Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Neoconservatives and their fellow travellers the Christian Zionists can sustain a fevered pitch indefinitely in demanding unconditional US support for Israel in the face of Palestinian terrorism, but why do they never weep over the Russian victims of terror?
An armed gang are holding up to 150 pupils hostage after seizing a school in southern Russia, leaving at least two people dead.

Fifteen children have reportedly been released at the secondary school in Beslan, North Ossetia.

At least 17 masked men and women, some wearing explosive belts, stormed the school as more than 200 pupils gathered for the first day of the new term.

They are reported to have demanded the withdrawal of troops from Chechnya.

They have also threatened to kill 50 children for every one of their group killed by security forces, a regional official said.
A quick LexisNexis search shows that since 9/11, the Weekly Standard and its electronic companion the Daily Standard has run 288 stories with the words "terrorism" and "Israel" in the text; 63 of them with the terms in the headline and lead paragraphs. Substitute "Russia" for "Israel" and the numbers drop precipitously, to 149 and 15 respectively. For the National Review and its online companion, the numbers for Israel are 757 and 221; for Russia, about half that (485 and 101).

The Russia numbers are dramatically inflated, too, because most of these articles are discussing Russia as a great power, not as a victim of terrorism. The number of post-9/11 articles in the Weekly Standard with "terrorism," "Russia" and "Chechens" in the text is a mere 5; "terrorism," "Israel" and "Palestinians" comes in at 189. In the National Review, its 474 for Israel, 38 for Russia.

And yet when is the last time terrorists brought down Israeli planes, took 200 Israeli children hostage, or blew up entire apartment buildings in Jerusalem? I'm not saying that Israel has not been a victim of terrorism. I am saying that the neocons and the Christian Zionists are hypocrites and hacks, and not humanitarians.

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