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Airstrikes 7 Demonstrations 0

Perhaps, if they were not enjoying a three-week Easter break, the students in western universities, who periodically take to the streets to earnestly denounce air strikes in civilian areas, would be out in force, outraged at the deaths of men, women, and children in around the clock air strikes now taking place in the Middle East and beyond. Were it not for the holidays they might rally outside embassies, flying flags, chanting slogans, and comparing what is happening to what the Nazis did in WWII.

Perhaps the usually concerned intellectuals are too busy holidaying in Tuscany to pen worthy agonized articles denouncing man’s inhumanity to man.

Perhaps, were it not for the UK election campaign, the politicians who normally care so deeply about civilian deaths in war would be on the stages and the airwaves denouncing the indiscriminate bombing? For example, George Galloway has a parliamentary seat to fight for in Bradford and so little time to utilize his usual modus operandi of shouting spittle flecked invective at whomever he is in front of that they ‘cannot name a single child that has died’.

And, perhaps, it is the concentration on the election by those media outlets which frequently lead the clamour that something must be done about the ‘disproportional responses’ of the war machines of several countries, which explains the lack of hand wringing, moral outrage, and calls for something to be done. Perhaps.

The Egyptian government is currently engaged in fighting terrorism in Libya and the Sinai region of its own country. Both operations involve air strikes. The Saudis are busy leading a ten nation coalition bombing operation in Yemen. The Iraqi Air Force is striking targets in built up areas north and west of Baghdad. The Syrian Air Force is in year four of a sustained strategy of bombing civilian areas. Much further south the Kenyan Air force has crossed into Somalia and conducted air strikes against Al Shabab in response to the terrorist attacks in Kenya. On the receiving end of some of these air strikes have been hospitals and refugee camps, and under the rubble of them have been civilians.

And yet, compare the silence of the poor lambs who normally care so very much about such actions to the noise they made last year during Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Do the elections, the student break, and the attractions of Tuscany explain the disparity? Up to a point.

And beyond that point? It’s quite simple. The pilots are not Israelis. So what explains why, when the pilots are Israelis, the volume is turned up? The answer to that is more complicated.

For a significant proportion of those who select Israeli actions for the moral outrage they feel, but not other issues, they are persuaded by the narrative of the David and Goliath story turned on its head. It is a story which dominates decade after decade and so it is easy for the less informed to form an opinion that it is the most pressing concern in the world, and the crimes committed are the worst. Those who really have no concept of what WWII entailed will also buy the, beyond risible, argument that Israel behaves like the Nazis. These people are not anti semites but are poorly informed.

Then there are the others and they appear to care so deeply because of one reason. They hate Israel, and they hate Israel because the majority of Israelis are Jews.

Those in the poorly informed camp do not know the company they are keeping but should ask themselves, why, when such misery is currently pouring from the skies onto civilians, those who organize the hate filled demonstrations outside the Israeli embassy are nowhere to be heard or seen.


10 Comments on "Airstrikes 7 Demonstrations 0"

  1. Leonora Lima | 15th May 2015 at 11:37 pm | Reply

    Well said!

  2. Stacey McGill | 15th May 2015 at 11:38 pm | Reply

    Truly well put. Unfortunately you can expect some “spittle-flecked invective” from Galloway and his ilk. The view from this part of the world is truly disheartening when seeing the Arab world self-destructing, the best some in the west are able to say is “blame the Jews”.

    • Tim Marshall | 15th May 2015 at 11:39 pm | Reply

      Thanks Stacey. I think the canard that the traumas of the Middle East would end if the Israel issue was sorted out has less and less traction these days.

  3. Tis true – how subjective we can be when it comes to anger and ‘moral outrage’ – this article made me think – perhaps Israel is an easy scapegoat – as for protest ?…well the best that most of us do by way of solidarity is buy Palestinian olive oil in the supermarket – pathetic. Maybe we in the UK feel so disenfranchised democratically and so find it easy to point the finger of condemnation elsewhere…..we saw our chance to self-police with the Iraq invasion ignored even when a million people marched to London to say ‘No’ …perhaps we should get our own checks and balances sorted before we heap scorn elsewhere….

  4. I miss your rationale on the box, you have to live in/know the M East to actually try and understand their mindset which is always difficult as it is fraught with tribal and religious doctrine not readily understood in the West. The option to blame Israel is the easy way out.

  5. It absolutely does need saying but very few are willing to speak out like this, so well done Tim.

    I was hard pressed to know from where to get my news during the last Palestine/Israel conflict. The whole MSM seem unable to report anything concerning this issue in a balanced way. If a story skews towards the side of Israel, major facts just get left out, in order to keep the ‘poor Palestinians’ narrative going. Bowen was one of the worst so I stopped watching the BBC coverage years ago. I did watch Sky for a while but I couldn’t stomach the bias from Anna Botting, Channel 4 ?….Lord, help us.

    I think it was Kissinger who said ‘the Palestinians always miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity’. I bear that in mind whenever I read about this troubled region.

    • Mahatmacoatmabag | 29th June 2015 at 4:35 pm | Reply

      Hi Suzy, it wasn’t Kissinger but Abba Eban

      The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. As quoted in The Jerusalem Post (18 November 2002); often misquoted as “Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” The quote is attributed to Abba Eban after the Geneva Peace Conference with Arab countries (21 December 1973).

      Regarding Kissinger, he is no friend of Israel. When the chips were down during the 1973 Yom Kippur war & the USSR began a massive air lift resupply to Egypt of advanced Soviet weapons, Kissinger withheld resupply to Israel of an urgently needed arms & ammunition resupply in order to force Israel not to finish off the encircled Egyptian 3rd Army. It was Pres. Nixon who eventually overrode Kissingers orders when he realized the strategic implications of the massive Soviet arms resupply & gave the IDF the resupply after the ceasefire was brokered, but the opportunity to completely destroy the 3rd Army trapped in the Sinai & possibly also to push back across the canal the Egyptian 2nd Army was lost. I know all about it, I was there, as an IDF infantry reservist sitting on the Egyptian side of the Canal behind the trapped 3rd Army forced to play nursemaid to the starving Egyptian forces who were saved by the Machiavellian plot to save them hatched by Kissinger to deny Israel the full fruits of its victory over the Egyptians.

  6. Mahatmacoatmabag…

    I defer to your knowledge.

    I did not mean to throw Kissinger any bouquets…just arrived is a book by Christopher Hitchens but I have not yet had time to start it…

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