Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Moral clarity in Gaza

Posted by on Jul. 18, 2014 at 9:13 PM
  • 282 Replies
5 moms liked this
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.”

Charles Krauthammer writes a weekly political column that runs on Fridays. View Archive

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 the proudly self-declared raison d’etre of Hamas: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.

Apologists for Hamas attribute the blood lust 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 die-hard 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 Israel Defense Forces released a video on Thursday that they claim shows a tunnel that Hamas militants planned to use to attack Israel. (YouTube/The Israel Defense Forces)

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 as well and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution.

This is not ancient history. This was nine years ago.

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. (Just Thursday, the U.N. announced that it found 20 rockets in a Gaza school.) 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 Tuesday’s 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, the depravity of Hamas 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 U.N. ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years that 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.


Read more from Charles Krauthammer’s archivefollow him on Twitteror subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

by on Jul. 18, 2014 at 9:13 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jul. 18, 2014 at 9:19 PM
15 moms liked this

They are not bound to return the fire.

Both sides are to blame.

Either side has the ability to stop it. They both choose to continue the carnage.

Yes, moral scruples are lost when one continues to fire missiles that hit and kill young people on the beach.

Both sides are to blame.

Speaking of morals and scruples is crass in light of the continued carnage.

We should put legislation in place to stop all funding to both sides.

numbr1wmn
by Nikki on Jul. 18, 2014 at 9:20 PM
5 moms liked this
Israelnis supposed to allow their people be slaughtered. Sick
Sisteract
by Whoopie on Jul. 18, 2014 at 9:30 PM
15 moms liked this


Quoting numbr1wmn: Israelnis supposed to allow their people be slaughtered. Sick

In the face of the number of deaths for each side in this current conflict, how can you even post such an inane comment?

Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 9:32 PM
2 moms liked this
This.

Quoting Sisteract:

They are not bound to return the fire.

Both sides are to blame.

Either side has the ability to stop it. They both choose to continue the carnage.

Yes, moral scruples are lost when one continues to fire missiles that hit and kill young people on the beach.

Both sides are to blame.

Speaking of morals and scruples is crass in light of the continued carnage.

We should put legislation in place to stop all funding to both sides.

12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 9:32 PM
9 moms liked this


Quoting Sisteract:

They are not bound to return the fire.

Both sides are to blame.

Either side has the ability to stop it. They both choose to continue the carnage.

Yes, moral scruples are lost when one continues to fire missiles that hit and kill young people on the beach.

Both sides are to blame.

Speaking of morals and scruples is crass in light of the continued carnage.

We should put legislation in place to stop all funding to both sides.

They have a RIGHT to defend themselves.  And Israel choose ceasefire, Hamas choose to continue the carnage.  

OHgirlinCA
by Platinum Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 9:40 PM
12 moms liked this

Israel hasn't lost its moral scruples? 

That is an asinine comment. Their actions speak otherwise. 

Israel is by far more powerful and has the means to end this conflict or deal with it in a more humane manner but chooses not to. 

Violence isn't the answer for either side, but Israel should stop acting like they're the unprovoked victim.  

GLWerth
by Gina on Jul. 18, 2014 at 9:47 PM
5 moms liked this

LMAO.

Charles Krauthammer...moral clarity...lol. That's just too funny for words.

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 9:53 PM
Bump for later (Please step away from Alison Weir ... her "manufacturing" of facts is too overwhelming)
idunno1234
by Silver Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 10:13 PM
11 moms liked this

A different perspective:

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s major sources of instability. Americans are directly connected to this conflict, and increasingly imperiled by its devastation.

It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue, and on our power – and duty – to bring a resolution.

Please click on any statistic for the source and more information.
Statistics last updated: July 17, 2014

Israeli and Palestinian Children Killed
September 29, 2000 - Present

131 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1,581 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information)

Chart showing that approximately 12 times more Palestinian children have been killed than Israeli children

Israelis and Palestinians Killed
September 29, 2000 - Present

Chart showing that 6 times more Palestinians have been killed than Israelis.

1,111 Israelis and at least 7,149 Palestinians have been killed since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information)

Israelis and Palestinians Injured
September 29, 2000 - Present

8,550 Israelis and 58,105 Palestinians have been injured since September 29, 2000. (View Sources & More Information.)

Chart showing that Palestinians are injured at least six times more often than Israelis.

Daily U.S. Military Aid to Israel and the Palestinians
Fiscal Year 2013

Chart showing that the United States gives Israel $8.2 million per day in military aid and no military aid to the Palestinians.

During Fiscal Year 2013, the U.S. is providing Israel with at least $8.5 million per day in military aid and $0 in military aid to the Palestinians. (View Sources & More Information)

UN Resolutions Targeting Israel and the Palestinians
1955 - 1992

Israel has been targeted by at least 77 UN resolutions and the Palestinians have been targeted by 1. (View Sources & More Information)

Chart showing that Israel has been targeted by 77 UN resolutions, while the Palestinians have been targeted by 1.

Current Number of Political Prisoners and Detainees

Chart showing that Israel is holding 5,271 Palestinians prisoner.

0 Israelis are possibly being held prisoner by Palestinians, while 6,000 Palestinians are currently imprisoned by Israel. (View Sources & More Information)

Demolitions of Israeli and Palestinian Homes
1967 - Present

0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and at least 28,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967. (View Sources & More Information)

Chart showing that more than 28,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished, compared to no Israeli homes.

Israeli and Palestinian Unemployment Rates

Chart depicting the fact that the Palestinian unemployment is around 4 times the Israeli unemployment rate.

The Israeli unemployment rate is 5.8%, while the Palestinian unemployment in the West Bank is 22.5% and 27.9% in Gaza. (View Sources & More Information)

Current Illegal Settlements on the Other’s Land

Israel currently has 262 Jewish-only settlements and ‘outposts’ built on confiscated Palestinian land. Palestinians do not have any settlements on Israeli land. (View Sources & More Information)

Chart showing that Israel has 227 Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land.
LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Jul. 18, 2014 at 10:14 PM
As should Palestine.

Quoting OHgirlinCA:

Israel hasn't lost its moral scruples? 

That is an asinine comment. Their actions speak otherwise. 

Israel is by far more powerful and has the means to end this conflict or deal with it in a more humane manner but chooses not to. 

Violence isn't the answer for either side, but Israel should stop acting like they're the unprovoked victim.  

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)