Friday, January 2, 2009

Israel Places Palestinian Lives Above Its Own Interests

Israeli intelligence learned that a family's house in Gaza was being used to manufacture rockets.  The Israeli military gave the residents 30 minutes to leave.  Instead, the owner called Hamas, which sent mothers carrying babies to the house.  Hamas knew that Israel would never fire at a home with civilians in it.  They also knew that if Israeli authorities did not learn there were civilians in the house and fired on it, Hamas would win a public relations victory by displaying the dead. Israel held its fire.  The Hamas rockets that were protected by the human shields were then used against Israeli civilians.
And the American Left, including the protesters here in Rochester (we'd love to know who these misfits are), side with Hamas.


Rottenchester said...

One of the nice things about the Internet is that you can go to the source instead of getting the information third-hand from a biased observer (Alan Dershowitz, in this case).

Here's a little more nuanced take from an Israeli paper:

In most cases the IDF will call off a strike if it thinks there are civilians in the building. But in some cases they don't.

And here's a case where the Israeli army claims a truckload of missiles was exploded, but it's not clear exactly what happened. It might have been a harmless civilian vehicle:

Things like this happen in the fog of war, so I'm not condemning Israel. But I'm enough of a realist to believe that Israel is going to kill a lot of civilians in this war, best intentions notwithstanding.

I'm an American, not an Israeli, so I'm not pledging my unconditional support to any foreign nation. I'm not standing with Israel "now and forever" unconditionally. I'm evaluating the claims about Israel with a skeptical eye, and wondering where our country's interests are well-served by the actions of an ally.

In this case, I'm not sure. Israel seems to have jumped into the Hamas briar patch. Lobbing unguided rockets into Israel is inexcusable, but it is meant to provoke a response. Would there be a smarter response than the current one? I'd like to know before I pledge my undying support to the current Israeli government.

Also, characterizing the position of the American Left from some anti-war protesters (who protest against every war) is absurd. There are fringes on the right and left, but the vast majority of Democrats support Israel almost as a matter of blind faith.

Philbrick said...

Thanks for your comment. As I realized after posting this, I should have said "some people" on the American Left.

As to Dershowitz: is he biased, really? Or has he evaluated the situation critically and come to a conclusion that Israel is in the right here? Surely Dershowitz established his credentials long ago as someone who's capable of the most careful critical analysis, don't you think?

As for "standing for Israel," I don't understand that as a "your country, right or wrong" statement, but rather as the support of the concept of an independent Jewish state whose residents are entitled to live in peace

Rottenchester said...

I have nothing against Dershowitz, but he's basing his report on a second-hand conversation from a retired Israeli officer. I'll take the word of an Israeli paper with reporters on the scene over his third-hand evidence, and the report in the Israeli paper doesn't mention Hamas bringing babies into a house that's about to be bombed.

Also, that remark set off my b.s. detector, because it sounds like it's crafted to offset the bad publicity that Israel is getting for the inevitable civilian casualties in this fight. But, that's probably my bias showing, because I don't believe very little about a war that doesn't come from a reporter on the front lines. Everyone else has too much at stake, and therefore too big an incentive to push propaganda.

I share your desire for an independent Jewish state. I'm just not convinced that the current Israeli government is fighting the right war at the right time.

Tiberius said...

It appears that Israel is giving Hammas an opportunity to execute their stated goal of the destruction of Israel. Hammas has had many years now to negotiate with it's neighbor, instead it uses hateful rhetoric and rockets.

I do pledge allegiance to my country and what is best for it. Israel has never committed a terror act on our soil or aimed one against us in the world.