At a news conference in Thailand on November 18, president Obama made the following comments concerning the violence in Gaza and Israel:
Let’s understand what the precipitating event here was that’s causing the current crisis, and that was an ever-escalating number of missiles; they were landing not just in Israeli territory, but in areas that are populated. And there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders. So we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians. And we will continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself.
Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory.
These comments passed without much notice. But suppose that we replace the country name Israel in the statement with the name Pakistan. Then what Obama would be saying is that he fully endorses the right of the Pakistan government and military to retaliate against American drones that hit targets within that country and even retaliate against the US itself. And the same would apply to Yemen, Somalia and who knows what other countries where the US is using drones to kill people.
But logic and symmetry and international law are thrown out of the window when it comes to Israel and the US because those two countries are judged by a different set of rules by US policymakers and the US media. In those cases, the two countries are assumed to be right whatever they do, and explanations are then produced to justify their actions.
(Thanks to this Ted Rall cartoon.)