There has been a lot of interesting coverage about the Gaza operation, some of it with comments that show just how ignorant, hateful, and anti-semitic some people are.Â Occasionally a gem appears, like the article below:Â
Editorial: Hamas’s suicide mission
Published: Monday, December 29, 2008When Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, the Jewish state gave the local Palestinians political autonomy for the first time since the pre-Roman era. The hope was that the Palestinians would use their newfound freedom to build a free and prosperous state — one that would live in peace, if not friendship, with its Jewish neighbour.
That didn’t happen. Hamas took over Gaza and renounced all previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements, reiterating its rejection of the Jewish state’s right to exist. Rather than build up local infrastructure and a consumer economy, Hamas forged ties with Iran and dug weapons-smuggling tunnels into Egypt. A variety of groups — including Hamas itself — began raining missiles on Israel. Predictably, Israel did what it could to stanch this flow of weaponry, even as it ensured that a baseline of humanitarian supplies made it into Gaza.
Effectively, Hamas turned Gaza into one giant launching pad for jihad, the welfare of the local Palestinian population be damned. It is thus ridiculous — comical, almost — to hear Hamas officials play the pity card in the wake of Israel’s ongoing military operation in Gaza. It is Hamas, not Israel, which seeks to “martyr” Palestinians in furtherance of a religious war.
As for the world’s leaders — many of whom are balancing their denunciation of Hamas with calls for Israel to halt its allegedly “disproportionate” military operation — may we ask what they would do if their nations were under daily bombardment from a hostile neighbour?
Israel’s initial barrage in Gaza killed about 200 Palestinians — most of them Hamas security officials. The fact that just a few dozen civilians were killed, despite Gaza’s high population density and Hamas’s tendency to embed its jihadis in dense residential areas — is a testament to Israeli military professionalism.
Such a civilian death toll would be a rounding error in any major military operation in Chechnya, Afghanistan or Iraq. And in those cases, you can bet the world’s leaders wouldn’t line up to wag their fingers. Only Israel gets lectured and condemned when it defends itself against deadly, unambiguous acts of military aggression.
Israel enters 2009 as it seems to enter every year — as a target of unquenchable Arab hatred, and the subject of global hypocrisy. The West can do little about the former pathology. Let us at least have the moral clarity to renounce the latter.