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Since the death of Abu Khdair, the media have exploited the case to sell their “symmetry cycle of violence” snake oil. True, the “Palestinians” murder Jewish children all the time but here we have a single incident of an inverted crime, an Arab teenager murdered by a Jew. The media obsession is far more than a postman-biting-dog stroke of interest in uncharacteristic news stories. The media have used the death to manufacture the symmetry fiction and spread it. After all, if it is symmetric, then both sides are wrong, which means both sides are right, which means there is no right and wrong about which to worry our pretty little heads.

The killing of Abu Khdair was as characteristic of the Middle East conflict as the killing of vom Rath was representative of the events comprising World War II. And it is hardly the only “vom Rath anomaly” that drives the reporting of the anti-Israel media. This week Ziad Abu Ein, a terrorist murderer serving as a Palestinian Authority “cabinet minister,” died from a heart attack after being confronted by Israeli troops. You see, the media are bleating in unison? It is not just Palestinians who murder Israelis!


Arabs in the West Bank vandalize Jewish property so often that it is generally never even reported as news, even in the Israeli media, because it is so commonplace. Arson attacks and vandalism of synagogues by Arabs are so frequent that they rarely make it out of the back pages. But if a handful of teenage Jewish delinquents vandalize some Arab vehicles or paint graffiti on Arab buildings, not only is this highlighted on the front pages, but it is denounced as evidence of Jewish terrorism. The media, including the Israeli leftist media, scream that such incidents are hate crimes. Demands are made to define the graffiti painters as a terrorist organization.

Rock throwing by Arabs at Jews in Israel is even less likely to make it into the press or news or even the social media. But if Arabs allege that some Jewish “settlers” threw some rocks at Arab cars or houses, then stop the presses! All other news must be removed to page 3. Arabs in the West bank vandalize Jewish property, including agricultural produce, more frequently than the sun shines in the Middle East. No one hears about it because it is not considered “news.” After all, dogs chasing postmen are just not very interesting or newsworthy. But let some Arabs or leftists allege that Jewish “settlers” have vandalized some West Bank Arab olive trees and the media shrieks are deafening. So deafening, in fact, that they drown out reporting about some cases of Arabs and leftists intentionally vandalizing Arab olive trees as provocations to be blamed on “settlers.” And it goes without saying that the firing of thousands of rockets by Gaza terrorists at Israeli civilians is never important enough to be reported as news. But let Israel fire back at the savages and there – you see – we are back in the symmetric cycle of violence.

The symmetry perversion has been played up by the media for so long that few can even keep straight the fundamental underlying truths behind the conflict. There is a war in the Middle East because the Arabs, controlling territory nearly twice that of the United States (including Alaska), are unwilling for the Jews to control their own state smaller than New Jersey. The Middle East conflict is not about unwillingness on the part of Jews to accept self-determination for Arabs, but rather by unwillingness on the part of Arabs to accept self-determination for Jews. Middle East violence is about the campaign of terrorist aggression by the Arab world, including its “Palestinian” playthings, to murder as many Jewish children and other civilians as possible. The number of innocent Palestinian civilians intentionally murdered by Israel is precisely zero. Palestinians get killed when Israel shoots back and retaliates for Arab terror and aggression and rocket attacks. When Arabs do not attack Jews, the Jews do not shoot back. There is no anti-Arab Jewish terrorism.

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Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at [email protected]