Dan Ehrlich

Netanyahu: When Shame and Pride Meet in Gaza

As to be expected the world’s media has been transfixed on the daily civilian death count in Gaza, now controversially said to be more than 20,000. But, as US General William Sherman once said, “War is Hell.” And war is also the failure of leaders to prevent conflicts that wind-up killing more innocent people than combatants.

As many as 250,000 civilians died from the US wars in Iraq and up to a half-million from US actions in the entire Middle East…conflicts that, unlike Israel’s Hamas War, had no direct connection to America’s security.

In 1945, 100,000 people died in Tokyo after a two night American bombing raid. A few months later, 70,000 and 60,000 died in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki US atom bomb tests. Yes, they worked.

Britain’s 1945 fire bomb attack on Dresden, Germany is said to have killed from 25,000 to 35,000 and 42,000 were killed in the 1943 attack on Hamburg, Germany.

In all these actions, civilians overwhelmingly paid the highest price. Yet, there were no worldwide protest marches or daily horror filled TV news bulletins showing the dead and suffering wounded.

What makes these horrific actions different from Israel’s war with Hamas, is that in 1945 the whole world was in a war. But, more to the point, back then there was no television, no Internet and no social media. Most people didn’t know what was happening until long after it happened. Any pacifist protests were seen as unpatriotic and even treasonous.

On the ground the big difference is the type of war Israel is fighting…Not a major armored invasion, but a local action against large group of terrorists being sheltered by a willing population.

Nevertheless, for Israel, it’s a fight for survival. For the world, it’s another unpleasant distraction from the economy and immigrants flooding into the West.

Bored with Ukraine, after two years, the eyes of the world have shifted to it long running standby conflict Arabs Vs. Israel: The Gaza War.

And if there’s anything guaranteed to grab the headlines its Israel fighting Palestinians.

Yet, there are now two undeniable realities…much of the strip has been destroyed by Israel aerial bombing and artillery and another generation of Palestinian Arabs will grow up hating Israelis more than the previous generation has, even though this entire 100-year-long conflict is largely of their own making.

This then begs the question, how effective has leveling Gaza been, other than attempting to salvage Netanyahu’s career from the unprecedented incompetence that caused this war?

How many Hamas members have been neutralized? How many civilians have been neutralized? Is there ever going to be a way to determine these two salient facts, given most of the Arab casualty info comes from the questionable Hamas National Health Service which lists more than 20,000 civilians killed?

Israel claims it has two goals: destroy Hamas and rescue the 129 hostages still held by the terrorists.

Yet, going three months into the war, Israel says it has killed only 7,000 Hamas fighters out of an estimated 30,000-40,000.

When Israeli troops mistakenly killed three of the hostages who had escaped and were seeking safe passage back to Israel, it only added fuel the reality that with all the destruction and all the civilian deaths, Hamas is far from being a group of dead men walking as Bibi promised.

It’s hard to fathom that Israel didn’t know the bombing would be so ineffective against Hamas, whose members they claim hide among civilians. In reality, these cowardly scum probably hide deep in bomb proof tunnels, hundreds of miles of which were built literally under the eyes of Israel, with Netanyahu in power most of that time.

And, could that be what the partial leveling of Gaza is really about…Bibi’s revenge? He boasts he prevented a Palestinian state by allowing Hamas to steer a course independent of the West Bank based Palestinian Authority.

At a recent press briefing he admitted, “I’m proud that I prevented the establishment of a Palestinian state because today everybody understands what that Palestinian state could have been, now that we’ve seen the little Palestinian state in Gaza.”

That may be true but shouldn’t have cost 1,200 innocent lives to prove it.

What Bibi can’t be proud of is having such a low opinion of Gazans he never thought them being capable of doing what they did on October 7th. And for that there’s only shame.

About the Author
A London based American journalist with a long wide ranging career spanning print, radio TV and online news.
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