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April 26, 2016 7:11 am

‘If Israel Had Done That’

avatar by Stephen M. Flatow /

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas on official PA TV. Photo: PMW/YouTube/Screenshot.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas on official PA TV. Photo: PMW/YouTube/Screenshot. – If you ever wonder whether or not the international community applies an unfair double standard to Israel, all you need do is play a little game that I call “If Israel had done that.”

It’s easy. Just glance at what’s in the news, on any given day, concerning what Palestinian leaders are doing. And then ask yourself: What would the reaction be if Israel had done that?

Take Wednesday, April 20, for example.

Palestinian groups and leaders from all factions publicly praised or justified the recent bus bombing in Jerusalem. Note that it was an attack on a civilian bus, not a military vehicle. And it took place within the 1967 borders — not in some settlement in “occupied territory.” Yet so-called moderates and so-called extremists joined hands in defending the attempted slaughter.

As expected, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other, smaller factions all praised the bombing. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhi issued a press release which began, “Hamas praises the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) operation,” and Musa Abu Marzouk, a Hamas leader who was at one time in US custody, declared on his Facebook page that the bombing was “a most beautiful gift to our hero prisoners.” Palestinian Islamic Jihad said it “praises” the attack and considers it an illustration of “the importance of resistance as an option.”

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hailed “this heroic action,” while the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) praised “these quality operations” against “the crimes of the occupation.” Some years ago, the Bill Clinton administration removed the DFLP from the US list of terrorist groups, claiming the DFLP had given up violence and embraced peace.

And what about the so-called moderate Palestinians? What was the response of Fatah, which is chaired by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas? Fatah’s Jerusalem spokesman praised the bombing as “a natural response” to Israeli policies. When Hamas claimed that Fatah had condemned the bombing, Fatah spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi rushed to deny what he called Hamas’s “lies, falsifications, and forgeries.”

Imagine if there had been similar wall-to-wall praise by Israeli political parties in response to one of the extremely rare instances of Jewish terrorism against Arabs. Imagine if every Israeli faction, from right to left, praised Jewish terrorism as “beautiful” and “heroic” and “a natural response” to Palestinian actions. If just one obscure Israeli rabbi praises Jewish violence, it’s treated as major news by the New York Times — imagine the world’s response if Israeli leaders were united in favor of terrorism, as all Palestinian leaders are.

Or how about this April 20 news story: A military court in Hamas-controlled Gaza last week sentenced five Palestinians to death for allegedly “collaborating” with Israel. Let’s leave aside the fact that Hamas sometimes uses the “collaboration” charge to cover up executions that are actually related to trivial feuds or the settling of personal scores. Let’s assume they really did “collaborate” with Israel. Now imagine if Israel announced that it was going to execute five Palestinians for collaborating with Palestinian terrorist groups. Imagine the condemnations that would rain down upon Israel’s head from around the world. And contrast that with the silence that has greeted Hamas’s execution plan.

Here’s another item taken from the April 20 headlines. The PA’s Abbas told Spiegel Online that “I do not want to run again” in the next elections. Of course, there is no telling when the next elections might take place, because Abbas’s term expired back in 2009 and he has refused to hold a new vote.

Now imagine if Israel’s prime minister did that. Imagine if when his term expired, he simply refused to hold new elections, so that he could stay in office. Would the international community keep silent for seven years, until the prime minister finally announced that he didn’t want to run again? Or would the State Department and United Nations be condemning him every week for being undemocratic? Would the world’s newspapers be filled with stories about Israel’s dictatorial leader? And would American Jewish organizations be complaining about how Israel’s prime minister was acting contrary to democratic values?

So why doesn’t anybody say anything about Palestinian leaders justifying bus bombings? Why is everybody ignoring Hamas’s executions? And why is everyone silent about Abbas’s president-for-life style of governing?

I guess we all know the answers to those questions. And thanks for playing “If Israel had done that.”

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • stevenl

    Dear Mr. Flatow:
    It is NOT the International community; it is the WEST!
    Why not be more specific. Who cares about the rest!

  • Tom Wood

    Pure double standards.

    I remember very clearly how isreali group stood together and openly criticised the idf when they shelled schools, homes and kids playing on the beach.

  • Lee

    What about the recent announcement by the US that there will be more civilian causalities in war against IS?

    When it comes to double standards, the West is just as bad as the Arabs.

  • Morecai Ben Natan

    I have not read anything about what the IDF did to the very brave soldier who shot and killed a knifer Muslim., who stabbed another soldier?

    That soldier did the right thing. He dispatched a murderous terrorist to Allah.
    But that soldier was arrested by the IDF>

    Nothing in the news about what the soldier did, and how his actions were taken as serious.

    • stevenl

      At least that Palestinian will not have a 2nd chance to kill Jews. NO IL/Pal revolving door. Straight to hell. No 72 virgins.

  • There are a lot of WHY questions. Is it not obvious that it is because the Arabs are Not Jews, even so that they originated from the same father???

    Haven forbid if anyone dares to criticize a MUSLIM and or Mohamed!!! Were as Jews, Unlike Muslims, many times are brushing off any Insults and or criticism!!!!

  • Peter Joffe

    If Israel were the savages they are made out to be they would bomb Palestinian buses or mow down Palestinians walking peacefully down a street, or stab Palestinians in an eye for and eye contest. Palestinian Terrorists, which include Abbas are the lowest form of human life. That is if they qualify for the word ‘human’ in the first place. All terrorism is to be destroyed, starting with Islam.

  • The Gatestone Institute reproduced a cartoon that appeared in the Palestinian press showing the burned out bus in the background and a smiling Arab woman handing out candies to celebrants of the incident. That says it all.

  • Most Western leaders deliberately believe a lie that the PLO terrorist entity is the “underdog” and Israel is the oppressor. The PLO terrorist entity successfully tricked most Western leaders to support a PLO state. Sadly, many in the West have distorted views of Israel due to PLO propaganda and its BDS movement.

    • stevenl

      This is straight and plain ANTI-SEMITISM!

  • Terry Wensman-Dudle

    I Love Israel. I’m full blood Native American Indian from Oklahoma. Always praying for the peace of Israel.

  • Lia

    The trouble is that the arabs have no standards of decency and so refuse to be kept to ours.

  • Monty, Pam, Gabi, Pnina,Jo, Edna, Shani, Avi, Har-El, Boaz, Tzvika, Shalev, Avigaail,, Be’eri, Nir, Doron, Netta Pogoda/ Tzeissler

    Very much to the point.