A few hours ago, I posted a blog explaining why the people who perpetuate the Hamas propaganda narrative in which Israel is solely responsible for innocent Palestinian deaths, and compound them with images of dead children share responsibility for those deaths. The reasoning is on that blog.
I have been accused of spin, stupidity, bad writing, spreading propaganda, hindering the peace process, baseless rhetoric, being deluded and being immoral to name but a few. I have been called a Nazi. I have myself been told that I am responsible for innocent deaths in Gaza (I suppose what goes around comes around).
What I have not been told is how any of the people I accused, or any of their defenders are not responsible. I have not seen a refutation of my argument in that regard, or an attempt at one. So despite the accusations, I will not apologise or retract a single word until that point has been addressed.
However, some comments did make me pause. The notion that Israel is entirely free of responsibility was not one that I wanted to present, but evidently that’s what people understood. Still, a number of comments were made that made me think, this was one of the simpler incarnations:
The idea that Israel is somehow free of blame is on the face of it implausible. However, considering the facts, hundreds of rockets fell on Israel before it began its operation. Then tunnels were discovered leading into towns in the South of Israel. If somebody had an alternative for the Israeli government, they certainly kept it to themselves.
I don’t seek to apportion blame to or take blame from Israel for the way it conducts the operation. I simply don’t have the military knowledge to do so, beyond fact-checking what actually happened. Of course, some of those who do have expertise argue that Israel is given far too much blame.
However, I cannot find any justification for blaming Israel for the war itself. It is quite clear who started it. The supposed provocations this time round were the arrests of terrorists (the ones they’d freed in the Shalit deal). In reality, the cycle of violence tracks to the barrage of rockets out of Gaza, a casus belli that no other country would ignore.
So no, it is not some grotesque contortion to absolve Israel of quite a lot of blame here. Hamas began the war. They then conducted it in such a way that children died. Was Israel supposed to not participate? Maybe wait until kids were being kidnapped through tunnels before they struck back? I think not.
My prior post is not a casuist’s defence of the indefensible. I do not blame people who bring attention to the death of children. I blame people who attribute no blame to the ones who put those children in danger.
We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.
The reason I can attribute blame to the likes of Owen Jones, Jon Snow and the NUS is that they have made it lucrative for Hamas to put Palestinian children in danger. They have rewarded the tactic of a group who know no moral boundary.
As soon as their children have more value to them alive than dead, they will stop dying. The value of dead children to Hamas is as a propaganda tool. To be complicit in the propaganda, is to be complicit in the killing.
I hope that in amongst the vitriol directed at me personally, some of the people who claim to advocate for the Palestinian cause will realise that the “defenders of Gaza” around the world are now the greatest threat to its children.