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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Two stories about theft

A truly awful story emerged today from Israel, as there appears to be evidence that some IDF members stole and sold equipment from the flotilla ships a couple of months ago, including laptops.

"This matter is very problematic in terms of values, as the incident allegedly took place after it was clear that the flotilla was a serious international affair," the source added. "An officer who under such circumstances steals equipment which does not belong to him, and then tries to sell it – it's almost incomprehensible."

The affair embarrassed the political arena as well, with Knesset members demanding that the army prevent such incidents from repeating themselves at almost all costs.

"This is an embarrassing, humiliating and infuriating act," said MK Eitan Cabel (Labor). "The IDF must handle this affair according to the strict letter of the law.

Meretz Chairman Chaim Oron called on the army to utilize the investigation to the fullest, noting that "the multiple number of incidents, in which basic values are compromised, requires the army to hold a thorough investigation into the causes."
There is no doubt that the citizens of Israel will not stand for this and will do whatever needs to be done to ensure that the guilty parties are punished and that the root causes are fixed. There is a deep, nationwide sense of embarrassment, anger and shame over the incident.

Contrast this with this story that received next to no coverage:
French aid group Help Doctors accused the Palestinian Hamas organisation on Wednesday of seizing equipment and files from one of its Gaza clinics which it closed in June.

"Four men from the (Hamas) interior ministry entered the clinic on Tuesday morning and seized computer equipment, telephones, chairs, office equipment and medical files," the organisation said in a statement.

The men left the premises without saying why the equipment was being confiscated, it said.
Will Hamas open an investigation? Will people be prosecuted? Will the doctors have an opportunity to sue?

And - why are these questions laughable to a world that has no problem saying with a straight face that the IDF is less moral than Hamas?

There are, sadly, bad people everywhere. The best way to measure the morality of a society is by seeing how everyone else acts when their own people do bad things.