Watching reports of the “Chanukah War”

With so many observations based on the reports, and live blogs, coming out of Israel, it is easy to reach the conclusion that no matter what Israel does, the pathological Israel haters (aka anti-Semites) will remain blinded to reality or historical fact.  So Israel may as well continue to eliminate the terrorist threat and restore its security, in a long-overdue military response to the thousands of missiles that have been directed towards Israeli towns, schools, synagogues and hospitals.  

The press has been better than expected in presenting statements from Israeli leaders (maybe Israel has learned from previous experience and is better managing its public relations), however the inherent bias is still prevalent.  Take for example this quote from a news story  

“A large group of Hamas security staff completing an officers’ training course were outdoors at their base just before noon on Saturday, standing in formation at a graduation ceremony, when the planes struck, killing and wounding many of them.”  

It could have been written better

“A large group of Hamas terrorists completing terrorist training were outdoors at their base, a former Israeli agricultural facility that had been gifted to the Palestinian Authority to provide for economic opportunity, standing in formation at a graduation ceremony, when the planes struck, killing and wounding many of them before they had the chance to fire mortars and perpetrate murderous terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.”  

As the day has progressed, more reports are coming through with headlines focussing on “civilian casualties”.  Several points need to be noted here.  Firstly, if 50 civilians have been killed out of 300 casualties, it demonstrates the surgical precision of Israel’s targeting of terrorists and their infrastructure.  If we are to believe Hamas claims (which are almost certainly exaggerated), Israel has set a new standard in accuracy and the lowest ever ratio of civilian casualties (according to Hamas, over 90% of the casualties were armed combatants), this in spite of the fact the Geneva conventions are Explicit that civilians in close proximity to military infrastructure are not protected by the rules of war. For analysis, see here.

Secondly, the reports that talk of bombing mosques and hospitals do not always make the reader aware of the cynical use of these facilities to base terrorist activity.  Thirdly, there is a very important moral distinction between the action of Israel (targeted towards a terrorist threat) and the action of Hamas (indiscriminate mortar fire aimed at civilians).  

With all this noted, one of the most bizarre pieces of commentary to be emailed around today is an email by Rabbi Dow Mamur, a progressive Rabbi of Jerusalem, who entitled his piece “Beware of Well Meaning Hypocracy”.  He writes In view of my general predisposition, I’m on the mailing list of several Jewish organizations on the Left. Some of them have been urging me to sign petitions in response to Israel’s present action in Gaza. I’ve refused. For though I too abhor violence in any form, I don’t know what else Israel should, or could, have done in order to protect its citizen from the shelling of towns and settlements in the south of the country.

You can gather the gist of the rest of the article, which is essentially, “we don’t like this but it is necessary.” While its nice to see some Jewish unification in this time of war, the irony within the title of this article is not lost. Maybe if the Jews of Gush Katif had never been take from their legitimate homes in the first place, we would not be in the situation that is before us today.

Before signing off, it is also worth mentioning that there are some reports starting to appear that focus on the chain of essential supplies into Gaza.  One was on the TV news tonight, which failed to mention that Israel is letting supplies in, and also, that Egypt also has a border with Gaza, and any “sealing off” of the area is as much of an issue for Egypt as it is for Israel. 

For information about what is happening in Israel to the minute, I encourage JewglePerth readers to visit our friends at Isreallycool.  Our thoughts and prayers remain with those Israeli cities under attack at this time, and the soldiers of Israel who are at the front line of this important military activity to break the strength of a terrorist regime.

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