The Inexplicable Picture of Jews Defending HamasBy Jerrold L. Sobel
As a young Jewish boy growing up in the Bronx, I heard my mother utter the following expression countless times: "there is no anti-Semite like a Jewish anti-Semite." I wish she were around for me to tell her she was right more times than not.
Take last month's dust-up in Gaza. A Jewish reader of the Advocate, always disparaging of Israel and fitting my mother's description to a tee, proudly e-mailed me an article written by another Jew of similar mindset.
The article, written by Gideon Levy, was recently published in the Israeli weekly Haaretz. Replete with anti-Israel invective and outright condemnation, the author, it would have made Joseph Goebbels drip with envy.
Discounting years of unprovoked daily attacks and conveniently forgetting the psychological and physical stress suffered by young Jewish children, this guy, in the vanguard of Israeli-bashing kooks, epitomizes the self-flagellating Jews both within and outside Israel.
What's his beef? Not only is Israel responsible for the recent war, but it is doubly so for suffering disproportionately fewer casualties in ending it.
Levy states, "Since the first Qassam rocket fell on Israel in April 2001, 59 Israelis have been killed - and 4,717 Palestinians." Somehow lost in his thinking is why the first Qassam fell on Israel to begin with. By this preposterous logic, to make the terrorists whole, Israel must owe them 4,658 Jewish fatalities.
Never mind that during this brief but bitter exchange, Israel has continued, inexplicably, to maintain electric and basic services to Gaza. Doesn't matter -- to this author, the disparity in fatalities places the onus for the war squarely upon Israel's shoulders.
Proving that there is an antithesis to the cliché "great minds think alike," syndicated columnist Amy Goodman, like Gideon Levy, also faults the Jewish state for disproportionately lower fatalities ("In Gaza, It's the Occupation Stupid").
If this absurd notion were just the gabble of two far-left writers, it could be laughed off. But it's not. This latest inane condemnation, facilitated by fellow Jews Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, is echoing -- mostly, unsurprisingly, from that bastion of Jewish love, Europe.
The Scottish government's minister for external affairs described Israel's bombardment of Gaza as "heavily disproportionate."
The Russian government, led by humanitarian extraordinaire Vladimir Putin, also faulted Israel for its "disproportionate response."
If the invective hurled at Israel for defending herself isn't preposterous enough, the fact that Mohamed Morsi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood and recently self-appointed strongman of Egypt, "brokered the peace" between Israel and the terrorists. Before doing so, he displayed his prowess for impartiality by deeming the war an example of "Israeli criminal aggression."
What's happened in Europe has now become all too common in journalism. Neither Levy or Goodman even feigns objectivity in his or her propagandist diatribe.
Goodman claims to have asked a Gazan woman what it's like to endure an air raid. But nowhere in the article does she interview a mother in the Israeli city of Sderot or any other city adjacent to Gaza. For years, Jewish mothers have lived in fear, knowing their children have had only 16 seconds to find cover from daily, unprovoked, and indiscriminate rocket attacks.
Nor in Goodman's screed is there any mention of Ariel Sharon's misconceived plan for peace -- uprooting hundreds of thousands Jews from Gaza, granting the strip de-facto autonomy, receiving constant terrorism in return. She also seems totally oblivious to the fact that it's these same incessant, indiscriminate rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza which precipitated these wars to begin with.
Within her agitprop there is ample mention of Israeli F-16s in action, but the author fails to mention their targets -- namely, tunnels dug for smuggling sophisticated weaponry from Iran and Egypt into Gaza. Also conveniently omitted are these same planes dropping leaflets on the population forewarning them of an imminent Israeli response in their area. This is a courtesy no other nation in the history of warfare has ever bestowed upon an enemy.
Not to be outdone, further into his article, Gideon Levy sticks to his mantra by stating: "[B]etween the start of the year and the outbreak of Operation Pillar of Defense, only one Israeli was killed by rocket and mortar-shell fire from Gaza. ... During that same period, Israel killed no fewer than 78 Palestinians in Gaza."
This is a patently absurd argument. Collateral damage has been an offshoot of warfare since the beginning of time. Unfortunately, the author fails to point out, the difference between Israel and the terrorists is that collateral damage caused by Israel is regrettable, while that of the terrorists is intentional.
Forgoing a scintilla of objectivity, Levy fails to mention the savings in life and property if Hamas discontinued storing munitions and conducting offensive operations in residential neighborhoods. Instead, he is stuck in this mode of incongruity and continues to drone on about the statistical disparity between casualties on both sides. He mentions that over this period of time, the Palestinians fired 7,361 rockets at Israel but then adds that Israel's response in numbers was "immeasurably higher." So should Israel be ashamed of winning this round and finally buying some peace, however tenuous, for her beleaguered citizens?
By the closing paragraphs of this drivel, it's difficult to doubt that Levy is a Jewish propagandist for Hamas:
If this man was not delusional or an anti-Semite, he might ask: with a ceasefire supposedly in effect, if not for a photo-op of violence, why would Hamas allow "civilians" to approach the Israeli border?
"Occupation"? The only occupation is by Hamas, a U.S.-recognized terrorist organization, now in control of the Gaza strip.
"Gaza is bleeding more than Israel." It doesn't have to be that way. If Hamas, with overwhelming support from their populace, would stop firing rockets at Israel, they would have immediate peace. It's as simple as that.
But with the exception of the willfully blind, we all recognize that this can never be. Hamas is sworn to its Charter of 1988, which calls for Israel's total annihilation. This manifesto was written years before Hamas had control of Gaza, yet never have its members wavered from their creed. When they speak of occupation, they're talking about all of Israel, not just Gaza or the disputed "territories" in Judea and Samaria. By endemic decree, they call for jihad, a perpetual war with Israel. To them and the people they represent, there can be no lasting placation or compromise. Only total victory will suffice.
Inured to change by their demeanor and that of their apologists over the years, the actions of Hamas operatives are not surprising. But admittedly, it's still inexplicable to read Jewish journalists unwaveringly supporting those seeking the total eradication of Israel. It leads me to think, Mom, you may have been onto something.
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