The Middle East is full of ambiguities, but the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza that was temporarily halted with a ceasefire last week is not one of them.
Judging from CNN International and the Twitterverse, there is no clear right or wrong in the conflict. Both sides are equally bad or at fault for the fighting — that is, when all the blame is not being pinned on Israel.
But this just isn’t so.
The Israel-Hamas battle is as morally clear as any I can think of. On one side you have Israel, a free and democratic state that targets only those who threaten its citizens. Tragically, civilians inevitably die in the process — this is war, not Candy Land — but the Jewish state goes out of its way to minimize the killing of innocents as much as humanly possible.
How do I know this?
Because if Israel were seeking to inflict as much carnage as humanly possible, Gaza wouldn’t exist anymore. It would have been leveled. We wouldn’t have seen video of Israeli jets pinpoint-targeting a terrorist killer in Gaza. We would have seen a massive ball of fire consuming Gaza itself.
On the other side of the equation is Hamas, the terror group that controls Gaza. Hamas’ founding charter openly declares that it is an organization intent on not only killing Israelis, but all Jews.
There’s a word for that: genocidal.
“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees,” the charter favorably quotes the Muslim prophet Muhammad as declaring.
“The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
You would think this little tidbit would warrant mention on CNN.
Hamas makes no attempt to avoid killing innocent civilians. If fact, killing innocent civilians is their modus operandi. That the terror organization lacks the capacity at the moment to kill as many Jews as it would like to does not make it any less vile or insidious. We should be thankful that Hamas isn’t better armed, not sad that Israel has better weaponry.
If Hamas could eliminate all Israelis, it would. It’s only a resistance movement in the sense that it is resisting the existence of Jews on the planet.
Israel could indiscriminately decimate Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza, but it hasn’t and never would.
It might just be me, but that strikes me as a pretty significant moral difference.