….To be thrown under the Hamas bus as "human shields"? Also the elderly and the invalid?
Hamas's operative policy is: Yes.
And if a Hamas rocket fizzles and lands in the midst of a crowd of non-human shield Gazans in another part of town, that's a fortunate error, because then the director, cast, and camera crews of Pallywood's staged photographs and videos can go to work and fob it off to the gullible Western news media as another cruel and "genocidal" Israeli air strike. That's happened so many times it's nearly a joke. Never waste the crisis of a wayward missile.
Retired British Colonel Richard Kemp, in his August 3rd Gatestone article, "Gaza's Civilian Casualties: The Truth is Very Different," wrote:
With few exceptions, reporters, commentators, and analysts unquestioningly accept the casualty statistics given by Gaza's Hamas-controlled medical authorities, who ascribe all deaths to the IDF. We have never seen so much as a glimpse of killed or wounded fighters.
Analysis of casualty details released by Qatar-based Al Jazeera indicate that so far most of those killed in Gaza have been young men of fighting age, not women, children or old people.
All Palestinian civilian casualties in this conflict result ultimately from Gaza terrorists' aggression against Israel, and Hamas's use of human shields — the most important plank of Hamas's war-fighting policy.
The tactic calls to mind two cinematic instances of one side deliberately sacrificing its own: the opening scene of Enemy at the Gates (2001), when Soviet officers ordered mostly unarmed Russian soldiers to charge a German machine gun/tank position during the battle of Stalingrad, and are subsequently slaughtered; and Seinfeld's George Costanzia's panic and subsequent tissue-thin explanations for why he pushed everyone else out of the way during his to escape from a burning burger fire during in indoor children's party. The one instance is terrifying; the other, amusingly pathetic.
But, that's the Hamas way. And the MSM's way. George Costanza claimed, among other things, that he ran from the house in order to "lead the way out." Hamas claims it forces Gazans to stand on the roofs of targeted buildings to "lead the way out" of an "occupation." Israel shouldn't have held its fire in those instances. A couple of blasted buildings with Gazan bodies strewn all over would have likely sparked a revolt of the Gazans – against Hamas. Also, remember that these are the same Gazans who voted for Hamas (whether or not the "election" was rigged), who allow it to rule Gaza, and who celebrated the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11.
To Hamas, women and children are expendable as casualties. If the Israelis don’t kill them, Hamas will. And the Israelis have (wrongly) gone out of their way to avoid "civilian" Gazan casualties. They don’t seem to remember that but for the carpet- and fire-bombing of German and Japanese cities during WWII, the war might have gone on indefinitely. Aside from destroying an enemy's capacity for making war, tens of thousands of Germans and Japanese civilians perished from Allied bombings. The purpose of those bombings was also to destroy the enemy's morale and willingness to continue fighting. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki cost nearly 150,000 Japanese civilian lives. But those bombings brought the Pacific War to an abrupt end. The alternative was to invade Japan with conventional forces and incur even more horrendous casualties on both sides.
(For a book on why total victory over an aggressor enemy is necessary to "preserve the peace," and not just a "ceasefire," see the late John David Lewis's Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History," published by Princeton University Press in 2010. There are lessons in it which Israel, as well as the U.S., could benefit from, but haven’t yet been absorbed by those countries' military and political planners. Lewis's book would be an ideal companion to the Hamas manual of how to use "human shields" discovered by the IDF.)
Frankly, I think Israel should establish as its ultimate goal the complete elimination of Hamas, killing all its top leaders and any lower ranking leaders who poke their heads out of their rat holes. Otherwise, Hamas will just keep "reemerging" and "regrouping" over and over again. It isn't as though these were enemy soldiers, who, once captured, would be put in POW camps. These are dedicated killers who won't stop unless killed. If any manage to escape, they should be tracked down to wherever they hide out and eliminated, as were the perpetrators and planners of the murders of the Olympic Israeli wrestlers and others in 1972 in Munich.
Kemp goes on to explain why there's an insatiable demand in the Western press for pictures of "Israeli atrocities."
With few exceptions, reporters, commentators and analysts unquestioningly accept the casualty statistics given by Gaza's Hamas-controlled medical authorities, who ascribe all deaths to the IDF. Is anyone in Gaza dying of natural causes? Mass executions of "collaborators," and civilians killed by malfunctioning Hamas rockets, are all attributed to IDF fire.
Are the "overwhelming majority" of the dead really civilians? It would seem so. We see a great deal of grotesque and heart-rending footage of dead and bleeding women and children but never so much as a glimpse of killed or wounded fighters. Nor do reporters question or comment on the complete absence of Gazan military casualties, an extraordinary phenomenon unique to this conflict.
The reality of course is that Hamas make great efforts to segregate their military casualties to preserve the fiction that Israel is killing civilians only. There are also increasing indications that Hamas, through direct force or threat, are preventing journalists from filming their fighters, whether dead or alive.
Hamas knows its onions, and is only too happy to oblige the Western press with what the Western press wants to know: "proof" of Israeli "guilt" in targeting civilians. Not mentioning Hamas's policy of targeting Israeli civilians is a kind of "gentleman's agreement" among the Western press corps, even though most Western journalists suspect or know that the casualty reports of Gazan "civilians" are largely bogus. Hamas can always count on the Western news media to lead off a story about Gaza with a photograph of Gazans in the rubble of their own folly. The MSN News story here is an archetypical example of such coverage. So is the foreign press's coverage, as exampled here in a "touching" Guardian story about the fate of a rioting Ramallah teenager.
"Say, let's really fire up our friends and useful idiots in New York and London and Paris and Los Angeles and give them something to really demonstrate against."
As an extra added measure, the surviving tunnel maze not destroyed by the Israelis could be regularly flooded with raw sewage and turned into a sump. That ought to put a damper on terrorists' tunneling habits. But, then again, that might not work. After all, it's not the he-man, "we wage war on Jewish, Muslim, and infidel women and children" terrorists who have constructed the tunnels, but Gazan children.
Unfortunately, aside from the lethal, hamstringing ROE Israel imposes on its military, it also has a habit of "repatriating" Islamic terrorists after they've spent a cozy time in Israeli lock-ups. Invariably, they return to kill again. Just as the coddled Islamic killers at Guantanamo have been released to kill again.
What about those demonstrators in the West who are the most vociferous in their anti-Israel, anti-Semitic chants and noise-making? Richard Cravatts, in his FrontPage article of August 5th, "The Moral Psychosis of Demonstrating in Support of Hamas," concludes his article by ascribing the corrupting phenomenon of multiculturalism for the appeal of these unthinking brutes:
The language of multiculturalism that animates the hate-Israel crowd is sprinkled with the code words of oppression, and radicals in newly-identified victim groups frequently see themselves as deserving of protection and special political, racial, and cultural recognition. Thus, the decades-old emphasis on enshrining multiculturalism has meant that activists have been seeped in an ideology which refuses to demarcate any differences between a democratic state struggling to protect itself and aggressive, genocidal foes who wish to destroy it with their unending assaults. For the multiculturalist left, the moral strengths of the two parties are equivalent, even though the jihadist foes of Israel, for example, have waged an unending struggle with the stated aim of obliterating the Jewish state through the murder of Jews.
There is no other explanation for why educated, well-intentioned and humane individuals, experiencing paroxysms of moral self-righteousness in which they are compelled to speak out for the perennial victim, can loudly and publicly advocate for the murder of Jews—who already have created and live in a viable sovereign state—on behalf a group of genocidal enemies of Israel whose tragic condition may well be their own doing, and, at any rate, is the not the sole fault of Israel’s. That these activists are willing, and ready, to sacrifice the Jewish state, and Jewish lives, in the name of social justice and a specious campaign of self-determination by Palestinian Arabs, shows how morally corrupt and deadly the conversation about human rights has become.
"Free Palestine"? But "Palestine" is as fictive an entity as is J.R. Tolkien's "Middle Earth" or J.K. Rowland's Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. See this extensively researched article on the history of the region and its actual historical antecedents:
The first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BC Ancient Greece. Herodotus wrote of a 'district of Syria, called Palaistinê in The Histories, the first historical work clearly defining the region, which included the Judaean Mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley….The Hebrew name Peleshet (פלשת Pəlésheth) – usually translated as Philistia in English, is used in the Bible more than 250 times. The Greek word Palaistinē (Παλαιστίνη, Palaistine) is generally accepted to be a translation of the Semitic name for Philistia; however another term – land of the Philistieim (γῆ τῶν Φυλιστιεἰμ, transliteration from Hebrew ארץ פלשתים 'Eretz Pəlishtím, land of the Philistines) – was used in the Septuagint, the second century BCE Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, to refer to Philistia….
During the Byzantine period, the entire region (Syria Palestine, Samaria, and the Galilee) was named Palaestina, subdivided into provinces Palaestina I and II. The Byzantines also renamed an area of land including the Negev, Sinai, and the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula as Palaestina Salutaris, sometimes called Palaestina III. The Arabic word for Palestine is فلسطين (commonly transcribed in English as Filistin, Filastin, or Falastin). Moshe Sharon writes that when the Arabs took over Greater Syria in the 7th century, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration before them, generally continued to be used. (Italics and bold mine, to emphasize the rise of Islam in the 7th century)
But, the demonstrators and useful idiots in the MSM in the West don't bother to educate themselves on the imaginary land of "Palestine." Nor do they bother to educate themselves on what Hamas's true ends are regarding Israel, nor about how Hamas treats Muslim women and children. Reality is what they want it to be, regardless of facts and evidence to the contrary of their delusional but deadly epistemology and metaphysics.
Down deep in their souls, their vision of "Palestine" is malign and nihilistic. Women and children are disposable ciphers to them as they are to Islamic jihadists of every stripe. They can always be sacrificed first.