A Response to Those Providing Hamas an Iron Dome of Moral Equivalency
Right on cue, former President Jimmy Carter and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson chime in to demand that Israel treat Hamas as a “legitimate political actor” in the ongoing search for peace. Other pundits, like Ramish Ponnuro, urge Israel to recognize that Palestinian civilians are not “bad guys.” All this as the UN Human Rights Council prepares its next kangaroo court against the Jewish state for alleged war crimes against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
Here we go again.
It is quite remarkable that Jimmy Carter, the man whose presidential foreign policy decisions as president effectively sentenced the Iranian people to a generation of repression and suffering under the yoke of the ayatollahs’ mullahocracy, would now serve as a cheerleader for mainstreaming a political actor whose script is all about genociding those blood-loving Jews. And we haven’t forgotten that Mary Robinson was the UN’s senior human rights official under whose watch the UN’s 2001 Durban World Conference Against Racism degenerated into an anti-Semitic hatefest.
Israelis don’t need more lectures about how they ought to feel about their neighbors — but many Arabs do. With a handful of exceptions, Jews in Israel and around the world do not demonize the people of Gaza. This despite the fact that most Gazans voted in democratic elections for Hamas — a group whose central tenet is the genocidal removal of the state of Israel and its 8 million citizens. Israelis do not hate Gaza’s children, even though the children of Gaza from the age of 3 are brainwashed to hate Jews.
Many who count themselves as Israel’s friends still insist that the Jewish state must never put civilians in harm’s way — even those used by Hamas as human shields as the terrorist group pummeled Israeli cities, hamlets and kibbutzim.
The U.S. State Department seems to agree. In condemning the “disgraceful” alleged Israeli fire targeting an UNWRA school that left 10 dead “civilians,” its spokesperson declared, “We once again stress that Israel do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties … The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians.”
That’s the best advice these friends of Israel can give? Provide these barbarians who deliberately put their own women and children in harm’s way an iron dome of moral equivalency? Further embolden a terrorist organization — weaponized and trained by Iran — to continue to murder your civilians, and to enable mega-terror attacks from tunnels reaching nurseries, kindergartens and homes in Israel’s heartland?
Israel has nothing to apologize for how it has dealt with Hamas, whose rules of engagement are predicated on sacrificing their own women and children to feed 24-hour news cycles and social networking platforms with gruesome “evidence” of Israel’s “Nazi” barbarity. Israelis do not celebrate the death of these Arab civilians; they are too busy mourning four young soldiers killed clearing the terror tunnels in Gaza, who were to be married this month.
Frankly, Israel has little to learn about ethics in war — even from allies, let alone autocracies. We need only look back at the (necessary) civilian casualties in the battle of Fallujah, or the drone strikes that were deployed to take out key terrorists despite the inevitable civilian casualties. As for the UN Security Council, one of its members, Russia, recently took over the territory of a neighboring state and its military provided missiles that murdered 298 innocent civilians flying over 30,000 feet above Ukraine.
All war is horrible. All war spawns civilian casualties. But until Gaza 2014, no one ever demanded that the just struggling righteously for their survival against an implacable enemy must stand down in order to avoid civilians deliberately commingled in the enemy’s superstructure.
History records otherwise.
Evidence D-Day 1944. An estimated 11,000 to 19,000 civilians, mainly French men, women and children, were killed in the pre-invasion bombings and an additional 13,632 to 19,890 were killed in the wake of the Allied soldiers’ D-Day landings.
Don’t forget Winston Churchill, who backed Allied daytime bombings of Nazi Germany to weaken the enemy and shorten the war. Those attacks, led by U.S. bombers, caused hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties. And Hamas’ war against Israel? Since 2005, including Operation Cast Lead in December 2008-January 2009 and the latest incursion, Operation Protective Edge, an accurate estimate of Palestinian civilian casualties over nine years is more than 3,000.
There are mainly voices in the international chorus comprised of friends and foes that want Israel to stand up for “civilizational” values that every nation in history, without exception, has violated amid a life-and-death struggle.
Does that mean in 2014, in order to live up to these standards, another 6 million Jews should be sacrificed on the altar of “civilization,” in the kangaroo courts of Geneva or The Hague?
Not on your life. Never Again.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. This article was originally published by the Los Angeles Daily News.