Over the past week, the news has been dominated by the back-and-forth rocket attacks between Israel and Gaza. I must admit, I find it rather odd this is news in the first place. After all, according to the Israeli right and its supporters, Israel is under attack by Hamas 24/7 and that’s why Israel has to spend a higher percentage of its GDP on its military than any other nation, has to subject Gaza to a literal blockade, and has to have a “shoot first and ask questions later” policy towards Palestinians at their borders. That’s also why the United States has to give Israel their unapologetic support and millions of dollars in foreign aid, because they’re under attack so often that they have no choice but to be aggressive.
It should also be noted that almost none of the media is covering why Gaza and Palestine are specifically doing attacks now. They aren’t covering events like the recent Israeli police raid of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest sight in all of Islam, as described by Aljazeera on 5/11/2021:
After three consecutive nights of Israeli security forces raiding the Al Aqsa Mosque during prayers and weeks of police trying to stop Palestinians from accessing the Old City during the holy month of Ramadan, occupied East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank are on a knife’s edge.
Here’s Jacobin covering the same event:
A stone’s throw away, in Al-Aqsa Mosque, worshippers attending night prayers in the holy month of Ramadan were met with sound bombs and tear gas deployed by armed soldiers. The violence has now escalated to rocket fire from Hamas and Israel’s air strikes. As of Tuesday, these incidents had resulted in the death of twenty-four Palestinians, including nine children, and hundreds injured, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health.
Nor is there any talk about how there are currently plans being discussed by Israel to expel all Palestinians from the primarily Palestinian city of Sheikh Jarrah, which has been backed by the Israel Supreme Court. Instead, what we’re shown by the media is a one-sided conflict between literal barbarians on one side and helpless victims being slaughtered nonstop on the other.
Look at this tweet from Michael Dickson, the Executive Director of Stand With Us, a pro-Israel advocacy group:
Palestinian terrorists Hamas murdered these Israeli children, firing missiles directly at them. Let’s be clear: Hamas aim directly to harm and kill kids. We will always remember you Daniel Tregerman, age 4 and Ido Avigail, age 6. May your memories forever be a blessing.
I agree that’s tragic and Hamas is an evil organization for doing that. However, Israeli rockets of the past week have killed twenty-seven Palestinian children. In 2014, Vox found that of every fifteen people killed in the Israel-Palestine conflict, thirteen are Palestinian and two are Israeli.
Of course, those deaths are never actually the fault of Israel, they’re always the fault of Hamas. Does anyone remember the 6/7/2018 tweet from the IDF’s official Twitter account “Hamas’ use of human shields must stop”? A tweet that contained a video of the IDF shooting random Palestinians at the Gaza fence, while giving the nonsensical justification that Hamas was using them as “human shields.”
Speaking of the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) they have been in full damage control mode over on Twitter. This includes using this old chestnut on 5/13/2021 while talking about an airstrike on a building in Gaza:
Moments ago, IDF jets and aircraft struck Hamas military intelligence offices in Gaza. Before the strike, we warned civilians in the building & allowed sufficient time for them to evacuate the site. We are continuing to strike terror targets in Gaza.
As was said many years ago by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show:
Evacuate to where? Have you fucking seen Gaza? Israel blocked this border Egypt blocked this border — what are they supposed to swim for it?
Gaza is 13,069.1 square miles, which is barely bigger than the state of Maryland (12,405.93 square miles). Could you imagine if someone bombed Maryland but told us it was actually no big deal because they gave the people time to evacuate to other parts of Maryland?
Or how about this tweet from Ben Shapiro:
One side fires over a thousand rockets into civilian areas hoping to kill anyone, including Israeli Arabs. The other side delivers phone calls and "knock bombs" to evacuate civilians before destroying Hamas-occupied buildings. And most of the West pretends moral equivalence.
Again, where are they supposed to evacuate too?
And let’s talk about these knock bombs Israel uses. Specifically, how the IDF admitted in 2009 that these knock bombs still lead to injuries and possible deaths:
While these warnings, could not eliminate all harm to civilians, they were frequently effective.
This was said in response to the United Nations Goldstone Report, which stated:
(Palestinians) cannot be expected to know whether a small explosion is a warning of an impending attack or part of an actual attack.
Although what do you expect from the man who tweeted this back in 2010?
Israelis like to build. Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage. This is not a difficult issue. #settlementsrock
As Nathan Robinson wrote in his profile of Shapiro:
Perhaps I’m crazy. Perhaps there’s a definition of the word “racism” that wouldn’t include a statement like that. But since the statements “Black people are violent and want to live in sewage” or “Jews are violent and want to live in sewage” would both sound-- somewhat racist, I don’t see how the conclusion can be avoided. What do you call a crass pejorative generalization about an entire ethnic group? I know one word, but I’m open to others. (By the way, it’s amusing that Shapiro can see Gazan children swimming in sewage and think “Wow, Arabs must just really have a thing for sewage,” a train of reasoning roughly akin to “Wow, Haitians must really love dying in earthquakes, since a lot of them seem to have done it.” Though I am reliably informed that Shapiro is a master of logic, so I am sure there is more to this than mere simple-minded
Still, no matter what happens, Zionists can always fall back on the age old tactic of pointing out Hamas is bad. Watch Julie Lenarz, a member of the American Jewish Committee, use this tactic to deflect from the bad things Israel has done on 5/13/2021:
We always hear the same lies: Israel, the mighty military power, is killing innocent Palestinians.
1. Israel doesn't use child soldiers.
2. Israel doesn't store rockets in civilian areas.
3. Israel doesn't turn hospitals into missile launchpads.
Once again, nobody denies Hamas is evil, what we argue is that the evil done by Hamas does not justify the actions of Israel. Gaza is an authoritarian nation which is small and poor, Israel is a free and democratic nation which is large and rich. Of course, they get held to higher standards, just as we hold adults to higher standards than children.
Over the past week, we have seen Israel kill over one hundred Palestinians, all in the name of self-defense. We are told many of them are connected to Hamas--because anyone Israel kills has to have some connection to Hamas even if we don’t know who they are--and yet we are also told Hamas as a force is so cartoonist incompetent that it kills its own people randomly. As Raylan Givens tweeted on 5/12/2021:
Hamas misfire a rocket an hour ago, it hit the main power line, and now 100,000 people in the Rafah neighborhood in Gaza including hospitals are without power. Intel sources are saying Hamas is desperately looking for a cease-fire, Israel so far is refusing. @JoeSilverman7
So are Hamas a group of morons who can’t fire a rocket at Israel to save their lives or are they terrorist masterminds whom Israel must be constantly militant against? It seems how much of a threat Hamas is against Israel has less to do with what they’re engaging in and more to do with whatever Israel needs them to be at that very moment.
Hamas is evil, make no mistake, but the killing of civilians in Gaza is also evil, and that’s exactly what Israel is doing.