First up today, a think-tanker with the surname of Haas told CNN’s Don Lemon that Hamas kills Israelis and exploits Palestinians. No doubt. However, if given the option—something the dead are not afforded—would I rather be exploited by Hamas or killed by an Israeli bomb? I think you know the answer. (I was unable to locate the interview online.)
Next, this time on Fox News, a gentleman by the name of Adam Ereli, former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain, informed anchor Shepard Smith—and I paraphrase—that too much emphasis is being placed on Palestinian civilian casualties. Really? Are their lives forfeit for the sins of others?
This does not look good for Israel. My sense of this Gaza offensive is that a standing army such as Israel’s is unequipped to deal with guerrilla warfare. Standing armies are fat, lazy, imprecise and careless.
Not much has changed since I wrote, in 2012 (“Standing Armies Commandeered by Cowards”), the following about Israel’s previous futile confrontation with Hamas:
… The fight was started by Hamas. Hamas hides among unwitting civilians, who have no way of controlling its activities. This fact does not give Israel the right to kill innocent non-combatants, not even unintentionally.
Besides, murder is not “unintentional” when you know it is inevitable.
To make matters worse, Gazans are helpless—they are without siren systems to warn them of an impending attack, or bomb shelters in which to hide.
After its 2006 Lebanon fiasco, I proposed that Israel deploy the best of its special-operations units. Israeli commandos such as the “Sayeret Matkal” are trained in surgical strikes, including modern urban counterterrorism operations. “Sayeret” soldiers can trace and neutralize the source of an attack against Israeli civilians sans “collateral damage.”
Yes, what’s the matter with Israel’s Special Operations capabilities? Where are Israel’s precision Pac Men? Did the Israel Defense Forces rain bombs, willy-nilly, on the civilians at the Entebbe Airport—in Uganda, on July 4, 1976—where the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine held 100 hijacked Jews and Israelis hostage?
Not on your life.
Led by Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, Bibi Netanyau’s late great brother, 100 members of the “Sayeret” traversed 2,500 miles to rescue their brethren. They killed only those who needed killing.
It used to be that leaders like “Yoni” Netanyahu charged with their men into battle. Not anymore. Nowadays, celebrity, champagne-swilling generals give the order to chubby men in armored machines, who then bomb the anthills from above and afar. …
UPDATE: Israeli Major Gen. To US: Pot. Kettle. Black. Retired Major General Amos Yadlin responded to the moralizing of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer brilliantly:
BLITZER: Should Israel, the IDF, be doing more to prevent civilian casualties?
YADLIN: The IDF are doing more than the Americans have done in Fallujah and more than the Americans have done in Germany in the second world war. We are the moralist army in the world. We have a code of conduct that we are allowed to attack only terrorists.
This too is true, but how much does it mean, and is it enough?