A Few Pesky Questions

Throughout the course of the most recent conflagration between Israel and Hamas (and their “associates”), we have heard any number of times that Israel should do “more” to reduce civilian casualties.

However, I have yet to hear any explanation of what “more” might be, nor have I heard or seen any unfavorable (to Israel) comparisons between Israel’s efforts to reduce civilian casualties and the efforts of other nations in any other conflict.  Clearly, based on the criticisms of Israel, there must be any number of places where armies have done “more”, successfully, to reduce civilian casualties.

But, based on my research, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and other areas of the world, Western countries certainly cannot claim a moral superiority to Israel in low numbers of civilian casualties.  I have been unable to find examples of any army doing “more”, nor can I find examples of armies doing even as much as Israel is doing.  Israel leaflets, texts, phones, and “roof knocks” civilians in proposed target sites to give them time to get out of the area. They provide maps and directions with “safe passage” and “safe assembly” areas, which guarantee the safety of those civilians.

On what, then is this widespread demand that Israel can and should do “more” based?  And, when will the US State Department, the president, or any others demanding “more” provide some concrete suggestions and viable options?

We have heard, many times now, that Hamas rockets are no more than a “nuisance”, since they haven’t killed or wounded “enough” Israelis to rise to the level of a serious threat. Of course, having your neighbor fire over 12,000 rockets at your civilians between 2001 and 2014, before the current war, would be enough of an incentive for any nation I can think of to respond with tremendous military force. Yet, the world seems to think that, because most of the rockets are primitive, and Israel has the Iron Dome, bomb shelters, and sophisticated warning systems, that Israel should just endure thousands of rockets a year fired at their civilians.

How many Israelis must be killed or wounded to satisfy the requirements of the world for a justification of deadly force aimed at stopping the rocket fire? At what point do rockets cease to be just a “nuisance” and actually constitute a threat?

In the recent cease-fire talks, we are told that Hamas is demanding the opening of the border crossings between Israel and Gaza.  Personally, I find this amusing, since clearly, the only place one can go if one crosses at those crossings, is into Israel.  What possible motive, other than work, might a Gazan have for entering Israel?  I suppose they might want to go to the West Bank, through Israel, but if the borders to Egypt are open, they could certainly go to Egypt and fly to Jordan, then cross into the West Bank.

I find it amusing that the world apparently never stops to consider that Hamas has declared war on Israel.  What possible motivation would Israel have to allow citizens of a country (territory?) at war with it to cross its borders?  I assume that Israel has enough foreign workers, and clearly, it is not Israel’s responsibility to constructively employ Gazans, nor does Israel have any legal obligation to allow citizens of an enemy state (territory?) to enter Israel.

Where, precisely, does Hamas think its citizens need to go when crossing out of Gaza into Israel, and why do they assume Israel wants or needs them in Israel?

Lastly, to my everlasting puzzlement, I have recently observed any number of protesters around the world proudly proclaiming “We are Hamas!”.  Considering that many of these protesters are Muslims, that is not a wholly unsurprising thing.

But, there are many protesters screaming “We are Hamas” who are NOT Muslim, and who are, at least nominally, idealistic, “liberal”, vocal supporters of Human Rights.  Many of these people consider themselves strong advocates for human rights and frequently accuse Israel of crimes against humanity and serious violations of human rights. Yet, they identify with Hamas.  “We are Hamas”.

Really?  Seriously? I would, just once, love a cogent, logical explanation from one of these self-righteous paragons of virtue, as to just how and why they “are Hamas”.

In what ways do they identify with Hamas? Do they identify with Hamas’ commitment to brutality, subjugation of women, killing of gays, stifling of the press and free speech, their slavish adherence to Sharia law?  Do they identify with Hamas’ charter, calling for the extermination of Jews everywhere?  Do they identify with Hamas’ tactics of suicide bombings and their devotion to death?  Perhaps it’s their willingness to make their people into human shields and “martyrs”? Or is it their absolute devotion to the elimination of Israel?

Truly, I don’t understand this. It puzzles me no end.

What is even more puzzling is the acceptance of these kinds of statements by people who should know better.

About the Author
John Poris was born in the USA, spent a "gap year" in Israel after high school, then returned to the US to study. He completed a degree in Near Eastern Studies and Languages at the University of Michigan before making Aliyah in 1977. He was a member of kibbutz Grofit for 4 years, served in the IDF (Nahal), then returned to the USA for engineering school, then advanced degrees in Engineering and Business. He is divorced, and currently lives in Florida.
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