It all happened around the same time, 200 kilometers apart. In one photo, Israeli schools were involved in a national drill in the event of a missile attack. In the other photo, a real missile attack in Syria caused 200 deaths, many of which were of children. On one side, you have Israel, a democracy forced to protect its children. On the other side, you have Syria, a brutal dictatorship where the civil war has caused more than 400,000 deaths.
Wounded civilians arrive at a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, on October 5, 2012. (Image source: VOA video screenshot)
Last month, an Israeli plane was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire. If the Syrian regime, backed by Iran and Russia, is willing to kill 200 innocent Syrians, just think what they would do to other countries' citizens, if they had the means. Yet, going by media reports of the incident, one would think that Israel had been the aggressor.
How many resolutions has the United Nations dedicated against Syria the last year? Two. How many resolutions against Israel? 21. Both accurate reporting and international law have become distorted into serving as the enemies of humanity and civilization.
The West is drowning in a sea of double standards and moral relativism: murderers and tyrants are allowed to wallow in their crimes, while global indignation is turned only against the sole democracy in the Middle East: Israel. Photo-opportunities must not be ruined by a row of bodies in a Syrian morgue; better to cover the story of a 17-year-old Palestinian Arab girl punching and kicking an Israeli soldier.
Israeli children running to bomb shelters periodically become a scene of ordinary life in Israel. Four-year-olds, such as Daniel Tragerman, are killed if they do not reach the shelter in time. Palestinian terrorists launch missiles into Israel from Gaza's schools and the world sides with the terrorists -- and condemns the Jewish State. The American website Salon recently called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "the most dangerous man in the Middle East". And here you thought it was Bashar al-Assad -- the poison-gasser in Damascus -- or perhaps Iran's tyrants at home, in Yemen and Lebanon, who were destabilizing the Middle East?
Israeli soldiers were just wounded on the border of the Gaza Strip; Hamas missiles hit Israeli homes. And the world lectures Israel, under direct attack from its neighbors, about morality?
On September 11, 2005, after Israel totally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, CNN announced: "The Israeli flag has been lowered over Gaza, symbolizing the end of 38 years of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory two weeks ahead of schedule". All the same, since then, "the Israeli occupation of Gaza", sometimes called a "siege", is promoted as a myth, even though Israel ships massive amounts of food, medicine and humanitarian supplies to Gaza every day, while Egypt, except for rare occasions, keeps its border with Gaza shut. Israel, even now, is working with Qatar, an emirate that does not recognize the Jewish State, to allow aid into Gaza.
Israeli hospitals have never stopped treating Palestinians, even during wars in Gaza. Last year, one single Israeli hospital in Gaza treated 400 children from the Gaza Strip. Even the daughter of Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader in Gaza, was admitted to a Tel Aviv hospital.
According to both Israeli and Palestinian estimates, Hamas spends $100 million a year on military infrastructure in Gaza, of which $40 million of the annual total goes to digging its terror-attack tunnels. According to another estimate by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, that money could instead have built 1,500 homes, 24,000 hospital beds, six medical clinics and three water facilities. Rather than manufacturing missiles to launch against Israel, Hamas could build a water-desalination plant. But Hamas continues to use its imported cement to reinforce its terror tunnels, rather than, as promised, building homes, schools and hospitals; and it continues using Palestinian schools as launching-pads for rockets they fire at Israeli kindergartens.
With the Marshall Plan after the Second World War, America distributed $60 billion (in today's inflation-adjusted dollars) to rebuild all of Western Europe. According to the World Bank, the Palestinians have received more than half that amount, $31 billion, in aid since 1993. The money has largely ended up funding terrorism and corruption.
Instead of scapegoating Israel, perhaps these "goodists", if they really care about helping oppressed people, as they claim, will finally promote a freedom flotilla to liberate Gaza from Hamas's tyranny and Syria from Assad's butchery?
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.