Las Vegas Sun

November 26, 2014

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Where I Stand:

Seeing the facts in a world of death

At some point, Americans let the facts get in the way of a bad argument.

Unlike the difficulty we are experiencing in Washington, D.C., where it is abundantly clear that facts have nothing to do with the arguments of the far right — and, yes, for a few on the other end of the scale, too — it is apparent that the facts, as they are unfolding in the fight between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, actually do carry weight among most Americans.

We watch on television as the dead bodies of innocent children are carried from the rubble left by Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza. Whether it is a school, mosque or a family home, pictures of innocents are being used in a most despicable way by terrorists who are trying to sway public opinion. They’re difficult to see. Human beings naturally want the killing to end.

What is harder to watch, though, are some in the American media who have allowed themselves to be blinded by the difficult pictures and choose to obscure the facts. Facts, whether we like them or not, must control our actions, no matter how much our emotions scream otherwise.

Most Americans, though, are not fooled, even though some might allow themselves to be played so easily by biased reporting and the politics of the right. I realize, though, that this may not last forever.

That is why we should step back and make sure we really understand what is happening. People are dead because of a callous and calculated disregard for human life — the calling card of the terrorist-led government in Gaza. Parents in Israel and the Palestinian territories (including Gaza) cannot sleep peacefully for fear that their children may not live through the night.

First, Hamas is a terrorist organization. Sane observers of the facts have made that clear. Terrorists kill innocent people to make a point, grab a headline or, obviously, to scare people into submission.

Second, the people of Gaza elected Hamas to govern them, which means they are responsible for the good and ill that Hamas does.

Third, Hamas uses homes, mosques and schools to hide the rockets they have secreted into Gaza. They fire those rockets from those homes and schools knowing full well that Israel will defend itself by firing back at those launch sites. It doesn’t matter to Hamas whether the women and children who are in those buildings are killed in the defensive fire from Israel. In fact, the more gruesome the pictures the more effective the propaganda.

Fourth, don’t take my word for it, but it is well-known that the United Nations is a bastion of Israel bashers and Hamas lovers. The votes over the years have proved conclusively that the overwhelming membership of Muslim nations in the U.N. is too much for the single, Jewish state to overcome when it comes to a vote.

So, when U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expresses his outrage that Hamas has buried rockets in or near the schools — perhaps even U.N. schools — that are demolished following the rocket attacks on Israel, then you know that what Israel claims is true, really is. It doesn’t stop the killing, but it certainly places blame where it belongs.

It wasn’t that long ago when Israel refused to allow cement to be imported into Gaza because it claimed the cement would be used to build tunnels for suicide bombers to attack the Jewish state. The rest of the world condemned Israel — so what else was new — for trying to stop Gazans from building their homes, schools and mosques with the cement. Israel relented under the withering pressure from her “friends.”

Today, dozens of young Israeli soldiers have been killed because Israel is in Gaza destroying the tunnels built with that cement. (Tunnels that would have been used by hundreds of suicide bombers in two months to infiltrate Israel on Rosh Hashana with the intent of blowing up hundreds of Israeli families as they celebrated the Jewish New Year.)

Israelis value human life. It is in their DNA. That is why Israel risks her soldiers to go into the deadly streets of Gaza to destroy tunnels rather than doing it remotely from the air, which would cause many more civilian casualties.

From what I see, Hamas values nothing other than a public relations victory. Dead children fuel their madness as they lust to broadcast more pictures that the rest of the world cannot bear to see.

For some reason, though, there are those in the American media who fall into the trap of keeping score with human lives, as if a similar death toll on each side will somehow confer an equivalent moral position. It won’t. All it will do is encourage more death.

The facts are clear. Hamas is sending rockets from homes and schools, inviting an unfortunate yet deadly response from Israel. Hamas needs to stop.

Americans, many of whom hate the pictures we’re seeing, still support Israel while she protects her people, even while she searches for a lasting peace. Whatever argument the terrorists are trying to make to justify what they are doing, the American people just aren’t buying.

The facts just keep getting in the way. Good for us.

Brian Greenspun is owner, publisher and editor of the Las Vegas Sun.

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