NO. HAMAS FATHERS DON’T FIGHT WITH THEIR CHILDREN IN THEIR LAPS, AND PROLIFERATING AIR STRIKES IN PROLONGED CONFLICTS ARE RARELY “TARGETED.”
Writing for Tablet Magazine, Lee Smith makes some valid points. Indeed, photographers operating in Gaza do not seem to have enough freedom of movement to allow them to present a more accurate picture of what is happening on the ground during these tragic times. In fact, international photographers and journalists working in Gaza have as much freedom to move as their colleagues working in those parts of Syria still under Assad control. The see what their appointed “guides” and “fixers” want them to see. And they cannot report everything they see, if they still want to retain “access.” This is a perennial dilemma that confronts all journalists and photographers working in war zones.
American and Israeli hubris over the last decade has allowed Iran to dictate the rules on engagement in the Levant and the Middle East. The crises in Syria, Iraq and now Gaza are cases in point.
So Hamas has broken a ceasefire to kidnap an Israeli soldier. It happens in wars: ceasefires are often broken and soldiers captured. The best response Israel can do at this stage, as counterintuitive this will seem to its current leaders and their myriad supporters in Israel and across the world, is to immediately accept a new ceasefire. Then, Israeli officials should explain to their people what everybody seem to know at this stage but few dare talk about, that the real battle in Gaza is actually part of a larger regional proxy war with Iran. For this reason, Israeli officials should tell their people that rather than rush into undertaking actions designed to satisfy a certain popular need for revenge, Israel needs to take the time and think in strategic terms, lest it keeps playing into Iran’s hands.
No amount of chaos in the Middle East can ever help fulfill the wet dreams of some Israeli politicians, namely: to drive the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza into neighboring Jordan and Egypt, respectively. The Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are here to stay. There will be no second Nakba.
To this date, any attempt at describing Assad’s war against the majority Sunni population in major swaths of the country as genocide is met with such pushback by all sorts of people, even though in certain towns and villages, the massacres did lead to the elimination of the local Sunni population, through massacres that did not spear women and children, and ethnic cleansing. Moreover, eliminating the local Sunni population was clearly the intention here. So, legally speaking, there is a case for the claim that the pro-Assad militias are guilty of “acts of genocide.” ISIS seems intent on perpetrating such acts as well.