Diane Weber Bederman

If only Jews had died!

There is international pressure on Israel to cease and desist from her response to attacks from Hamas in Gaza. Too many Gazans are dying. In Israel, in Judaism, one death is one too many. Since July 7, the Israeli Air Force has targeted and struck more than 1,300 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in an effort to stop the bombs being lobbed into Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Miraculously, the death toll does not reflect the barrage. Yes, sadly more than 120 civilians have died and then of course there are the wounded. Can you imagine the death toll if Israel had not been so concerned about civilian casualties? No other army in the world has worked so hard to minimize civilian deaths with leaflets and texting, phone calls and “knocking,” telling civilians to leave to prevent their deaths. At the same time, Hamas is telling civilians to act as human shields.

Yet, reporters from around the world are not discussing this moral response to an enemy bent on the destruction of the Jewish people. They are focusing their cameras on the wounded and the funerals taking place in Gaza to elicit pity for Gaza and disdain for Israel.

Let us take a moment and remember the response of America to 9/11 attacked by a group of militants whose home base is thousands of miles away, not right next door.

Israel is targeting Hamas militants and their bomb-making machinery which they hide in residential areas, in mosques, in hospitals and now carts in market-places. There are no rules of engagement amongst Hamas militants. There are no “Officers and Gentlemen” there. At the same time, Hamas is being given a pass for this cowardly behaviour. Why? Do the media give a free pass to the militants in Syria and Iraq who also have no desire to prevent civilian death?

American, Canadian and British media attack Israel, their sister in democracy. They all end their reports, voices dropping, with the words “And no deaths in Israel.” As if there were something wrong with that. How dare Israel not suffer deaths from Hamas bombs!

They don’t report that Israel spent billions building the Iron Dome or bomb shelters to protect her people from constant rocket attack from Gaza: years of random attacks on civilian centres-not military. They don’t report that Hamas took all the money they received-from people like you and me in the West-supporting them through the UN and tax dollars, and spent it on military acquisitions, too many from Iran, rather than improving the lives of their people.

The problem simply put: no Jews are dying. That is the pity of it all. It would be so much better if there were more “proportionality.” After all since this latest round of attacks that began in earnest on July 7, there have been more than 800 rockets fired at Israel, 582 landed. There should have been deaths.

These rockets, thankfully, were either destroyed by The Iron Dome or landed away from populated areas although there have been injuries and destruction of property. But not enough death and destruction to satiate the media to warrant pity from them, pity that comes so easily for those who are dying in Gaza because of their government’s actions, or is it inaction, not Israel.

There is, I suggest, a schizophrenia in the West. Seventy years after the Shoah, after the West apologized and stated this would never happen again, the West is upset that Jews aren’t being killed, this time by Hamas. Targeted bombing of Hamas militants and their bomb –making facilities is not good enough, because civilians are suffering. That Hamas bombs are not murdering thousands of Jews is not discussed, not celebrated.

Israel has been under attack since her birth. Now that she is strong and independent the West is not happy. Rather than defending the only democracy in the area, the West is disparaging of her ability to prevent death during attacks from her enemies-enemies that are not hers alone.

About the Author
Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital trained chaplain who lives in Ontario, Canada, just outside Toronto; She has a background in science and the humanities and writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog: The Middle Ground:The Agora of the 21st Century. She is a regular contributor to Convivium: Faith in our Community. "