“The Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) is the oldest independent non-profit, public service, research institute in the Arab world. It was established and incorporated in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1963” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_Palestine_Studies
” It reported that tunnel construction in Gaza has resulted in a large number of child deaths.
“At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas officials”
The author, Nicolas Pelham, explains that Hamas uses child laborers to build their terror tunnels because, “much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies”.” – http://www.palestine-studies.org/journals.aspx?id=11424&jid=1&href=fulltext
My problem is not that I think Israel is 100% right. My problem is why in most of the media, only Israel shows self doubt, yet Israel is the ultimate immoral villain, there are many of these articles, but there are no op-eds by Palestinians opposed to child labor by Hamas? Or perhaps that’s just not so interesting, because in this world there’s a preference for blame, and Jews are filled with self examination as well:
There are plenty of searches for Jews against Israel, with plenty of results, but Arabs against Hamas or Palestinians against Hamas? Here’s the numbers: http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=Jews%20against%20Israel%2C%20Arabs%20Against%20Hamas%2C%20Palestinians%20against%20Hamas&cmpt=q
“Since the first uprisings began in the Syrian Arab Republic in early March 2011 … Data collected by the UN Human Rights office estimates the death toll to be greater than 60,000 people.” – http://www.genocidewatch.org/alerts/newsalerts.html
1048 Iraqis killed in Iraq since 2009, a total of ~27,000 since 2003. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_conflict_in_Iraq_since_2003#Overview._Death_estimates_by_group
Yet look at the search share worldwide for Israel – http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=Israel%2C%20Syria%2C%20Iraq&date=1%2F2005%20116m&cmpt=q
A highly disproportionate interest to deaths. The problem isn’t just that people are dying, it’s that people use it to bounce on Israel and to spawn anti-semitic behavior. I disagree with some of Israel’s policies, but I feel a responsibility to stand up to a world that is mostly hostile towards it.
Despite how supposedly terrifyingly powerful Jewish power is in the West, you’ll note no op-eds by supporters of Gaza about how they feel unable to speak up in support of their country – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10983417/Gaza-conflict-As-a-British-Jew-I-am-now-scared-to-talk-about-Israel-and-Gaza.html
No one is posting fake photos of Israel under attack, but plenty are doing so of Gaza – http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-28198622
Including the BBC itself: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2236209/BBC-reporter-tweets-photo-injured-Gaza-girl-actually-child-Syria.html
No one is chasing all Palestinians out of Turkey or France… but: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.606820 and http://www.thelocal.fr/20140721/france-anti-semitism-violence-palestinian
You may note at the end of the 2nd article that there has not been such a huge exodus of Jews from France since immediately after WW2.
6 states declare Islam as the foundation of their government, 15 declare it as their state religion. There are 22 states in the Arab League. Only one Jewish state.
Post WW2, Zionism was declared a crime punishable by death in Iraq and in the years preceding the formal creation of Israel (and immediately following) Anti-Semitic riots and formal anti-Jewish measures around the world forced Jews out of their homes and gave them no where else to go, pushing the UN to decide on the issue of the Jewish state – http://books.google.com/books?id=WRpHAAAAQBAJ&pg=PT237#v=onepage&q&f=false
I can’t find the UN report from the last ‘action’ but let’s consider the one I did find:
Between 2000 and 2003, 80% of Israeli fatalities were non-combatants. Disproportionate statistics then show that Hamas goes out of its way to target civilians.
In another UN report for 2007, 65% of the total Palestinian death toll was due to ‘internal violence’. Or, as the UN states it: “More than twice as many Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians (415) in 2007 as were killed by Israelis (185).” 26 of those Palestinians killed by their own people that year were children. http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/BE07C80CDA4579468525734800500272
And before we talk about how biased America has always been towards Jews and Israel… In the late 1930s, Jewish refugees were turned away from the US by the boatload and the US Congress refused a bill that would have admitted 20,000 Jewish children from Germany – http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005267
Or consider the US Government’s suppression of reports of the holocost in 1942 – https://ushmm.org/research/library/faq/details.php?lang=en&topic=01#06
Anti-Palestinian activists (if there are such a thing, most are more pro-Israel, but I’m sure there’s hate every where) don’t get Rolling Stone feature articles about their stylish hate groups – http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/heil-hipster-the-young-neo-nazis-trying-to-put-a-stylish-face-on-hate-20140623
Try finding articles from reliable sources in which anyone (outside of some definitively misguided, but very small, groups in Israel) goes around yelling ‘gas the Palestinians’. This article doesn’t just report on a serious threat to a group of Jews, it collects them, including charting incidents of violent anti-semitism at 554 last year. Between now and 1989, there have never been LESS THEN 78 violent anti-semitic incidents a year.
That’s 35 years of people shouting “Gas the Jews”, painting swastikas and threatening Jewish lives: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/23/anti-semitic-riots-in-europe-took-us-back-to-1938/
The Jewish people are .2% of the world population. Yet across the world, 34% believe that Jews run international finance. 29% believe the Jews run international affairs. 25% believe that Jews control the media. Another 25% believe that they control the US Government. A whopping 23% believe that Jews are responsible for “most wars in the world.” http://mic.com/articles/94590/the-crisis-in-gaza-is-having-a-horrifying-consequences-in-the-rest-of-the-world
The problem is that too many consider the situation in Israel without historical or present worldwide contexts.
Yes, we can and should disagree with policies of violence. But that’s not the only side to consider. The other thing to consider is the choices one has when faced with extermination. The Jewish people, and Israel, see 4,800 rockets hitting their country in the last 13 years ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_rocket_attacks_on_Israel ). Fighting back or not, it’s clear that the attitude towards Israel is toxic with little regard to what it does. That attitude has little to do with how many die, or who, or how, or where. It has to do, more often than not, with who Israel is composed of: Jews.
So when there’s no place to retreat, no hope of moral support, immediately surrounded by countries that hate you or are in complete disarray, faced by a history of people who want to kill you, denied a historical basis for the fear you feel, supported by “allies” whose populations feel a need to face you with support of the worst massacre of your own people in history and the country that is arguably your strongest supporter sent your children to their death in their time of need … what do you do? You are under attack and there’s no safe place but the tiny stretch of land you call home.
That’s the real situation. Israel is a Jewish state, and the context of being a Jewish state isn’t easily laid out in a moment of self-doubt, or a pithy op-ed. But it is felt and known by the people there. That’s why it’s not quite as simple as “oppression” or “being the first to stop striking.”
We tried letting ourselves be pushed around to allow others to feel comfortable with the Jewish people, the result was the Nazi Party. We tried letting others define where we could live and how we could rule ourselves, those were ghettos. We tried living under direction, the direction was to get on trains. We tried non-violent resistance and resisted our way into the camps. That’s the historical context that Israel faces. Because we can say ‘oh the world is different now.’ But it really isn’t that different. And if we let Israel fall, or even seem slightly less strong, where would any of the Jewish people have left to retreat to?
I have a lot of sympathy for Gaza. But there are 396 million people in the nations belonging to the Arab League and 1.6 billion Muslims. There are nearly 13 Million Palestinians ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_people ), a self-identification which didn’t even really exist before the 20th century, and most of whom identify with one of the two groups above. There are only 13.9 million Jews. The last time we let others threaten us or dictate our policy, we lost 6 million. All the sympathy for the Palestinians in the world won’t push me to tell the Jewish people, who are safeguarded by, and are the form and purpose of, Israel’s existence, that they can’t fight back against aggression.
We already know how that worked out the last time.