Friday, August 02, 2013
"The Outrage Gap"
The Outrage Gap - Gil Troy
Mahmoud Abbas recently told journalists: "In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands."
Imagine the outrage if Benjamin Netanyahu had said such a thing about Arabs. Yet few mainstream media outlets decided this was news.
This Outrage Gap, this magical ray that renders Palestinian bigotry and hate-mongering invisible, has perverted the peace process for decades. This outrage gap holds democratic Israel, with all its imperfections, to an impossibly high standard, while rarely holding Palestinians up to even the most minimum standards when it comes to judging their undemocratic procedures, their appalling human rights record, their hostile attitudes toward gays, women, Jews, or any non-Palestinian non-males.
I hold Palestinian politics and society up to high standards out of respect. Giving Palestinians a free pass, be it when they terrorize or demonize, shows contempt for them, assuming that somehow they cannot live up to basic standards of decency. Just as many critics of Israel insist they are true friends trying to save Israel's soul, true friends of the Palestinians in the West would start by publicizing Abbas' remarks - and then repudiating them as contrary to the kind of country he should be trying to build and the kind of tone he should be trying to set in negotiations.
The writer is professor of history at McGill University and a Shalom Hartman Institute research fellow in Jerusalem.
Why Europe Is an Enemy of Israel - Guy Milliere
Today, hatred of Israel is one of the most shared and prominent feelings in Europe. Any terrorist attack against Israel is almost unanimously described as a fruit of the "cycle of violence" and of "Israeli intransigence," never mind that it is actually the Palestinians who historically have been intransigent. An Israeli response to a terrorist attack is immediately criticized by European diplomats as "disproportionate." A Palestinian attack is never criticized at all.
When the "Palestinian cause" appeared, it immediately became a sacred cause in Europe, never mind what sort of values or governance it espoused. When it seemed possible to accuse Jews of "behaving like Nazis," the opportunity was not missed.
The writer is a professor at the University of Paris.