There’s no moral equivalency in what’s happening in Israel and Gaza — no matter how hard the Obama administration and some in the media try to show that there is.
It’s no longer beyond doubt that Hamas seeks to use its own children as human shields, even as it continues to lob rockets at Israel to provoke a response.
The terrorist group masquerading as a government routinely hides weapons in (and even launches them from) civilian buildings, including hospitals and schools.
Even the virulently anti-Israel United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East admits this.
“Yesterday, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered approximately 20 rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip,” the agency admitted. “UNRWA strongly condemns the group or groups responsible for placing the weapons in one of its installations. This is a flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law. This incident, which is the first of its kind in Gaza, endangered civilians including staff and put at risk UNRWA’s vital mission to assist and protect Palestine refugees in Gaza.”
The agency sounds outraged, but what makes this Captain Renault, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here” moment is what UNRWA did with the rockets once they were discovered: They gave them back to Hamas.
That hasn’t stopped President Barack Obama from calling on the Israelis to show “restraint.”
“We have serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives,” Obama said on Monday. “And that is why it now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to bring about a ceasefire that ends the fighting and can stop the deaths of innocent civilians, both in Gaza and in Israel.”
The use of human shields is inexcusable, particularly when the shields’ government is provoking the conflict (and rejecting cease-fire agreements).
There can be no comparison, though Nicholas Kristof, writing in the New York Times, does his best.
“Both sides have plenty of good people who just want the best for their children and their communities, and also plenty of myopic zealots who preach hatred,” he says. “A starting point is to put away the good vs. evil narrative and recognize this as the aching story of two peoples — each with legitimate grievances — colliding with each other.”
He does acknowledge that Hamas is a villain.
“Hamas is violent, not only toward Israel, but toward its own people, and, in contrast to Israel, it doesn’t seem to try to minimize civilian casualties — its own or Israel’s,” he writes.
Putting rockets in schools and firing from homes and neighborhoods is evil. That shouldn’t ever be minimized or dismissed.
As the late Golda Meir said, “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”