Elie Jacobs
Jacobs is a public affairs consultant based in NYC.

Say it ain’t so, Joe!

2012 Winter TCA Tour - Day 4Since the rockets began raining down on Israel and the Israel Defense Forces invaded Gaza to stop Hamas from firing rockets and to destroy the extensive tunnel system Hamas has dug to infiltrate Israel, I have remained relatively quiet when it comes to criticizing anyone in the media for what they have said – or not said.

That ends now.

Former Florida congressman and current host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough, yesterday said that the “continued killing of women and children in a way that appears to be indiscriminate is asinine.” He continued,“The United States of America — we cannot be associated with this if this continues. This is so bad, not only for the Israeli people, but for us.”.

Now, Joe is one my favorite TV hosts and pundits. His unusually pragmatic approach to his conservative ideals is refreshing and the environment he creates on his show with Mika Brzezinski should be a model for all current event programing. But this time I just can’t stand by and allow his comment – made in the heat of a debate – go unanswered. I thought Joe could use a refresh of some recent statistics of the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians that the United States HAS been associated with in the last few years:

  • Innocent dead from drone strikes in Pakistan – 2600
  • Innocent dead during war in Afghanistan – 20,000
  • Innocent dead during war in Iraq – more than 120,000

Every single one of those deaths is tragic and to be totally crude, sh!t happens in war. When you are trying to protect your country and countrymen unfortunate things happen. Israelis and the Israeli military do NOT want to kill innocent civilians. Any suggestion to the contrary is disgusting. Hamas DOES want to kill innocent civilians. Any suggestion to the contrary is insane. There are innocent Palestinians trapped by their terrorist leadership who are being used as human shields. While the Israeli military weeps for each innocent’s death, Hamas cheers for another media victory. Joe, you can’t allow yourself to fall into their trap.

To his credit, later yesterday in order to “explain” his comments he provided POLITICO with an interview, which should be read in full. The trouble is that his comments reveal what is truly terrifying about world opinion and where the “proportionality” argument creates the most trouble.

In essence, the criticism leveled at Israel (rather than Hamas) is due to Israel spending money on building shelters (rather than terror tunnels) and developing the truly miraculous, life saving Iron Dome system (rather than building deadly rockets). Had Israel not done those things, or better, been forced to do those things, the number of innocent Israelis who would be dead from the more than 2,600 rockets fired into Israel would be staggering. And that is what Hamas really wants. To put that in perspective, if every one of those rockets did what Hamas intended it to do, at least 2,600 innocent Israelis (and Arab-Israelis) would be dead. For those of you counting at home, that’s is significantly more than the tragically killed 1,148 people in Gaza – not all of who are innocent.

Each and every lost life is tragic. It is the Talmud that teaches that “he who saves one life it is as if he saves the world”. That is a Jewish concept and one the IDF ascribes to and has followed during every single conflict they have been forced to fight.

Think of it this way; if Hamas’ military were as powerful as the Israelis; would Hamas hesitate for a second to destroy all of Israel? Now consider what the IDF is attempting to do to avoid any civilian casualties. The difference is staggering and sad. Hamas wants as many dead civilians (Israeli and Palestinian) as possible and Israel just want to live in peace.

Let me remind you of something former President Bill Clinton said just last week “Hamas was perfectly well aware of what would happen if they started raining rockets in Israel. They fired a thousand of them. And they have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them.” Joe, it’s time to be like Bill and stop being asinine.

About the Author
Elie Jacobs is a NYC-based public affairs and public relations consultant and a political partner with the Truman National Security Project. VIEWS EXPRESSED DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF ANY ORGANIZATION AND ARE SOLELY HIS OWN
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