A little over thirty years ago a movie came out which starred Martin Sheen and Christopher Walken called The Dead Zone, based on a Steven King Book of the same name. In it, Walken can see a person’s future when he touches that person. Sheen plays a seemingly cool and hip young politician running for Senate.
But when Walken shakes Sheen’s hand he sees that not only will Sheen become President someday, but he will also start a nuclear war without cause. Walken proceeds to try and kill Sheen with a rifle at a campaign rally.
When the bullets start to fly, Sheen quickly grabs a newborn baby from a woman’s arms and holds it up in front of himself as a human shield.
I keep on thinking about that scene whenever I hear the media talk about the poor Palestinians in Gaza suffering under Israeli attacks and how they always get caught in the middle between Hamas and Israel.
Now let’s get something straight, the people in Gaza aren’t innocent bystanders and Israel did not leave Gaza a â€œbig jailâ€ after it withdrew in 2006.
First the Palestinians voted for Hamas to lead them by giving it a majority in their parliament, knowing that it does not want peace and officially stands for Israel’s destruction. In other words, the Palestinians spoke at the ballot box and stated that they do not want Israel to exist.
Then Hamas enacted, in effect, a coup against Abu Mazen’s government, took over Gaza, threw out all of the official Palestinian Authority civil servants and police leaders, arrested a number of them and then proceeded to bring in all sorts of weapons which led Israel to impose the embargo on Gaza. An embargo which, by the way, the UN has said is legal and the Egyptian government supports as it has also closed its crossings from the Sinai into Gaza.
Now in the movie, Christopher Walken obviously stopped shooting at Martin Sheen because of that baby. But Sheen posed no threat to Walken’s life. That is where the analogy ends.
Hamas is using its own people as human shields. I do not usually agree with neo-con pundit Charles Krauthammer, but he hit it right on the head when he wrote that, â€œIsrael uses missiles to protect its citizens and Hamas uses its citizens to protect its missiles.â€
Why exactly are we supposed to fight a war with one hand tied behind our backs? We have to be able to do something about the missiles, smuggling tunnels and all the rest that are hidden underneath the homes of civilians.
In World War II the Allies bombed the hell out of German cities killing countless civilians, not just while going after German infrastructure but also in a direct attack on those civilians.
Israel at least limits its attacks to those areas where it believes weapons and the like are located. Hamas is randomly shooting at civilian targets.
But the world media keeps on talking about this situation like it’s a sporting event where all that matters is the score which is based on the total number of civilian deaths on both sides. As a result of that assessment, Israel is clearly the bad guy and is obviously deliberately targeting civilians, right?
Also, let’s not forget how all of this started. When the three Israeli teens were kidnapped last month the Hamas said that it applauded the act and then began to launch rockets at us in response to how Israel enacted a widespread manhunt for the kidnappers around the Hevron area.
It is not clear how exactly the launching of rockets on Israel by Hamas helps all of those poor suffering Gazans that we keep on hearing about. If, as the media constantly points out, Gazans are suffering because of Israel’s embargo, then why is Hamas using its resources to smuggle in bombs and rockets and other weapons?
Will anyone on any of the American networks and international news channels ever say anything against the Hamas? Instead all we get is a bogus attempt at even-handedness that always puts the emphasis on reports of all those poor suffering people in Gaza who Israel is harming.
It’s obviously all Israel’s fault, isn’t it?
Now if all of this sounds familiar, it’s because this is the third time in the last four and a half years that this has happened. Have the powers that be in the world done anything to stop Hamas in that time?
Then there is also the fact that Hamas rejected a cease fire negotiated by the Egyptians. This has been basically ignored by the international media.
Why did Hamas reject the cease fire? Because it demanded that Egypt open the Sinai border crossings with Gaza as a condition for accepting it which Egypt rejected.
Ah, it all makes sense now. Hamas’ beef is with Egypt so it launches rockets at Israel.
A brief cease fire of only a few hours requested by Hamas one day last week to distribute food and relief supplies to its people was granted by Israel. Hamas proceeded to break it.
It should also be remembered that just recently PA leader Abu Mazen decided to form a unity government with Hamas and Israel was criticized for rejecting it.
Another thing that somehow got completely ignored by the foreign media was the Egyptian public’s response to Hamas. While it is not defending Israel, far from it, Egyptian television has been critical of Hamas. On one recent news program the hosts mocked Hamas for demanding that the Sinai border crossings be opened as a condition of accepting the cease fire.
What next, they mused, will Hamas demand the return of deposed Egyptian President Morsi?
Last night on MSNBC they supposedly were being even handed when they had Israeli political commentator Chemi Shalev who writes for the left leaning daily Haaretz as a guest while putting him up against a pro-Palestinian advocate who works for a Palestinian organization in New York.
Shalev took his appearance seriously and engaged in a well thought out commentary on how nations around the world have reacted to the conflict so far and how that might change if more civilians are killed in Gaza.
The Arab guest ignored the content of the questions asked of him and went on anti-Israeli rants. The hosts, of course, made no effort to get him to stick to the questions asked or to challenge him on his comments.
Now an MSNBC reporter has actually had the chutzpah to accuse her own network off being too pro-Israel in its recent coverage.
I don’t know if he read my last piece, but in his show last night Jon Stewart opened by mocking people like me who have criticized him for what he said last week about Israel. As he was about to comment on the current fighting, his entire cast came on stage and shouted at him like a bunch of lunatics all sorts of criticisms that were made against him over the last week.
Apparently he thinks that we all just don’t get it and think that his criticisms of Israel make him pro-Hamas. Once again, he misses the point. The man who has made a career of dishing out criticisms of just about everyone in the world does not seem to be able to handle a dose of his own medicine.