Turkey’s Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, brought his nation firmly down on the side of barbarism when he told a meeting of the Eurasian Islamic Council, “Those who associate Islam with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza. For this reason, I say that Israel is a terrorist state, and its acts are terrorist acts.”
That’s how barbarians turn the standards of civilized people against them. Hamas terrorists launch massive attacks deliberately targeting civilians; their targets respond with professional military strikes against war-criminal targets who deliberately hide among civilian populations; the barbarians’ allies and public-relations teams throw the word “terrorist” at the civilized people. It’s the tactic radical guru Saul Alinsky summarized as “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.”
The Palestinians know how to play this game, and they know how to play Western media like a fiddle. The Western press doesn’t spend a lot of time explaining that groups like Hamas deliberately plant both their commanders and weapons within civilian concentrations, to ensure that plenty of human shields will be killed when those installations are targeted. As former McClatchy bureau chief Leo Rennert noted in an American Thinker article on Sunday, the Western media responds by filling its stories with lavish accounts of Palestinian suffering, while keeping man-on-the-street accounts of Israeli suffering to an absolute minimum.
The media also indulges Hamas’ tendency to identify every one of its installations as “civilian” in nature – even when, as in the case of the recently destroyed headquarters of the Hamas prime minister, the Israeli Defense Force can point to secondary explosions from buried caches of munitions cooking off. This weekend saw an Israeli air strike wipe out a residential building, killing 11 Palestinian civilians, 9 of them reportedly from the same family. That only happened because the Hamas rocket commander Israel wanted to target has made a habit of hiding within dense populations of civilians, just like all of their other “commanders.”
And of course, there are always plenty of games played with casualty figures, lumping active Hamas terror operatives in with their human shields. If Turkey’s Prime Minister were interested in the honest truth, he’d know that a great number of those Palestinian casualties are coming from Hamas weapons, which often misfire or fall into the Gaza Strip when the rockets expend their fuel. In fact, according to the Jerusalem Post, 60 out of 703 rockets fired by Hamas as of Saturday “fell inside the Gaza Strip on Palestinian civilians,” while only 27 of them hit Israeli urban areas. But when the Palestinian propagandists began parading around with the body of a child killed by a Hamas rocket and presenting it as an Israeli atrocity, the Western media – including CNN – lapped it up like cream.
Under the internationally accepted laws of war, Hamas is responsible for every single one of the civilian casualties, not just those directly killed due to the low quality of their murder weapons. They initiated the conflict, with attacks upon Israeli civilians; they are accountable for all of the casualties. That principle exists precisely to prevent the very tactic Hamas employs as their primary strategy – deliberately victimizing their own civilian population for international propaganda purposes. The common refrain from the United Nations and various national governments – including those nominally sympathetic to Israel – for “both sides to exercise restraint” is therefore a toxic, and ridiculous, act of moral equivalence. How are the people who target Israeli civilians as a matter of policy, and don’t mind killing their own in the process, supposed to show “restraint?” It’s an insult to Israel, and other civilized nations, to presume that Hamas is capable of “restraint.”
It’s a bad sign when Turkey, formerly presented as the model of sophisticated, secular Muslim governance, is willing to weigh in against Israel. Reuters observes that the Turks are still sore about Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, and the 2010 intercept of a flotilla bringing aid to the terrorists in defiance of the blockade. Turkey is actually holding a trial in absentia for the Israeli commanders of that raid. But if Israel didn’t maintain that blockade, which it has the right to enforce as a sovereign nation, the Hamas murderers would be even better-armed then they already are. And shouldn’t all of these Palestinian sympathizers be asking why Hamas blows so much of the Palestinian peoples’ money on weapons that clearly have no legitimate military function? Those sloppy, unpredictable rockets would be of little use during a large-scale military conflict, and the Palestinian government has no reason to fear such a conflict… unless it uses war-crime rocket barrages to provoke one. The “international community” should be able to come together on a joint resolution to disarm Hamas and the other Palestinian terror groups that have pretensions to serving as legitimate, elected government officials. Make them spend every penny on things the Palestinian people actually need, not stuff that gets them killed.
Israel is poised to begin a major ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. It’s something they would rather avoid, by all accounts, but they see no alternative for halting the rocket attacks on their civilians… and unlike Hamas, the Israeli government really does care about the lives of civilians. While the governments of Turkey and Egypt have thrown their weight completely behind Hamas, U.S. President Barack Obama has offered only tepid “do what you gotta do” support for Israel, saying it would be “preferable” if the IDF didn’t launch a ground invasion.
No, Mr. President, it would be “preferable” if the Palestinian government didn’t have a policy of deliberately targeting civilians with rocket barrages. None of this would be happening if those rockets were not being fired, and there is every reason to assume they will re-arm and resume if Israel doesn’t hit back hard enough to change their cost calculations. But that essential truth is the first casualty of every conflict involving the Palestinians, as the West proves remarkably willing to abandon its own laws of warfare, and the sound principles behind them. None of the West’s useful idiots has yet told us precisely what they would have done in Benjamin Netanyahu’s place. Do they seriously expect us to believe they would have sat idly while twenty or twenty-five percent of their population lived in perpetual dread of air-raid sirens?