Friday, August 8, 2014

Disproportionate Casualties

Now that the world has expressed their outrage at the "disproportionate casualties" inflicted upon civilians in Gaza by the Israelis, who, it has been alleged by the UN Human Rights Council, have been indiscriminately and wantonly engaged in killing civilians, the BBC pauses to give the matter a little thought.

Reasonable observers are beginning to take not of an odd fact about these casualties first brought to light by the New York Times. Here's an excerpt from the BBC piece:
[I]f the Israeli attacks have been "indiscriminate", as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women.

An analysis by the New York Times looked at the names of 1,431 casualties and found that "the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll. They are 9% of Gaza's 1.7 million residents, but 34% of those killed whose ages were provided."

"At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71% of the population and 33% of the known-age casualties."

He said that part of the reason for the discrepancy between the figures was "when militants are brought to hospitals, they are brought in civilian clothing, obscuring terrorist affiliations."

"Hamas also has given local residents directives to obscure militant identities," he said.

"It's important to bear in mind that in Operation Cast Lead [the last Israeli ground offensive in December 2008-January 2009], Hamas and Gaza-based organisations claimed that only 50 combatants were killed, admitting years later the number was between 600-700, a figure nearly identical to the figure claimed by the IDF."

In conclusion, we do not yet know for sure how many of the dead in Gaza are civilians and how many were fighters.
Uh, huh. So not only do the brave warriors of Hamas use women and children as human shields to run up the number of civilian deaths, they also apparently masquerade their own dead as civilians for the same purpose. Meanwhile, much of the world naively accepts whatever Hamas tells them because, perhaps, it fits their narrative that Jews are inherently evil and Hamas is simply the noble expression of the legitimate grievances of an oppressed people.

The evil, though, is in refusing to face the truth about where the evil really lies.

For those who need help in discerning where it lies one can start with the charter of Hamas which declares their goal to be the "obliteration" of Israel. If someone's stated ambition is to kill you and your family, and they do everything they can to carry it out, it seems to be common sense to me that you have the right, the duty, even, to do everything you can to eliminate the threat.

Nevertheless, though they have the right to eliminate the threat to their very existence the Israelis have not done everything they could do. The Israelis build a wall to prevent the terrorists from freely walking into their homes, and the world calls for sanctions and divestitures. They set up a blockade to prevent the terrorists from getting weapons and missiles, and the world howls in protest. They allow humanitarian and building materials into Gaza, and Hamas uses them to build tunnels to facilitate their murders while the world goes silent. The Israelis then go into Gaza to blow up the tunnels, and the world condemns them. But one thing they haven't done is destroy Hamas altogether, and they haven't done this, evidently, because they don't want to kill the civilians that Hamas doesn't scruple to place between them and Israeli bullets. Yet people call the Israelis evil.

When men can no longer distinguish the moral distinction between the attempt to murder someone and the attempt to prevent that murder, when men call evil good and good evil, then surely the world has gone morally berserk.