At NY Times and WaPo, Arab pain trumps Jewish pain

This is a tale of two horrific crimes that occurred thousands of miles apart.

In Jerusalem, in a despicable hate crime, a mob of Jewish youngsters assaulted an Arab youth, beating him mercilessly while no one intervened.  The victim was left bloodied, unconscious and had to be hospitalized.

The incident prompted wide coverage in the Israeli press and lengthy reports by the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The Times said it shed light on a backdrop of Israeli "racism and violence" and wondered "how Israeli society could have come to this point."  Its own diagnosis was that the attack occurred in a "poisoned political environment that affected the moral compass of youths growing in it."

The Post, which devoted three quarters of a page to the assault, reported that "the vicious beating of an Arab teenager by a mob of Jewish youths prompted soul-searching about the depth of ethnic hatred in Israeli society."

At about the same time, in an eerie parallel with the shocking attack in Jerusalem, a Jewish student at Michigan State University was attacked at an off-campus party by a couple of men, who he said asked him if he was Jewish and then gave the Nazi salute, yelling "Heil Hitler," as they proceeded to beat him.  He was left unconscious with a broken jaw and his mouth stapled shut.  He also required hospitalization.

The MSU incident prompted coverage in the Israeli press and some U.S. media, including the New York Daily News.

But as to the New York Times and the Washington Post, with three days on, these two newspapers have yet to take notice of what happened at that MSU party.  So far, not a single paragraph, not a single sentence.

When Jews attacked an Arab, the Times and the Post went all-out in giving it full coverage.  But when a Jew was at the receiving end of what the Anti-Defamation League described as a particularly shocking hate crime, they remained silent.

Given this glaring double standard, a Shakespearean Jewish  character might fittingly inquire of editors of the Times and the Post:  "If you prick us, do we not bleed?"

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers