On the evening of October 17, word spread like fire about hundreds of people allegedly killed in a direct hit of a hospital in Gaza. While the IDF initiated thorough checks of the situation, Israel was swiftly blamed by Hamas and world media, and outraged crowds voiced their anger in the streets of many capitals around the world.
The next morning, daylight pictures of the rocket hit were published, and showed burned cars in a parking lot. The building itself was quite unharmed. And yet, the outrage continued, Israel was still being accused, the Hamas-stated figure of almost 500 people innocently killed continued to be cited.
How is it that within days after one of the most brutal terror attacks in modern history – not Israel´s, but the world´s – the blame game has yet again begun and Israel is held responsible for all that has happened and is still going on?
How comes that Hamas’s responsibility for the monstrous attack, the ensuing war, and the suffering of innocent civilians in Gaza being used as human shields and being deprived by Hamas from food and fuel, is not clearly and straightforwardly addressed? Where is the resounding condemnation of THIS crime against humanity?
The world should know that deliberately attacking civilians is not something the Israeli Defense Forces do. Israel is not intent on spilling the blood of Palestinians. It is Hamas and their tacit and outspoken supporters who pursue the goal of indiscriminately and ruthlessly attacking and killing civilians.
How is the world reacting, including much of the Western media? So many times, information published by the IDF gets labeled as “could not be independently verified” – the same label that is added to whatever is uttered by Hamas. Shouldn’t the credibility of a government, of a state army, be rated far higher than the credibility of an inhuman, barbaric terrorist group? When it comes to Israel and Hamas, it’s obviously the other way around. Add to that local correspondents of international media or representatives of NGOs and other institutions who hardly speak a word of Hebrew, and it becomes clear why coverage of Israel is often inadequate or incorrect.
Since the beginning of this nightmare, I and many of my friends and acquaintances are hoping for authentic compassion, heartfelt expressions of shock and sympathy after the unspeakable murders and barbarities and the ongoing rocket and missile attacks. Sadly, many messages we receive sound distant, avoiding, fail to acknowledge the bloody facts on the ground. Between the lines, we read “yes, BUT – the occupation … Israeli politics … complicated history”.
And aside from personal messages from those who cared to write? Eight years ago, so many people joined “Je suis Charlie”, but in the case of Israel, public expressions of sympathy seem rare. On the contrary – the atrocities have already been forgotten, and it is even being questioned whether pictures and videos of those deeds are actually genuine…. Yes, they are. I know someone who was there, fighting for his life. And while Hamas is happily parading their dead in front of world cameras, Israel held press conferences behind closed doors, not publicly showing the bloodiest, most awful scenes.
The longer I live in Israel and the more I experience myself, the more I realize how complex the situation here is. Yes, I know how much there is to criticize about local politics and the difficult-to-appalling situation of Palestinian civil society. And yet, there is NO explanation for what an estimated 2500 terrorists have done in a few hours of pure, evil cruelty and barbarity. No justification. No context. On the side of these terrorists, there is only bloody, unprecedented violence, brutality and utter contempt for human life, including their own.
But, alas: both leftist and postcolonial demonization of Israel as well as right-wing and Islamic anti-Semitism, and all the hatred and stereotypes in between – they seemingly cannot be eradicated, not even by the strongest weapons.