THE SPINE JANUARY 15, 2009
I do not pretend that there is anything in Gaza that is pretty. There is nothing. But the fact is that a genocidal militia has been defeated by the army of Israel, a country that has been under relentless siege for almost eight years. Hamas brought this retaliation on itself. And it will bring it on itself again if it does not cease in its efforts to destroy the Jewish state and to persuade its hapless and captive Gaza population that it can, in fact, destroy that state. Take a look, if you haven't looked at them already, at the Hamas clips that I put on the Spine yesterday.
Predictably, the press has been exaggerating Gaza death and damage...sometimes as an expression of its own inventiveness, sometimes as a result of historically unreliable informants, including those NGOs that have become, for all intents and purposes, accessories to the crimes of the terrorist gangs and their suicidal intifadas.
Among these is the International Red Cross. Maybe it is compensating for ignoring almost totally the Jewish catastrophe during the Hitler era. In any event, even the I.C.R.C., having made outlandish accusations against Israel, has now, as reported by Ethan Bronner in today's Times, reneged on some of its charges.
For example, Jakob Kellenberger has cleared up the fact that, while the civilian situation is still "dire," "the principal hospital was making do with supplies, and that doctors, working around the clock, were mostly coping with the flow of the wounded." Or "In general, they did not complain about the lack of equipment or material." This is actually scarce consolation. But it is Hamas that has systematically put the Gaza populace in harm's way by installing all of its weapons in the midst of human habitation. This is patented behavior of terrorist groups.
Kellenberger said, according to Bronner, that Israel "had facilitated his trip to Gaza." Moreover, he repudiated an accusation the Red Cross had leveled against the I.D.F., by admitting there was "no evidence of the use of white phosphorus, an obscurant that can be dangerous for civilians under certain circumstances." Whatever that means.
By the way, in the FT leader I mentioned below, the paper charged that precisely 300 Gaza children had been killed in the fighting. Look, one child killed in the fighting is one too many. But who started this fight? And who is refusing to end it in conditions that will stop the shedding of blood on both sides?