Friday, May 18, 2018
Photo Credit: AP
On Wednesday an official of Hamas, internationally recognized as a terrorist enterprise, acknowledged that of the 62 people reported killed during this week’s assault on the fence separating Hamas-run Gaza from Israel, 50 were Hamas members. Three others were members of Islamic jihad.
This should have surprised no one. The weekly mass rushes on the Israeli border — fueled and accompanied by Hamas’ exhortations to breach the border fence, enter Israel and kill Israelis — has been a Hamas production, a new variant of a long-running play: If we can bring about Palestinian deaths, goes the Hamas playbook, most of the world will blame Israel. The more Palestinian deaths, the more Israel will be denounced. That is the idea, and it generally works.
Israel’s critics, of course, have been hard-pressed to suggest what, precisely, it is supposed to do to prevent weaponized hordes of people, vowing to breach its border and just yards from doing so, from crossing into it. Warnings to Gazans to stay away from the border fence have not worked, naturally, since the marches are commandeered by an enterprise which rules Gaza with an iron fist, which routinely rips off humanitarian aid intended for civilians for its own purposes and which is ideologically committed to Israel’s annihilation.
The line that Israel is responsible for Gaza’s dire conditions is balderdash. Conditions in Gaza were dire long before Israel had anything to do with it, and Israel has had no presence in Gaza for 13 years. It is Hamas itself that has consigned Gaza to horrific poverty, doing so with a ruthlessness that has left it without support anywhere in the Arab world.
It is true that Israel has had the temerity to try to prevent Hamas from acquiring the materials with which to add to the 15,000 or so rockets it has already fired at Israeli civilian centers. There is no government desirous of keeping its citizens from being blown to pieces that would do otherwise.
Columnist Bret Stephens has termed the idiocy of so many on the Left when it comes to Gaza more of the “morally blind, historically illiterate criticism to which Israelis are subjected every time they defend themselves against Palestinian attacks.”
He’s right. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have grown used to assuming that no matter how gruesome or corrupt their conduct, many in the West can be played for fools.
They are right as well.
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