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The Moral Battleground
by Melanie Phillips

What other country would, for showing such unparalleled moral scrupulousness, be vilified and libeled as Israel is?

And so now begins the second and most difficult stage. Inside Israel, there is both determination and dread as tens of thousands of Israel’s conscript army are called to the front. Untold numbers of these soldiers will lose their lives as the result not merely of the genocidal aims of Hamas (and its Iranian puppet-master), but also the indifference and pusillanimity towards Palestinian terror displayed by world governments over the past six decades of Israel’s fight for survival, along with the active encouragement of genocidal Islamists by leftists, Jew-haters, Muslims and useful idiots who were on such thuggish display yesterday in the co-ordinated demonstrations in British and other western cities.

Such people have made no protest at the bombardment of Israeli towns by more than 6000 rockets in the past six years, deliberately targeting innocent civilians. They have made no protest at the way Hamas has used Gazan civilians as human shields, situating its murderous arsenals beneath apartment blocks, in schools and hospitals and mosques in order to maximize the numbers of civilians killed (in order to manipulate all-too pliable western opinion). No, their protest only starts when Israel finally takes the military action aimed at stopping this genocidal barrage.

The worst thing is the moral inversion, in which the murderous victimization of innocent Israelis is ignored while their murderers are described as ‘civilians’ when they are finally killed by the Israelis — who are demonstrably taking care to avoid civilian casualties wherever possible. Tragically, civilians always die in wars; and unfortunately there will undoubtedly be more civilian casualties in Gaza — along with deaths among Israeli troops — as the war goes on. But the frenzied misrepresentations, double standards and moral inversion fuelling a hysteria in the west which in turn can only incite more genocidal violence are simply depraved.

Particularly striking in its malice is the way in which the treatment of wounded Palestinians in Israeli hospitals is ignored — while news of the barbaric behavior of Hamas in Gaza’s hospitals is airbrushed out of the picture. At WSJ’s Opinion Journal, James Taranto noted that a report of this scene in a Gaza hospital briefly appeared in the New York Times a couple of days ago:

    Armed Hamas militants in civilian clothes roamed the halls. Asked their function, they said it was to provide security. But there was internal bloodletting under way. In the fourth-floor orthopaedic section, a woman in her late 20s asked a militant to let her see Saleh Hajoj, her 32-year-old husband. She was turned away and left the hospital. Fifteen minutes later, Mr. Hajoj was carried out by young men pretending to transfer him to another ward. As he lay on the stretcher, he was shot in the left side of the head. Mr. Hajoj, like five others killed at the hospital this way in 24 hours, [my emphasis] was accused of collaboration with Israel. He had been in the central prison awaiting trial by Hamas judges; when Israel destroyed the prison on Sunday he and the others were transferred to the hospital. But their trials were short-circuited…

You won’t find that passage now on the New York Times website because, soon after it appeared, it unaccountably vanished into the ether. Nor will many in Britain or the west be aware of this:

    Dozens of Gaza Arabs are being treated in Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital at the same time terrorists are bombarding the city. The medical facility, the largest on the southern coast, is in the line of rocket fire, and medical staff often have to stop caring for patients and run for cover during air raid warnings. The 500-bed Barzilai Hospital has close ties with Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, Barzilai deputy director Dr. Ron Lobel told the Associated Press. ‘It might seem completely absurd, but we have the privilege to be doctors. Our medical ethics do not distinguish between patients. We treat whoever needs to be treated,’ he said One Gaza Arab woman refused to identify herself to AP [Associated Press] because of fear of retribution by terrorists if it were known that her two-month-old granddaughter is being treated in an Israeli hospital. ‘I am very sad and hurt. We want peace, not war,’ she said as Israel began retaliating after hundreds of Arab rocket and mortar attacks, some of them lethal.


The moral inversion in the west is so egregious, so monstrous, that the better Israel is shown to behave the worse the vilification that rains down upon it. What other country in the world would show such restraint in the face of more than 6000 rocket attacks upon its citizens — 6000! — that it took seven years before going to war to put a stop to it?

What other country would treat individuals — including proven terrorists — from that enemy territory in its own hospitals?

What other country would continue to provide essential foodstuffs and other supplies to those enemies who continued to fire rockets at it?

What other country, when finally forced to go to war to stop the attacks, would show such concern to avoid the loss of civilian life that it contacts the population in enemy territory — even households containing identified terrorists — to warn them to flee from the imminent bombardment?

And what other country would, for showing such unparalleled moral scrupulousness, be vilified and libeled as Israel is?

Israel’s behavior is moral, legal and proportionate. This conflict is revealing just who is on the side of morality, decency and sanity and who is not. The President of the Czech Republic, who is also the incoming president of the EU, has emerged in the former camp, declaring stoutly that Israel’s behavior is both just and necessary. France’s president Sarkozy, however, has called upon both sides to stop hostilities — a moral equivalence which effectively gives Hamas victory by requiring Israel to abandon the defense of its citizens. Similarly in Britain, Foreign Secretary David Miliband has repeated his call for an immediate cease-fire — while Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has apparently complained to Israel’s Prime Minister Olmert that “too many” people have died.

Would that be, perhaps, too many Hamas terrorists who have died? Would Brown have preferred that more of them continued to live so that they could carry on murdering more Israelis?

In startling contrast Farid Ghadry, President of the Reform Party of Syria, has written:

    We Arabs must be the ones to stop Hamas and Hizbullah, rather than support their demonic and twisted logic of resisting development, enlightenment, and progress of the region. Even when development and enlightenment stare them in the face, their instinct is to destroy them pretending to safeguard their honor, the mechanics of which supersede all else including a happy life of fulfillment and accomplishments. So while we abhor violence of all kind, Israel’s campaign against Hamas must continue to the bitter end not only for the sake of peace but also to help Arabs realize they have a choice: Destroy like Gaza or develop like Dubai. Will this happen soon? Maybe not, but if a wake-up call and a nudge, once in a while, to pierce through the fog of deceit perpetrated by Syria and Iran is what it takes to see the light, then we stand by the West and Israel in the only hope that an Arab Renaissance in the Levant may actually have a chance of resurrection.

Alas, many in the west don’t stand with Farid Ghadry. They stand instead with Hamas. Whatever platitudes they mouth, it is clear that they really don’t want Israel to survive at all. The moral dividing line in this battle is very clear. Those who stand with Israel are on the side of morality, justice, and civilization. Those in the media and public life who denounce Israel for having the temerity to defend its people are the fellow-travelers of barbarism. Having done so much to embolden and strengthen Hamas and Iran, who are playing them for suckers, they are continuing to stoke the fires of irrational hatred and genocidal hysteria. As Israeli soldiers die, along with the Palestinian victims of Hamas whether as ‘collaborators’ or human shields, their blood will be on these hypocritical western hands.

This article originally appeared in Spectator.co.uk
Visit Melanie Phillips website at http://www.melaniephillips.com

This article can also be read at: http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/mediaobjectivity/The_Moral_Battleground.asp

 

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