With hundreds of missiles raining down on southern Israel, one of the most important stories is the one you won’t read about—because it hasn’t happened.
The Arabs’ missiles have hit homes, a synagogue, a hospital and a school, and killed four civilians (and only civilians). The story you won’t read is the one quoting anyone from the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders or any other “humanitarian” organization decrying these absolutely clear violations of the law of war.
Every single one of the Arabs’ targets—and every single one of their hits—is a clear, intentional attack on a civilian or humanitarian situs. Every single one is illegal under international law. Every single one is a violation of the human rights of the Jews who are the targets (though some of the first civilian deaths in this latest avalanche of missiles were Bedouin and another was an Israeli Muslim).
This latest unprovoked attack by the terror groups that run Gaza on Israeli territory and citizens is only the most recent display of the simple strategy that for the last 20 years at least has animated Arab “military” efforts against the Jewish state: having learned long ago that they cannot defeat Israel’s soldiers, Arab efforts to destroy Israel are crafted entirely to cause civilian death and destruction.
The sickest part of this strategy is that the Arabs think they win, regardless of whose civilians are killed or wounded, or whose homes, hospitals and schools are destroyed. If they are Jewish civilians, the Arabs have killed the enemy. If they are Arab people or Arab buildings, then they’ve created victims they can cry for in front of the television cameras.
In this respect, this weekend’s rocket attacks are like the weekly scheduled riots on the Gaza border fence. There as well, the goals are two-fold: destroy the fence so Hamas “soldiers” can penetrate into Israeli territory and murder Jewish civilians; and create Arab victims so the Jewish state can be accused of human-rights violations, thereby damaging its legitimacy. Death on either side of the fence, in Hamas’s view, is a win.
This should be repugnant to any decent human being.
Such an evil plan would come to an end quickly except for one thing: It works.
It works because so much of the media and what passes for international institutions join in the charade that Israel—and only Israel—violates the law of war when the deaths occur that are the inevitable result of this Arab “strategy.”
News agencies are likely to report on the violence with a headline like this one from UPI: “Gaza
militants fire rockets; 5 Palestinians killed in strikes.” A caption under the picture at the top of
the article explains that of the five Arab deaths “three [occurred] in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip and two during protests after Friday prayer near the border with Israel eastern Gaza.”
Were Jewish civilians killed intentionally by Arab rockets? One would never know about it from that headline.
Similarly, only a few weeks ago, a U.N. commission issued a report attacking Israel for killing civilians at the Gaza fence, disgracefully and falsely accusing Israel’s army of intentionally targeting the unarmed. This despite the fact that Hamas pays civilians to be at the fence; intentionally mixes civilians in with its own “fighters”; and then, like the Palestinian Authority that controls the West Bank, pays salaries for life to any of its people who kill Jews, or to the families of such people if they’re in Israeli prisons or killed during their attacks.
Oh, and by the way, the money used to pay those pensions comes from international subsidies provided by purportedly well-intentioned European countries. They used to come from U.S. tax dollars as well, until the Trump administration and Congress refused to put up with such insanity any longer.
People who claim to be looking for a “just and lasting peace in the Middle East” are wasting their time as long as they fail to tell the Arab world that they no longer countenance this evil strategy. When that message gets through, peace will follow soon. And until that message gets through, there will be no peace in the Holy Land because the Arabs think they gain too much from death—both the Jews’ and their own.
Jerome M. Marcus is a lawyer and a fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem.