The court of public opinion was a lot of sway, and right now Israel is taking it on the chin.
Our global connectedness is allowing the world to witness the Israel-Hamas conflict in real-time and the scene of children dying will always grip the conscience. I saw the results today when I read the blog of a [rather orthodox] theologian who urged people to email the UN [or something like that] to tell Israel to halt their assault.
The Israeli government is not perfect. We saw it first-hand when we were in the country. Their day-to-day actions against the Palestinians would not be tolerated here in America. But ours is a problem of perspective: living in Israel is indeed nothing like America. The Jews, within the last sixty years, have seen multiple attempts at their annihilation and are n a region where they are surrounded by countries who hate them. True, our country has provided them with the firepower to be the strongest nation in the Middle East but, if not for that weaponry, they would certainly have been destroyed by now.
It is that might that gets thrust in our faces in the media. They are viewed as the tyrants as children die and people starve. But before you pass judgement, look behind the scenes. I am not an Alan Dershowtiz fan, but his statements concerning the conflict need to be observed. He notes that even though this is being displayed as a one-sided affair, it is actually Hamas who is not playing fair. For instance,
In a recent incident related to me by the former head of the Israeli air force, Israeli intelligence learned that a family's house in Gaza was being used to manufacture rockets. The Israeli military gave the residents 30 minutes to leave. Instead, the owner called Hamas, which sent mothers carrying babies to the house.
Hamas knew that Israel would never fire at a home with civilians in it. They also knew that if Israeli authorities did not learn there were civilians in the house and fired on it, Hamas would win a public relations victory by displaying the dead. Israel held its fire. The Hamas rockets that were protected by the human shields were then used against Israeli civilians.
Not so cut and dry, eh? Especially when Hamas does something that Israel would never do: intentionally target schools. Another must-read article from yesterday's London Times adds perspective to this position: Israel loses no matter how it reacts. Add that to the fact that even the media is being duped into believing that they're committing atrocities that they didn't even commit and you can see why this conflict has no simple answers.
That's the sad part: innocent people die and there is no solution in sight. There will never truly be peace in the Middle East, which is yet another reason why I choose to embrace the Prince of Peace.