Who are the victims in Israel and Gaza, really?

Saul published the post about Israel’s attack on Hamas in Gaza I have been thinking about posting the last few days. Like Saul, some of the reports about Israel’s attack on Hamas in Gaza disgust me. Granted it is largely a propaganda campaign and many of the major news outlets see it for what it is but the protest against Israel’s actions in the last week paints a very one sided and inaccurate picture of what is going on. This is common whenever Israel takes steps to protect its citizens from terrorism. We see news reports based on fake events and based on part of the real story. The Wall Street Journal put in nicely:

Israel’s air assault on Gaza in response to Hamas rocket attacks is inspiring familiar international denunciations. But the best commentary we’ve heard might be this one: “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing.”

Barack Obama said those words in July while visiting Israel as a Presidential candidate.

Now as President-elect, Mr. Obama is maintaining an appropriate silence while deferring to the Bush Administration before his Inauguration. But his July remarks capture the essence of Israel’s right to self-defense. Moreover, the more successful Israel is this week in damaging Hamas as a terrorist force, the better chance Mr. Obama will have to make progress in facilitating a genuine Mideast peace.

Hamas is a terrorist organisation that is backed by states that promote terrorism. Rather than confronting the Israeli military in a more conventional manner (which it couldn’t, the Israeli army would crush it), Hamas launches its attacks from the backs of motor vehicles in residential areas in Gaza. Gaza is a densely populated area and Hamas is relying on the Israeli military to strike back at them and cause civilian casualties in the process. It is cowardly to hide behind innocent citizens who are just trying to make a life for themselves.

What we don’t see is widespread protest against these tactics. We also don’t see protests in the streets of Europe about the 6 000+ rockets that Hamas has fired into Israel since 2005. Instead we see complaints about the proportionality of Israel’s response to Hamas’ attacks. Perhaps Israel should fire 6 000+ missiles indiscriminately into Gaza in response. Would that be a proportionate response?

Certainly there are unintended casualties but the majority of the dead and wounded are Hamas personnel. The Israeli Air Force is targeting specific installations and structures that support Hamas’ activities including tunnels leading into Egypt which Hamas has been using to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

Critics compare Israel’s tactics to Apartheid and the Holocaust. Both comparisons couldn’t be more inaccurate. This is not a racially or faith-based initiative to keep a population group out of Israel. These are imperfect efforts to keep suicide bombers out of Israel and to keep Israeli’s safe from rockets attacks directed at their homes. What should Israel do? Open its borders to terrorists intent on killing as many people as they can in buses, at restaurants and on the street? I don’t hear anyone protesting America’s restrictions on suspected terrorists entering the USA intent on killing American citizens. Would there be so much protest if Hamas was launching rockets into the USA or Europe’s cities? I doubt it very much. We would more likely see global solidarity against such terrorism and support for decisive military action to stop the attacks.

When it comes down to it, protests against Israel’s efforts to protect its citizens is anti-semitism. The attacks are aimed at undermining the State of Israel itself both as a nation state and as a Jewish state. They are also intended to kill as many Jews as possible. These attacks are little more than a gradual process of genocide and yet I don’t see charges filed against Hamas leadership (or any other similar organisation for that matter) by the International Criminal Court for war crimes or genocide related crimes against humanity. Despite limited public comments about Israel’s right to defend itself and condemnation of Hamas’ ongoing attacks on Israel (including during the supposed cease fire recently), Israel is left to defend itself and that is what it is doing.

Duncan McLeod pointed out a couple articles that present a more balanced perspective on the attacks and which are worth reading. I have bookmarked them here.

Image credits: demo against Gaza Siege by farfahinne licensed under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial ShareAlike 2.0 license and Israeli Patrol – Gaza Strip by cromacom licensed under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial NoDerivatives 2.0 license

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5 responses to “Who are the victims in Israel and Gaza, really?

  1. walterpike avatar

    The sad truth is that this action will achieve not one single long term benefit for anyone. It merely perpetuates a desperate cycle of destruction, death and disgust.

    I don't buy ANY of the justifications given by supporters of either side as they don't go deep enough, in fact I am sure most, like me, don't even know the root causes. We attacked because, they did this, because we did, because they did ad infinitum is a not good enough.

    In possibly a very selfish way I feel like a victim. I feel like a victim because of my position in relation to my friends, Paul and Saul but equally Faizel and Jamal and maybe that's how the world feels.

    Come on guys cant we get our s… together and find a way, a Gandhian way of solving this?

    The people of the world are the real victims. I pray for some wisdom.

  2. aLan avatar

    I received this by email many years ago and when I came across it this morning I thought it may be worth posting here…


    Indeed it is difficult for all other nations of the world to live in the presence of the Jews. It is irritating and most uncomfortable. The Jews embarrass the world as they have done things which are beyond the imaginable. They have become moral strangers since the day their forefather Abraham introduced the world to high ethical standards and to the fear of Heaven. They brought the world the Ten Commandments which many nations prefer to defy. They violated the rules of history by staying alive, totally at odds with common sense and historical evidence. They outlived all their former enemies, including vast empires such as the Romans and the Greeks.

    They angered the world with their return to their homeland after 2000 years of exile and after the murder of six million of their brothers and sisters.

    They aggravated mankind by building, in the wink of an eye, a democratic State which others were not able to create in even hundreds of years.

    They built living monuments such as the duty to be holy and the privilege to serve one's fellow men. They had their hands in every human progressive endeavor, whether in science, medicine, psychology or any other discipline, while totally out of proportion to their actual numbers. They gave the world the Bible and even their “savior”.

    Jews taught the world not to accept the world as it is but to transform it, yet only a few nations wanted to listen. Moreover, the Jews introduced the world to one God, yet only a minority wanted to draw the moral consequences. So the nations of the world realize that they would have been lost without the Jews. And while their subconscious tries to remind them of how much of Western civilization is framed in terms of concepts first articulated by the Jews, they do anything to suppress it.

    They deny that Jews remind them of a higher purpose of life and the need to be honorable, and do anything to escape its consequences. It is simply too much to handle for them, too embarrassing to admit, and above all too difficult to live by.

    So the nations of the world decided once again to go out of it way in order to find a stick to hit the Jews.

    The goal: to prove that Jews are as immoral and guilty of massacre and genocide as some of they themselves are. All this in order to hide and justify their own failure to even protest when six million Jews were brought to the slaughterhouses of Auschwitz and Dachau; so as to wipe out the moral conscience of which the Jews remind them And they found a stick.

    Nothing could be more gratifying for them than to find the Jews into a struggle with another people (who are completely terrorized by their own leaders) against whom the Jews, against their best wishes, have to defend themselves in order to survive. With great satisfaction, the world allows and initiates the rewriting of history so as to fuel the rage of yet another people against the Jews. This in spite of the fact that the nations understand very well that peace between the parties could have come a long time ago, if only the Jews would have had a fair chance.

    Instead, they happily jumped on the wagon of hate so as to justify their jealousy of the Jews and their incompetence to deal with their own moral issues. When Jews look at the bizarre play, taking place in The Hague, they can only smile as this artificial game once more proves how the world paradoxically admits the Jews uniqueness. It is in their need to undermine the Jews that they actually raise them.

    “The study of history of Europe during the past centuries teaches us one uniform lesson: That the nations which received and in any way dealt fairly and mercifully with the Jew have prospered; and that the nations that have tortured and oppressed them have written out their own curse.”

    Olive Schreiner

  3. pauljacobson avatar

    Thanks Alan, that is quite a powerful piece!

  4. Stan Dubinsky avatar
    Stan Dubinsky

    Olive Schreiner died in 1920. So, it’s not by her.

  5. Beadmused avatar

    What Alan posted is very powerful and I would like to know who wrote it. Unfortunately, Olive Schreiner died in 1920, so she wouldn't have know about The Hague world court, or Dachau and Auschwitz, and so couldn't be the author.

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