To understand the moral madness of some media reports on Israel’s conflict with Hamas, consider this scenario.
Three men stalk your neighborhood in the middle of the night, armed with kitchen knives and baseball bats. Their sole purpose is to break into one of the homes and slaughter the entire family in cold blood, motivated by nothing less than cruel hatred.
They attempt to break into one house but the sophisticated alarm system goes off as they approach, forcing them to quickly flee and take cover.
A few minutes later, they successfully break into your home, and before you realize what has happened, they have fatally stabbed one of your children and are about to stab the next one when you confront them in the hallway and shoot them dead with the licensed handgun you keep in your bedroom.
The next day you are shocked to hear that sympathy is being shown to the murderers of your child.
After all, the murderers did not have a gun, let alone a top of the line handgun like yours, and they were no match for the sophisticated alarm system found on the other property.
Plus, you could have simply ordered them to leave – after all, you had a gun – or fired off a warning shot first. Why did you have to kill all three in such an excessive use of force? Where was your restraint? And where is the moral equivalence in your actions? They only killed one person; you killed three.
Now you understand how the people of Israel feel when Hamas is painted as the victim.
As the standard, anti-Israel, pro-Hamas narrative goes, Israel has the Iron Dome defense whereas Hamas has no such defensive shield. In other words, it’s not fair that Hamas is unable to murder the civilians it targets day and night, since Israel’s superior technology is able to shoot down their missiles. Talk about taking all the fun out of terrorism.
And then there’s the complete disproportion in power, as some media outlets love to tell us. After all, Israel has a sophisticated air force with the best intelligence system known to man, while Hamas just has some homemade rockets, the kind that go “Poof!” and don’t hurt anybody.
Except for the fact that those rockets can now reach as far as Tel Aviv, in the heart of Israel.
And except for the fact that those rockets can be quite deadly and have taken the lives of innocent Israelis, like that of 4-year-old Afik Zahavi-Ohayon who was killed by Kassam rockets that landed on the street in front of his nursery school in Sderot. (Sderot is the Israeli village closest to Gaza and the constant target of Hamas rockets. Villagers, which include elderly Holocaust survivors, need to be within 15 seconds of a bomb shelter as a normal way of life.)
The rocket knocked down Afik and his mother on the way to nursery school, ending the life of the little boy and leaving the family in agony. As Morey Schwartz recounted in his book “Where’s My Miracle,” “At the funeral, Itzhik Ohayon, the bereaved father, sobbed, ‘I just wanted him to tell me, “Goodnight, Abba.” It wasn’t his time to die.’”
That was back in 2004, and Hamas’ weaponry has gotten far more sophisticated since then. Yet Israel is somehow at fault for having a defense system capable of warding off most of the deadly attacks? And Israel is somehow at fault for saying, “Enough is enough” after its people are murdered in cold blood by an enemy sworn to the annihilation of the Jewish nation?
This same Hamas just issued a new video celebrating the missile attack that murdered a 16-year-old Israeli in 2011, with the caption, “We will hunt down cowards like you in your dens.”
It is absolutely true, of course, that there have been more Palestinians killed by the Israeli army than Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists, but that is simply (and tragically) because Hamas, in keeping with the despicable tradition of the PLO, uses its citizens as human shields, even urging them to return to their homes after Israel has issued warnings to the residents to flee.
Of course, we can expect media outlets like Iran’s Press TV to demonize Israel, with reports like this: “People in the Philippines’ capital have demonstrated against atrocities committed by Israel against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip. … Israel’s unrelenting airstrikes against Gazans since July 8 have claimed the lives of 192 people with the U.N. saying most of the casualties are civilians.” (The report also speaks of the “Tel Aviv regime’s offensive against the blockaded Palestinian enclave.”)
But we can also expect biased reporting from the BBC, with examples like this from Kevin Connolly on July 11: “To the outside world the Gaza rockets may seem ineffective – partly because many are homemade and partly because they’re hopelessly over-matched by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.”
As I said, Israel isn’t playing fair!
To quote Connolly again, “Lots of the rockets in Gaza are workshop weapons. What if Israel staged a huge operation, left declaring it a success and then found homemade rockets raining down a week or a month later?”
Those silly little, homemade rockets!
Then there was the BBC report from July 9 that quoted the Gaza-based human rights lawyer Raji Sourani, who said, “This is a third consecutive war against Gaza since 2008, and Israel always, I mean, do target the civilians, and they are in the eye of the storm.”
No, Mr. Sourani, it is Hamas that has placed its own civilians in the eye of the storm, not Israel.
Thankfully, this time around, Hamas is not receiving as much public support, and even fellow Muslims have criticized them, like Zuheir Hamadan, a cleric living in Jerusalem who said, “Israel is the one defending [the] Al-Aqsa [mosque] from the missiles of Hamas.”
Hopefully, the rest of the world will get the story right as well.
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