It’s been another epic week for Western hypocrisy. And it’s been another epic week for indifference or worse towards Israel. The two are, of course, intimately connected.
On Wednesday, 16-year-old Aryeh Schupak was murdered and over a dozen others injured, at least one of them critically, when a bomb packed with nails and ball-bearings exploded at a bus stop in Jerusalem. Another remote-controlled bomb went off shortly afterwards at another bus stop in the city.
The Biden administration rushed to condemn the bombings. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that America “stands resolutely with Israel in the face of the terrorist attacks this morning in Jerusalem” and reiterated that “our commitment to Israel’s security is iron-clad.”
This is nauseating humbug. These attacks, like the rest of the terrorist wave against Israelis in recent months, are in large measure the product of relentless Palestinian Authority incitement in its schools and media, as well as its “pay for slay” rewards to terrorists and their families.
Nor are Israeli Jews the only targets of Palestinian terror. On the same day as the bombings, a 17-year-old Israeli Druze, Tiran Fero, who was critically injured in a car crash in Jenin, was abducted from hospital by a mob of Palestinian Arab gunmen, reportedly because they mistakenly thought he was an Israeli soldier.
According to Fero’s family, the terrorists stormed the hospital, disconnected him from his respirator while he was still alive and threw him into a car. His body was retrieved by Israeli and P.A. security forces and returned to his family the following day.
Given its role in inciting and financing such terror, the Palestinian leadership would be treated as pariahs in any civilized universe. Instead, the Biden administration continues to fund it and treat it as worthy of a state.
The day before the bombings, it emerged that the U.S. had upgraded its relations with the Palestinians by appointing a Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs.
This brand-new position will be filled by Hady Amr, currently the State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs. Amr’s record includes declaring “I was inspired by the Palestinian intifada”—the terrorist onslaught in which around 1,000 Israelis were murdered or maimed—falsely accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and calling for a deal with Hamas.
Far from an “iron-clad” commitment to Israel’s security, the Biden administration undermines it at every turn.
This week, however, Western outrage has not been directed at any of this, but at the “hypocrisy” of holding the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. This is because Qatar treats gay people appallingly, and team captains were prevented from wearing rainbow LGBT motifs on their armbands in protest.
Yet Qatar is not only a despotic state that denies human rights to everyone. It is also the principal paymaster of Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza as a police state, constantly attempts to murder Israelis and whose charter commits it to annihilate Israel and every Jew in the world.
Every football team, FIFA official and football fan who is taking part in the World Cup and contributing to the billions Qatar is making from hosting the event will have thus made an inescapable contribution to Hamas’s infernal agenda of murdering Israelis and oppressing its own people.
It is unthinkable that any Western football team would wear Israel’s flag on their armbands in solidarity with the Israeli victims of Palestinian Arab and Muslim terror. Yet more than 2,200 such attacks have been recorded inside Israel and the disputed territories this year, killing 30 people.
In March, there was a series of shootings, stabbings and car-ramming attacks in Beersheva, Jerusalem, Hadera and Bnei Brak. In April, three civilians were shot dead in the heart of Tel Aviv.
In May, three Israelis were killed and four wounded in an axe attack in the central city of Elad. Last month, an Israeli was shot dead near Kiryat Arba in Judea. Earlier this month, three Israelis were stabbed to death near the Judean city of Ariel.
Last week, there were two shooting attacks in northern Samaria. Last Sunday night, a mass-casualty attack in the same area was averted when a car bomb apparently aimed at an Israeli army watchtower exploded prematurely.
None of these attacks has merited more than a passing reference in Western media, which can be guaranteed to erupt into volcanic condemnation if the Israelis start inflicting many Palestinian casualties in their attempts to prevent further atrocities.
To Western liberals, the suffering of Israeli victims at the hands of the Palestinian Arabs is all but invisible. So too is the suffering of Palestinians under their own leaders.
Western liberals appear not to see that Palestinian leaders jail, torture and kill their own people. They don’t see Palestinian attacks on Christians or Druze. They don’t see Hamas throwing gays off roofs to their deaths.
Last month, Ahmad Abu Marhia, a gay 25-year-old Palestinian Arab living under asylum in Israel in fear for his life at the hands of his family and residents of his village, was abducted and beheaded in Hebron.
The liberal media was mostly silent. There were no demonstrations on American campuses. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides tweeted his horror at the murder but conspicuously failed to say the victim had fled his Palestinian village for sanctuary in Israel because he was gay.
Western liberals have fixed in their heads the falsehood that Palestinians are the oppressed victims of Israel and therefore can do no wrong. In parallel, these liberals have blanked Israel out of their moral universe, so that Israelis don’t have the same right to exist as Western liberals do themselves.
How can we explain this astounding and shocking mindset?
The history of the Jewish people tells us that when cultures are beset by terrifying forces apparently beyond anyone’s control, Jews are identified as the cause. Pinning the blame on the Jews is how the simple-minded have tried to make sense of incomprehensible threats for generations.
But there’s always a catalyst: The people who actually point the finger at the Jews and incite the mob against them. In the Middle Ages, it was the Church. In the last century, it was Hitler. Today, it’s the Palestinian Arabs.
The common factor is their psychotic demonization of the Jewish people. Yet there is an even more devastating connection.
War was waged against the Nazis to defend the free world, which was duly saved from invasion, enslavement and tyranny. The war was not waged, however, to save the Jews. Indeed, the West shut its eyes to the extermination of the Jews, of which Western leaders were made well aware at the time.
Much of the West regarded Hitler as a monstrous aberration who managed to brainwash the Germans into supporting his psychotic ravings. But in the Middle East, the Palestinian Arabs were Hitler’s legion. They were led by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who pledged to exterminate every Jew in the Middle East if Hitler won the war.
Al-Husseini is Mahmoud Abbas’s lauded role model and inspiration. Palestinian propaganda accordingly channels Nazi tropes and images demonizing the Jewish people. Yet none of this demonic antisemitism is ever acknowledged by the West. The American government never mentions it. Nor do the British or the Europeans. Instead, the West has internalized the Palestinian demonization of the Jewish state.
Nazi Germany was defeated. But the paranoid and exterminatory antisemitism that fueled it is now coursing through the nations that defeated it. Through Palestinian propaganda, what was once confined to Germany has now poisoned much of the West.
That’s why Israel has become a lightning rod for a phenomenon seen throughout history: Blaming the Jews for the evils of the world.
This may seem a harsh lesson to learn. But learn it we must.
Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for The Times of London, her personal and political memoir Guardian Angel has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel, The Legacy. Go to melaniephillips.substack.com to access her work.