Rockets, sirens, explosions – none of it will shake us. Israel stands strong in the face of terror.
Today’s cartoon at The Times, by Peter Brookes, pretty much says it all.
One of the most common and misleading tactics deployed against Israel by its critics is to compare the number of dead Israelis and dead Palestinians, and use the figures to portray Palestinians as victims of Israeli aggression.
Vox’s Max Fisher, who is on a campaign to convince people that Israel bears primary responsibility for the absence of peace in the region, pushed the argument this week to show that the conflict was “lopsided.” The Legal Insurrection blog has rounded up other examples of liberals and critics of Israel making similar arguments emphasizing comparative death totals.
In a sense, it’s understandable why opponents of Israel seek to make such arguments, because it allows them to flash a simple statistic that could be persuasive those who are uninformed about the actual details of the conflict. But no objective observer should take moral arguments rooted in raw casualty statistics seriously, and below, I’ve given five reasons why.
1. Comparative death totals don’t say much about the morality of the various sides in a conflict
If you want to talk about lopsided death totals, check out this chart of German and American deaths during World War II.
According to the National World War II Museum, the war claimed between 6.6 million and 8.8 million German lives, compared with 418,500 American lives. That translates into a ratio of German to American deaths of at least 16 to 1, and as high as 21 to 1. Yet nobody is going to argue, based on these statistics, that Nazi Germany should be able to claim the moral high ground over the U.S. in the war.
To be clear, I’m not saying that the current conflict and World War II are the same. I make this point at the outset to establish that comparing raw death totals of parties in a conflict, devoid of context, says absolutely nothing about the morality of the various sides involved in a conflict. Nor does it reveal which side was the aggressor.
2. Raw totals don’t differentiate among civilians and terrorists
Another problem with looking at raw death totals is that they don’t say anything about who is being killed — a Palestinian terrorist and an Israeli child each count as one death as far as overall casualty statistics are concerned. A further look at data from B’Tselem, which Fisher and others rely on, found that between September 2000 (when Palestinians launched a campaign of terrorism known as the “Second Intifada”) and May 2014, 2,384 deaths on the Palestinian side were of “Palestinians who took part in the hostilities and were killed by Israeli security forces”; 683 were “Palestinians killed by Palestinians”; another 288 were “Palestinians who were the object of a targeted killing” (in other words, Israel identified terrorist leaders and successfully eliminated them); and 702 were Palestinians killed in cases where it’s unknown whether they were involved in fighting. So, depending on how one wants to look at the numbers, at least 3,067 and perhaps 3,769 of those Palestinians included in the raw total numbers of 7,561 were either combatants or killed by other Palestinians. This isn’t to say that there aren’t Palestinian civilian deaths, but for reasons detailed below, the responsibility for those deaths lies with Palestinian terrorists and their supporters, not with Israel.
3. Israel takes tremendous precautions to protect its own citizens
During the “Second Intifada,” Palestinian terrorists carried out a wave of suicide bombings, killing hundreds of Israelis at nightclubs, cafes, buses, and other locations throughout Israel, such as at a hotel during the Jewish holiday of Passover. Eventually, over the objections of the international community, Israel built a security fence that has proved successful in virtually eliminating the capacity of terrorists to carry out suicide attacks. Being deprived of their ability to massacre Jews through suicide bombings, Palestinians turned toward indiscriminately firing rockets at Israeli civilians.
Terrorists have launched more than 11,000 rockets into Israel since Hamas took over Gaza in 2005, according to Israel Defense Forces. In the current conflict, Hamas has been using longer-range rockets, firing at Israel’s capital city, major population centers, and its international airport, among other targets.
To protect its citizens, the Israeli government has been sending out sirens warning them of approaching rockets so they can get to shelter — the warning time ranges from 15 seconds in the southern parts of Israel closer to Gaza to 90 seconds for most of central Israel. In addition, Israel has developed the “Iron Dome” anti-missile system that has been shooting down rockets heading toward populated areas. Add these precautions to the fact that Israel has a citizenry trained in how to behave calmly during a crisis, and this accounts for the fact that there’s only been one death recorded on the Israeli side during the current conflict.
But somehow, the way the issue is being portrayed by critics, it’s as if Israelis should somehow feel guilty and morally conflicted about the fact that they aren’t at greater risk of being hit by rockets.
4. Palestinian terrorists put their civilians in harm’s way
Palestinians have had a tradition of glorifying death and viewing those who die in the process of killing Israelis and Americans as heroes. On Sept. 11, 2001, Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate the attacks that killed 3,000 Americans, even handing out candy. Over the years, Palestinians have named streets after suicide bombers and thrown parades in their honor. In this 2012 report from Hamas-controlled Al Aqsa television, a Palestinian man explained the desire of children to follow in the footsteps of a slain Hamas leader: “Allah be praised, all the young Muslims in Gaza love martyrdom, just as our enemies, the Jewish dogs, love life.”
Given this foundation, it isn’t surprising that Hamas terrorists have been caught over the years firing rockets from schools,hospitals, and residential neighborhoods — and using houses to meet and store weapons. It’s a win-win for a group that has no regard for human lives. Because Israel seeks to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties, Hamas has more freedom when it operates near civilians. Here, for instance, is video of the IDF calling off an airstrike because there were too many civilians in the area. On the other hand, when Israel is forced to attack a site, and there are inevitable casualties on the Palestinian side, it serves as a propaganda victory for Hamas, because Israel’s opponents in the media will then use the casualty counts to de-legitimize Israel. This, in turn, generates more international pressure against Israel to cease its military operations.
5. The reality of Israel’s military edge actually shows that it’s acting morally
Another way that opponents of Israel attempt to use comparative death totals is to portray Palestinians as defenseless victims of Israel’s powerful military. But the reality of Israel’s vast conventional military edge actually demonstrates that it’s acting morally. The best weapons Palestinians have available to them right now are long-range rockets from Iran and Syria — and they are firing them indiscriminately, where they would inflict the greatest damage on Israelis were they to make landfall. In contrast, Israel has the military capacity to completely level Gaza to the ground, and instead, its military is using a tiny fraction of its might to launch limited attacks on specific targets — on terrorist commanders themselves, as well as rocket launch sites and rocket storage sites.
If Israel were to abandon its domestic protective measures and call off its military actions in Gaza, it would surely change the casualty statistics. But it would also represent a dereliction of duty by Israeli leaders if they didn’t take actions necessary to protect their citizens.
This war may have prevented a huge planned terror attack
Could this be true?From the 48 Hamas prisoners that have been captured, the intelligence have been interrogating them and the most terrifying, and horrific picture is being built.
They are being investigated about the many tunnels that have been found and dug under many kibbutzim that surround Gaza. The most terrifying detail is being uncovered that Hamas had a plan to attack all the settlements and kibbutzim in the area this year on Rosh Hashanah with an invasion of over 200 terrorists into almost all the settlements in the area. The tunnels went under the kibbutzim under the kindergartens and dining rooms and other areas within the kibbutz perimeters. They planned to occupy the whole area and kill as many Israelis as possible.
This could have been the worst terror attack in the history of terrorism. Thousands of people, including women and children would have been slaughtered in this planned attack.
According to NRG, Bibi said something like this in a cabinet meeting yesterday, although without some of the more specific details like the “Rosh Hashahah” timeframe:
Bibi also alluded to such a mass attack in a speech a few days ago:Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed yesterday (Thursday) that the intent of the organization (Hamas) was to use dozens of tunnels simultaneously.
In the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu told ministers that “these tunnels were meant to allow the enemy to attack simultaneously and perform mass attacks on Israeli citizens.”
Security sources stress that if the political leadership wants to eliminate the problem of the tunnels, the IDF needed more time because we are not even halfway done. They say this unplanned war with Hamas prevented a disaster on the order of the Yom Kippur War, which would reduce the State of Israel to its knees.
We do know that there were several tunnels into Israel that were in close proximity to Israeli communities, or on their way, possibly with multiple exits on the Israel side that would facilitate such an attack:"More tunnels were discovered during last night’s action, tunnels that are added to the many others we have found, some of which had already reached Israeli territory. Hamas invested years of work and vast capital in them in order to perpetrate large-scale terrorist attacks and carry out abductions. We found handcuffs and sedatives. There is no question here. This was a strategic network for Hamas in which it had installed fortifications, electricity, cables, all in order to infiltrate, carry out large-scale attacks and kidnap [Israelis]."
The size (both length and height/width) and sophistication of the tunnels suggest a larger operation than just snatching a person.
The idea of simultaneous attacks by Islamists against civilians is not exactly novel.
This what it looks like when rockets are stored in a UNRWA school in Gaza. What if it were your child’s classroom?
These rockets have been discovered inside UN schools not once, but twice this week.
Buttu Bing, Buttu Boom
Two weeks after being destroyed by CNN’s Jake Tapper, former PLO adviser Diana Buttuget’s destroyed by UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer.
That demolition of her lies was so one-sided, it must be a war crime.
IDF Facilitation of the Red Cross In Gaza
During Operation Protective Edge, The IDF has shown its commitment to facilitating the movement of medical resources throughout Gaza.
Thethe only defenders of in the Gaza Strip, that is controlled by Hamas War Criminals
Basically, the Western media has taught Hamas that it doesn’t matter how downright evil you are. It doesn’t matter if you launch two thousand missiles at civilian targets, including the airport. It doesn’t matter if you use your own children as human shields.
You’ll get the coverage you want if CNN, BBC et al. have props to point their cameras at. Our form of news-gathering has taught Hamas to turn their children into those props, and to sacrifice them on the altar of Jihad. By misreporting, our media has encouraged the bad guys to kill their own children, and has dragged Israel into a war it did not want.
here is no group that can be more evil, in the narrowest sense of the word, than the rulers of the Gaza strip, Hamas. They are openly anti-democratic, anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-Israel, anti-American and anti-Western. The list continues. These are the people who distributed candies, danced in the street and openly celebrated after 9/11.
I simply don’t know what else they could do to make Westerners dislike them. For good measure, they are anti-Palestinian nationalism. They don’t believe in a Palestinian state. They believe that “statehood” is a Western invention. They also believe in the destruction of the Jewish state as a step toward an international Islamic Republic. And yet, despite all of this, they are portrayed as freedom fighters by much of the international media.
Flashmob Simulates Hamas Rocket Attacks in Vienna.
Jewish community in Vienna plays siren, ducks for cover in several public squares to raise awareness and show solidarity.
The Jewish community in Vienna staged a flashmob in several public places on Thursday, according to Austrian online newspaper Heute, in order to show solidarity with Israelis living under the constant threat of Hamas’s rocket fire.
Flashmobs were launched in Stephen Sqaure, Sweden Square, and the Opera House in Vienna, according to the daily, as organizers struggled to raise awareness of the cause behind Israel’s self-defense operation, Operation Protective Edge,
During each demonstration, a siren was sounded, and protestors took 15 seconds to duck or find cover - roughly the same amount of time Israelis living in the Gaza belt, Ashkelon, or Ashdod have to find shelter in the event of a rocket attack.
"The terror, the rockets must stop," one of the organizers told the outlet. "Hamas must be disarmed, so that Israel can finally live in peace."