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April 10, 2011
Attacks from Gaza escalate
Jerry Philipson writes:
The relative lull has been shattered.
On April 7 an anti-tank missile was fired by Palestinians from Gaza at an Israeli school bus, severely injuring a 16 year old boy. Forty schoolchildren had just got off the bus or else the toll would have been much higher. The Palestinians from Gaza who fired the long-range missile could not have known that the schoolchildren had exited. It was the first time an anti-tank missile has been used against a civilian target, and a school bus at that.
On March 23 a bomb was set off at a crowded bus station in Jerusalem by Palestinians from Gaza, killing one person and wounding 39 others. The number of dead and wounded could easily have been much higher.
On March 11 Palestinians from Gaza slaughtered an Israeli family as they slept, a father and mother in their mid 30's and three children aged 11, 4 and three months. The father and three month old had their throats slit and the others were stabbed to death.
Throughout the month of March right up to the present time Palestinians from Gaza have been firing large numbers of rockets into Israel in an effort to murder, maim and terrorize as many Israelis as possible. Many of the rockets have exploded in populated areas and caused significant property damage in addition to the human cost. A high and growing percentage of the rockets used are grad rockets. Grad rockets have multiple warheads, a range of 25 kilometers and are lethal killing machines.
There was a lull in fighting prior to these atrocities taking place but only in relative terms. At no point since the end of the war in Gaza in 2009 has Israel been free from attack, have Israeli civilians been able to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. The attacks have increased in frequency, intensity and lethality since early March however and Israel has had to increase its military response accordingly, which accounts for the rise in fighting and the lull being shattered.
It's as if Palestinians at the behest of their Iranian masters have decided to try and provoke Israel into retaliating on a massive scale to defend and protect Israeli civilians the way it did in 2008. This is entirely possible given the byzantine world of Middle East politics, the de facto disavowal of Israel by President Obama and the United States and its obvious reluctance to come to Israel's assistance and the sense of opportunity and of a moment in time this has given to those who would destroy her. Israelis have held back but the time is fast approaching when they will no longer be able to do so.
The lull has been shattered alright. What can make the atrocities and the fighting permanently stop? Palestinians and the rest of the Arab/Islamic world have got to recognize and accept the legitimacy and existence of Israel, stop trying to murder, maim and terrorize Israelis and allow them to live in peace and security and stop trying to destroy the Jewish state.
Good luck with that...it's just not going to happen, not in the foreseeable future anyway. Since Palestinians and the rest of the Arab/Islamic world are consumed by anti-Semitic and anti-Israel beliefs and feelings and are intractable in their animus the atrocities and the fighting are going to go on and on and on.
With a relative lull once in awhile.
Blame the Palestinians. Blame the rest of the Arab/Islamic world. Blame Islam most of all. Don't blame the Israelis though. They're just trying to survive.
Leo Rennert writes:
The April 9 print edition of the Washington Post features a brief article by Jerusalem correspondent Joel Greenberg, with a headline reading, "10 die in Gaza strikes after bus attack."
Here's Greenberg's lead:
There are shadings and spins in this sentence that bear a few comments. To wit:
--When it comes to accounting for this exchange of fire, when Palestinians are killed it's due to "Israeli" strikes. But when an Israeli school bus is hit, it's just due to "a missile atack" -- without any identification of the actual perpetrators of the attack. Hamas nicely gets a pass..
--Also, when it comes to identifying Palestinian fatalities, Greenberg goes out of his way to report that they included a woman and her 21-year-old daughter but fails to report that quite a few of these fatalities also were Hamas terrorists. There's a moral difference between one side trying to hit terrorist targets and the other side trying to hit civilian targets. But this escapes Greenberg's reporting.
Which brings me to Greenberg's second paragraph, which reads as follows:
Greenberg has Israeli aircraft and tanks firing "at targets" in Gaza. But Israel wasn't firing at random as some Palestinian "targets." It was firing at terrorist infrastructure and terror cells. In Greenberg's reporting, the actual objective and execution of Israeli fire are totally missing. Which again gives Hamas a pass
And when it comes to the other side of this exchange of fire, it's "militants" -- an Orwellian euphemism for terrorists -- who fire "at Israel." But Hamas wasn't just firing "at Israel." It was deliberately firing at Israeli civilians. Again, this lets Hamas, as a terrorist group using terrorist tactics, off the hook. It puts Hamas on the same moral plane as Israel -- Israel fires at Gaza; "militants" fire at Israel. Perfect equivalence!
Finally, Hamas makes a belated appearance at the end of the second paragraph, but not as the aggressor -- only as the target of an Israeli offensive in 2009. No mention that this offensive was designed to halt tens of thousands of rocket barrages fired against Israeli population centers by Hamas and other terrorist groups. If there was a huge flare-up of violence in 2009, it was only Isrel's doing, according to Greenberg.
What gets totally lost in Greenberg's writing is that Hamas, before and after its violent takeover of Gaza, has been the aggressor, using ever-more accurate missiles to hit Israeli civilians, while Israel, at the receiving end of such attacks, is exercising its right of self-defense, making every effort to target terrorists -- a constraint made all the more difficult by Palestinian terrorists who hide and among non-combatants and use Gaza civilians as human shields.
No such distinction distinguishes Greenberg's writing. And yet, it's the crux of what really is goes on.