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Op-Ed: The Headline You Will Never See

Some civilians are more equal than others.
Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 7:11 AM


Reuters described Sunday’s (July 20) airstrike laconically: “The military said it killed 28 local and foreign militants in air strikes…on Sunday, as evidence emerged that civilians had died in previous strikes”.

The government had charged the military to defeat the terrorists, and, as the Reuters report continues, “The area has been heavily bombed in recent days. Residents say a bombing raid on Friday killed nine women, six children and two civilian men when their houses were hit. Aadil Khan, whose house was among five that were bombed, said he saw the bodies of his relatives being pulled from the rubble”.

"In all fairness to the military, they warned the civilian population ahead of the strike. However some families stayed behind, either because they were too poor to afford to move, had sick members or did not think their area would be targeted."

Why have full-colour glossy pictures of the civilians killed in that airstrike not gone viral? Why has there been no international outrage at the "slaughter of innocents"? Why didn't human rights organizations stage rowdy demonstrations in London, Paris, Berlin, Washington, and other cities to protest this gross violation of human decency?

Why didn't the UN convene an emergency session to condemn the killings? How is it that the EU did not send an envoy to resolve the conflict as quickly as possible? Why didn't the BBC, CNN, and other international TV networks rush their correspondents to film the carnage, to interview the survivors, and to show the world the tragedy?

Why didn't Muslims and Islamic organizations throughout the world convene to collect aid for the dispossessed victims? Where is BDS? Why were these people’s deaths so callously ignored by the world?


Sorry, Waziristanis: the people bombing you aren’t Jews, so you deserve no outrage.
The answer is obvious. Aadil Khan, whose house was bombed, has the misfortune to live in Waziristan, and he and his countrymen had the misfortune to have been bombed by the Pakistani military.

Sorry, Aadil, no world sympathy for you or your slain family. Sorry, Waziristanis: the people bombing you aren’t Jews, so you deserve no outrage. No one is going to demonstrate against any Pakistani Embassy anywhere in the world, no one is going to BDS Pakistan for you. No one will grab a microphone in Trafalgar Square and scream out their solidarity with you.

You know the best thing you can do if you want world attention? – Next time the Pakistan Air Force bombs your houses and your mountain villages, photograph them doing it. Then Photoshop a blue-and-white Star of David onto their aircraft.

Don’t worry if the aircraft happens to be a Chengdu F-7PG or a JF-17 Thunder, both of which the Pakistan Air Force uses but neither of which the Israel Air Force uses. As long as you can blame the Jews, no one will investigate your photos too closely.

And then send the Photoshopped pictures round the world, claiming that Israel bombed you. Then – guaranteed – you’ll have an outpouring of sympathy and solidarity throughout the world.

Just one word of advice, however. As the Palestinians can tell you, all this sympathy and solidarity won’t actually help you one iota. After all, apart from guns, bullets, explosives, and suicide vests to Gaza, the ordinary civilians there receive absolutely zero. Their supporters in the West send them billions of dollars, but only the leaders ever get to benefit from that. If you want practical help (food, medicine, clothing, anything like that), you’re better off appealing directly to Israel.

After all, if you can find an honest Gazan, he’ll confirm that Israel has given more food, clothing, and medical aid to Gaza than all the Muslims in the world combined.

But that little detail is as likely to get reported as civilians who are killed in airstrikes by non-Jews.