Scene one: The disappearance of three illegal Jewish settlers in Hebron. Israel closes the West Bank, demolishes homes of supposed kidnappers, carries out non-stop air raids on Gaza, kills two dozen Palestinians and imprisons more than 600 mostly newly released prisoners.
Scene two: The kidnapping of 15-year-old Palestinian Muhammad Abu-Khder. Israel responds in a very measured way: no military raids searching for the non-Jewish victim, no checkpoints or closure of Jews-only colonies, no home demolitions and certainly no wholesale arrests.
Two perpetrators commit similar offence, yet two different responses under Israel’s Jewish democracy.
Since 2000 Israel murdered close to 1,500 Palestinian children and demolished thousands of Palestinian homes.
Back to scene one. Unpublished news reports indicated that the army knew very early on that the missing three illegal settlers were killed. Shots were overheard in a phone call made by one of the settlers and traces of blood were found in the car used in the kidnapping.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military censors imposed a gagging order to allow Israelis to stage a public relations campaign – “Bring Back our Boys” – exploiting international sympathy while purportedly searching for the “boys”.
Israel’s exploiting of the suffering of its own people reminded me of another historical event. In 1938 the World Zionist Organization rejected a US-sponsored conference held in Evian, France, to discuss the resettlement of the victims of Nazism in Western countries. “If I knew that it was possible to save all the [Jewish] children of Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second,” David Ben-Gurion said, rejecting the invitation to the conference.
Following in the footsteps of Ben-Gurion, Israel plays victim to justify aggression and rationalize its atrocities.
The murdered Palestinian boy… was taken to a nearby forest. Using a rudimentary gas pump, the killers forced petrol into his stomach before setting the child on fire.
Since 2000 Israel murdered close to 1,500 Palestinian children and demolished thousands of Palestinian homes. It has committed war crimes, according to UN teams investigating its war on, continued diet starvation siege of, Gaza.
Back to scene two. The murdered Palestinian boy, a native of Jerusalem, was taken to a nearby forest. Using a rudimentary gas pump, the killers forced petrol into his stomach before setting the child on fire. Several days later a rabbi and his two sons were among six Israelis arrested for the heinous crime.
Demanding equal justice, the mother of the murdered child said: “If they sentence them and demolish their houses and gave them life sentences, it might satisfy me a little.”
How were the two scenes played on American TV?
US media complicity
After the Israeli settlers went missing, Binyamin Netanyahu was paraded on Sunday TV news blaming the new Palestinian government for an incident in area A which is under his full military control.
On the following Sunday it was Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer’s turn on US news programmes, whitewashing Israeli brutality with blatant lies unquestioned by his American media hosts.
“A murder is a murder is a murder, whether it’s a Jew or an Arab,” Dermer claimed on TV. But, of course, the news reporter did not ask the ambassador why Jews and non-Jews don’t pay equally for the “murder”.
For example, Israel demolished the homes of two Palestinians suspected of kidnapping the illegal settlers, but not those of the Jews who actually confessed to murdering the Palestinian child.
Referring to the Jewish killers, Dermer declared on another programme: “There will not be public squares named after them.” In this case Dermer might be right, since murdering only one Palestinian is not worthy of such recognition.
For Dermer must be aware of the pilgrimage shrine built for Jewish terrorist Baruch Goldstein who in 1994 massacred 29 Palestinian worshipers inside a Hebron mosque. Or of the square in Jerusalem that is named after Jewish American spy Jonathan Pollard.
The handling of the tortured and burned Palestinian child sheds more light on Israeli racism, but equally important is that it exposes the complicity of US media as a favourite outlet for unchecked Zionist lies to cover up Israeli crimes.
A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper. The version here is published by permission of Jamal Kanj.