the extreme while Israeli Jews and settlers are often given a pass. The homes of family and relatives of Palestinians accused of crimes are destroyed by Israel, but Israel does not punish the families or relatives of Israeli Jews. To see the shocking difference in morality in the deaths, visit the website www.IsraelPalestineTimeline.org
Last week, the mainstream American news media was inundated with stories about two Israeli police officers killed by three Palestinians near the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli police immediately killed the three Palestinian assailants who were Israeli Arab citizens from the Arab Israeli city of Umm al Fahm.
The violence took place on Friday July 14 at the entrance of the al-Haram Ash-Sharif, which the Israelis and the pro-Israel media refer to as “the Temple Mount.”
The pro-Israel news media described the victims in great personal detail naming them as Israeli police officers Haiel Sitawe, 30, and Kamil Shnaan, 22, who came from a Druze village in Northern Israel. The attackers were denounced as “terrorists,” and identified as Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin, 19 and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin, 19.
Many Israelis were shocked that the suspects were Israeli Arabs, rather than Palestinians living in the Israeli occupied West Bank.
Israeli officials are considering whether or not to apply Israel’s racist policy to destroy the homes of the accused assailants to punish their families. Israel does that to the family homes of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank accused of violence, but not to Israelis convicted of terrorism.
No one of any moral conscience can condone any of the violence by either side. But clearly the mainstream news media provides far more coverage when the Israeli victims are Jewish, and they downplay or forgo coverage when the victims are Christian or Muslim Palestinians and the assailants are Israeli Jews.
For example, on Wednesday July 12, only two days before the attack against the Israeli police, heavily armed Israeli soldiers invaded Jenin in the northern Occupied West Bank and murdered two young boys, Sa’ed Hasan Salah, 21, from Jenin city, and Aws Mohammad Salama, 17, from Jenin refugee camp.
There was very little coverage of the killings. There was no Israeli inquisition into the facts. Despite the cold blooded civilian murders, no one in Israel’s government called for an investigation or any retribution or consequences.
And certainly no Israeli is urging that the homes of relatives of the Israeli killers be demolished in reprisal, as they are for Palestinian assailants. None of the media in America or Israel, which so easily describe every Palestinian killed in a clash with Israelis as “terrorists,” described the Israeli killers as “terrorists.”
There is a website online called IsraelPalestineTimeline.org which uses data distributed by the Israeli civil rights organizations B’Tselem and lists every person killed on both sides.
In explaining what they do, the authors write, “This website includes every death we can find reported. While Israeli deaths, fewer in number, are reported widely and in great detail, it should be noted that Palestinians are frequently killed in large numbers during military incursions, and reporting agencies don’t always have adequate access to ensure they haven’t missed anyone.”
According to the site, which is affiliated with “If Americans only Knew,” (www.IfAmericaKnew.org), at least 43 Palestinians (13 of them children) and 10 Israelis have been killed by someone from the other side in 2017.
The site notes that on the same morning, July 14, a 21 year old Palestinian, Bara’ Ismael Hawamda, 21, was killed by Israeli soldiers during a raid on the Deheishe Palestinian refugee camp which is located just south of Bethlehem.
Clearly driven by media bias, which showcases the killing of Israelis and ignores the killing of Palestinians, American politicians were quick on their feet to defend heightened Israeli security measures and to demand justice.
But there was no call for “justice” in the wake of the killings of the two young men from Jenin or the Palestinian killed outside of Bethlehem, which is the birthplace of Christianity and is under Israeli military siege.
Israel’s moderate President Reuven Rivlin expressed anger against Israel’s non-Jewish population for failing to speak louder in denouncing the attacks near the al-Aqsa Mosque. But his office was silent on the Israeli military killings in Jenin.
Israel’s Supreme court has ruled against destroying the homes of Israeli Jews convicted of killing Palestinians, such as in the case of the three Israeli Jewish terrorists convicted of kidnapping, beating, and then burning alive Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir in 2014.
No American journalist who cares about his career would dare to make these points in their columns that fill the editorial pages of more than 1,300 daily newspapers in America. But many of these newspapers ran columns denouncing the murder of the Israelis.
That’s easy to do in a nation like America that has so little regard for life when the victims are Arab, or in Israel where the facts prove overwhelmingly that far more Palestinians are murdered by Israelis than Israelis murdered by Palestinians.
It shouldn’t be, but only in Israel is there hypocrisy in murder, death and destruction. In Israel, justice depends on your religion, not on international Rule of Law that governs everyone else.
Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and author, and Managing Writer at the Arab Daily News