Beyond the Cusp

July 18, 2014

State Department Demands but Offers No Suggestions How

It’s not that the United States State Department is alone in making these demands or criticizing Israel for protecting their citizens too well resulting in more Palestinian fatalities and injuries than Israeli fatalities and injuries. There have been the same complaints from throughout Europe from their European Union down to members of their respective Parliaments to even media and editorial personnel, spokespeople for various NGOs, Statements from the Vatican and just about any Tom, Dick or Harry who can find a microphone or access print media or internet connection. About the only exceptions have been the military field commanders and the people at the Pentagon, in other words anybody who has an appreciation for the Israeli tactics, their success and their honorable manner and lengths the Israelis go to avoid civilian casualties. The one standout exception has been the Palestinian Authority Envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council Ibrahim Khreisheh (UNHRC)  who responded to a question about joining the Rome Statute and then file complaints against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for having committed war crimes, Envoy Khreisheh replied, “The missiles that are now being launched against Israel – each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets.” After making some obligatory criticisms beating the Israel crimes of occupation and settlements tripe regarding the contested areas, Envoy Khreisheh continued stating, “Many of our people in Gaza appeared on TV and said that the Israeli army warned them to evacuate their homes before the bombardment. Such a case, if someone is killed; the (international) law considers it a mistake rather than an intentional killing, because (the Israelis) followed the legal procedures. As for the missiles launched from our side – we never warn anyone about where these missiles are about to fall or about operations we carry out.”

 

Getting back to the State Department, spokeswoman Jen Psaki at a news conference briefed reporters complaining, “We ask (Israel) to redouble their efforts to prevent civilian casualties. We believe that certainly there is more that can be done. The tragic event makes clear that Israel must take every possible step to meet its standards for protecting civilians from being killed.” The comment made by Ms. Psaki were a simple restatement of the coverage being reported about the current conflict across the Western World and much of the rest of the media even to the point of making onto John Stewart’s comic narrative on Comedy Central utilized theater of the absurd rhetoric to the excited pleasure of his audience with every word and phrase simply dripping with contempt and vitriol over the fact that the Jews in Israel are not being killed fast enough. There were some bits of reality and truth even in his ham-handed approach to the conflict in that he noted that where Hamas does not warn either side of their rocket launches, the Israeli do whatever they are able in notifying both the Israelis and the Palestinians of their intended targets and when to seek shelter of an incoming attack. He has, as have the rest who criticize the disparity in casualties, demeaned Israel from developing the Iron Dome system and building literally thousands upon thousands of shelters including making a safe room mandatory in every residence constructed. Apparently it is something to be loathed that Israel spent their resources and invested their efforts largely to protect their civilians while Hamas simply built an extensive hardened series of tunnels and virtual cities underground where the Hamas operatives and fighters hide and they not only leave their people above ground and unprotected buy have actually sent civilians to provide cover for their rocket launchers knowing that they are being targeted. You have probably heard about the four young boys who were struck while playing soccer on the beach. What has been left out of those reports is that they were told to play soccer on that beach because it had numerous rocket launchers there and the intent was to prevent them being struck. The real difference between Israel and Hamas was best stated by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu when he stated, “The difference between us is simple. We develop defensive systems against missiles in order to protect our civilians, and they use their civilians to protect their missiles.”

 

Israel is about to get pummeled in the media and in international circles as they begin their ground offensive in order to be less destructive and less threat to civilian human lives while they clean out the supplies of rockets, explosives and other terror weapons from the entirety of Gaza and, if we are very fortunate, hobble and cripple Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all the other terror entities beyond their ability to recover such that peace will finally become possible. The reason that Israel is bothering to utilize troops on the ground instead of completing more of the destruction of Hamas and Islamic Jihad resources from the air is to once again minimize the harm and inconvenience to the residents of Gaza. This will be denied by the spokespersons of Europe and numerous NGOs even to include many far leftist Israeli NGOs. The reality is that if Israel wished to destroy the vast majority of the extensive tunneling that Hamas has built from the air, they have that capability. The problem with using air power is that Hamas has built a very large complex and have positioned many of their weapons caches underneath protected structures. They have a known rocket storage facility directly underneath the main Gaza hospital. To destroy that storage from the air would entail dropping bunker busting bombs to detonate immediately under the hospital destroying it in the process. Technically, that hospital was made into a viable military target because of it being used to protect munitions buried beneath its foundations. Israel would technically be within their rights to destroy the hospital in order to destroy the rockets stored beneath the building. Israel has chosen to risk their soldiers rather than destroy hospitals, mosques, schools and other civilian structures under which Hamas has built their cities underground. If Hamas would simply allow their civilians to take safe haven in the Hamas underground installations, the death toll of Gazans would be greatly lower, but that would not feed the Hamas media blitz of pictures of dead and horribly wounded Gazan civilians against Israel. Hamas celebrates all deaths on either side in the conflict. They prize any Israeli casualties or even the inconveniences of having to take shelter numerous times each day and the disturbance of regularity their rockets inflict. Meanwhile they also celebrate every injury and death of a Gazan as it provides that media camera picture which will be utilized to sway sympathy for Hamas and hatred of Israel, something they and the compliant media are very good at accomplishing no matter how distorted or outright lying they have to do in order to paint Hamas as noble and Israel as a blood soaked monster.

 

That brings us to the final complaint, the media, and in particular, the Western media, listening to the reports primarily on American radio and television news. One might mistake the news for the rantings of John Stewart except they are less amusing. Just about every report I was able to hear had at least one interview of a Palestinian complaining over how they had to flee their home after receiving notification that it was about to be struck. Most reports were careful not to get the quote if they included that it originated from the Israelis. They all mentioned the four young boys who were simply playing soccer on the beach and were murdered by an Israeli strike. There was no mention that they might have been using rocket launchers to mark the goals or boundaries for their game. They all gave the listing of casualties as stating that only one Israeli fatality had occurred compared to hundred or two hundred Gazan Palestinians being killed. No breakdown that at least half of the Gazan fatalities have been Hamas or Islamic Jihad rocket launching teams struck in the process of setting up rockets to fire into Israel or immediately after firing into Israel. They mentioned that the Gazan often had only minutes to escape attacks from Israel after being warned of incoming strikes. They left out that many Israelis have between fifteen seconds in Sderot to as much as ninety seconds in Haifa and a sliding scale for distance can predict the time for other cities in Israel. They also omitted that the warnings received by the Gazans were provided by the Israelis and not by Hamas or Islamic Jihad. The coverage of the conflict was so slanted and that is before we note that for the three weeks while the rocket fire steadily increased reaching hundred rockets and mortars per day, there was no mention of these attacks in the news coverage. The first time there was any mention of the rockets raining down on Israelis was after Israel finally had enough and responded and then they were mentioned more as if they were in response to the Israeli strikes, not the cause of the Israeli strikes. Is it too much to ask that the news be reported factually and leave the bile, spite, hatred and poisonous penmanship for the editorial pages? Obviously, when it comes to Israel the old blame the Jews canard still rules absolute.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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