Friday, July 25, 2014

The Left's Moral Blindness

In any conflict between peoples or nations the Left seems to assume that the stronger party is ipso facto villainous and the weaker party is noble. This simplistic assumption is nowhere more pellucid than in the current Israeli/Palestinian war. In order to maintain this assumption, though, the Left has to deny or suppress a host of facts. It also has to hold the stronger side of the battle to a standard that it's not willing to impose on the weaker side nor, for that matter, would it be willing to impose it on itself. This is either unintelligent or dishonest, or both.

Consider a recent editorial in the LA Times which is so estranged from reality as to justify the inference that it was written by representatives of Hamas. Breitbart gives us a summary:
The Los Angeles Times leads Thursday with a story entitled: "Gaza's dilemma: Deadly war or suffocating Israeli embargo." According to the story, Palestinians in Gaza are left with no choice but to wage war, because if they do not fire rockets at Israeli civilians, they must accept an Israeli [sic] "embargo." The article omits the obvious point that if Hamas would stop trying to kill Israelis, neither the embargo nor the war itself would be necessary.

The authors, Alexandra Zavis and Bathseva Sobelman, accept that Hamas started the war--and even suggest that most Palestinians in Gaza support it, though there is nothing beyond anecdotal evidence to prove that claim. They also describe Hamas's smuggling tunnels to Egypt--which have been used to import deadly weapons--in positive terms, lamenting their supposed closure: "Residents are left to struggle just to get by."

Nowhere--not once--in the entire article do Zavis or Sobelman note the terror tunnels that Hamas has spent the past several years building to attack Israel, diverting humanitarian aid and building materials for that purpose. Nowhere do they mention the fact that Hamas is using Palestinians as human shields, or that Israel has offered many ceasefires, or that the rockets fired from Gaza are intended to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible.

The article presents "war" or "embargo" as a false choice for Palestinians, utterly ignoring the fact that Gazans could choose peace instead of either of those options.
The Washington Post offers a condign rejoinder to the nonsense purveyed by the LA Times:
The distinguishing feature of the latest war between Israel and Hamas is “offensive tunnels,” as the Israeli army calls them. As of early Wednesday, 28 had been uncovered in Gaza, and nearly half extend into Israel, according to Israeli officials. The tunnels are the reason that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu decided last weekend to launch a ground invasion of Gaza, and they explain why that operation has strong support from Israelis in spite of the relatively heavy casualties it has inflicted.

Most significantly, the tunnels show why it has been difficult to reach a cease-fire and why any accord must forge a new political and security order in Gaza. Hamas’s offensive tunnels should not be confused with the burrows it has dug under Gaza’s border with Egypt to smuggle money, consumer goods and military equipment. The newly discovered structures have only one conceivable purpose: to launch attacks inside Israel. Three times in recent days, Hamas fighters emerged from the tunnels in the vicinity of Israeli civilian communities, which they clearly aimed to attack.

The ­concrete-lined structures are stocked with materials, such as handcuffs and tranquilizers, that could be used on hostages. Other tunnels in northern Gaza are designed for the storage and firing of missiles at Israeli cities.

The resources devoted by Hamas to this project are staggering, particularly in view of Gaza’s extreme poverty. By one Israeli account, the typical tunnel cost $1 million to build over the course of several years, using tons of concrete desperately needed for civilian housing.

By design, many of the tunnels have entrances in the heavily populated Shijaiyah district, where the Israeli offensive has been concentrated. One was found underneath al-Wafa hospital, where Hamas also located a command post and stored weapons, according to Israeli officials.

The depravity of Hamas’s strategy seems lost on much of the outside world, which — following the terrorists’ script — blames Israel for the civilian casualties it inflicts while attempting to destroy the tunnels. While children die in strikes against the military infrastructure that Hamas’s leaders deliberately placed in and among homes, those leaders remain safe in their own tunnels. There they continue to reject cease-fire proposals, instead outlining a long list of unacceptable demands.
Thanks to Hot Air for the links. I was watching MSNBC's Morning Joe yesterday morning when one of the panelists asked a retired El Al Israeli security chief one of the most boneheaded questions I think I've heard since this new war began. He asked the Israeli why, if Iron Dome is so successful in deflecting Palestinian missiles, do the Israelis feel they need to invade Gaza to defend themselves. After all, Hamas has tried without success to kill Israeli civilians by futilely firing thousands of missiles into Israel so why not just sit back and let them keep doing it?

The question was breathtakingly otiose - not just because the rockets aren't the primary reason for the invasion, the tunnels are, but because even if they were the primary reason, they're reason enough. The questioner, whose name I missed, apparently thinks that a policeman shot numerous times by a thug but saved each time by his kevlar vest, should refrain from using deadly force against his assailant by returning fire because he really hadn't suffered any harm.

The MSNBC panelist's question simply shows the lengths to which some will go, even to the point of self-embarrassment, in order to try to pin blame on the tragic Palestinian casualties on Israel rather than on Hamas where it belongs.