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Why Americans Should Care

I totally agree with and support the main points of this:
Six Reasons Why Americans Should Care About The War Between Hamas and Israel
By Brooke Goldstein
July 22, 2014

1. Because of 9/11
Hamas & al-Qaeda are of the same ilk. Brothers in arms, both Islamist terrorist groups are funded by Iran & theologically motivated to wage a violent jihad, or holy war, against the West. Both deadly organizations aspire to destroy those they consider “infidels” (Americans & Israelis included) while re-establishing a pan-Arab Caliphate and, in so doing, have killed too many innocents. While al-Qaeda can be credited for the deaths of thousands of Americans on 9/11 & in the Afghan & Iraq wars that followed, Hamas has murdered dozens of Americans abroad. A significant reason why Hamas has not been able to export its terror activities closer to home is the Israeli counter-terror naval, air & land blockade of Gaza, which is meant to prevent Hamas personnel from importing weapons and traveling internationally.

Israel is seen by Hamas-& all Islamist groups-as the outpost of the West in the Middle East. Today, Israel’s soldiers are literally on the frontlines of the battle against militant Islam. Since its founding in 1987, Hamas has attacked Israel with more than 8,000 rockets. This is not because Hamas is engaged in a civil & human rights struggle for Palestinian sovereignty & freedom. We know Hamas doesn’t care about the Arab people it governs because it uses their children as human shields, child soldiers, & suicide bombers. Rather, Hamas knows that if the West abandons Israel, if we allow Israel to suffer a defeat via terrorism, then Hamas & its allies can attack & defeat us. “First comes Saturday [the Jews], then comes Sunday [the Christians],” as the Islamist saying goes.

2. Because the two-state solution is being called into question.
Longstanding US foreign policy has been to support a “two-state solution” to the conflict in the Middle East. Successive US administrations have promoted ceding land to the Palestinians, claiming this will result in peace between the Islamist & Western worlds. It was on this basis that Israel was pressured to remove its citizens & soldiers from Gaza in 2005. When Israel withdrew entirely, it purposefully left intact the economic infrastructure it abandoned with the hope it would be used to improve the Palestinian economy. Gaza was a testing ground for the concept of a sovereign Palestinian state. Israel & the world hoped the Palestinian people would use the opportunity to elect a government that respected their human rights & sought to live in peace with its neighbors.

Instead, Hamas, a designated terrorist group, rose to power & proceeded to destroy the economy, import weapons into Gaza, enforce a brutal version of Islamic law, advocate for the genocide of the Jewish people, & declare perpetual war on Israel, America, & the West. A cycle of armed conflict began, with Hamas launching attacks, Israel temporarily neutralizing the threat, civilian casualties & calls for restraint, followed by Hamas re-arming & firing rocket attacks again. Such recent history calls into question the wisdom of supporting a Palestinian state in the West Bank, which, if led by the Palestinian Authority (which has recently entered into a unity deal with Hamas), is more likely than not to become another Islamist terror launching pad. Moreover, the ongoing slaughter of Muslim & Christian civilians in Syria, Iraq, & elsewhere debunks the notion that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East. If anything, Israel’s presence is the one thing that may secure peace in the region, at least in the territories under Israel’s control.

3. Because the laws of armed conflict are being endangered.

The media, the UN, select politicians, & NGOs are purposefully manipulating the laws of armed conflict in order to vilify a democratic ally while it is engaged in a defensive war for survival. By all objective standards, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is unique in the world for its unprecedented measures aimed at minimizing civilian casualties in armed conflict. In Gaza, Israel has taken extreme measures to warn civilians of imminent counter-attacks. They have distributed leaflets, made phone calls, dropped non-explosive bombs on targets that make loud noises to scare away civilians, & aborted the destruction of Hamas rocket-launching sites when civilians were spotted therein. Israel has even alerted the very terrorists they are fighting of incoming fire, a precaution above & beyond the requirements of the laws of armed conflict. It was this warning system that pre-alerted Hamas to the location of IDF ground troops in the Hamas stronghold neighborhood of Shejaiy & which resulted in the recent deaths of 13 Israeli soldiers. When forced to choose between two evils-risking Palestinian civilian casualties to protect Israeli lives, versus compromising Israeli security to save Palestinian civilians-Israel has repeatedly chosen the latter.

Hamas, on the other hand, brags about its indiscriminate targeting of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians & has coerced Palestinians into acting as human shields for its rockets. Hamas leaders appear daily on Palestinian Authority TV, inciting genocide against the Jews & encouraging Palestinians to ignore Israel’s advance rocket warning systems. Hamas refuses to allow Palestinian civilians to take cover in its bomb shelters, permitting only Hamas leadership to enter. Palestinian youth have taken to YouTube to tell the world how Hamas is preventing its people from evacuating their houses to seek refuge in safe areas. Hamas has rejected two ceasefire offers & has chosen to continue firing even during a temporary humanitarian pause in hostilities, impeding the delivery of medical aid to injured Palestinians. By all objective standards, Hamas is guilty of war crimes & engaged in the collective punishment of the Palestanian people by holding them hostage to its deadly jihad.

Yet, no matter how far Israel bends to adhere to the laws of armed conflict (while Hamas thwarts them), Israel’s Operation Protective Edge is portrayed by the Western media & the UN as a criminal enterprise. Even the Arab world has come out strongly against Hamas. Egypt has publicly criticized Hamas for failing to save Palestinian lives & refusing to accept the ceasefire offers. In an unprecedented act, the Palestinian Authority’s own representative to the UN, Ibrahim Khraishi, condemned Hamas for perpetrating war crimes, stating on Palestinian Authority TV, “[T]he missiles that are now being launched against Israel, each & every missile, constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets.”

The West has failed to show the same moral courage. The UN remains silent on Hamas’s targeting of Israeli & Palestinian civilians, instead opting to hold an emergency session focusing on Israel, & only Israel, which is expected to produce the regular anti-Israel vitriol & implicitly grant Hamas immunity. The media routinely refers to Hamas as “militants”, though they are a US-designated terrorist group, & places the organization on equal moral footing with the Israeli Defense Forces, even though the latter is a military held to the highest ethical standards in human history. World leaders, save Canada’s Prime Minister Steven Harper, have found it difficult to criticize the Iranian-backed Islamist terror organization Hamas without, in the same breath, criticizing Israel though Israel is in fact exercising great restraint.

This double standard teaches us that no matter how strictly a democracy adheres to the laws of armed conflict, that democracy will nonetheless be vilified if the terrorists they are fighting flout the same laws. There is a telling absence of any UN General Assembly resolutions condemning Hamas’s use of Palestinian children as suicide bombers & human shields. There has been no International Criminal Court prosecution of Iranian leaders for incitement to genocide, and no International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the Assad regime’s ongoing slaughter of over two hundred fifty thousand of its own civilians. Instead, war crimes charges have been filed against American, British, and Israeli officials in numerous countries, while leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria are seemingly above the law. Such precedent sets a dangerous disincentive for coalition forces engaged in the asymmetric battlefield to risk their lives in order to adhere to the laws of armed conflict.

4. Because the western media is being duped by Hamas.

There are multiple unverified death counts from Gaza. The UN is claiming a disproportionate number of Palestinian children have died, while Al Jazeera is reporting most of the deceased are adult males. All sources agree there have been more deaths on the Palestinian side than on the Israeli side, though the IDF death toll is climbing with the ground offensive. Despite the lack of accurate information, the media has been obsessively reporting unconfirmed casualty figures without mentioning the context in which Palestinians civilians have been killed, often while being forced to act as human shields. The UN is publishing a Hamas-provided death count without any verification, & has failed to identify any Hamas terrorists among the casualties or even mention the fact that Hamas fighters disguise themselves as civilians (a violation of the laws of armed conflict). The contrasting numbers are being used to proffer a perverted theory of disproportionate force. Such theorists argue that since Palestinians are dying in greater numbers than Israelis, Israel no longer has the right to defend itself– that it is not fair or just for Israel to have the Iron Dome, to use the best technology to save the lives of its own citizens, while Hamas offers up its civilians to protect its rockets.

After ordering its civilians to ignore evacuation calls, Hamas spokesperson Abu Zohari bragged that its “human shield policy is effective” because it both averts IDF fire and gives the international media more material with which to malign Israel. Hamas knows it will not win this war against Israel, the militarily superior side. Rather, it is firing rockets at Israeli civilians from civilian-populated areas to score public relations points with the Arab world and Western media. Hamas knows that, despite the fact that it started this war by firing rockets into Israel, despite its direct responsibility for the tremendous number of casualties, the Western media will report on the conflict by publishing pictures of corpses without mentioning the brutal ways Hamas is forcing its civilians into the line of fire.

When it comes to Gaza, the Western media is simply unable to report the facts on the ground accurately & has outright failed to expose how Hamas is working to increase the Palestinian civilian death toll. Some in the media have even gone as far as accusing Israel of deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians, attributing a blood-lust to the Jewish state. Only when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does the media so regularly cast aside journalistic integrity & engage in deceptive reporting designed to elicit sympathy for terrorism. This point was made very clear by Sky News correspondent Jessy El Murr, who tweeted that she will have “failed as a reporter” if she is seen “as objective on issue of “#israel aggression…”

The media’s careless reporting, coupled with constant delegitimization of Israel’s sovereign right of self-defense, has fueled an alarming rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, Canada, and the US. France is witnessing levels of anti-Semitism not seen since the Holocaust. Jewish-owned businesses are being vandalized & looted, & Paris synagogues have been attacked by pro-Palestinian demonstrators wielding bats, & trapping over 100 Jews inside. In Germany, pro-Palestinian demonstrators have shouted “gas the Jews” and, at a pro-Gaza protest in Berlin, an Israeli tourist was so viciously attacked the police were called in to provide protection. In Los Angeles and Boston, pro-Israel demonstrators were violently assaulted by thugs armed with iron rods, who shouted “Jesus killers” & threatened to burn the Jews. The hashtag #hilterwasright is rapidly gaining momentum on Twitter. As citizens of the free world, we should be concerned with the rising tides of anti-Semitism as well as any kind of race-based hate, which is indicative of a terroristic and genocidal element within.

5. Because US financial support of the Hamas-Palestinian Authority government & UNRWA undermines our negotiating position with Iran.

Hamas is an Iranian proxy. It fights under Iranian & Muslim Brotherhood guidance & is using Iranian weapons to do so. Obama is now engaged in nuclear talks with Iran, attempting to persuade the Islamic Republic to abandon its nuclear pursuits & calls to annihilate Israel & the West. Ideally, the US would be walking into these negotiations from a position of strength, yet our position is made much weaker given Obama’s defiant refusal to end US financial support for a Hamas-Palestinian Authority unity government.

How the Obama administration has dealt with Hamas & the Palestinian Authority is indicative of its broader appeasement of militant Islamism. Choosing to continue funding the Palestinian Authority, after it has partnered with the designated terrorist group Hamas, may not only be unlawful under US law, but means our taxpayer dollars may be used to illegally wage war on an ally while facilitating Hamas’s murder of its own people. Hamas officials have told the media that Fatah (Palestinian Authority) members have joined in firing rockets at Israeli civilians. Further, by funding the Palestinian Authority, US tax dollars are financing television, radio & other media programming such as Palestinian Authority Television (PATV), which airs cartoons, music videos, & daily talk shows that incite violence against the West & genocide against the Jews. On April 9th a PATV children’s program instructed its young audience to grab machine guns & “defeat America & Israel.” Another program aired on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV on May 2nd used a cuddly bee to motivate children to “shoot Jews” & “smash them.”

The UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) is the arm of the UN tasked with providing aid & education to Palestinians in Gaza. UNRWA-operated schools hire members of Hamas as faculty & allow their classrooms to be used as recruiting grounds for Hamas’s child soldiers & human shields. UNRWA teaches from an US-funded curriculum that advocates for genocidal war against Israel, & UNRWA employees have delivered weapons to Hamas. Hamas has launched rockets from the roofs of UNRWA schools & hidden rockets in their basements. UNRWA spokesperson Christopher Gunness recently promoted terror-apologist Dr. Mads Gilbert despite his support of the “moral right” of al-Qaeda to attack the US on 9/11. Despite UNRWA’s direct assistance to terrorism, & repeated requests by Congress for audits of the UN agency, the Obama administration refuses to end its unconditional funding of UNRWA. Financing Islamist incitement to violence, while demanding Iran cease doing the same, is minimally an inconsistent position to take.

6. Because people are dying

Americans should care about the current war between Israel & Hamas because lives are being lost. Hamas is systematically endangering Palestinian lives while inciting & engaging in acts of genocide against the Jewish people who are still, after 2000 years, fighting for their survival. Innocent men, women, & children are being killed in Gaza & Israel, just as they are being killed in Syria and Iraq, & everywhere else Islamist terrorism resides. We are living in an age of globalized conflict where we are no longer afforded the historic excuse of geographic distance. Every life lost in the war between Israel & Hamas is one lost in the global war on terror, & the bodies are too quickly mounting.

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