The idea that there are some pretty striking differences between Israel and other Western nations, and the terrorist-supporting populations of the Palestinian territories isn't really all that difficult to grasp. After all, on the one side, we have a government that bends over backwards to hold itself accountable, even to the detriment of Israel's ability to defend itself.
The Palestinians, on the the other hand, continually provide examples which amount to little more than vigilante justice.
"Rights" groups always seem to miss the distinctions between the two sides, though, and tend to condemn Israel for its actions far more frequently than they do the Palestinians.
It's for people like this that the kind folks over at CAMERA exist, fortunately. Here's their latest article, which explores Palestinian treatment of the press, a topic I definitely like to cover on occasion (though definitely not often enough):
OLMERT'S RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT AND GAZA NEWS HIGHLIGHT DIFFERENCES, ISRAEL'S KINSHIP TO U.S.
(BOSTON, Mass.-July 30, 2008)—Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's announcement Wednesday that he plans to step down, due to corruption charges, serves as a striking reminder of the democratic nature of Israel. The news underscores the respect for justice and the rule of law that Israel shares with the United States and other western democracies. "Israeli democracy works just like the US," points out CAMERA Associate Director Alex Safian. "The top leader, whether President or Prime Minister, can be investigated, and can face charges, and can be forced out of office. In Israel, no one is above the law."
Unfortunately Israel's hoped-for peace partners in the West Bank and Gaza do not share these values, which is the key reason why the search for peace has been so difficult. An example of the stark differences between Israel and the Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza has just come to light: a cameraman working in Gaza for German public broadcaster ARD was reported today as having been tortured in Hamas custody.The head of ARD's Tel Aviv bureau, Richard C. Schneider, told German radio that ARD cameraman Sawah Abu Saif, who was released overnight after being held for five days by Hamas, had been badgered for information about the network's reporting in the region.
"He was tortured during his detention," Schneider said. "We was questioned about the work of ARD. They wanted to know everything about the staff and correspondents and why ARD reported so much negative news about Hamas."
As reported by AFP, the head of the German broadcaster, Fritz Raff, said he was shocked by the abuse of Saif and his condition when he was released. "If Hamas wanted to know while interrogating Saif why ARD reported news that was supposedly negative about it, they certainly gave us another reason to do it," he said.
Raff said ARD would now have to examine how it could continue to report from Gaza while Hamas "trampled on freedom of the press."
Many thanks to Isabel Smith for sending this fine article along!