Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked Online, wrote the following at Jewish News Online:
If there were an award for double standards, for getting crazily angry about some people’s behaviour while turning a blind eye to other people’s behaviour, anti-Israel activists would win it every year.
These are people who take to the streets to march and holler whenever an Israeli warplane leaves its hangar, yet who say next to nothing about the militarism of France, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and too many other states to mention.
They bang on endlessly about Israel being an apartheid state, yet through BDS they have created a system of cultural apartheid. In their eyes, culture created by us, or by China, or by Zimbabwe, is fine, but culture produced by them, those nasty Israelis, must be hounded out of theatres and galleries lest it infect us all with its contagious Zionism.
These are activists who cry “Censorship!” when a conference of theirs is pulled, as happened at Southampton University recently. Yet they spend the rest of their time agitating for the No Platforming of Israeli representatives on campus and for the shutting down of pro-Israel university societies. “Free speech! (For nice people like me, not for rotters like you)” — that’s their fantastically hypocritical motto.
And now we can see that their double standards extend even to the people they claim to care for: the Palestinians.
Even here, even on the question of Palestinian suffering, anti-Israel activists only care some of the time. If you’re a Palestinian whose life is made harder by Israeli forces, they’ll share pictures of you, march in the streets for you, write tear-drenched tweets about you. But if you’re a Palestinian under threat from a non-Israeli force, forget about it. You’re on your own.
This has become clear in recent days, following reports that the Islamic State’s deathly grip now reaches into the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Syria.
Yarmouk has suffered terribly since the start of the Syrian Civil War. It has been the scene of deadly fighting between the Western-backed Free Syrian Army and forces loyal to Assad. Thousands have fled: it is thought the camp’s population has fallen from 100,000 to just 20,000 since 2012. Now, making this bad situation hellishly worse, the Islamic State reportedly controls 90% of the camp and is thought to have massacred citizens.
Where is the Twitter outrage? The talk of holding public protests? The angry articles by Palestinian solidarity activists? The discussions about sending aid to Yarmouk, as those preening politicians, authors and others did in relation to Gaza in 2010?