Disclaimer – the ALS is not a pro-Jewish website and none of its writers are Jewish. It is firmly secular believing in the values of liberty and democracy. It is also in the main an anti-war blog.
In a carbon copy of the 2006 conflict with Hizbollah, Israel is once again losing the media war. The Hamas cheer squad of CNN, the BBC (funded by all British taxpayers), the New York Times and the Guardian is raining propoganda bombs on Israel as surely as the 6,000 Qassam rockets that have hit its southern borders from Gaza.
Despite a clear cut case of self-defence that even the Muslim countries of Egypt (‘Hamas are more interested in having the injured serve as pawns in their propaganda war on Western TV networks‘), Saudi Arabia (‘Arab states should call a spade a spade…let Hamas accept responsibility for once..‘) and the Palestinian Authority (‘we talked to them and we told them ‘please, we ask you, do not end the truce. Let the truce continue and not stop’ so that we could have avoided what happened”) accept is of Hamas’ own making, the Western media continue to hold Israel to impossibly high standards.
There are no street protests over the ongoing civilian deaths in Sri Lanka, no marches against Russia as it threatens to cut off gas supplies to Central Europe in the midst of a freezing winter, no petitions demanding ceasefires in the war-torn corners of Africa, no hysterical over-the-hill pop stars crying over the children of Afghanistan. But whenever Israel sheds blood, the world demands its pound of flesh.
‘Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands,
organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same
food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter
and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the
rest, we will resemble you in that.’
In the media’s eyes, the Jew quite clearly does not resemble ‘us‘.
Israel stands accused of the following charges;
i) ‘Israel is using disproportionate force’
According to the media, if your enemy kills 10 of your people you have the right to kill 10 of theirs. This is utter drivel. During World War II Britain killed far more Germans than vice versa. Does this make Churchill guilty of ‘disproportionate force’?
Apart from the utter absurdity of the argument, the reasons that Israel has killed more than Hamas are as follows;
– Israel builds bomb shelters for its citizens on its southern borders. Hamas stockpiles its weapons in hospitals and mosques, hoping for casualties to show its ‘useful idiots’ in the media. ‘We desire death as you desire life’.
– The majority of the dead in Palestine are terrorists not civilians (UN sources)
– Israel tries to avoid civilian deaths whereas Hamas seeks to maximise them, even now legitimising the deliberate (as opposed to tragic but accidental) killing of children.
ii) ‘Yes, but the Hamas rockets are ineffective and have only killed a small number of Israelis.’
Only thanks to the bomb shelters. And does anyone doubt for a minute that if Hamas could smuggle more effective weapons across its Eqyptian border, it would refrain from using them?
iii) ‘Hamas is only responding to the blockade of Gaza by Israel.’
Factually incorrect. Israel tightened the flow of goods into Gaza precisely to try and limit the flow of rockets that were already flying into Sderot.
iv) ‘Israel doesn’t want a ceasefire but the extermination of Hamas.’
Wrong. Israel clearly laid out the terms (no more rockets and no more rocket smuggling) for a ceasefire last night in response to a France-Eqgypt initiative. These are not unreasonable terms. Unsurprisingly Hamas have failed to respond. Why does every Western leader demand an Israeli ceasefire? Why not a ceasefire too with the Taliban or with Al Qaeda? After all civilians are dying here too.
v) ‘Israel won’t negotiate with Hamas.’
a) see above
b) from the Hamas Charter,
‘The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).’
Where do you even begin those negotiations?
vi) ‘Yes, but this will just provoke Muslims living in the West.’
Translation – i’m a coward and i won’t stand up to bullying.
and last but most certainly not least,
vii) ‘Israel forcibly evicted the Palestinians from their homeland. Hamas is just trying to take back what is rightfully theirs.’
Now there is probably no more complex issue than the creation of the Isreali state. David Finkelstein wrote an excellent piece in The Times yesterday on this subject. Whether you believe it was the right thing to do or not, it has happened. A two-state solution needs to be found – not a one-state solution for either side.