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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Hamas, Gaza and Truth-Telling

Aug 4, 2014

One very telling political cartoon making the rounds shows US Secretary of State John Kerry at a table with a Hamas terrorist and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The Hamas militant has a child human shield in one arm with a sheet of demands in the other, saying “Death to all Jews. Kerry, looking to Netanyahu, asks, “Could you at least meet him half way?”

gazaThat about sums up most Western thinking about the current conflict in Gaza, and the way the lamestream media portrays this situation. Both are utterly clueless about the real nature of this conflict and the real nature of Hamas. Both tend to think things are overwhelmingly the fault of Israel, and if it would just ease up and negotiate, things might work out.

Umm, no, you do not negotiate with those who have sworn to kill you. The Hamas Charter makes it perfectly clear that it is not a peace deal with Israel they are looking for, but the slaughter of every Jew around. One does not seek compromise with such people.

Yet the pro-Hamas media continues to lie their way through this entire conflict, with one pic after another of wounded children in Gaza. They never bother to ask why such children are being killed and wounded. When Hamas deliberately uses children as human shields, and deliberately places their command and control centres in or near schools, hospitals, mosques and other civilian sites, then of course civilian casualties will occur.

And that is just what they want. They know that the fools from the Western media will film all this and broadcast it around the world, painting Israel as the bad guy. It is as much an example of brilliant propaganda as it is an international war crime.

Yet Western politicians and media still paint all this as a case of Israeli aggression. Never mind the thousands of Hamas missiles raining down on Israeli civilian targets. Never mind the extensive underground tunnels Hamas has been building to enter Israel and cause maximum damage.

An excellent piece on this was just penned by Paul Sheehan, and is worth quoting at length from. He writes:

Israeli security thought it had adequate intelligence about Gaza. It was in for a surprise. It was not just the labyrinth of tunnels discovered, much more extensive than expected, but the stockpiles: thousands of weapons, Russian anti-tank missiles, explosive devices, and large amounts of tranquillisers, handcuffs, syringes, ropes. The tools of capture on a large scale.
Some of the tunnels are very deep, big enough to hold vehicles. They were dug with electric jackhammers, mostly about 20 metres below ground, and reinforced with concrete made on site, in workshops adjacent to the tunnels.
The tunnels served as command centres, infiltration points into Israel, weapons stores, rocket-launcher hiding sites, and the means to move and conceal fighters during urban combat. The tunnels dug into Israel were created in parallel pairs, with multiple shafts to the surface for multiple entry points. Inside urban Gaza, the labyrinth could allow fighters to move unseen between homes and alleys.
Gaza had been wired for war. On a scale more advanced than Israeli military intelligence realised, which is why the Israel Defence Forces lost more than 40 soldiers in the first phase of Operation Protective Edge.
Areas of cities were laced with hundreds of booby-traps. The commander of the IDF Gaza Division, Brigadier-General Mickey Edelstein, said that in a single street in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, his soldiers had found booby-traps in 19 of 28 homes. Three Israeli soldiers were killed by an explosive device when they entered a building designated as a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The IDF has conceded it was surprised by the scale of the bomb traps across Gaza.
Israel is thus engaging in very limited ground combat in Gaza, given the whole area is a booby-trap of explosives, ambush and civilian targets. The largest known military control centre for Hamas was placed in the basement of a hospital.
The IDF’s use of bombing has created a heavy civilian cost. ‘‘Hamas planned these tunnels for years, and planned to use them to kidnap soldiers,’’ chief spokesman for the IDF Brigadier-General Moti Almoz told a recent media briefing.
Actually, since then it has emerged that Hamas had a much broader agenda. Kidnappings can deliver psychological blows to Israel but not strategic ones. Hamas wanted strategic blows. It wants jihad. Having devoted so much to war preparations, by some estimates 40 per cent of its budget, Hamas, with Iran, created the capacity for a major strike on Israel.
Israeli intelligence is assembling evidence from the tunnel labyrinth and from captured Hamas members, that the scale of the effort was to have the capacity to launch a co-ordinated attack involving thousands of the approximately 15,000 fighters Hamas has trained in Gaza….
The sheer scale of the war infrastructure revealed guarantees that Israel is far from done with this operation. It does not yet know the full scale of what was built and it wants this springboard of war and attrition destroyed. Tunnels have also been discovered in the West Bank, some stocked with bomb-making materials.
This is why the Israel government and public reacted with fury when US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested last week that Israel agree to a ceasefire which included a cessation of its operation to find and destroy tunnels. The proposal was deemed preposterous.

Yes, spare us all this baloney about ceasefires. While Israel has agreed to every single one of them, Hamas has violated every single one of them. As Daniel Greenfield writes:

If you like cease-fires, then this is a great time to be alive. Those Israelis who weren’t shot in the head by Hamas terrorists (whom Andrew Sullivan insists weren’t real Hamas terrorists, trading in his obsession with Sarah Palin’s rogue pregnancy for a new conspiracy theory) or killed by a Hamas rocket, encounter almost as many cease-fires in a given day as terrorist attacks. A cease-fire comes along every few minutes and it can last anywhere from a minute to an hour to a few hours until Hamas once again begins firing rockets or swarming through tunnels to attack Israelis.
“War, what is it good for?” The Temptations sang. The obvious answer is that wars done right keep you from having to keep fighting. But cease-fires with Hamas aren’t good for that or anything else. Hamas violates its own cease-fires. It declares cease-fires and then denies that it declared them. It seems to have almost as many positions on cease-fires as John Kerry does on Iraq. Israel’s unilateral cease-fires with Hamas are as worthless as its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza which allowed Hamas to take over the area. The cease-fires don’t stop the fighting. They don’t bring an end to the violence.

He continues:

The cease-fire is just the peace process stripped as naked as the fairy tale emperor. It works exactly the same way. Terrorists attack Israel. Israel fights back. The photogs snap staged photos of Israeli atrocities, complete with painstakingly posed brand new teddy bears. The diplomats show up and demand that Israel make concessions to the terrorists in exchange for not being shot at. The concessions are made and the terrorists go on shooting anyway. It’s the same old story, without any of the empty talk of “Peace in Our Time.” There’s no promise of co-existence. No new Middle East. Just Lucy in a Burka holding out an exploding football.

He concludes:

We didn’t respond to Pearl Harbor with an unconditional cease-fire. We didn’t address 9/11 with a cease-fire. As miserably defeatist as this administration has been, it still hasn’t declared a cease-fire with Al Qaeda no matter how many civilians, including children, die in the process.
A cease-fire is even more pointless than a peace process. At least a peace process has a goal. A cease-fire is a temporary interruption in hostilities. It doesn’t accomplish anything except to prolong and delay the inevitable. It’s not an end to war. It’s a war that drags on interminably without any final conclusion. Instead the rockets keep falling year after year in the war that never ends.
A million cease-fires solve nothing. Especially when Hamas continues to violate its own cease-fires, accepting them and then rejecting them and then attacking anyway. We don’t have a cease-fire with Al Qaeda. Instead Obama keeps promising to defeat Al Qaeda. Doesn’t Israel deserve to win its own war on terror?

And a concluding word on the gross irresponsibility of the mainstream media on this issue. As one journalist correctly states:

Basically, the Western media has taught Hamas that it doesn’t matter how downright evil you are. It doesn’t matter if you launch two thousand missiles at civilian targets, including the airport. It doesn’t matter if you use your own children as human shields. You’ll get the coverage you want if CNN, BBC et al. have props to point their cameras at. Our form of news-gathering has taught Hamas to turn their children into those props, and to sacrifice them on the altar of Jihad. By misreporting, our media has encouraged the bad guys to kill their own children, and has dragged Israel into a war it did not want.

It is terrific to get a few voices of sanity and truth-telling in this conflict. Given that the mainstream media refuses to offer either, I will continue to do so here.

www.smh.com.au/comment/the-hamas-trap-hidden-labyrinth-was-wired-for-war-20140803-zzznh.html
sultanknish.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/one-million-ceasefires.html
blogs.timesofisrael.com/cnn-bbc-and-the-like-are-responsible-for-civilian-deaths-in-gaza/

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20 Responses to Hamas, Gaza and Truth-Telling

  • Senator Marco Rubio delivers to the senate floor a speech on the conflict in Gaza. Rubio condemns all charges of war crimes on the part of Israel and explains in strong terms what Hamas is actually doing.

    .?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3JpkdF0qCU&feature=youtu.be

  • How come I don’t hear anything about tunnels on the ABC. They’ve been banging on and on about this for days – today it was story after story about what the un thought about it all (standard ABC fare – the un isn’t happy)

    This is a tragedy – I’m depressed that we don’t hear anything at all about the real causes of it in our media.

  • This is wonderful to be able to read – we just don’t get to see this on our MSM.

    Thank you Bill, and the people you’ve quoted.

  • ” …Israel as the bad guy. It is as much an example of brilliant propaganda …” – indeed, but don’t you often get the feeling that nations, and prominent people, sometimes show complete inability to see how their enemies will use their words/actions for their own propoganda purposes? Surely Israel could have gone about it with one eye, or more, on how the Western MSM would portray their actions, and use them against them. Was there not a way of defending their people, and defeating Hamas, without creating excellent anti-Israeli (self) propoganda just right for enemy use?

  • Thanks John, Well, if you can come up with something, I am sure the Israelis would love to hear it!

  • http://www.thomaswictor.com/two-pallywood-duds/
    This is an interesting read about just how complicit the media in disseminating Hamas propaganda. Quite frankly I do not trust any source coming out of Gaza since it has been shown the media is corrupt in its handling of the issue and all the reports coming out are pure Propaganda that supports Hamas. Even the UN is complicit with this as seen by the crocodile tears of the man in charge of the UNWRA operation. They have helped Hamas so many times it is not funny. We also don’t hear reports of the rockets that fall short of Israel and even natural deaths are drying up, since we know all deaths are the result of the “evil Joos”TM.

    We must not forget that we at the same time are fighting a Spiritual war, which is why there is so much Satanic hatred towards God’s chosen people, even by those who claim to be Christian.

  • Hamas has a like-minded ally in the government of the Republic of Sudan: There are credible reports that weapons en route to Gaza travel via the Republic of Sudan.

    The atrocities against civilians perpetrated in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile Provinces of Sudan are entirely in the spirit of the mujahidin values of the 1988 founding charter of Hamas, which calls for a one-state solution of the “Palestinian Question” – the creation of an exclusively Arab and Islamic state of Palestine.

  • It is interesting to note the date of the three day cease fire. Today was the 9th of Av, the day of mourning on the Jewish calender. The 9th of Av is the anniversary for The destruction of the first and second temple.

    It is a day filled with superstition on the Jewish calender. The cease fire is likely to be bad for the Jews at the very least. It’s obvious it’s bad news anyway. The Gazan people would be better served without Hamas leading them. Fatah and Hezbullah are no better either.

    Israel is within it’s rights to deal with the terrorists. I hope they are able to demilitarize Gaza, Sidon Judea and Samaria.

  • I am not very clued up about the whole situation however it seems to me that Israel runs an apartheid state and treat Palestinians as second class citizens.
    Israel continues to build houses on occuptied territory.
    Treating Israel soley as victims doesn’t seem right to me. Am I wrong?

  • Thanks Wilfred. Yes I am afraid you are indeed wrong. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. it is the only country with real pluralism, multiculturalism and freedom in the entire area. It is surrounded by nations seeking to drive it into the sea. There are hundreds of thousands of Arabs living in Israel, but there are no Jews living in the surrounding Muslim countries. Even as we speak, Israeli hospitals are treating Hamas terrorists. It seems like you may be feeding on anti-Israel mainstream media far too much instead of the truth.

    See more here for example: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2012/11/18/on-israel-again/

  • Why are we all taking sides? Both sides in this conflict seem to be behaving abominably. For every comment about the ‘truth’that one person (eg. Bill) makes, someone else can tell us the ‘truth’ about the other point of view.
    Shouldn’t our role as Christians who are far removed from this conflict be to pray for peace, reconciliation and the sovereign rule of God be be made manifest?
    Let’s all stop judging and appealing to our own particular biases, and simply pray!

  • Thanks Sue. But of course I have been reporting all sides here – it is just that it is not to your liking evidently. So let me lay it out for you one more time:
    -One side is simply trying to exist and defend itself, while it is surrounded by nations (as well as Hamas in Gaza) who want to see it driven into the sea. As you should know – but obviously do not – the Hamas Charter specifically says Israel must be destroyed.
    -Israel is the only genuinely free, democratic and pluralistic nation in the region.
    -Israel has a million plus Arabs living amongst them, while Gaza has no Jews living there.
    -Hamas uses children to defend its weapons, while Israel uses weapons to defend its children.
    -Hama deliberately targets innocent civilians both in Gaza and Israel, while Israel does all it can to protect innocent civilians both in Gaza and Israel. Setting up command and control centres in or near hospitals, schools and mosques is standard Hamas practice. Israel is not doing this at all.
    -Israel is shipping in tonnes of medical and humanitarian supplies into Gaza, and even treats wounded Hamas terrorists.
    -Hamas has violated every single truce in this conflict thus far.

    I could go on and on here. That is the reality of the situation. These are the two sides of the story which I have been sharing plenty of times, even though it seems that it does not fit your spin on things. Sorry, but I do not buy for a second your unhelpful moral equivalence. There is no moral similarity here whatsoever, and it is sad when Christians just don’t get it. And I am not buying your unhelpful “don’t judge” silliness either. Since when is it wrong for a Christian to offer facts, evidence and truth about a given situation? That has nothing to do with judging of course and everything to do with moral and mental clarity. The Bible insists that we be people of truth at all times. That I intend to be, whether others like it or not.

    And I don’t buy your logical fallacy of a false dilemma either, that we either pray into this situation, or speak truth about this situation. Sorry, but it is not either/or here, but both/and. I am committed to doing both. I will tell it like it is, and I will also pray. Indeed, that is the only way real peace can come here. It can never come by pushing the PC anti-Israel line of the mainstream media. Only prayer connected to truth can be effective.

    Perhaps it is you who needs to wean yourself from the anti-Israel MSM and actually do a bit of serious study. By trying to push a dangerous moral equivalence here you are helping no one, and in fact are making matters worse. Indeed, it saddens me greatly that some people – Christians included – can be so unaware of the obvious here.

  • If I have to ‘listen’ to one more ‘Christian’ using Matthew 7 out of context I may actually weep. Matthew 7 is not a complete admonition on judging. It is an admonition on the judgement based on physical appearance and it’s related hypocrisy. The Bible is very clear on the need for sound judgement (i.e. discernment) and that we are to judge people by their fruits.
    In regards to the Israel vs Hamas issue it is very clear that there is a right side and a wrong side. By not choosing a side you are condoning that which is obviously evil. In trying to be Biblical you’ve become unbiblical. Jesus picked sides continuously so when I hear the ‘don’t judge’ catch-cry from ‘liberal Christians’ I know immediately that they have not studied their word. My Jesus was not a spineless wuss bag. My Jesus was not a snivelling PC appeaser. My Jesus spoke truth and love (and not the watered down emotional version of love we see today). My Jesus spoke out so strongly on social and religious issues that they crucified Him. I’d say He picked sides, do you not? Jesus will not hold us unaccountable. One day we will stand before Him and give account for what we did and DIDN’T do.
    It’s not hard to work out which side is right and which side is wrong. One side beheads people, cuts little children in half, rapes women, mutilates and maims whilst the other gives warnings in advance about missile strikes so they can get out. This information is readily available to those that wish to find it! In the age of information, ignorance is a choice!!!
    As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said; “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

  • Thanks Naomi. Yes quite so. If some of these rather clueless Christians would just bother educating themselves a bit, we would have far less of this outrageous moral equivalence baloney. Even if they read just one article, such as the following, they might get a bit of clarity about the utterly demonic and ugly intent of Hamas, and how they were seeking maximum bloodshed and death to innocent Israelis. This is the side of the story that the lamestream media and uninformed Christians simply are ignorant of, or conveniently choose to ignore.

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/27/stories-from-the-battlefield-hamas-tunnels-used-to-target-israels-kindergartens/

  • And to say all this is of course not to imply for a moment that Israel is perfect and morally faultless. It can and does make many mistakes and often get things wrong. But when you are surrounded by a host of nations which have vowed to destroy you, and if you have gone through something like the Holocaust, then it is fully understandable that Israel might be a bit testy and on edge. Clueless Christians just do not get this. And I of course have written elsewhere on all this, about how Israel, with its many faults, is still worth supporting. See for example these articles:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2010/06/03/christians-and-israel/

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2012/11/18/on-israel-again/

  • Likewise, I am saddened by your response Bill. All I’m saying is that this is not an either/or situation. I am not actually buying into anything I hear through the media.
    It seems anyone who honestly questions what you say will smartly be told where to go! How do you claim a monopoly on the truth Bill? Maybe this blog is really only for people who agree with each other, rather than to challenge each other.
    I will continue to pray for peace in the Middle East, in a world that is grey, rather than black and white. In the meantime, you have effectively silenced me from the conversation. But that’s what fundamentalists want to do, isn’t it?

  • Thanks Sue. But I gave honest answers to your honest questions – so why are you taking offence at that? And please tells us how in the world I am silencing you when every single time you have sent a comment in I have allowed it through? And is resorting to ad hominem attacks by calling me a fundamentalist now your idea of WWJD?

    Sadly, if you continue to think there is no difference between Israel and Hamas, despite the wealth of evidence I and others have presented, then it is clear you are not so much interested in hearing “both sides”. It instead sounds like your mind is already made up, and it is only partial to one side of the debate. So just who is claiming a monopoly on the truth then?

    And it seems that you have not bothered to look at even one of the links I have suggested, where I do indeed seek to offer a well-rounded view. Oh well, your choice then. But bless you in your walk with Him.

  • For those who still have an open mind on things, this 8-minute video by Bill Whittle is well worth watching and sharing:

    http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2014/08/06/the-case-for-israel-this-is-so-brilliant-it-should-be-watched-twice/

    Oh, and those who say we shouldn’t be taking sides on this issue might as well say we should not have taken sides during WWII.

  • And Wilfred, the “apartheid state” criticism tends to refer to what protesters call the “apartheid wall” – which is a security fence built in response to the thoroughly repugnant 2001 Hamas suicide bombing of the Dolphinarium Discotheque in Tel Aviv, which killed 21 Israelis, most of them teenagers, and left many others maimed for life. That was just one of scores of devastating suicide bombings in Israel in the years 2001 – 2004. After 2004, the security fence was completed and the frequency of suicide bombings was much reduced. Yes, the fence does restrict the freedom of movement of innocent people, but it saves lives. Of course, attacks on Jews didn’t begin in the 2000s. Jews have been a persecuted minority in the Middle East for millennia.

  • . . . And just once more if I may, on the subject of the “apartheid state” . . . An apartheid state is a state where ethnic groups are segregated, right? Until 2005, there were 8,500 Jews living in Gaza. A Jewish minority has existed in Gaza for millennia, and it has been persecuted at various times. In 1929 the Jews were removed from Gaza for their own safety by the British following Arab riots which left 135 Jews dead and many more wounded. In the late 1960s the Jews returned to Gaza and established the settlements of Gush Katif. The farms and greenhouses which the Jews established at Gush Katif provided employment to thousands of Palestinians and Jews. Between 2000 and 2005, Palestinian militants fired over 6000 rockets into Gush Katif. In 2005 Israel removed the Jews from Gush Katif as the cost of protecting them, and the bizarre position of the international community that Jews shouldn’t be in Gaza, had taken their toll. So today there are zero Jews in Gaza. Israel didn’t create that situation. Palestinian terrorists created that situation by firing rockets, blowing up buses and even murdering at close range a Gush Katif mother and her four young children in her car. The world Left appears to think that apartheid is a good thing, as long as it means there are no Jews.

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