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No sooner had Israel launched its offensive against Hamas than the moral arbiters of acceptable behavior were condemning the Jewish state for its perceived abuses in executing its national self-defense.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband smugly accused Israel of causing a “dangerous and dark moment” in history and voiced the preposterous judgment “that any innocent loss of life is unacceptable.” Malaysia’s deputy foreign minister obscenely suggested that Israel’s actions were crimes against humanity “tantamount to genocide,” indicating both an ignorance of what that term signifies and a blindness to actual genocides occurring presently at the hand of his co-religionists.
But the most insidious refrain, one uttered only when Israel’s enemies are killed (certainly not when Jews are murdered), is that Israel’s military response is too aggressive, that the force and effect of the excursion into Gaza are beyond appropriate boundaries.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, for instance, could not get to a microphone fast enough to decry “the disproportionate use of force” on Israel’s part. And the UN secretary-general, who presides over a morally bankrupt group comprised largely of despotic, self-righteous regimes, specifically condemned the “excessive use of force by Israel in Gaza.”
Nor did non-governmental figures refrain from chiming in with a moral scolding of Israel’s actions. The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States personally challenged Israel “to call a halt to this wholly disproportionate escalation of violence.” And the Muslim Public Affairs Council, always reticent when confronted with terrorism unleashed in the name of Islam, was quick to determine that “Israel’s latest military assault is a disproportionate and inhumane response to Palestinian militants’ cross-border rocket attacks.”
The issue of “disproportionate” response is obviously something of an obsession with critics of Israel’s defense policy, causing one to wonder when, if ever, an Israeli military response would be deemed to be proportionate. How many Jews should have died in the thousands of rocket barrages on Sderot, Ashkelon and Netivot to make Israel’s incursion legal and morally acceptable?
Was the terror of 3,000 Kassam rockets and mortars falling into civilian neighborhoods in the last year alone not justification enough for self-defense? Should Israel have continued to wait until a school or daycare center was struck, forcing Israel to play, in the words of Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, “Russian roulette with its children?”
What harm would have to be done, in addition to the trauma and social dysfunction that daily rocket barrages have on civilian populations, for critics to decide, in their sanctimony and moral equivalency, that Israel finally had the right to defend its population? Were not the 425 attacks on Israel between 2000 and 2004 that wounded more than 2,000 and killed nearly 400 civilians adequate in their lethality and seriousness to indicate the unrelenting jihad that defines Hamas’s existence?
The remonstrations of its many and far-flung critics aside, Israel is not the international outlaw here, but a victim now involved in a defensive countermeasure to illegal terrorism. In fact, in a recent report, Justus Reid Weiner and Dr. Avi Bell, two legal scholars at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, noted that Hamas’s shelling of civilian targets within Israel’s borders clearly violates international law, even though world observers have been oddly silent on those transgressions.
“The Palestinian attacks,” they wrote, “violate one of the most basic rules of international humanitarian law, the rule of distinction, which requires combatants to aim all their attacks at legitimate targets – enemy combatants or objects that contribute to enemy military actions. Violations of the rule of distinction – attacks deliberately aimed at civilians or protected objects as such – are war crimes”– exactly what Hamas has been committing with its relentless rocket assaults.
Israel, which is promiscuously condemned for committing “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” and human rights violations, not only waited years before responding to Palestinian terrorism, but then, in one of the most populous areas on earth, scrupulously followed the rule of distinction by precisely targeting Hamas terrorists and infrastructure, with minimal, though still unfortunate, collateral damage to the Gaza civilian population – a feat made all the more difficult by Hamas’s insidious tactic of embedding rocket launchers and armament stores within residential neighborhoods.
Even so, UN observers, not partial when Israel is involved, admitted that the great majority of causalities in the first week of Israel’s military action were Hamas operatives and gunmen – demonstrating again that, unlike its enemies who target only civilians, Israel has not only effected obvious “distinction” in its targeting, but by doing so it maintains “proportionality,” the other aspect of warfare on which international law insists.
About the Author: Richard L. Cravatts, Ph.D., author of “Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews,” is president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.
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Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state
Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.
In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”
“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”
We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.
ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.
Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.
The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.
And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?
Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.
The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.
We were quite disappointed with many of the points the secretary-general offered in response.
Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.
The multiculturalism that animates the hate-Israel crowd is sprinkled with code words of oppression
The cynical, and historically and factually inaccurate, view has meant leftists frequently denounce Western democracies as imperialistic, racist, militaristic oppressors.
What was unique about the MLA’s and the ASA’s approach was the breathtakingly Orwellian notion that not only was Israel itself guilty of the many alleged transgressions assigned to it by its libelers, but a boycott against Israeli academics was warranted because the academic establishment itself is complicit in Zionism’s excesses and a core element of the bemoaned occupation, oppression, and denial of Palestinian self-determination.
The ASA has obviously overlooked the pathology of Palestinian society.
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), which represents some 14,500 members, voted in early April “to cease all cultural and academic collaboration with Israel, including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as cooperation in research programmes [sic].”
As an example of what the insightful commentator Melanie Phillips referred to as a “dialogue of the demented” in her book The World Turned Upside Down, Northeastern University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), paralleling the moral incoherence of anti-Israel activists demonstrating elsewhere in American and European cities, sponsored a November 15 Boston rally in support of Gaza and, presumably, its genocidal thugocracy, Hamas.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently continued a long tradition of attempting to question a Jewish link to Jerusalem by expressing his mendacious notion that “Jerusalem’s identity is Arab, and the city’s and Christian holy sites must be protected from Israeli threats.”
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