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.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at National Post

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

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism