Spectator UK (Link) - Melanie Phillips (January 7, 2009)
An excellent analysis by David Horowitz in the Jerusalem Post ponders the tragic dilemma facing Israel:
Hamas gunmen are commandeering ambulances and taking children out with them to battle, according to Israeli security sources. At every moment, with every use of firepower, there is the potential for Palestinian civilian casualties. As they mourn the loss of five soldiers, IDF commanders are well aware of the mounting Palestinian civilian casualty toll. They are bitterly cognizant of the reality in which Israel is blamed internationally for every such death - ratcheting up the international protests and the international pressure for a cease-fire. This impacts Israel's leverage as it seeks acceptable terms for a halt to the fighting - no matter that it is Hamas that has deliberately located its offensive capabilities in the heart of the Gazan populace.
Indeed, for large swathes of western opinion there is virtually no depravity Hamas can commit which will even be reported, let alone condemned; yet when Israel goes to war to defend itself against slaughter the west is consumed by hysterical rage, so much so that it quite clearly would rather Hamas was allowed to survive to continue its murderous rampages. As this horrific video obtained by Jihadwatch shows, this is the kind of thing to which the west is turning a blind eye: Hamas men apparently literally dragging off children at random to be used as human shields.
The world simply doesn’t seem to care when Arabs and Muslims kill large numbers of other Arabs and Muslims, but a qualitatively different standard applies when the Jewish state kills even a relatively small number of Muslims and Arabs in a war of self-defence.
The international community doesn’t even seem to care when Palestinian children are killed by rocket fire — unless it is from Israeli rockets. The day before the recent outbreak, Hamas fired an anti-personnel rocket at Israeli civilians, but the rocket fell short of its target and killed two Palestinian girls. Yet there was virtually no coverage and absolutely no protests against these ‘collateral’ civilian deaths. Hamas refused to allow TV cameras to show these dead Palestinian children.
Nor have there been protests against the cold-blooded murders by Hamas and its supporters of dozens of Palestinian civilians who allegedly ‘collaborated’ with Israel. Indeed, Hamas and Fatah have killed far more Palestinian civilians over the past several years than have the Israelis, but you wouldn’t know that from the media, the United Nations or protesters who focus selectively on only those deaths caused by Israeli military actions.
Steven Plaut makes a similar point about the pathological and obsessive double standards applied to Israel:
Over the years, 65,000 people have been killed in the war with the Tamils in Sri Lanka, almost all of them civilians.Meanwhile not a single Solidarity-with-the-Tamil-Tigers protest has been organized on a single Western campus or in a single downtown square. Jewish leftists have not taken to the streets to demand an end to the war of aggression against the Tamils. Leftist websites have not proclaimed every injury of a Tamil civilian to be a Nazi-like war crime by Sri Lanka and an act of genocide.
The Eurocrats have not pontificated about how the Sri Lankan response to terror was out of proportion. The BBC did not describe the Tamil suicide bombers as activists. The International Solidarity Movement has not sent in protesters from the West to try to defend the terrorists. Communists and fellow travelers have not organized flotillas of boats carrying aid to the terrorists to ‘break the siege.’ Hundreds of non-governmental organizations claiming to be concerned about human rights have not rushed aid to the terrorists in the name of humanitarian concerns.... Those silly, naïve Sri Lankans ignored all the sage advice and just went ahead and solved their problem of terrorism with a military solution.
Indeed: the Sri Lankans long ago understood the point that the post-national, post-moral, post-rational west simply cannot grasp -- that asymmetric warfare can only be solved by military means.