By Jamal Kanj
Scene one: Disappearance of three illegal Jewish settlers in Hebron. Israel closes the West Bank, demolishes homes of supposed kidnappers, nonstop air raids on Gaza, kills two dozen Palestinians and imprisons more than 600 mostly newly released prisoners.
Scene two: The kidnapped 15-year-old Palestinian Muhammad Abu Khudiar. Israel takes very measured response: No military raids searching for the non-Jewish victim, no checkpoints or closure of Jewish only colonies, no home demolishing and certainly no wholesale arrests.
Two perpetrators commit congruous offence, yet two different responses under Israel’s Jewish democracy.
Going back to scene one. Unpublished news reports indicated that the army knew very early that the missing three illegal settlers were killed.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 on the car used in the kidnapping.
Meanwhile, military censors imposes a gag order to allow the other Israel stage a PR campaign “Bring Back our Boys,” exploiting international sympathy while purportedly searching for the “Boys.”
Exploiting the suffering of its own 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 for the conference.
Following in the footsteps of Ben-Gurion, Israel plays victim to justify aggression and rationalize its atrocities. 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 and continued “diet starvation” siege on Gaza.
Back to scene two: The murdered Jerusalemite native was taken to a nearby forest. Using rudimentary gas chamber, 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 give them life sentences, it might satisfy me a little.”
How were the two scenes played on American TV?
After the Israeli settlers went missing, Benjamin 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.
Again and as if there is no Palestinian voice after the Palestinian child was burned to death. On the following Sunday it was Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer’s turn on US news programs 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.”
Example, Israel demolished the homes belonging to Palestinians suspected of kidnapping the illegal settlers, but not for Jews who murdered the Palestinian child.
Referring to the Jewish killers, Dermer declared on another program, “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 closer to home of the square in Jerusalem that was named after Jewish American spy Jonathan Pollard.
The handling of the tortured and burned Palestinian child shed more light on Israeli racism, but equally important is exposing the complicity of US media as a favorite outlet for unchecked Zionist lies to cover up Israeli crimes.
– Jamal Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes weekly newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.