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I have given up all hope that there will ever be a standard by which, we as human beings, can see the same events and interpret them in a similar fashion.

Whether it is Israel explicitly avoiding the targeting of civilians or Hamas & Hezbollah taking pride in explicitly and exclusively targeting civilians; it seems it all eventually amount to the same results in the eyes of the world media. Israel is at fault for the use of excessive force with the collateral damage pointed out for all to see and nothing else.

If that is the only verdict we are to ultimately expect from a jaded world media, then I consider myself fully justified in my “loss of hope” earlier statement.

Once in a while an article comes about that tries to make a difference, with a measure of logic and pointed analysis that somehow keeps the spark of hope alive; that may be, just may be, what is written will actually be read and appreciated for what it addresses and what it implies. Alan Dershowitz article “Blame the terrorists, not Israel” in today’s Boston Globe, attempts such a feat.

Will he succeed? I can only hope he will, and more so I pray that he will succeed. How long can these terrorists hide behind their civilians? When will squandering innocent lives stops being G_d’s work and is seen for what it really is … Moral bankruptcy, and ultimate cowardice.

Israel Bonan

Blame the terrorists, not Israel
By Alan M. Dershowitz | July 24, 2006

THE HEZBOLLAH and Hamas provocations against Israel once again demonstrate how terrorists can exploit human rights and the media in their attacks on democracies. By hiding behind their own civilians, the Islamic radicals issue a challenge to democracies: Either violate your own morality by coming after us and inevitably killing some innocent civilians, or maintain your morality and leave us with a free hand to target your innocent civilians. This challenge presents democracies such as Israel with a lose-lose option and terrorists with a win-win option.

There is one variable that could change this dynamic and present democracies with a viable option that could make terrorism less attractive as a tactic: The international community, the anti-Israel segment of the media, and human rights organizations should stop falling for this gambit and acknowledge that they are being used to promote the terrorist agenda. Whenever a democracy is presented with the lose-lose option and chooses to defend its citizens by going after the terrorists who are hiding among civilians, this trio of predictable condemners can be counted on by the terrorists to accuse the democracy of ``overreaction," ``disproportionality," and ``violations of human rights." In doing so, they play into the hands of the terrorists and cause more terrorism and more civilian casualties on both sides.

If instead this trio could, for once, be counted on to blame the terrorists for the civilian deaths on both sides, this tactic would no longer be a win-win situation for the terrorists.

It should be obvious by now that Hezbollah and Hamas actually want the Israeli military to kill as many Lebanese and Palestinian civilians as possible. That is why they store their rockets underneath the beds of civilians. That is why they launch their missiles from crowded civilian neighborhoods and hide among civilians. They are seeking to induce Israel to defend its civilians by going after them among their civilian ``shields." They know that every civilian they induce Israel to kill hurts Israel in the media and the international and human rights communities. They regard these human shields as ``Shahids," or martyrs, even if they did not volunteer for the lethal jobs. Under the law, criminals who use human shields are responsible for the deaths of their shields, even if the bullets that kill them come from policemen's guns.

Israel has every self-interest in minimizing civilian casualties, whereas the terrorists have every self-interest in maximizing them -- on both sides. Israel should not be condemned for doing what every democracy would and should do: taking every reasonable military step to stop the killing of their own civilians. Now that some of those who are launching rockets at Israeli cities have announced that they have new surprises in store for Israel that may include chemical and biological weapons, the stakes are even higher. What would Israeli critics regard as ``proportioned" to a chemical or biological attack? What would they say if Israel tried to preempt such an attack and, in the process, killed some civilians? Must a democracy absorb a first strike from a weapon of mass destruction before it fights back?

The world must come to recognize the cynical way in which terrorists exploit civilian casualties. They launch antipersonnel rockets designed to maximize enemy civilian deaths, then they cry ``human rights" when their own civilians -- behind whom they are hiding -- are killed by the democracies while trying to prevent further terrorism. The idea that terrorists who use women and children as suicide bombers against other women and children shed crocodile tears over the deaths of civilians whom they deliberately put in harm's way gives new meaning to hypocrisy. We all know that hypocrisy is a terrorist tactic, but it is shocking that others fall for it and become complicit with the terrorists. Let the blame fall where it belongs: on the terrorists who seek to kill enemy civilians and give democratic enemies little choice but to kill some civilians behind whom the terrorists hide. Those who condemn Israel cause more civilian deaths and make it harder for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank.

How the world reacts to Israel's military efforts to protect its citizens will have a considerable impact on future Israeli steps toward peace. Prior to the recent kidnappings and rocket attacks, the Israeli government announced its intention to engage in further withdrawals -- this time from large portions of the West Bank. Israelis think of it as ``land for peace."

But how can Israel be expected to move forward with any withdrawal plan if all it can expect in return is more terrorism -- what the terrorists regard as ``land for rocket launchings" -- and more condemnation when it seeks to protect its civilians?

Introduction copyright 2006 by Israel Bonan. A Boston Globe article by Alan Dershowitz, professor of law at Harvard © Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company.

Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000175.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 1 Comment

To avoid civilian casualties ISRAEL could just stand-by and be destroyed by the Hezbollah rockets.
What the public need to know is that ISRAEL before any attack they advise civilians to clear the area which leaves the Hezbollah only on the premises or on the run for cover in different locations. If they stay on the premises then ISRAEL has no option than to destroy the locations which bring destructions and attract the media showing a bad image of ISRAEL attacking civillians locations.
If the Hezbollah leaves the premises ISRAEL could detect their flow, hunt them and avoid targetting locations in cities. We need to flush the Hezbollah out of the civilian population instead of flushing out the civilians. Only the Lebanese government can do that.
We need to destroy this terrorist cancer before it kills the Lebanese body and expand to other countries.
Eliot Israel

Eliot Israel, Monday, July 24th

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