By Ben Cohen
A lot of people debated my recent article on Mitchell Bard's assertion that Hamas is to blame for the crisis in Gaza. This comment on the Huffington Post caught my attention:
The problem with seeing the world in black and white is that reality
consists mostly of other colors. Ben Cohen is able to see this and to
describe the nuances. Kudos for that. Lots of the other people
discussing the Gazan situation aren't, and keep generalizing, denying
facts that don't fit their world image and flagging disputeable
information that does, until they lose all credibility.
As we have seen plenty of examples of, these last days: Being able to
quote parts of the Geneva Convention doesn't mean that one understands
the principles behind the Convention in full or that one has read the
rest of it. Being able to state certain correct facts doesn't mean one
has the full picture. Declaring that correct facts opposing one's own
impression of the situation even less so.
To me, this is what is essential: Human rights, on all sides of all
borders. The preservation of humanity and dignity. Access to food,
water, health, security. Freedom, not just from war, but also from
oppression. The value of life - specifically, that life should be
valued equally high no matter ethnisity, nationality or religion. The
protection of civilians. Respect for international law. Truth, and the
access to information bringing the truth forward. For now, all of this
is sorely lacking from the situation in Gaza.
Some were not quite as kind:
Ben, Can you please tell us why HAMAS is firing rockets at Israel? Really,
if Bard is completely off his rocker as you imply, why do they fire the
rockets? I think all agree the destructive capacity of the HAMAS rocket
strategy is extremely limited when compared to the inevitable Israeli
I would just point out that most major military strikes...even those
carried out by insurgencies direct their attacks toward government
facilities and troops. Yet HAMAS focuses primarily on the Israeli
civilian population why?
What can they hope to gain from their physically imbalanced military
campaign against Israel---except perhaps worldwide sympathy and support
from the uninformed adversity sheltered American public. To gain a
slogan for recruitment maybe. Then maybe it would be in their best
interest to antagonize Israel into bloody conflict at the expense of
their own people. At least maybe it makes sense to them.... HAMAS
derives its power from the chaos. It is an organization that lives by
the feud. HAMAS is responsible.