The Double Standard
Eamon McDonagh on Z-Word blog about proportionality in time of war and the political hypocrisy of Europeans:
... it may have escaped your attention that last Thursday Spanish forces killed 13 members of the Taliban without suffering so much as a scratch on their own side.
We know that they were members of the Taliban because there were independent NGO or ICRC people on the spot who checked and made sure that none of the dead were civilians who grabbed the family AK47 and stuck their heads outside when they heard the firefight start, don’t we? It’s inconceivable that the Spanish soldiers on the spot might have sought to avoid future embarrassing questions by making sure there was a weapon close to each dead Afghan, isn’t it? Even to hint at the possibility of such a thing would be to stain the honor of a noble army, wouldn’t it?El País of Madrid is the newspaper that reports the story. If a Palestinian falls over and twists his ankle within sight of Israeli soldiers El País is quick to talk of the thirst for blood inherent in the makeup of the only army in the world that has mostly Jewish members.
The Israeli journalist, Ben Dror Yemini, in the past, drew attention to the exact same double standard in the reporting and attention given to events in war time. Here is a reminder, via Solomonia:
We, Israelis, owe no explanations to the Europeans. They owe us explanations. The Taliban has not fired any rocket into any European city. Hamas shoots into Israeli towns. The Taliban does not proclaim a sacred desire to kill all Europeans. Hamas promotes the killing of Jews in its charter and Hamas leaders repeat this instruction religiously in their sermons. Yet Europeans continue fighting in Afghanistan, justifying their war on the grounds that they are at war against a central faction of Islamic fanaticism, just like Israel fights against the Hamas. Moreover, the Hamas' threat to Israel's security and future is far greater and more immediate than any threat the Taliban poses to Europe.
So why are Europeans allowed to conduct a war on territory that is thousands of miles removed from their homes, kill hundreds or thousands of innocent civilians and claim that their cause is necessary, while Israel cannot do the same? By what right do they absolve themselves while condemning Israel?
Thousands of Taliban fighters die each year as compared with "just" a few tens of European soldiers. Hundreds or thousands of civilians die in Afghanistan, as compared to zero civilian casualties in Europe. So you, in Europe, purport to lecture to us, Israelis, about war ethics and "proportional responses?" Are you for real?Just so as to remind and to ask you why you think Europeans' blood boils at such high temperatures when it is Israel, engaged in a defensive war against an implacable and relentless enemy, that does the killing? What exactly is it about Israel that causes this aberration?