Comical Comparison // Not all Molotov cocktails are alike

Have you read about how Ukrainians in Russia have planted bombs in public places, how they terrorize and murder Russian civilians, jumping unsuspecting Muscovites and viciously stabbing them? How they preach hatred for all Russians? How they declare their wish to push them all into the Arctic Ocean?

No? Well, that’s probably because, needless to say, nothing of the sort is remotely true.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t twisted-into-pretzels people out there bent on comparing a beleaguered, brave populace seeking to fend off a murderous despot’s immoral invasion of a sovereign country to a hate-filled population seeking to banish a people from their sovereign country (and ancestral land).

Meet those who, without so much as a nod to reason or reality, are doing their best to equate Ukraine with “Palestine.”

Like British journalist Yvonne Ridley, writing at Middle East Monitor, who lambasts her government for not allowing its citizens to join Middle Eastern terror groups while allowing them to join Ukraine’s fight to defend itself from the brutal Russian invasion. “The only difference I can see,” she writes, “between those who want to fight in Ukraine and those who want to fight in Palestine… is skin color and faith.” She needs new glasses, or whatever their moral equivalent might be.

Then, on this side of the big puddle, in Chicago, we have Maureen Clare Murphy, a self-described “plant worshiper” (hey, to each her own) who serves as the managing editor of a rabid anti-Israel operation called The Electronic Intifada. She sees Ukrainian civilians under deadly assault by Vladimir Putin as perfectly comparable to how “Islam’s third holiest site, the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem… is under attack by Israeli occupation forces.”

If you were unaware of Israeli soldiers wantonly murdering Arabs on Har Habayis, well, you’re not alone.

Ms. Murphy rose from genuflecting to her plants to tweet that “If you’re a Western liberal sympathizing with Ukrainians taking up arms against Russia right now, ask yourself why [you] haven’t sympathized with Hamas fighters in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

Well, liberal or not, I took up the ask. The answer arrived pretty much instantaneously: Innocents under attack for no reason deserve sympathy; murderous terrorists of innocents, not so much. Am I missing something?

Haaretz’s Gideon Levy sees a similarity between Russia and Israel in the fact that “Israel always feels threatened, just like Russia.” He seems to have forgotten the salient fact that Israel is indeed threatened and Russia is not.

Also jumping onto the crooked comparison clown car were people like Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, and James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. And MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, who noted Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s labeling Russia’s attacks on Ukraine a “severe violation of international order.”

Summoning sarcasm to serve speciousness, he sneered, “Who better to denounce wars of aggression and illegal occupations… than the foreign minister of Israel?”

“Wars of aggression?” Someone should remind Mr. Hasan that the aggressions that have forced Israel into defensive and deterrent actions are undeniably those of Hamas and Hezbollah and lone wolf Jew-haters. And, what “illegal occupations” does Mr. Hasan mean? The areas Israel captured during a war in 1967 aimed at destroying it, territories that were previously parts of Egypt and Jordan, neither of whom wants them back? Or does he mean Israel herself, “from the river to the sea,” in the sincere, straightforward words of the aforementioned terrorist groups and their supporters?

The only factual comparison that can be made between the Ukrainians and militant Palestinians is that both employ guerilla tactics. But, of course, projectiles and Molotov cocktails aren’t inherently good or bad. They can be used to stymie a ruthless and illegitimately invading force, thereby saving innocent lives, or to wantonly wound or kill civilians and soldiers only trying to protect the public.

Are those who insist on seeing moral similarities where there are none really unaware of the illogic of their equations? Are they utterly clueless about facts?

Not likely, I think. They know the score. They are guilty of something more, and more disturbing, than illogic.


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