I must admit that I do not know enough about the conflict between Israel and Palestine to provide any sort of informed, in-depth analysis. I do, however, know how I feel about Israelis and Palestinians in general, and I can offer my gut feeling on the subject.
And so, with reckless abandon, I will.
Over the past few days, the news reports surrounding the most recent flare-up between Israel and Hamas reminds me of the news reports from this time last year, when the 24-hour networks were alternating between analysis of the upcoming Iowa caucus and a story out of San Francisco about a dead man and two injured brothers, victims of a 300-pound tiger named Tatiana which had escaped from its enclosure at that city’s zoo.
People immediately blamed the tiger. Tatiana had apparently bit a handler a year or so before the deadly incident, and therefore to many was just prone to meritless violence. People also blamed the zoo, and experts were subsequently called into the San Francisco Zoo as well as other zoos across the country, measuring and surveying the enclosures of big cats like Tatiana. It wasn’t until a little while after the initial reports that we started to hear rumblings that the 19- and 20-year-old dead man and injured brothers were seen taunting the animal, making noises, throwing things, and pretending to come over the fence and into the tiger’s enclosure.
Israel, some time ago, pulled all settlors and soldiers out of the Gaza Strip with the understanding that it would provide Hamas-controlled Palestine with reason to uphold a cease-fire. The negotiations, of course, took place with terrorists on the other side of the proverbial table, and it wasn’t long before Hamas, with the help of Iran and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, used the Israeli pull-out as an opportunity to basically turn the Gaza Strip into one large Iranian missile base, interspersing rocket batteries in with homes and businesses owned and frequented by civilians. Since then, Hamas has been lobbing dozens of rockets into Israel, deliberately targeting schools, targeting supermarkets, targeting shopping districts. Just last week, Ahmadinejad threatened that Israel’s days were numbered.
Hamas was taunting the tiger. Now, that tiger has no longer been satisfied with merely clawing at the bars and outer reaches of its enclosure, but has jumped the fence entirely.
Israel’s response, however, has been derided by much of the left-leaning mainstream American media as being disproportionate. Nobody on the networks seems to care about the Israeli women and children targeted intentionally by Hamas; the news coverage focuses on the funerals in the Gaza Strip of those civilians unfortunately killed by Israeli forces in the process of destroying rocket batteries. Everybody is blaming the tiger. Nobody is blaming the agents provocateurs.
Yes, civilians have been killed. It’s awful. The Israelis, however, are not the ones specifically targeting civilians, they’re not the ones celebrating the murder of women and children. There is no moral equivalency when it comes to the war being waged by one side versus the other. There just isn’t. Israel is responding to weeks and months and indeed years of attacks, using surgical precision in their response; Hamas is targeting civilians while simultaneously hiding behind civilians.
I am not an expert in this area of the world, or any area for that matter. I only have my gut–which is ample–to guide my feelings on this and other related issues. However, even aside from culture, from religion, from the specifics on either side of this perpetual dispute, nobody should continue to taunt a tiger and not expect at least a chance of catastrophic injury in return. The blood of Palestinian women and children are therefore on the hands of Hamas.
In the meantime, we can only pray that this somehow gets resolved, perhaps by bringing a country like Egypt–which has more at stake internationally–to take control of Gaza. I would hope that Israel does not back down and agree to a cease-fire so long as Hamas is still in control on the other side. Still, I just don’t know. I don’t know enough about the region, about the background, about the past and about the possibilities in the future to offer any serious insight.
I just know enough not to taunt a tiger.
Even early this afternoon, as I listen to a White House news conference on the radio, I hear the press asking why the United Nations’ request for a superficial ceasefire was not good enough for the United States, I hear the press citing Palestinian deaths and asking why the president hasn’t encouraged restraint on the part of Israel. I want to throw up. Why is it that those on the American political left constantly give the benefit of the doubt to terrorists?
The deaths of Palestinian civilians are solely the doing of Hamas, the same Hamas embraced just a week or so ago by our own Jimmy “Dhimmi” Carter. Their blood, the blood of those women and children killed in Gaza, is solely on the hands of Hamas.
I hope Israel does NOT accept any cease-fire which allows Hamas to retain control of Gaza. Hamas needs to know that there are deadly consequences for lobbing rockets into Israel. Each time. Every time.
Regardless, the naivete on the part of the liberal media just sickens me.