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Israel is victim, not provocateur

IsraelHamasBenjamin Netanyahu

Two of the more common falsehoods that beset much of what passes for "analysis" of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel are exemplified in the Nov. 20 commentaries of Zainab Chaudry ("In Gaza, the powerless multitudes suffer") and G. Jefferson Price III ("For Israel, it's different this time").

Ms. Chaudry's falsehood of choice is moral equivalency. After deviously claiming that Israel is targeting military operatives and infrastructures in Gaza "in response to reports of rocket strikes in its territory" (as if the 900 rockets fired by Hamas into Israel since the beginning of 2012 were unconfirmed rumors that still await verification), Ms. Chaudry condemns both sides for a "vicious cycle" of bloodshed and destruction. The fact that the people of Gaza initiated the cycle by electing a terrorist organization which continuously rains rockets on Israeli civilians, and that the cycle will end once Hamas opts to end its attacks, is completely lost on Ms. Chaudry.

Mr. Price promotes the falsehood of blaming the victim. For Mr. Price, the root causes of Israel's insecurity are not Hamas and its Iranian enablers but an Israeli population which has made life "intolerable" for Palestinians and basked in a "pool of complacency," and an Israeli government which is bombing Gaza in order to enhance Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's prospects in upcoming elections. Mr. Price forgets that the Israelis for whom he has such contempt are the same people who bravely and painfully withdrew from every inch of Gaza, only to be replaced by terrorists whose ideological commitment to Israel's destruction is not affected by diplomatic initiatives for peaceful coexistence.

Thankfully, most Marylanders are wise to these falsehoods. According to the Sun poll printed on the same page as these commentaries, 76 percent of Marylanders blame Hamas for the current conflict. Would that the commentators were as clear-thinking.

Jay Bernstein, Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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