On Sunday, Iran's Foreign Ministry called Israel's attack on Gaza a war crime and urged "Muslim countries, regional and international organizations, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and all independent governments and nations to take serious measures in response to the Zionist regime's criminal actions." Those statements are music to the ears of Islamist elements throughout the world. There is nothing that they love more than calling for Israel's destruction, and anything that moves their fellow Jew haters in that direction is a cause célèbre.
TEHRAN - In a statement issued on Sunday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip as inhumane war crimes.
On Saturday, AFP quoted Palestinian medics as saying that 16 Palestinians had been killed and at least 20 wounded in a series of Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.
It also criticized the international community and the self-proclaimed supporters of human rights for remaining silent about the violation of human rights and killing of innocent and defenseless Palestinians by the Zionist regime and called on them to fulfill their humanitarian obligations to defend the Palestinian people.
The statement also urged Muslim countries, regional and international organizations, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and all independent governments and nations to take serious measures in response to the Zionist regime's criminal actions.
Islamists don't need facts to support their fetish. All they need is an incident that they can rally behind, and Israel's attack on Gaza last Friday provided one. But what are the facts? Let's examine the evidence:
- On Friday, Israel launched an attack against Zuhir al-Qaisi, the Popular Resistance Committees Secretary-General, and his associate, Mahmoud Hanani, for their role in the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Shalit was held hostage by Hamas for more than five years before being released last fall in a massive prisoner swap -- Shalit was exchanged for 1,027 Hamas and Palestinian prisoners many of whom were terrorists who had carried out attacks against Israel. Hanani was one of the prisoners released in the Shalit deal.
- Al-Qaisi was the instigator of an August 2011 terror attack in Israel that resulted in eight Israeli deaths. Both al-Qaisi and Hanani were in the midst of planning for another large-scale terror attack against Israel on the Gaza border.
- In retaliation for Israel's targeted attack, Hamas terrorists launched a massive, indiscriminate rocket barrage against Israel. In total, 92 rockets were fired into southern Israel injuring eight Israelis, one seriously. Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel remains on high alert in the south and that Israel reserves the right "to strike anyone planning to attack its citizens." Today, Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barack, reiterated Netanyahu's statement by saying that Israel will "strike all those who rise to attack us."
Iran's Foreign Ministry failed to mention any of these facts. It also failed to mention that Iran "owns and operates Islamic Jihad," another terrorist organization that is well-known for launching indiscriminate attacks against innocent Israeli civilians. That should come as no surprise since Iran is currently engaged in a propaganda war against Israel. They are trying to portray Israel as the aggressor in the Middle East and Islamist elements as victims. Nothing could be further from the truth, but it sells well among Islamists, Jew haters, and useful idiots in the West. Will Iran succeed in its propaganda campaign? Unfortunately, the answer is probably "yes."
Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.