A Western ally in the Middle East, armed with US weapons, attacked Muslim guerrillas in a Palestinian refugee camp this month, killing seven.

Lebanon's military has been less careful than Israel's.

Is that big news?
The answer, this time, is "no".

No Western newspaper has run a banner headline about a "massacre," no emergency meetings of the United Nations have been convened, and Canada's deep thinkers on human rights, Michael Ignatieff and Louise Arbour, have not declared the military action to be a war crime.

That's because the Western ally rooting out terrorists was Lebanon, not Israel.

Since May 20, Lebanon has been engaged in a mini-civil war against Fatah Al-Islam, which is just what it sounds like - a Muslim terrorist group, holed up in a Palestinian refugee camp called Nahr Al-Bard.

Killing Palestinians, including Palestinian terrorists, is normally fodder for at least half a dozen UN resolutions, investigations and accusations, and plenty of harrumphing from the CBC, BBC and the Globe and Mail.

But only if the ones rooting out the terrorist are Israelis - that is, Jews.
 Lebanon's army is no different in any respect, other than that one fact. Like Israel, it is a democratic state that is threatened by Muslim terrorists. Like Israel, Lebanon is backed by the West. It has recently received military aid from the US.

Lebanon's military has been less careful than Israel's, which would never have used artillery to root out terrorists from populated areas like refugee camps, as Lebanon has done. The Lebanese are not as concerned about the niceties of Western public opinion. And the yawning silence of the West's scolds in the face of 200 casualties shows that Lebanon's assessment of the fickle nature of the media and the UN is accurate.

What a difference from Israel's invasion of Lebanon 12 months ago to expurgate Hizbullah, the Iranian-financed and Syrian-backed terrorist group. Lebanon's own army wasn't strong enough to do the job, so Israel did the dirty work, provoked by Hizbullah sneak attacks across the border in Israel.

It was the top news item in the West for weeks - and the subject of much gnashing of teeth amongst Western intellectuals. Every day, the world's media inspected Israel's attacks, subjecting every military move to exquisite inspection.

Was a bombing raid too close to civilian targets - even though Hizbullah deliberately hid amongst civilians?

Did the Israelis give enough warning to civilians?

What did international law have to say about this bomb or that bullet?

Though Israel was doing everyone's anti-terrorist dirty work, it was still too much for the faint hearts of the West. Or rather, because it was Israel, it was too much.

So, why the double standard? Why are military strikes by Israel news, but not those by Lebanon? Why is an Arab killed by a Jew news, but not an Arab killed by an Arab?

Why is an Arab killed by a Jew news, but not an Arab killed by an Arab?

Why did the UN intervene to save Hizbullah from Israel, but the world shrugs in apathy - no, actually sends arms - to support Lebanon against another terrorist group?

There can be no other explanation besides an anti-Israel bias in the newsrooms and diplomatic salons of the world.

This is no revelation; reading the speeches of Arab diplomats at the UN, or the official press of a dozen Muslim dictatorships is like reading old Nazi propaganda. That explains the bias of the UN, Arabia and its shills. But it surely cannot explain the double standard here at home of a hundred Canadian newspaper editors and TV producers.

Can it?

This article originally appeared under a different title in the Calgary Sun on August 5, 2007.