Why Israel and not Syria?
Sir, – Some Western commentators undoubtedly criticise Israel more than they would do, for example, Iran or Zimbabwe. This seeming inconsistency is trumpeted as “anti-Semitism” from the usual quarters. In reality, it derives from the obvious fact that current Israeli tactics find many apologists (and cash backers) in the West. By contrast, there is a Western consensus about the ethically-unsalvageable nature of for example Mugabe or Assad. Simply, in relation to countries such as Zimbabwe or Syria, there’s no one to disagree with and no-one to convince.
Further, given the horrors visited on Jewish people in the past, some Western commentators may expect better from Israel in the present; and such commentators also perceive that the Israelis to some extent care about Western, or at least US, opinion. By contrast, the likes of Assad and Mugabe are viewed as unhinged thugs who are impervious to entreaty. – Yours, etc,
SEÁN Mac CANN,