Re: OP-ED That unbearable infallibility – Why do Israeli officials insist that responsibility for all civilian casualties lies exclusively with Hamas?

BY ELIE LESHEM July 18, 2014

Mr. Leshem starts off with “War is hell. We can all agree about that. People are killed, many of them noncombatants. Many of those noncombatants are children.” He should of quit right there while he was ahead.  What followed after were a number of inconsistent arguments back and forth resulting in an inaccurate and misleading understanding of the current conflict. There are too many to discuss in my response so I limited myself to the following examples.

One example is when Mr. Leshem states: “Indeed, Hamas embeds its fighters, rockets and installations among Gaza’s civilians, but it is Israel that chooses to attack these targets, and in so doing it must not shirk its share of the responsibility when something goes wrong.”  Mr.  Leshem is confirming the fact that our enemy embeds its weapons that it uses against our civilians among its own civilians.  What’s misleading here is that Mr. Leshem seems to imply that Israel targets these weapons as if there was a choice.  Mr. Leshem does not provide us with an alternative.

Another example is when Mr. Leshem accurately writes “And it’s true that Israeli policy is to never deliberately target noncombatants and to avoid bodily harm to them whenever possible. As it takes pains to demonstrate, the army makes every effort to warn civilians of impending airstrikes when there is no danger of the target escaping.” Mr. Lesham acknowledges that Israel acts differently towards the civilian population of its enemy in time of war then most countries in the world, yet he suggests that we share in the responsibility of the civilian casualties who their terrorist leaders (and it is internationally recognized that this is taking place) use as a human shield.

When I was younger I, too, used to quote Golda Meir when she said “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.” Now, in my more mature phase of life, I can say that I cannot forgive my enemy for killing my children and I cannot take responsibility for my enemy’s children who it uses as a means of protection and deterrence.

That “is a terrible tragedy. Full stop.”