Sunday, December 28, 2008

28-Dec-08: On standing firm

Haaretz columnist Amos Harel says:
"This is the harshest IDF assault on Gaza since the territory was captured during the Six-Day War in 1967. Palestinian sources in Gaza report that 40 targets were destroyed in a span of three to five minutes. This was a massive attack... Simultaneous, heavy bombardment of a number of targets on which Israel spent months gathering intelligence. The military "target bank" includes dozens of additional targets linked to Hamas, some of which will certainly come under attack in the coming days... Little to no weight was apparently devoted to the question of harming innocent civilians. From Israel's standpoint, Hamas, which persistently fires rockets while using the civilian population as cover, had plenty of opportunities to save face and lower their demands. In stubbornly continuing to launch rockets during the course of recent weeks, it brought this assault on itself."
But as Lenny Ben-David points out: "The blood libels against Israel have already begun", quoting as an illustration a Sean Rayment article in yesterday's Telegraph (UK): "The attack on the Gaza strip is proof that Israel is addicted to violence. Slaughtering 155 civilians, many of whom are women and children, can not be justified."

Lenny calls this
"An absolute blood libel. No military force in the world is as careful as the Israeli Defense Forces in differentiating combatants from the civilians surrounding them. Note this report from Bloomberg: "Most of the Palestinian dead were members of the Hamas security forces, including police chief Tawfiq Jaber and the head of the organization’s Security and Protection Service, Ismail al-Jabary, said Taher Noono, a spokesman for Hamas." Pictures from Gaza indicate this fact. Note these photos of Palestinian security forces hit in their bases. These are uniformed combatants of a force that declared war on Israel, and they are very legitimate targets according to international law."
His blog has the pictures.

Our guess is the blood-libel allegations against Israel will continue. The Hamas war effort demands it, and past experience shows they have little difficulty tapping into a pre-existing reservoir of knee-jerk commitment to the "weak" (Hamas) in their battle against the "strong" (Israel). The trouble, as we keep pointing out here in our blog entries, is the lack of awareness of how much trouble Israel absorbs with little or no reporting: the thousands of rocket strikes that no other country would ever take sitting down; the steady and deliberate escalation by the Hamas terror regime of threats and hostile actions, up to and including Friday of this week; the relentless indoctrination of Palestinian Arab children to hate and demonize Jews, Israelis, Christians and other non-adherents of the jihad-tainted religion to which Hamas subscribes.

When Sean Raiment, writing about Israel's action, says "
this attack is both disgraceful and disproportionate", it's a fair bet he has very little concept of what it means to live next door to a full-blown jihadist regime. In fact two of them, since Hizbullah-land to the north is bristling with weapons and missiles that no one here thinks will remain in their wrapping for long.

Raiment is not alone, and we're not singling him out. He's simply an example of the superficial and ill-informed pap that characterizes a good deal of the analysis and reporting (typically, from a great distance) on events in our neighbourhood. Looking through the comments on his blog page and seeing Israel accused on carrying out a Holocaust, we're left with a feeling that, at very difficult times like this, it's our obligation to simply stand firm, head down, focused on doing what needs to be done to keep our society and children as safe as possible, and leave the critics and their agendas for another day.

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