The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

13 Ways

In my last blog post I quoted Brett Stevens who discussed the "Palestinian Effect:"
The abrupt and often total collapse of logical reasoning, skeptical intelligence and ordinary moral judgment whenever the subject of Palestinian suffering arises.
The international Left and its Islamist allies suffer mightily from the Palestinian Effect. Increasingly, Leftists in major cities worldwide, at Universities across the globe, throughout the media, and in many hidden corners of the Nation's capital (including the Obama administration) have joined them.

It's worth reviewing just who they tacitly support by demonizing Israel. Hamas is an Islamist  terror group that was elected overwhelmingly by the palestinians in Gaza. Elections have consequences, and sadly, some Gazan civilians are suffering those consequences. But before you wring your hands in grief, it might be worthwhile to examine just who the Israelis are fighting.

Let's begin with a direct quote from The Hamas Charter which defines Hamas's (and by extension, all Islamist organizations) "mission" against the Jews: Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.

Here's how Hamas operates, adapted from a post at The Grid (with Hamas-made video, photographs, news reports from al Jizirra and other Middle Eastern sources):

1. Weaponize Women as Suicide Bombers and Terrorists.  Dozens of videos show smiling female terrorists extolled for bombing Israeli pizza parlors and other civilian establishments with resultant deaths of Israeli women and children.

2. Weaponize Children: Use Children's TV to Brainwash Young Palestinians to Commit Atrocities Against Jews.  Praise for the killing of Jews and for martyrdom are a regular occurrence on Hamas' programming for young children.

3. Weaponize Children: Glorify suicide bombers/martyrdom and terrorism.

4. Weaponize Young Children to perform suicide missions. 13,000 Teenagers finisheds Hamas training “to follow in the footsteps of the suicide martyrs.”

5. Weaponize Animals. Palestinian fighters strapped a bomb to a donkey and then exploded it remotely on the road between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion. No humans were injured in the attack. PETA director Ingrid Newkirk wrote to PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat asking him to keep animals out of the conflict. PETA was criticized for not objecting to killing of humans in the context.

6. Weaponize Ambulances with Terrorists, Explosives; use Arab Children as shields.

7. Weaponize Mosques. The Washington Post (July 17, 2014) observes that men were moving rockets into a Mosque in northern Gaza. "During the lull, a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment. But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque." (this item was subsequently deleted from the Washington Post article)

8. Weaponize Palestinian Homes. Rockets are launched from inside and outside houses.

9. Use women and children as human shields.

10. Weaponize Palestinian Schools. A UN Agency founds bombs in its Gaza Strip school twice in one week. “Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip,” the agency said on Tuesday. “The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”

11. Weaponize Palestinian Hospitals.  IDF cameras captured Wafa Hospital being used as a rocket launching site.

12. Weaponize Traditional News Media with fake stories leveraging Palestinian deaths and suffering. There's a reason they call it "Pallywood."

13. Weaponize Social Media against Israel.

In the USA, the major media exemplars of the Palestinian Effect are the left-leaning New York Times and CNN. Israeli-American novelist, playwright and journalist, Naomi Ragen, nails it when she writes:
As for Americans, represented by The New York Times, that bastion of high-minded hypocrisy and mediocre journalism parading as the “newspaper of record,” one has only to read the article by Professor Auerbach in the New York Observer ("Two Weeks of Shallow, Facile Moral Equivalency From the New York Times") to see how Jodi Rudoren and other Times apparatchiks have learned to close their minds and love Hamas. After all, there are CHILDREN DYING. It doesn’t matter that the Palestinians have educated an entire generation to be little Nazi-wannabes, who worship death and hate Jews, murdering their souls, and are now callously putting their bodies in harm’s way to use for touching photo ops. We shouldn’t be shocked by this omission by the Tim es. After all, The New York Times was one of the last news outlets to bring to the attention of the reading public the Nazi atrocities in Europe. Read the Times during the nightmare years, and see if you can’t find a pattern here.
The NYT simply chooses to ignore Hamas' barbaric use of women and children as human weapons and human shields.

Ragen goes on to write:
I prefer that you - writers of these lies and libels-- hate me and my country, if it means that you can save your tears for other peoples dead. We aren’t greedy for sympathy. After all, we got so much after the Holocaust, we prefer other people to have their share now. These days, we prefer to live, rather than have people cry over us and the injustices done to us.

So by all means, cry for the Palestinian people - men women and children- whose duly elected leadership has callously left them without protection from just retribution for their terrorist crimes. Who took their aid money and are living in Qatar in five star hotels building shopping centers for themselves. Who built terrorist tunnels under their homes, mosques, hospitals and schools, and recruited their sons to die for Allah, while they sit in bunkers waiting for the U.N. to rescue them.

Don’t cry for us, or our families, or our children, or grandchildren. Not this time. Not ever. Not if we can help it. Because this time, thank God, we have a country. We are armed. This time, with God's help, we know how to protect ourselves from Nazis and their high-minded media cheerleaders.
As the son of a Holocaust survivor myself, I hesitate to use the term "Nazi." It has been much overused and abused in recent years. But in the case of Hamas, ISIS, al Qaida, Boko Haram, and dozens of other Islamist groups, we are indeed looking at the 21st century's Nazis. What is truly frightening is that our current administration and the major media refuses (outright...refuses) to discuss the growing threat of Islamist ideology and labels anyone who questions the Muslim community about its apparent lack of effort in trying to damp out this threat as an 'Islamophobe.'

Israel is the ONLY country that seems to understand the threat and the ONLY country with the will the fight back—hard. If that causes the Left to have problems—f**k 'em.

Peter Wehner describes an interview between Charlie Rose and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. To his credit, Rose engaged in the following exchange:
ROSE: It’s one thing to say you want to coexist with the Jews. It’s another thing you want to coexist with the state of Israel. Do you want to coexist with the state of Israel? Do you want to represent — do you want to recognize Israel as a Jewish state?

MESHAAL (through translator): No. I said I do not want to live with a state of occupiers.
Wehner comments at length:
So there you have it. The leader of Hamas says, point blank, it does not want a two-state solution. Yet scores of liberal commentators continue to make arguments like this: “We have to get a solution. And it has to be a two-state solution. And it has to be basically encouraged, if not imposed, I think, from without.”

This is an example of what social scientists call “motivated reasoning.” It refers to when people hold to a false belief despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In this instance, the Hamas charter and the Hamas leader don’t accept Israel’s right to exist. And yet liberals don’t seem to care. They appear to be content to live in world made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust. A world of make believe. And so in the context of Israel’s war with Hamas, they continue to revert to arguments that simply don’t apply–for example, arguing that Israel needs to “end the occupation” despite the fact that Israel completely withdrew from Gaza nearly a decade ago.

Israel, on the other hand, has to live and survive in reality. Israelis know the nature of the enemy they face–implacable, committed, ruthless, malevolent. Given all this, and given that Israel itself is a nation of extraordinary moral and political achievements, you might think that the United States government would be fully supportive of the Jewish state in its war against Hamas. But you would be wrong.

The Obama administration is racheting up pressure on Israel. Hamas’s war on Israel, combined with its eagerness to have innocent Palestinians die as human shields in order to advance its propaganda campaign, is pushing America (under Obama) not toward Israel but away from her. Mr. Obama and the left perceive themselves as reality based and their critics as fantasy based. It’s a conceit without merit. And in no case is it more evident than in the left’s stance toward Hamas and Israel.

This is a case where reality and all the arguments, including all the moral arguments, align on one side; and yet Obama and the left are on the other.

They live in a fantasy world. In this instance, doing so has diabolic consequences.
Earlier I mentioned that in Gaza, elections had consequence. Sadly, the same applies in the United States.

UPDATE (7/31/14):
As the Obama administration, the left-biased media, and the broader Leftist community wring their hands over what they claim (incorrectly) is the wanton killing of civilians in Gaza, a small news story goes virtually unreported. The reason is simple, it proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Hamas uses its civilians as human shields and will brook no dissent from its own people when they object. Steve Huntley of The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
This [Hamas] terrorist infrastructure was erected within the civilian infrastructure of the heavily populated Gaza Strip — in homes, mosques and U.N.-administered schools — with the intent by Hamas to wage terror war from behind the Palestinian families there. It’s a cruel, criminal tactic that costs many Palestinian lives. Any civilian who protests this strategy is branded a collaborator or spy for Israel and killed, with 30 such executions reported so far, according to the Jerusalem Post. Hamas, knowing it can’t win in combat with Israel, throws away Palestinian lives in hopes of winning a propaganda war. [emphasis mine]

Of course, there are the gullible, the Westerners saddled with colonial guilt, the Israel-haters and the anti-Semites who fall for the Hamas strategy hook, line and sinker, and blame Israel for the civilian deaths.

Those elements come together in ugly demonstrations — accompanied by anti-Semitic chants, verbal abuse and assaults on Jews — across Europe. The Gatestone Institute calls it “Europe’s Kristallnacht.” North African immigrants barricaded Jews in a synagogue in Paris and firebombed Jewish businesses. Muslims predominated in a London protest noted for a poster: “Hitler you were right.” Britain saw 100 hate crimes against Jews. Protests in Germany were so ugly that a Berlin newspaper started a “Never Again Jew Hatred” campaign.

These elements come together in the U.N. Human Rights Council, a font of anti-Israeli resolutions. It, without evidence, accused Israel of “gross violations” of human rights.
Gee, I wonder whether the UN will pass a resolution condemning Hamas for sacrificing its own women and children in the name of propaganda. Nah, doesn't fit the narrative so it never happened.