Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Taking Property OK? Depends on Who You Are

Without meaning to, the Huffington Post published two articles yesterday that give pretty good indications as to the kind of readers they have on their site. Both articles are about taking property from people within sovereign states, and the reactions of the readership were quite different based purely on the states in question.

First is yet another HP article about the demolition of an illegally constructed shack town made by Bedouins in Israel. The Israeli government is going to demolish the town so the legal owners of the land can build a town there. Naturally, the HP readership was up in arms and outrage over the "injustice" of this "crime."

Next up is Iran. The HP covered the news that the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, is worth more than $95 billion thanks to a company he controls. What does the company do? According to the HP headline, it "seizes property from ordinary Iranians," and the example the article uses is the loss of a building from a family that has "owned it for years."

How did the HP readership react to this story? With their usual response, comparing the Ayatollah's behavior to US institutions and pointing fingers elsewhere.

The HP readership is telling us something: if you want to take property from someone, regardless of whether or not that person legally owns the property or not, it's OK only if you're Iranian. If you're Israeli, it's never OK.

But remember, there's no double standards against Israel on the Huffington Post!

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