Disproportionate response for me but not for thee

Media bias on Israel reporting

This cartoon is from 1993 and absolutely nothing has changed

Perhaps I should rearrange the title because it’s meaning could be read two ways. It could mean either that a disproportionate response is permitted for me but not for thee, or that my actions are considered disproportionate but not yours. Of course we all know which which reading is relevant regarding Israel’s actions.

After Sunday’s cross-border terrorist attack at the Egypt-Israel border, the Egyptians have struck back at the terrorists:

Egyptian military attack helicopters fired missiles on suspected Islamic terrorists in Sinai early Wednesday morning, killing at least 20 people, after an attack on security checkpoints, Egyptian security officials and residents said.

Security officials said it is the first time that the army has fired missiles in Sinai since the 1973 war with Israel to recapture the Sinai Peninsula.

The attackers responded by firing at least one anti-aircraft missile at the helicopters, Egyptian media reported.

More from Ynet:

Egyptian military troops and jets killed 20 terrorists in the Sinai region bordering Israel on Wednesday, striking back after armed men attacked several security checkpoints, an army commander in Sinai told Reuters.

“We have succeeded in entering al-Toumah village, killed 20 terrorists and destroyed three armored cars belonging to terrorists. Operations are still ongoing,” he told Reuters.


Witnesses in Sheikh Zuwayed, about 10 km (six miles) from Gaza, said they saw two military jets and heard sounds of explosions. Other witnesses in a nearby area said they saw three cars hit.

Egyptian media are reporting that the terrorists responded to the attack by firing anti-aircraft missiles at one of the apache helicopters, which eventually left the scene having escaped several downing attempts.

Meanwhile, eye witnesses told The Guardian and Arabic-language Sky News that several fighter jets are taking part in the assault. Other reports said that the attack involves four fighter jets, 30 armored vehicles and dozens of Egyptian troops

The strikes follow clashes between armed men and security forces at several security checkpoints in the Sinai region.

Armed men opened fire on several checkpoints in Arish and in the nearby town of Rafah on the border with Israel, according to a Reuters reporter and state media.

Can you imagine what the world’s reaction would have been if Israel had reacted in a similar manner, bombing terrorist strongholds and killing 20?  There would have been international condemnations, accusations of disproportionate response and  war crimes,  a UN condemnation or three, and furious editorials in the foreign press.

But in this incident, we have utter silence from the UN and foreign governments, and simple neutral reports from the Independent, the Guardian and so far not a word about Egypt’s response from the New York Times.

Double standards anyone?

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8 Responses to Disproportionate response for me but not for thee

  1. JudyPT says:

    I think we should take this opportunity to really hit Gaza hard to pay back for all the recent rocket attacks on southern Israel and wait for all the usual complaints and then say what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.If Egypt can attack in this fashion after one eposide how much more reason do we have to retaliate to all those thousands of rockets and blow world opinion.

    • anneinpt says:

      You’ve got a good point, but that is exactly what shows up the double standard for all to see, and yet no one cares. It’s so frustrating.

  2. Cormac says:

    Well…. Israel is of a better standard compared to its neighbours, that is one of the main reasons I support them but I do see the frustration of always being singled out.The Left Wing Media has became so open minded that their brains have literally fallen out and by this stage they’re progressing backwards.The World completely ignored the Sri Lankan military offensive in 2009 which coincided with the Gaza War, despite the fact that the conflict there has cost many more casualties.

    You were right when you said to me before that the World prefers to focus on Israel’s reaction/retaliation more than who struck first.The problem is that the I/P Conflict is seen as the story of David & Goliath.Israel’s response will always be seen as disproportionate in the eyes of the media.Something I’ve found quite disturbing is that the IPSC(Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign) has frequently tried to minimise Israeli suffering in all of this, for example they often claim that Qassam Rockets are nothing more than mere firecrackers.Maybe the best way for Israel to fight back is to launch 12,000 of its on Qassams at the Gaza Strip, just a thought.

    • anneinpt says:

      Hi Cormac, sorry for the delay in replying. Yes, I remember well that the Sri Lankans were on an offensive at around the same time as Israel in Gaza and yet they were praised for their action (as well they should) while Israel was so utterly condemned.

      You are absolutely right that Israel’s problem is its image as Goliath, but if one stops to think about it, it’s utter nonsense. Just looking at Israel on a world map will show how tiny it is in proportion to all the Arab countries around it, not to mention Iran. And yet just because Israel knows how to defend itself, and takes the protection of its citizens seriously, it comes across as some sort of military giant. People who don’t know the country are always astonished at how small it is once they get here. But there is no excuse for the foreign media. They are either on the spot or have researchers at hand. It just suits them all very nicely to portray Israel as the big Baddie.

      You mention the IPSC and their disdainful attitude towards Israelis’ suffering. They are amongst the worst offenders but by no means the only ones. Any of the international left-wing media are just as bad, e.g. the Guardian, Independent, BBC, the New York Times on occasion… the list goes on and on.

      I love your idea of shooting rockets back in return for kassams. It has been suggested before, whenever Israel was accused of “disproportionate response”, that Israel should have rockets pre-positioned to fire at random, one rocket per one kassam. We could then see how long that little charade would last. We’d probably get a UN condemnation anyway.

      • Cormac says:

        Hi again and it’s fine, I’ll finish up on these few points.There seems to be an underline feeling of hatred for the West within Left-Wing Politics.Ayaan Hirshi Ali a Dutch politician for the Right Wing Party for Freedom even stated that to the Left everyone who isn’t White or Western is automatically a victim.I find it very hard to argue with her point.Perhaps this article may be of some interest to you Anne http://frontpagemag.com/2012/daniel-greenfield/israel%E2%80%99s-you-built-it-culture/ I think it really deals with some of the issues that underlines their resentment towards your country.

        The thing is Israel is never shown on a global map,it is always a zoomed up image of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.To many countries Israel is seen as the cornerstone in having a good relationship with Arab Countries.The 1973 oil crisis really highlighted the unhealthy dependence on oil Europe has.

        As you may be aware Ireland does produce a disproportonate amount of the scum heading towards Gaza on their “peace flotillas”,however I can easily say most people simply don’t care, there’s a few loud mouths who scream apartheid and unfortunately they are making the news.Don’t read them papers to be honest, I read the Irish Independent which does take a balanced approach to the I/P Conflict.Even though there appears to be no political parties that support Israel here, there’s one Jewish TD, Alan Shatter who has repeatedly defended Israel against the IPSC and other groups such as SADAKA.

        Probably would be condemned regardless alright but it would be almost hypocritical to defend Hamas in such a circumstance.Israelis should also consider sending a flotilla to Kurdistan or Cyprus but I’m sure Turkey’s response would be harsher than Israel’s.

  3. Andrea says:

    This episode gave a lot of troubles to Morsi and his reaction was rather controversial : he fired an official appointed by Moubarak who did not belive to Israele secret service previous notice refusing to accept that “a Muslim would kill his Muslim brother”. All above sounds really paradoxical and even silly and frankly speaking I do not believe only one single word of this episode ( hope without falling in Middle Eastern paranoia )
    Military reactions as usual are due to satisfy public opinion appetite but not give any contribution to the thruth.Egyptian as well in spite of misinformation have reached this point.
    I do not know who ordered military reaction : Morsi ? Egyptian army ?. The latter is most probable and in this scenario Mursi plays the role of stupid.
    Twenty bedouin killed ? with armored whicles ? I would be grateful if someone could add some details of this operation. If Army is able to trace terrorist in hours when they want, it would be then curious to know why they were so unprepared. Ramadan ? Come on, history showed that Egyptian army reached some good performances in this actual period.
    Now we could at least ponder Mr Morsi’s real value and strenght.

    • anneinpt says:

      Andrea, I agree with you completely that Morsi’s response about Muslims not killing other Muslims to be totally ridiculous. It would be laughable if it were not so serious. I think he was trying to balance two demanding and dangerous sides, and his balancing act wobbled. He lacks experience, so perhaps his responses will improve. However I don’t think his basic attitude towards Israel will change.

      Your assumption that the Egyptian army gave the orders for the strike back makes a lot of sense, but no one knows the real truth and I doubt we’ll ever know. The Egyptians don’t have an open press like Israel does. But the army’s lack of success is not so surprising. Apparently the soldiers in the Sinai are ill-equipped and badly trained. Who knows even where their loyalty lies? With the regime? The army? The Bedouins?

  4. DavidinPT says:

    Let us at least take some encouragement from the dismal performance of Egyptian Intelligence (sic!) and their Army. They seem to be still, in Moshe Dayan’s immortal words, “Paper Tigers”. This is ultimately excellent news for Israel. As and when we need to take action in the Sinai against the Salafists, there is not much to be afraid of from Egypt, who will huff and puff but not sacrifice their national interests (US aid) to abrogate the Peace (sic) Treaty.

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