Israel Wants to Protect Civilians on Both Sides. Hamas Wants Civilians on Both Sides to Die

While Hamas rained hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities, and Arab mobs beat Jews in the streets, the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau appeared to draw an equivalence between Hamas’s “absolutely unacceptable” attacks and the Jewish state’s “settlements and the evictions of Palestinians.” Terry Glavin exposes the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of this sort of attempt at evenhandedness:

Dozens have been killed in a spiraling mayhem that is routinely situated beyond comprehension as a matter of Hamas behaving in a manner that is “unacceptable,” and Israel being in need of advice to exercise “restraint.” That was the tone the United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres set on Monday. . . . The problem is that no amount of Israeli “restraint” would have saved the life of Soumya Santhosh, a thirty-one-year-old housemaid from Kerala, India, who was killed when one of the indiscriminately fired Hamas rockets landed on a house in Ashkelon on Tuesday evening. At the moment of her death, Santhosh was talking with her husband back in India, in a video call.

There is no equivalence between the IDF’s defensive targeting of Hamas and its Qassam Brigades launch sites in Gaza and the Qassam rockets targeting Israeli civilians, but the more important thing to keep your eye on is the way Hamas embeds itself among Gaza’s civilians, effectively using the people it claims to represent as human shields.

For whatever its faults, the IDF has made great strides in limiting civilian casualties in warfare, in its Iron Dome rocket defense systems and in its expertise in flooding Gaza neighborhoods in the vicinity of Hamas targets with cellphone alerts, and hitting targets with rooftop warning blasts in advance of missile attacks.

But innocent people still end up getting killed, and it’s a “win-win” for Hamas when that happens. Hiding rocket-launch sites in civilian infrastructure inhibits military decision-makers’ efforts to target Hamas firepower, and civilian casualties serve as “asymmetrical” propaganda victories. Each Hamas rocket is a double war crime: launched at random human targets, from behind human shields.

Read more at National Post

More about: Hamas, IDF, Israeli Security, Justin Trudeau, Laws of war

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy