By Ray Hanania
Violence by Palestinians against Israelis has been on the rise recently, creating a crisis in the Tel Aviv government, which usually means even harsher measures and stepped-up rhetoric about “anti-Semitism.”
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is a war of human and civil rights, as well as a war of words.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, in response to recent attacks against Israelis by Palestinians, on Monday announced he was considering more anti-human rights measures to punish not the “terrorists” but their families. I put the word terrorists in quotes because, in most cases, there is no trial, only declarations from Israeli officials about what happened. The alleged perpetrators, if they are Palestinian, are almost always murdered by Israeli forces, even if they have been wounded and incapacitated. Many are simply shot in the head as they lie injured on the ground, being denied medical care.
Such Israeli anger is considered justified, while Palestinian anger is considered “violence” or “terrorism.” Jewish Israelis are allowed to be angry, but Christian or Muslim Palestinians are not.
Another factor that Israel uses to intentionally blur the truth about its violence is the government’s censorship of journalists — when they are not killing them, of course.
In Israel, the news media is bullied into only reporting what the government approves. The mainstream Western media plays along with this censorship, even hiring Jewish journalists to one-sidedly cover the violence in order to remain in the country. Arab journalists in particular have restrictions on where they can and cannot go to report. This is a tactic the Israelis learned from the apartheid government run by South Africa’s National Party.
When Shireen Abu Akleh, a Christian Palestinian journalist, was killed last week, the Israelis immediately took advantage of their censorship and control of the media to assert that she was hit by Palestinian gunfire during a provocative Israeli forces raid into Jenin refugee camp, allegedly to track down “terrorists.” However, Palestinian witnesses claimed the fire was directed at them by Israeli soldiers. And Israel’s strategy fell flat when it was revealed that Abu Akleh died nowhere near any Palestinian gunfire.
When Israelis murder Palestinians, very few are charged with a crime and even fewer are convicted. And even when they are punished, they are usually given extremely lenient sentences. The Israeli government never destroys the homes of Jewish killers or expels their families.
Now, Bennett is taking Israel’s outrageous apartheid policies to an even greater extreme by announcing he is considering not only evicting the families of Palestinians accused of terrorism who live in the West Bank, but also deporting them to the Gaza Strip, the open-air prison that Tel Aviv controls the same way the Soviet Union once controlled the countries behind the Iron Curtain. Bennett also wants to demolish the family homes of Palestinian citizens of Israel if they are suspected of terrorism, as not being tough enough on Christian and Muslim Palestinian rights could undermine his coalition government.
The Israelis are in a frenzy to respond to the increased violence when the victims are Jews. But they do not seem to worry that the vast majority of fatalities are actually non-Jews, almost all killed by Israeli soldiers or armed settler fanatics. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, which tracks violence in the conflict, last month reported that Israel had killed five times as many Palestinians so far in 2022 as it did in the same period last year. Even though Israel has seen a rise in violence, with 19 Israelis killed this year, it is still below the 47 Palestinians killed by Israel as of last month — a number the Israeli and pro-Israel Western media marginalizes.
The killing of a Palestinian is considered minor news by most media outlets, but the killing of an Israeli Jew is an anti-Semitic crisis.
No matter how many Palestinians Israel kills or deports after destroying their family homes and giving the land to racist Israeli settlers, the Palestinians will only become more resolute in seeking to hold Israel accountable.