Thursday, December 02, 2010

Israeli tragedy: Arabs rejoice, rest of world yawns

By any measure the tragedy that occured in Israel today, with fires engulfing the North and a busload of cadets killed in a fireball (40 dead) while on their way to help evacuate inmates of a prison, was a major international news story especially as the disaster is ongoing. 40 dead Israelis is equivalent in relative population terms to 2400 Amercians - similar to the number killed on 9/11. The fact that there are claims this may have been a terrorist act (see e.g. here, here and here) compound the importance of the story.

But, as usual, dead Israelis elicit a very different response compared to victims from any other country.

  • The West ignores it (not a single mention on the main bulletins tonight on Sky News or even Fox News - not even on the ticker-tape).
  • The Arabs rejoice in it. So it is a major story on Al Jazeera while Arabs in Israel are actually celebrating.

Whether or not this was a natural disaster or a terrorist act is not the issue. It is the world reaction to it, which will be no different no matter the scale of disaster that hits Israel. Which is exactly what Ahmedinejad, Hamas and Hezbollah understand very well.

Update, 5 Dec: Three days on and the story failed to get a single mention in the UK's most popular newspapers (the Sun and the News of the World). Althought the story got a very brief mention on some of the UK TV news programmes, there was no mention of the special tragedy of the young firefighters in the bus and of course no mention of the further blood curdling Arab rejoicing and gloating over burnt Israeli bodies (and these were all young people going to help evacuate Palestinian TERRORISTS).

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