Hamas pursuing death of Israel

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MOST Filipinos who read newspapers, watch TV news and tune in to radio broadcasts don’t really know exactly why there’s no end to the death and destruction in Palestine, and why the other day Israel launched a costly ground assault into the Gaza Strip part of the Palestinian Territories, and why earlier Israel began launching air strikes at Gaza targets, why Hamas affiliated Palestinian military groups have been firing rockets aimed at Israel.

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Who is at fault? Who has been more morally correct?

The answer is found in Charles Krauthammer’s Washington Post column yesterday, “Moral clarity in Gaza,” which we print with permission below.

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“Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.

“ ‘Here’s the difference between us,’ explains the Israeli prime minister. ‘We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.’

“Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel-Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent ‘cycle of violence.’ This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows Hamas’ proudly self-declared raison d’etre: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.

“Apologists for Hamas attribute the bloodlust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? Does no one remember anything? It was less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling diehard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted its settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians. There was not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli left in Gaza.

“And there was no blockade. On the contrary. Israel wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help the Gaza economy, Israel gave the Palestinians its 3,000 greenhouses that had produced fruit and flowers for export. It opened border crossings and encouraged commerce.

“The whole idea was to establish the model for two states living peacefully and productively side by side. No one seems to remember that simultaneous with the Gaza withdrawal, Israel dismantled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank as a clear signal of Israel’s desire to leave the West Bank too and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution.

“And how did the Gaza Palestinians react to being granted by the Israelis what no previous ruler, neither Egyptian, nor British, nor Turkish, had ever given them — an independent territory? First, they demolished the greenhouses. Then they elected Hamas. Then, instead of building a state with its attendant political and economic institutions, they spent the better part of a decade turning Gaza into a massive military base, brimming with terror weapons, to make ceaseless war on Israel.

“Where are the roads and rail, the industry and infrastructure of the new Palestinian state? Nowhere. Instead, they built mile upon mile of underground tunnels to hide their weapons and, when the going gets tough, their military commanders. They spent millions importing and producing rockets, launchers, mortars, small arms, even drones. They deliberately placed them in schools, hospitals, mosques and private homes to better expose their own civilians. And from which they fire rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

“Why? The rockets can’t even inflict serious damage, being almost uniformly intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Even West Bank leader Mahmoud Abbas has asked: ‘What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?’

“It makes no sense. Unless you understand, as a Washington Post editorial explained, that the whole point is to draw Israeli counterfire.

“This produces dead Palestinians for international television. Which is why Hamas perversely urges its own people not to seek safety when Israel drops leaflets warning of an imminent attack.

“To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.

“In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, Hamas’ depravity begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera — both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the UN ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years which nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields.

“It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.–© 2014, The Washington Post Writers Group”

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6 Comments

  1. These extremists have really mastered the art of how to manipulate the media to its favor. The gruesome pictures of injured or deasd women and children have become the routine mugshots in the headlines. They provoke the Israelis into a confrontastion and when she reacts, would hastily hide behind their civilians to deter the other side from attacking. These are not real freedom fighters but thugs whose aim is hegemony, to bring the Israelis down on their knes. They are bastards and cowards who do not hesitate to sacrifice their wives and children as .long as they can achieve their goals. They deserve no compassion or mercy. I feel sorry for those Palestinians who have become pawns and sacrficial lambs in this dirty war. But to continually oblige and surrender their fate at the mercy of this group is no different to a wiling participant for easy slaughter. It is about time for these people to withdraw their support away from this group.

  2. Palestinians have nothing to loose. They have no freedom. They are second class citizens. They have no rights. Their economy is destroyed and will never flourish until they get their freedom!

    Their peaceful protests have proven inefficient. The world is not listening to their problems. The only option left: War. Since they have nothing to loose, they will fight until eternity. This is a struggle for freedom – not a clash of religions.

    Israel has to be stopped. They are terrorizing the entire regions with their superior military power and political zionism.

  3. mel amarillo on

    At this point it is not important to ask who is right or who is wrong. They did this many times before. All the world must do now is bring them again to the negotiating table and talk. It may not be too foolish to ask for divine intervention.

  4. A very thought-provoking commentary. This should open the minds and conscience of those who doesn’t care to study the Israeli struggle for nationhood. Opposing versions of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and history will never arrive at a common ground for the protagonists. In some cases, history might also be the culprit, being the driving force that propels this warring race in an interminable war of attrition.

  5. Leopoldo B. Gonzalez on

    What you have just read is the truth and nothing but the truth. Jewish people are very friendly to the Filipinos. It is about time that the media publish the real story regarding
    the Hamas how they endangered their Muslim brothers when they hide their rocket missiles in churches, mosques and schools. This is morally despicable on the part of the Hamas. I wish our Bansangmoro will not emulate the Hamas. If ever they are given autonomy, they must follow the Law of the Philippines and forget about the Sharia Law.