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April 07, 2011

Ha'aretz's Shavit Condemns Double Standard on Jenin Murder

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The killing of Juliano Mer-Khamis did not prompt huge headline

Ha'aretz columnist Ari Shavit decries the double standard of his own newspaper, as well as the Israeli left in general, with respect to its reaction to the murder of Israeli filmmaker Juliano Mer-Khamis in Jenin on Monday. He writes:

It is not hard to imagine what would have happened had Juliano Mer-Khamis been murdered by Jews. The murder would receive a huge headline in Haaretz. Under the headline, five furious analyses would appear - one of them mine.

The writers would harshly denounce the Jewish murderousness and urge a culture war against Jewish fanaticism. Others would demand not to repeat the mistake made after Baruch Goldstein's murderous rampage and to evacuate the settlements immediately. Others would demand to look into the goings on in the Hesder yeshivas, which offer Torah studies alongside military service, and the state-run religious education system.

Selected racist quotes would be pulled out of primitive rabbis' writings, historic comparisons would be made to Emil Gruenzweig's murder and Yitzhak Rabin's murder and Martin Luther King's murder.

Within a day Mer-Khamis would become an icon. On Saturday night thousands would gather holding torches to mourn the peace hero and rise up against the powers of darkness. Mer-Khamis' murder at the hands of Jews would rebuild the left, reunite it and send it to a new battle against murderous Jewish fascism.

But Juliano Mer-Khamis was not murdered by Jews. So instead of a huge headline he got a story below the fold. Instead of five angry essays, he received only one (beautiful ) eulogy.

Nobody talked about racism, fanaticism and fascism. Nobody spoke of education systems spreading hatred and about primitive clergy. Mer-Khamis did not become an icon and thousands of people did not demonstrate.


Shavit also extends his criticism to "Western enlightenment," charging:

A post-colonial complex makes Western enlightenment systematically ignore injustices caused by anti-Western forces. Thus it loses the ability to see historic reality as a whole, in all its complexity. It also makes it act unfairly and unjustly.

It discriminates between different kinds of evil, different kinds of blood and different kinds of victims. It treats third-world societies as though they are not subject to universal moral norms.

Indeed. Thus, as documented earlier this week by CAMERA, the International Herald Tribune has no trouble featuring Palestinian grievances against Israeli, but completely ignored Mer-Khamis' murder, as well as the indictment of an alleged Hamas rocket expert.

Posted by TS at April 7, 2011 02:36 AM

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