As Israel battles to remove the threat of barbarism and depravity to its citizens, it beggars belief to see what is going on in the world. Western democracies stand strongly with Israel when it is being attacked.
However, once Israel actually defends itself, support waivers.
There is a total disconnect in logic between people who understand the situation, articulate what in their opinion should not be done, but are vague to the point of extreme frustration, on what to actually do. On what they would do.
Despite Israel safeguarding evacuation routes and providing humanitarian aid directly to the hospitals, evacuation and aid to Palestinians that Hamas tries to block by shooting and killing its own people, and with a strict adherence to international law, Israel is pilloried and expected to defeat Hamas in some other, always undefined, manner.
Repetition is required: Israel does its utmost to minimise civilian casualties. Hamas purposefully targets all civilians, Palestinian and Israeli.
As one observer noted “If Israel didn’t care about civilians, this war would have been over on October 8”.
We do not know the number of people killed in Gaza as yet, but as US President Joe Biden said with absolute clarity, “I’m sure innocents have been killed and it’s the price of waging a war. But I have no confidence in the number the Palestinians are using.”
The horrors perpetrated by Hamas on 7 October are almost impossible to believe.
We are witnessing two processes at play around the world, particularly in large sections of the media and from so called influencers, even more than at the political level.
Firstly, we are seeing ‘atrocity denial.’ Journalists and influencers, who simply believe that the atrocities are overblown, or never took place.
Some who cannot conceive that anyone could do the things Hamas did, and many others for whom denial is the only way they can perpetuate their agenda of anti-Jewish sentiment and hate.
There are those who wish to paint Israel as the aggressor.
And what is the highest expression of her aggression?
Israel’s very existence.
As many have pointed out, this is not about anything Israel did.
But simply that Israel is.
Which brings us to the second part of the delegitimisation of Israel and the Jewish people.
When people grow up with the belief that Jews intend to harm Palestinian children, or in previous times the images perpetuated by a different manifestation of the blood libels of Europe, they require no checking of facts, or verification, when they hear about Israel bombing a hospital.
Confirmation bias allows them to think, ‘Of course the Jews killed babies. That is what Jews do.’
In the so called ‘Arab street,’ indoctrinated over generations to believe Jews are evil, one can more easily understand confirmation bias at work. But in the West? Amongst so called knowledgeable opinion makers and academics?
The streets of our cities around the western world are witness to coded messages at pro-Palestinian rallies. Messages, that apparently are unreadable by governments and authorities.
In 1964, when Israel had nothing to do with Gaza, Judea/Samaria/West Bank and even the Old City of Jerusalem, and these areas were ruled by the Arab world, the PLO was formed – the Palestine Liberation Organisation. What was it formed to ‘liberate’?
In case that coded message was not understood, the answer – Israel.
The chant “From the river to the sea,” which is directly from the Hamas Charter of 2017, Articles 2 and 20, means nothing more or less than the disappearance of the State of Israel.
As Yossi Klein Halevy writes: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free – free, that is, of Jews.”
In the event that anyone might still be under any illusion, those same rallies shout about “75 years of occupation.”
They are not talking about what to do with the territories that fell into Israel’s hands in the Six Day War of 1967, they are screaming about 1948, the establishment of the State of Israel.
What it comes down to, is our duty to explain what these messages really mean. And it is our obligation to polish the moral lens of Israel’s allies and friends.
Just this week, US National Security spokesperson John Kirby said, “We have information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad used some hospitals in the Gaza Strip including Al-Shifa and tunnels underneath them to conceal and to support their military operations and to hold hostages.”
German Chancellor Sholtz, when rebutting comments by Turkish President Erdogan, expressed the reality of the situation to say, “Israel is a democracy and a country that is bound to human rights and international law and acts accordingly.”
A recognition and statement that Israel “acts accordingly.”
We can be proud of Israel’s simultaneous commitment to the defence of her people and adherence to the highest moral code.
Am Yisrael Chai.
Dr Ron Weiser AM