« Turning a Misspelling into a Fabrication | Main | HRC Special Sessions, A Review »

April 29, 2011

An Arab Journalist Contrasts Arab Regime's Suppression of Dissent With Israel's Response to Palestinian Attacks

syrian security forces 2.JPG

An op-ed appearing in the Gulf News, a United Arab Emirates based newspaper, observes that "some Arab armies and security services have proved to be much more brutal than the Israeli army."

Faisal Al Qasim, a Syrian Druze, issued a challenge to journalists, who for years "strongly condemned Zionist crimes against the Palestinians and other Arab peoples," to face up to their double standard in reporting on the brutality visited upon Arabs by their own governments. He asks, "Isn't it a bit silly to bombard the Israelis with criticism and keep quiet about savagery against unarmed demonstrators?"

Al Qasim ventures into a sensitive topic in the Arab media when he observes,

comparing the number of Arab people killed during the wars between Israel and Arab countries with the number of Arabs killed locally, one will notice that Arab dictatorships have killed more people.

Qasim's comments suggest that within the Arab world the unrest has spurred among some a more balanced assessment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He further notices

Other Arab despots are reported to have asked their security forces to aim their guns at protesters' heads. Have you ever seen an Israeli officer torturing a Palestinian civilian to death in the street for everybody to see? Definitely not. Many of us have seen that in some Arab towns lately.

His more balanced assessment also extends to the situation in Gaza, where he reveals a tempered awareness of the situation.

It is true that Israel is forcing an embargo on Gaza, but I do not think that the Israelis are preventing the Palestinians from getting their daily bread, whereas the security services in some Arab countries stopped cars carrying food from entering certain areas. Nor are the Israelis cutting off electricity, telephone and other communication services from houses, hospitals and schools.

Al Qasim is able to distinguish between the forceful actions of a state that is constrained by its adherence to rule of law and the unbridled violence committed by regimes that do not have any respect for human rights. He notes,

Unlike in some Arab countries, Arabs living inside Israel can organise sit-ins very comfortably. And when the Israeli police intervenes, they never beat demonstrators to death. And if we compare how Israel treats Shaikh Raed Salah with the way some Arab dictators treat their opponents, we will be horribly surprised, as the Israelis are very much less brutal.

It is worth contrasting this balanced assessment by a Syrian journalist with the coverage frequently encountered in Western media sources when dealing with Israeli actions against Palestinian militants and terrorists.

Posted by SS at April 29, 2011 12:28 PM


A courageous journalist...whose days are numbered.

Posted by: Ben at April 29, 2011 04:25 PM

I wish we saw far more honest journalism like that, it may or may not make for pleasant reading, depending on how you look at it. Just when you think ethics had gone out the window.

Posted by: David at April 30, 2011 07:07 PM

Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)