To Israel, With Love

To Israel, With Love

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So, this is how you defeat the State of Israel: bad press.

Ever since Israel began its assault against Hamas in late December, the media has responded with a barrage of its own in the form of negative publicity and news cycles starting and ending with images of crying women, wounded children, and bombed-out buildings. That the Arab states would predictably tag Israel as the aggressor is a given; that their citizens would take to the streets and burn Israeli flags and start the comparisons to the Nazis evokes no surprise. But what finally dawned on me was that the Arabs had at long last figured out the sure-fire (ahem) way of defeating their hated Zionist enemy: the press.

Hamas and Hizbullah cannot defeat Israel militarily, but that is no longer the point. They both can inflict maximum pain through attrition, whether it’s firing rockets across the borders in Gaza or southern Lebanon, or conducting raids to kidnap Israeli soldiers and demand the release of hundreds of prisoners in exchange. Who can forget the parade and warm welcome of Samir Kuntar, killer of an Israeli father and his daughter, in Beirut in July 2008? If Israel attempts a military strike, the hue and cry throughout the Western world is long and hard, invoking constant opprobrium on the Jewish state for its “disproportionate” responses. It happened in 2006, when the pressure on Israel to stop its bombardment thwarted the strategic objectives of hitting back at the so-called “Party of God.” The result? Hizbullah declares victory and shows the Arab street (a phrase that never ceases to make leftist intellectuals shiver with excitement) that the mighty Israelis really are vulnerable. The Jews will do anything to get their people back, and do anything not to risk the ire of the Western world. It’s their fundamental weakness, ready to be exploited.

And the most cynical part of this strategy? If you encourage the hatred of Jews and of Israel past of breaking point of a pathology, you create an entire population that is willing to find martyrdom fighting them as well. So don’t fear the Israeli military because you’ll be in paradise; don’t mind the arms storage near the homes, the mosques, the hospitals because it’s all part of the struggle which may require the sacrifice of your own life, but again, what do you have to really lose to fight the Zionist entity but to inherit eternal life?

Those final points represent the true diabolical nature of Hamas and Hizbullah; keeping munitions near homes and schools begs for Israeli response when provoked, and it ensures maximum damage on two levels, the physical and the emotional. A blasted out hospital demonstrates the hideous nature of the Israelis who have no concern for buildings that assume some sacrosanct air (take the outraged Canadian reaction to the bombing of the Islamic University in Gaza), but the emotional damage of the wailing mother carrying the injured or dead child is incalculable to the radical Islamist cause as well. Reprobates! Monsters! There is no depth to which the Israelis won’t sink to!

This chilling strategy requires the pliancy of a feckless and shallow Western media, delivered in spades. Leftists in Europe and America cannot fall over themselves fast enough to play their part in this ugly manipulation, delivering body counts on cue, images of collateral damage to maximum effect. Not once has this insidious ploy by Hamas been remarked upon by the pious frauds of the Western media; all of the outrage is directed straight at the Israelis. This obscenity even extends to the comparison of Israeli deaths being so few in number, as if to suggest that the small loss of life doesn’t really count at all, so please don’t bother us with it. Not once have I witnessed a reporter asking about the state of the Gaza civil defense system, the efficacy of bomb shelters or first-responder coordination. Why? Because it does not exist in Gaza or the West Bank and such things are counter to the struggle when creating maximum damage for maximum effect against the Israelis is the goal. Instead, we have stories whose language and angle is to make sure the Israelis appear deliberately to target schools, universities and medical personnel with indiscriminate barbarity.

And where is the moral outrage over the existence of this devilish concoction, where the melding of civilian and military targets produces an insurmountable logistical nightmare to fight? In all of Israel’s wars, the conventional armies met, they fought, one side won and the others lost. But beginning in 1982, with Israel’s invasion of Lebanon to rout the mini-Palestinian state in the south, the tide started changing. Israel quickly got stuck into its own quagmire, and the little summer war turned into a 20+ year occupation. In 2006, Israel tried again by going after Hizbullah—that crafty terrorist group funded by Iran, tolerated by Syria—only this time, the lessons of the Lebanese civil war were not forgotten. Who is the enemy and who is the noncombatant when they live right next to each other? When the buildings are the same? There was no easy target like the Egyptian air force sitting on the tarmac: the enemy was everywhere and nowhere. Civilian life is cheap, but not so much when you promise everyone paradise against the immortal enemy of Israel.

This then is how you finally defeat Israel: the death of a thousand cuts, all caught on digital video. The Western world, holding the Israelis to standards they dare not apply to the Arabs, have become willing accomplices in forcing the Jewish state into submission. Not one leftist has bothered to condemn Hamas or ask why and how there are so many rockets flying into Israel that are extending deeper and deeper. (How can anyone not notice?) Not one leftist has bothered to take Hamas, Hizbullah or even Islamic Jihad at its word when they call for the destruction of Israel, preferring to pass it all off as florid rhetoric. At each and every turn, the left has run interference for the jihadists, stoking the flames of hatred for Israel and encouraging pious condemnation while remaining silent over the breathtaking incompetence of the Palestinians at state building. Jihad? So passé, so very racist to bring up in good company. The “disproportionate” response of Israel? Criminal to be sure, worthy of a lengthy sermon whose deceptive words tie the Israelis’ hands behind their backs and prevent them from defending themselves.

After sixty years, who knew it would not be an army on the field to defeat Israel, but a camera crew with a global audience?