What would cause one sibling to bully another sibling? What is the difference between sibling rivalry and bullying? Am I exhibiting favoritism?

Anonymous
My five-year-old daughter seems to enjoy tormenting my autistic seven-year-old daughter. She breaks/destroys my oldest daughter’s things (she recently stabbed open my oldest’s favorite stuffed animal that my oldest relies on for emotional comfort), tries to get her in trouble, hits/kicks her when she’s asleep/ off guard, and calls her names and picks on her. My oldest daughter rarely defends herself or tells on her sister. Despite my youngest’s aggressive behavior, my oldest still tries to bond and seek acceptance by her sister only to have it thrown back in her face. Anytime I punish my youngest for her behavior, my husband “unpunishes” her and says that it’s just sibling rivalry and accuses me of favoritism.

What would cause one sibling to bully and torment another sibling? Is this just sibling rivalry or is my oldest being bullied by her younger sister? Am giving my oldest preferential treatment?
What would cause one sibling to bully another sibling? What is the difference between sibling rivalry and bullying? Am I exhibiting favoritism?
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