The Saudi-led Arab coalition recently conducted airstrikes against a refugee camp in Yemen, from which Houthi forces had purportedly fired on them—killing dozens of civilians and injuring many more. If Israel had carried out the attacks, Elliott Abrams notes, it would face global condemnation. For Arab states, however, there is none:
I cannot recall an incident where Israel struck at a refugee camp and killed 40 people all at once, also injuring 200 others, but I am willing to bet on the world reaction to this Saudi attack: zero. No meetings, no commissions, no reports.
What are the lessons to be drawn? That the Arab group and the Islamic nations have more votes in the UN than Israel, which of course has but one. That there is an indefensible double standard when it comes to evaluating Israel. And that hiding behind civilians is a widespread crime. Nothing new here.
I suppose it’s too much to ask that if Israel and Hamas enter another round of fighting in Gaza, those countries who have joined together to suppress the Houthi rebels in Yemen might think twice before condemning Israel, and might even condemn Hamas for hiding behind civilians. But the almost certain silence in the United Nations about the attack on the refugee camp in Yemen is worth recalling the next time Israel is attacked for doing far less to protect itself. I don’t know the details about the Saudi attack, and perhaps it was carried out with care and precision. The point is, no one is going to bother to find out.