By EARL COX, JPOST—
Whoever wins the war of public opinion will smell victorious. Hamas knows this and they expertly play to the media who buy into all their twisted fairytales. Hamas plays the victim role beautifully and flawlessly, calling the media to come see what Israel did. Hamas lacks conscience, lacks compassion and Hamas lacks any desire to live as a member of the civilized world. But the media never seems to report truth. The Palestinians are takers. The Israelis are the givers. It’s time to turn the tide of public opinion.
With Palestinian people cheering, Hamas indiscriminately fires rockets at Israeli civilians. But Israeli soldiers aim only for military targets, and they are exceedingly accurate. It is sad and frightening that Hamas locates rocket launchers and weapons in civilian neighborhoods. How can Israel not hurt civilians when Hamas weaponry is deliberately placed in hospitals, schools, mosques and apartment complexes? Why does the media continue to call attention to dead Palestinian civilians, complete with pictures of bloodied, gauze-covered women and children, and then point the finger at Israel when the blame should be placed squarely on Hamas?
The public never hears of the devastation and the trauma being simultaneously suffered by the Israeli people. Israelis don’t play the media “game.” In stark contrast, Israelis don’t want to be portrayed as victims, but rather as a strong, resilient people, which is exactly what they are. We know the media loves victims. Victims generate a stronger reaction from the public and thus higher ratings and readership.
The long-term suffering of the Israelis has been very great but this never makes the news. Each day and night, Israelis must be prepared to run to the safety of a bomb shelter. They are being terrorized twenty-four, seven. They never know when Palestinian rockets will rain down. Will they be in the shower? Will they be in the hospital delivering a baby? Will they be in the middle of a wedding ceremony or cooking dinner or helping a handicapped person get dressed? Will they be at the store or at the dentist? Will they be walking to school or to the bus stop? Every outing requires calculating the distance to the nearest bomb shelter. Now that’s terror! An entire generation of Israeli children in the south is growing up thinking it is normal to hear a siren and run. They know their neighbor’s highest life’s goal is to kill all Jews. This isn’t discussed, and no one says anything about this psychological torment. In the short time it has taken me to pen these few words, more than fifteen rockets have landed in southern Israel and each and every one of them was launched from Israel’s neighbor, Gaza. Palestinians do not suffer this same fear and torment. They live completely free from the threat of indiscriminate Israeli rocket attacks. Israel does not initiate. Israel only responds.
No, Palestinian suffering is not at the hands of Israel but rather at the hands of their own leaders. When media reports include such phrases as the “Israeli offensive,” they are trying to sway public opinion in favor of the Palestinians but this term is a serious misnomer. There is simply no such thing. Israel retaliates against Palestinian aggression. Israel’s posture is entirely defensive. Israel does not target Palestinian civilians. While the Palestinians strive to take the lives of Israelis, Israelis strive to save the lives of the Palestinians. There is a serious disconnect of values here which must be brought to light.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli military surgically target Hamas and they warn the Palestinians prior to a retaliatory strike. This means each counter-attack must be carefully planned to minimize civilian casualties. Unfortunately, this outcome is virtually impossible because Hamas (with full knowledge that Israel will not willfully target civilians) intentionally puts their bases of operation in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods and then prevents their people from fleeing when Israel sends notice of an eminent counter-attack.
To illustrate how much Israel values life, shortly after Operation Protective Edge began, doctors at Israel’s Wolfson Medical Center, where Israeli doctors have been working to save the lives of Palestinian children, accepted seven more Palestinian children for treatment for heart defects. “It does not matter what side of the political map you are on,” said Dr. Akiva Tamir, the head of pediatric cardiology. In addition, an Israeli, Yuval Roth, as his life’s mission, provides transportation for Palestinian children who need medical treatment to get to Israel. Roth said this is why he does it, “If we won’t help them, they won’t get to the hospital.”
In contrast, imagine an ambulance in Gaza is being targeted for attack because it is known to be carrying a heavy load of terrorists’ military weaponry that will be used against Israel. What the soldiers don’t know is that Hamas terrorists have stuffed mothers and children in with the weaponry, because they know it will be targeted and, when it happens, they’ll call the media. In the end, because Hamas cried foul play against Israel, the media will try to crucify Israel by creating and reporting a completely false and distorted picture for the world.
Which is the evil act? Is it the intentional act of putting women and children in harms way where they will surely be blown to pieces, or is it the act of defending one’s people and one’s land by destroying a military target? Yes, there is a stark contrast of values between Hamas, the Palestinians and the Israelis. The Palestinians are the takers; Israelis are the givers. And the Bible says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”