So let's say that some very zealous, very strange missionaries arrived in a complex, multifaith city -- perhaps even Mumbai, India. Let's say that they wanted to save souls. But, in addition to preaching to Hindus and Muslims and all kinds of people who live in India in large numbers, they went out of their way to preach at a highly symbolic Jewish location -- perhaps even the Chabad House. It didn't even seem to matter to these missionaries that there would be very few people at this location. They had to preach to Jews.
I'm making all of this up, of course.
But what would the press say about the motives of these very strange missionaries? Could we, based on their actions, assume that they believed they had a unique mission to preach to Jews? What would it mean to single out Jews in a city of this kind? Journalists would almost certainly report that these missionaries had an unhealthy obsession with converting Jews. Correct?
So what does it mean when you read the following Washington Post language in yet another report about the massacre at the Chabad House in Mumbai, where this highly trained, highly skilled team of terrorists focused on Americans, Brits and, yes, Jews?
Speaking in London, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday that American and British citizens had been "singled out" for attack by the assailants. Officials in Washington, meanwhile, said they had independently corroborated Indian intelligence that links the attacks to Lashkar-i-Taiba, a Pakistan-based extremist group with roots in the disputed Kashmir region. ...
It is not known how the attackers seized on the low-key Chabad House, along with high-profile hotels and a train station, as one of their 10 targets.
How did the killers seize on Chabad House? Perhaps they entered "Mumbai," "Jews" and "center" into an Internet search engine? Is it really a mystery why they went out of their way to send a team to kill a handful of people at Chabad House, instead of another public target where more people would be sure to die?
If you still doubt that the killers had cultural and, dare we say, religious reasons to target Jews -- some unique obsession with Jews -- that doubt should end with the following report from the Telegraph. Reporter Damien McElroy offered this strikingly candid lede:
Jewish victims made up a disproportionate number of the foreigners killed after 10 Muslim fanatics stormed a series of sites in the Indian financial capital.
Muslim? Isn't this a case where we need to use "Islamist" or some other more specific term?
And later we read:
Doctors expressed horror at the condition of the bodies recovered from the Nariman Building, which housed the Orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch retreat.
"I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was traumatised," a mortician said. "It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood."
So the leaders of this death squad, for mysterious reasons, assigned a team to go kill Jews where they knew Jews could be found. It also appears that these victims were tortured. Were victims tortured elsewhere?
This raises an obvious question. The killers targeted Jews in a unique manner. It appears that they may have singled out Jews for torture. And, as Julia Duin just noted in a blog post over at the Washington Times, it does not appear that the leaders of American newsrooms are as willing to report many of these hellish facts as journalists in Europe and, yes, Israel.
Surely this strange equation adds up to something. I am not sure what. But it adds up to something.