Hamas likes nothing better than an Israeli strike that kills civilians, says Jake Wallis Simons in the Telegraph, which is why its tunnels wind under civilian towns and villages, with operation rooms under hospitals.
Take a step back, and most people instinctively understand that a democracy must act against a gang of jihadi fanatics who murder their citizens in the most appalling ways imaginable. After all, we have our own experience of such atrocities, not least in the bombing of the Manchester Arena. Add constant media coverage of Palestinian deaths into the mix, however, all filtered through the propaganda lens of Hamas, and our emotion starts to cloud our sense of proportion.
War is hell. And a just and defensive war is as hellish as any other. That may not make a difference to a Gazan woman whose child has perished in an Israeli strike on a Hamas cell nearby, but – without downplaying the importance of human compassion – it should make a difference to our judgement. During the Second World War, many times more Germans died than Britons. Did that make our campaign immoral? Of course not. But these are the common-sense conclusions that are obscured by the weight of propaganda.
Understandably distressed by the constant coverage of dead babies, people become inclined to overlook the obvious fact that a genocidal terror group may also, on occasion, lie. They believe Hamas’s inflated death tolls, which are produced instantly without time for investigation and validation. They believe Hamas’s presentation of the deaths as entirely civilian, without asking any questions about whether any terrorists have perhaps been killed. They don’t even question the allegation that Israel has cut off Gaza’s water supply entirely for a month, even though a human being cannot survive in such conditions for longer than three days. And when the Israeli army points out the lengths it goes to in order to protect innocent life, and points out Hamas’s use of human shields, the Israelophobic public scoffs and turns away. …
The deaths of Iraqi civilians in [Mosul] were no less gruesome than those suffered by Gazans today. Does an Iraqi life matter less than a Palestinian one? Given that nobody took to the streets when Assad barrel bombed Palestinians in Yarmouk during the civilian civil war, it seems that both are normally viewed with equal indifference by the British public. But not when the perpetrators are Jews. And not when the terror group mounts an effective propaganda campaign, which is amplified gratuitously by both mainstream and social media.
Unlike Islamic State, Hamas knows this and builds its strategy around it. It values the lives of its own civilians little higher than those of Jews, seeing them not as people in need of protection but as living weapons of war. Despite investing hundreds of millions in building terror tunnels, it has failed to build a single bomb shelter for its people in Gaza. The tunnels wind under civilian towns and villages, with operation rooms under hospitals.
Hamas likes nothing better than an Israeli strike that kills civilians. That is why it has reportedly been preventing its people from fleeing the war zone, sometimes by force. They seemingly want Palestinian casualties to pile high, in full view of the world’s media. The BBC and others beam footage of the horror of war around the world to people who have lost touch with the reality of armed conflict. Hamas want people in the West to take to the streets in outrage, forgetting that even a just and defensive war is hell. They know this will help them win.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: The Mail highlights an interview with two pro-Palestinian protests who say they had no idea Hamas had attacked Israel last month.
Stop Press 2: The White House says Israel has agreed to four-hour daily humanitarian pauses in hostilities to get hostages out, announced three hours in advance, starting today.