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Hamas vs. Israel: The Case for Moral Clarity

Hamas vs. Israel: The Case for Moral Clarity

Sometimes the issues are black and white.


Two centuries ago, the great German poet Goethe said: "The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes."

It's as true today as it was then.

The difference between Hamas and Israel couldn't be greater, yet you wouldn't know it when listening to some observers.

For the Non-Aligned Movement, it's all about Gaza's innocence and Israel's guilt. One fine day, with nothing else to do but consider how to provoke peaceful, serene Hamas-ruled Gaza, the big, bad Israelis decided to attack.

For a fair share of the media, it's above all a story of Palestinian suffering at the hands of Israel's military machine.

For the protesters in Frankfurt, Germany, on Saturday, it was about equating Israel to Nazi Germany.

It's a perfect illustration of reverse causality. Hamas triggered a war, but that's long since forgotten, if ever it was remembered. The focus now is only on the suffering of those who are responsible for the conflict in the first place.

Indeed, Goethe was right. There are those who can't, or won't, see what's right in front of them.

Ideological blinders get in the way. Or a failure of imagination about the true nature of Hamas. Or a gullibility that allows people to believe whatever the Hamas propaganda machine churns out. Or, in some cases, downright hostility to anything that Israel, the Jewish state, does.

It's high time for moral clarity, not moral fog.

Hamas is a terrorist organization. That's its official designation by the United States, European Union, Australia, Canada, and others.

Israel is a democratic country with an independent judiciary, the rule of law, free and fair elections, and a robust civil society.

Hamas is anti-Western, anti-Christian (and, not surprisingly, anti-Semitic), misogynist, and anti-intellectual.

Israel is the exact opposite.

Hamas has territorial ambitions on Israel. In fact, that's putting it too mildly: it would like to replace Israel in its entirety with a Muslim Brotherhood-ruled state.

Israel has no territorial ambitions on Hamas-ruled Gaza. To the contrary, Israel left it totally nine years ago, with the hope of never having to return.

Hamas has a vested interest in using its Gaza base for permanent confrontation with Israel.

Israel, which, alas, can't change its geography, has a vested interest in a peaceful, moderate, and developing state on its border.

Hamas, the sole ruler of Gaza since 2007, has used the last seven years to smuggle in weaponry and develop military punch, rather than building the foundation of a responsible state.

Knowing this arsenal has been stockpiled for the sole purpose of being used against it, Israel seeks, as any nation would, to prevent Hamas from attaining its lethal goal.

Hamas has no compunction about deploying terrorist cells and weapons in civilian population centers in Gaza, fully aware that Israel would have no choice but to appear to be targeting "innocent" people.

Israel goes to unprecedented lengths to avoid falling into the Hamas trap, even phoning and dropping leaflets in advance to warn civilians to leave target areas.

Hamas cynically tells the civilian population to stay put, not to react to Israeli warnings about imminent strikes. The more Palestinian casualties, the better, as far as Hamas is concerned.

Israel makes every effort to alert its entire population, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim, to Hamas missile strikes and move people into shelters as quickly as possible

Hamas uses mosques for storing arms.

Israel uses houses of worship, including mosques, solely for prayer.

Hamas uses schools for weapons depots.

Israel uses schools solely to educate its children, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim.

Hamas uses hospitals as terrorist redoubts.

Israel uses its hospitals solely to cure the ill and injured, including residents of Gaza who can't find adequate care there.

Hamas aspires to kill as many Israelis as possible, with rockets fired indiscriminately in all directions.

Israel seeks out only the Hamas terrorist infrastructure, and has aborted many operations when the risks of civilian casualties were too great.

Hamas, as the record amply shows, has no compunction about falsifying information, doctoring photos, staging scenes, and inflating numbers to make its case to the outside world.

Israel, by contrast, goes to great lengths, even to the point of sometimes losing the edge in the "media race," to verify information that it presents about its operations.

Hamas supporters explode in paroxysms of glee when Israeli targets are hit.

Israelis don't honk horns, shoot in the air, and pass out candy for doing what they wished they didn't have to do in the first place, and voice regret when the inevitable mistakes in warfare occur.

Hamas doesn’t adhere to international humanitarian law.

Israel's defense forces have specialists in international humanitarian law assigned to every unit in an effort to ensure maximum compliance.

Hamas shouts from the rooftops that Israel is a brutal enemy.

Israel, unlike any other targeted nation in history, is actually providing – right now – up to 70 percent of Gaza's electricity and much of its fuel and foodstuffs, even as hundreds of rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel.

Hamas celebrates death, something few Westerners can understand.

Israel celebrates life, something all Westerners should understand.

July 13, 2014

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 26

(20) Anonymous, July 20, 2014 8:57 PM

Arabs in the Knesset

How many Arab or non Jewish representatives are there in the Knesset and what % is this of the government? Can you source? I can't find any reliable information on this. Many thanks for your help :)

(19) Raphaelle Do Lern Hwei, July 20, 2014 12:59 PM

Hamas Was Not Originally Palestinian

Better keep Hamas seperate from Palestinians. They will harm the non violent Palestinians and say they are only fighting Israelis in order to get more to join them.
They do not want Israel to exist as A nation and are less willing to step down from this position, unlike Palestinians who had tried to live in peace with the State of Israel at one time nearing the end of Yasser Arafat's life.

susan goldenberg, June 10, 2015 11:28 AM

no this is not my understanding

In 1948 the U.N. decided to devide the country half for Jews and half for the Arabs, at the time Jews and Arabs were all Palestinians.The Arabs attacked the Jews and the fighting continued with Jews being almost out of water in Jerusalem, some of the fighters were teenagers who had lost parents in the holocaust.This was survival.There were always Jews in this part of the workd since before the days of ancient Greece and Rome.It was the Jewish home.The slogan was push the Jews into the sea.There were subseqently several wars and everytime the Jews protected themselves, the Arabs amassed tanks on the borders attacked tge Jews on Yom Kippur on the days they were praying.
Jews every time gave tried to make peace but it takes two to take peace.The world is experiencing what extremist Islam is about,The world of Islam is may have many sides but until they love more than they hate peace will not hapoen.In Israel Jews look after sick Palestinians in their hospitals, there is outreach for disabled Arab Children .So much money has been given to the Palestinians, but most of it goes on weapons.If the bombs stop they could spend their money making gardens.I am sorry for all the people who have been displaced in this conflict both Jews and Arabs.If the outside influences of this conflict worked for peace instead of sending money for more bloodshed people could have peace.

(18) Anonymous, July 17, 2014 8:04 PM

We will return!

"Israel left it totally nine years ago, with the hope of never having to Return". Well, some has still the opposite hope. The jews of Gush Katif made the statement, when beeing thrown out: -We will return!

(17) Gene, July 17, 2014 3:22 PM


How do we enlighten those who do not believe in an enemy?
These words you shared have been ever present on my mind.
Thank you for putting on "paper" what we observe by media.
And i still say THIS YEAR IN ISRAEL.!!

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