How could the differences between reactions to the tragic situations in Syria and in Israel have become so obscene and exaggerated? There are a number of reasons. First, and most obviously, we are forced to conclude yet again that when an Arab kills an Arab it is not news. Only if a Jew is involved does it make the cut.
Second, we must consider that there is a strategic reason for the silence on Syria as opposed to the babel of opinions over Israel. As the death-toll reaches towards the first 100,000, is it not possible that the world reacts so differently in Syria because they see absolutely no solution there? They see a dictator at war with his people but cannot conceive of any way to solve this problem. They see lingering in the wings only worse dictators, worse parties, worse factions and worse religious extremists.
But with Israel — and here we come to the source of the babel — the world believes that there is a solution. Whoever is in charge in Israel — Olmert, Netanyahu or anyone else — the answer remains in the public’s mind the same. And the world, by and large, increasingly thinks that the answer is simple. The problem, they think, is Israel. And it has become “accepted wisdom” that if the press, politicians, international organizations and NGOs who think this way just push hard enough, they will finally be able to bring things to their happy, delusional conclusion.
When people talk of “holocausts” in Gaza, they are seeking to persuade the world to intervene (if a “holocaust” is occurring, how could they not? Just look at Rwanda.). Yet when it comes to Syria, most of the world appears perfectly content to be bystanders. With Israel, every death is investigated, every movement protested against. Yet when it comes to the wholesale slaughter in Syria, there is just a single global shrug. People cannot be wholly surprised, after this divergence of views, if some of us choose to observe in the future that many of those who comment with fury about Israel’s actions have revealed themselves to be neither humanitarians nor journalists, but pure and simple anti-Israel political activists.
Originally published at the Gatestone Institute, under the title, “Who Are These Moralists,” March 11, 2013.