Hamas commits war crimes. Israel is blamed. Of course.

The war against the Jews is being facilitated by often unwitting accessories

Over the past few hours, fresh barrages of Hamas rockets from Gaza have been raining down over Israel. Most have been intercepted by the country’s Iron Dome defence system. But at least 20 Israelis have been wounded in Ashkelon, and a five-year-old boy was killed by a direct rocket hit on a house in Sderot. The boy’s mother was seriously wounded, a five-year-old is moderately wounded and four others are lightly hurt. Rockets have also been fired at the town of Dimona, site of Israel’s nuclear reactor.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired more than 1200 rockets at Israel since Monday evening. Dozens of Israelis have been injured. A five year-old girl was critically injured when a rocket fell next to a bus in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon. 

At present, there are seven Israeli dead from the rocket attacks, including an Israeli Arab man and his 16 year-old daughter in a house near Lod.

There have been Arab riots and countless attacks on Jews in numerous cities. Israeli women out for a jog have been attacked, Israeli cars have been stoned and there have been attempts to lynch some of the drivers.

As the Times of Israel has reported, in the town of Lod on Tuesday night three synagogues and many cars were firebombed and shop windows smashed by Arab mobs. One Israeli was seriously injured when a slab was thrown at his car. People were too frightened to go to the bomb shelters for fear of being set upon. The violence was described by the town’s mayor as “civil war,” and he compared it to the 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom in Nazi Germany.

A Jewish man in his 30s was in critical condition yesterday evening after he was attacked by a mob of Arab demonstrators in the city of Acre. Police said he was attacked in his car by Arab Israeli protesters armed with sticks and stones.

Now some Jewish extremists have reacted by attacking Arabs in Bat Yam and Tiberias. In Bat Yam, a Jewish mob pulled an Arab driver out of his car and beat him up. Police have been making arrests, but clearly this is a further appalling and potentially devastating development. The Sephardi Chief Rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, has put out out a statement imploring Jews not to turn violent against Arab citizens, and the ultra-nationalist member of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich has also emotionally urged Jews never to commit such acts.

This Jewish violence is shocking, tragic and indefensible. But compare these urgent Jewish appeals for it to stop with statements by Fatah, the party headed by Mahmoud Abbas and which runs the Palestinian Authority. Like Hamas in Gaza, Fatah has been inciting violence against Jews non-stop for weeks, calling for holy war and inflaming murderous hysteria with utterly false claims that Israel intends to invade the al Aqsa mosque.

With the Hamas rockets already raining down, and after weeks of unprovoked Arab attacks on Jews in the streets including bombardments of stones and petrol bombs at Jews and the police from the al Aqsa compound itself, Fatah called on everyone to “raise the level of confrontation in the coming days and hours”. 

Its Facebook page and TV channel Awdah broadcast a video calling on Palestinians to “redeem Jerusalem with [their] lives” and calling for people to “sacrifice for the sake of the Al-Aqsa Mosque until our last breath”. 

The official PA daily published a call by Qalqilya District Governor Rafe’ Rawajbeh to “escalate the popular resistance” ( a term used by Palestinians which also refers to the use of violence and terror) in order to “deter the occupation from carrying out its plans to Judaise the city.” Nablus Fatah declared: “Let us set the ground on fire under the occupation’s feet.” And Hamas official Fathi Hammad called on Palestinians to buy a knife for five shekels to “cut off the heads of the Jews”.

Hamas is committing war crimes twice over: deliberately trying to murder Israeli civilians, and using Gaza civilians as hostages and human shields by siting missile batteries and other ammunition stores in and around blocks of flats, hospitals and schools. Moreover, at least 200 Hamas rockets aimed at Israel to murder their civilians have fallen on Gaza instead, killing at least three Gazan children.

According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, 53 Palestinians have died from the Israeli bombardment since Monday night, including 14 minors and three women, and 320 have been wounded. The IDF said more than half of those killed were members of terror groups involved in the fighting and that some, including several of the children, were killed by Hamas rockets that fell short and landed in Gaza.

Given the Hamas strategy of siting its weapons among civilians, some civilian casualties from Israeli strikes are unavoidable. But it is clear that the Israelis are once again going to lengths attempted by no other country in the world to avoid them. They are using pinpoint, targeted operations designed to kill terrorists and degrade the ability of Hamas to continue to fire rockets at Israel. 

Most of their casualties, they say, are Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives. Yesterday, they reported killing 16 Hamas members — four top leaders, two lower-ranking commanders and ten others.

The Times of Israel reports:

According to the IDF, the military’s targets also included the home of a top Hamas commander, Hamas’s intelligence headquarters in southern Gaza, two attack tunnels that approached the border with Israel, rocket production and storage sites, observation posts, military installations and launchpads. The IDF said it was also targeting terrorist operatives as they fired rockets or attempted to launch anti-tank missiles at Israel.

They warn people to get out of buildings they are about to bomb through phone calls, messages and the “knock on the roof”, a small, relatively harmless missile which gives advance warning of an imminent strike. What other country’s armed forces show such consideration to their enemies?

Yet in much of the British and American media, Israel is once again being presented entirely falsely as the wanton aggressor. There was a jaw-dropping example yesterday when Sky News presenter Adam Boulton interviewed Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely. You can watch it here

In this encounter, Boulton put on an epic display of ignorance, double standards, egregious bias and aggression. In response to his repeated pressure on her to acknowledge that Israel had “over-reacted”, Hotovely observed that a country had the right to protect its people against mass rocket attacks. To which Boulton said:

Of course you can protect citizens. The question is the retaliation, and the attacking of civilians in Gaza and elsewhere; which, as we know, once again is leading to disproportionate suffering on the Palestinian side.

Hotovely, who clearly became more and more incredulous at the ludicrous baselessness of Boulton’s charges, responded that the rocket barrages were having a disproportionate effect on Israelis with the whole country shuttered and kids unable to go to school. 

To which Boulton shot back:

Kids in Gaza can’t go to school and they’re being killed…If you stop the attacks you wouldn’t be killing Palestinian children…Countries who’ve been the victims of terror attacks do not always respond in the way  that Israel is responding.

The fact that if Hamas stopped its attacks no-one would be killed, and that the only reason any Palestinian children were being killed was because of the war being waged by Hamas, clearly never occurred to him. The way Israel should respond to Hamas rockets aimed at the mass murder of Israelis, it seemed, was to do nothing. So what if Israeli kids were killed? The important thing was that no Palestinian kids would be killed! What kind of thinking is this?

Then he said:

You say you're acting defensively, but there are those who say this is a situation that was provoked by the Israeli authorities, by police going into the al Aqsa mosque, by the use stun grenades, by stopping free movement in Jerusalem…Would you accept there was absolute overreaction and brutality by the Israel authorities?

Ah. So Israel was to blame for being targeted for mass murder. But of course!

When Hotovely tried to talk about Palestinian incitement to murder, Boulton brushed this aside and said:

You know very well Palestinian families with children remember being forcibly evicted. They know that the law as it’s currently being applied to the claiming of property in east Jerusalem is biased against the Palestinians, basically they have no rights and Jewish people do.

This was all just parroted Palestinian propaganda, with one twisted claim after another. The”disproportionate” canard, produced whenever Israel mounts any military defence of its people, is fatuous and wrong in every regard. In international law, proportionality means that the response to an armed attack must reflect the gravity and scope of the threat. Israel has been attacked by more than 1200 missiles aimed at the mass murder of its population. In what conceivable moral universe is its response disproportionate to that threat?

Other countries which have suffered from terrorism haven’t been bombarded by 1200 rocket attacks in under two days, not to mention missile attacks over many years. Indeed, this isn’t terrorism but war. 

Boulton omitted every aggressive act committed by the Palestinians and instead blamed Israel. Reversing the sequence of events, he implied that the Israeli police had provoked Palestinian violence by storming al Aqsa.

He made no mention of the fact that the police only went into the mosque because it had been turned into a theatre of war, with rocks and petrol bombs stored in the mosque being hurled at Jews and police.

He made no mention of the weeks of Palestinian incitement to murder Jews. 

He made no mention of the weeks of attacks on Jews in the streets of Jerusalem from the start of Ramadan.

He made no mention of the thousands of Hamas war crimes.

Instead, he made the fatuous claim that that the violence was a reaction to the “forcible eviction” from the Jerusalem district of Sheikh Jarrah of Palestinians who had “no property rights”.

This is risible. Let’s spell this out once again. Four Palestinian families are currently at risk of eviction in Sheikh Jarrah. These Palestinians are the tenants of an Israeli organisation that owns these properties. They are threatened with eviction simply because  they are refusing to pay their rent.

They are not facing eviction because they are Arabs and the Jews want to replace Arab residents by Jews. Jews already own these properties, and have done so since the middle of the 19th century with only one break. 

This was between 1948 and 1967 when Jordan illegally occupied this territory, expelled the Jews and sequestered their land. When Jerusalem was re-unified, the Jewish owners regained their properties and the Arab tenants signed an agreement confirming that the Jews were the rightful owners.

It was only after the current Arab residents refused to pay the rent and illegally expanded the properties that the Jewish owners initiated eviction proceedings. This is nothing other than a local rent dispute between landlord and tenant which has been cynically and wickedly twisted to serve the propaganda interests of the Palestinians.

It is extraordinary to see the credulous laziness with which much of the western media, along with a number of politicians, have swallowed and regurgitated this malevolent rubbish about the Palestinians’ current onslaught against Israel. But then, much of the media have been priming this incendiary pump for years with a relentless stream of lies and blood libels demonising Israel. They have thus acted as a lethal echo chamber for the hysterical incitement by the Palestinians and Islamists against Israel and the Jewish people, incitement which has led to murder and mayhem and the widening eruption of Jew-hatred in Britain, Europe and America. 

There are decent, thoughtful, grounded people among the British and American public who can see through all this. But unfortunately, far too many won’t even know what it is they don’t know, and will assume from the media’s gross distortions that these falsehoods and lies are the truth. And alas, many young “liberal” Jews have also fallen prey to this cult of malevolent lies.

The war against the Jews is the great evil of our time; and as in past pogroms and persecutions, it is being facilitated by those who are its often unwitting accessories.

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