Crude Hamas rockets are always launched indiscriminately at population centers, while high-tech, guided Israeli missiles always seek to surgically strike Hamas militants or infrastructure. In reality, however, Hamas often declares military targets before launching their rockets (but you need to understand or read Arabic to know that), and sometimes manages to hit these military targets (as they have recently). In fact, Hamas rockets have killed more soldiers than civilians. But if they miss despite intended and declared military target (and they often do), can we call Israeli civilian casualties “collateral damage”? Israel, on the other hand, indiscriminately kills civilians in their supposed surgical strikes on militants or military infrastructure. In fact, despite possessing vastly superior technology (or perhaps because of that), Israel has managed to kill more than 5 civilians for every militant killed. So either Israel is deliberately killing civilians, or Western media that engage in this “fetishization of technology” need to shut up; or both.
A medical surgeon with a success rate equivalent to Israel’s “surgical strike” track record would be sued out of existence instantaneously. I repeat, for every militant killed, more than 5 civilians have been killed: 2 males, 1 female, 2 children. I’m insisting on explicitly pointing that 2 out of 5 are male. Too often, male civilian casualties are literally ignored, or at best, relegated to the margins of mental math, as in 1200 civilians have been killed, including 200 women and 400 children (which these days, is as good as completely ignoring them because no one knows how to do mental math). Do they not warrant explicitly highlighting because they’re males of fighting age, which gasp, implies they could, potentially, in theory, deep-down in their heart of hearts be Hamas terrorists? These victims are stuck in the gray zone.
Speaking of victims, if, for whatever reason, you refuse to or cannot leave your house, your hospital, your school or your UNRWA shelter (which you sought as shelter precisely because you chose to or were able to leave your house, your hospital or your school) despite innocuous, gentle-sounding knock-on-the-roof warnings by your friendly and magnanimous Israeli Defense Forces, you’re a Human Shield and you deserve to die.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen stories in Israeli media of suicide donkeys and cows dying. We know Israel engages in Pink Washing; are they trying to attract animal activists now?
If we accept the definition of terrorism commonly used in today’s vernacular as the deliberate use of violence (or threat thereof) to enact political ends (and I’m aware of the controversy around this and any definition of terrorism, but the word is used in shaping discourse and therefore needs to be defined somehow to mean something), it’s quite ironic that the creation of the state of Israel is the quintessential example of a state born into existence though terrorism. To be specific, I’m not only talking about Irgun and Lehi terrorism, but pointing to all ethnic cleansing of villages and massacres perpetrated before the declaration of independence in May of 1948 which were instrumental in the creation of the State (which is accepted even by the Israelis as “necessary” to birth the State). I simply don’t see how the latter are not precisely terror acts (they fit the definition to a tee).
Along the above lines, acts such as deliberately engaging in the blockading of a population, deliberately targeting and destroying power plants and/or waste water treatment facilities are acts of terror. Indeed, per the commonly accepted definition above, there is no restriction on the nature of the actor: as such, a state can engage in acts of terror; and there is no restriction on the nature of the violence: as such, this violence can be direct, as in the deliberate targeting of civilians for political ends, or indirect, as in the deliberate restriction of movement of goods (blockade) or the deliberate targeting of infrastructure (power plants, waste water treatment facilities) that (indirectly) targets civilians for political ends, in the sense that the intended goal is to make life miserable enough for the civilian population (and often leads to death) in order to put pressure on them to reject their rulers. Along those lines, why is “collective punishment” not explicitly labeled as terrorism?
Hamas uses their network of tunnels to smuggle food and basic goods into Gaza (because you know, Gaza has been under blockade for 7 years), weapons (including rockets) and as a means to infiltrate into Israel to kill Israeli soldiers (not a single civilian has been killed in 7 years by virtue of these tunnels, but many Israeli soldiers have). As long as Hamas declares a military target when they launch their rockets into Israel (which as mentioned above, they often do), will the media re-label these “terror tunnels” as “legitimate resistance tunnels”?
I haven’t heard a single liberal Western interventionist cry out that NATO needs to intervene to stop the massacres going on in Gaza. Remember those days when every talking head on TV was asking the U.S. and NATO to act to prevent the inevitable Benghazi massacre about to be committed by Gaddafi? Remember the philosophical discussions around Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Humanitarian Interventionism? Just remember that the Palestinian Cause is *the* litmus test par excellence in revealing hypocrisy.