Rarely has civilian death been so propagandized by so many of our fellow Americans.
Oh, now, I know they’ll protest this characterization. They hate — just hate — the horrific loss of life in Gaza. They hate it so much that they’re moved to wax as eloquently as they can about the horror of death in schools, in mosques, in hospitals — all the places where people are supposed to be “safe,” supposed to seek “refuge.” They can’t stop writing about this death, emoting about this death. And they write and emote until you can almost see the splash of their crocodile tears on your computer screen.
They love peace, you see. They love it so much that they attempt to use every one of their God-given gifts to make you feel what a Palestinian widow feels, to make you stand in the shoes of a man weeping for his lost son. Feel the ultimate anguish. Hear the wailing. Don’t look away from the blood or the rage or the tears.
Have hundreds of thousands of parents and children and aunts and uncles shed similar tears in Syria? Look away from that. No, look away. I mean it. I need your eyes to focus back where they should — on that dead Palestinian child.
Have tens of thousands of jihadist suicide bombers torn women and children limb from limb in a swathe of destruction from North Africa to Pakistan and beyond? Don’t look there. Look at this U.N. school in Gaza. No, not at the rockets in the corner. Don’t look there. Look at the broken body of this school teacher. See the emotional devastation and physical pain of her young, wounded daughter.
Are those smoke trails in the sky that I see? Of rockets aimed at Israeli villages and even Israeli airports, launched amid fervent prayers that they would penetrate Israel’s missile shield and find their own way to an Israeli home or passenger jet? Above all, don’t look there. Or if you do, think of them as gestures of civil disobedience — as small, meaningless acts of rebellion in the face of monstrous injustice.
Yesterday, I took some time to see what people of faith are saying and writing about the war. And as I did, I saw a great deal of advocacy for terrorists — advocacy masked in the language of compassion. This piece, in Patheos, is a perfect representation. Called “Sitting with Pain in Gaza and Israel,” the writer — a poet named Richard Chess — reflects on Mohammed Omer’s New York Times Op-Ed, “Darkness Falls on Gaza,” itself a piece of death-glorifying emotional propaganda.
I hunger for the stories, the lived experience, the telling details. Enough with the rationales, the justifications, the opinions, the politics-spin-politics-spin. Give me the story of one mother. Give me the story of a daughter, a son.
Translation: Let me tell you the story I want to tell, the one that is free of the thoughts I don’t want you to think.
So, now, let’s think about the glories of Islam:
Ramadan: maybe you don’t know much about Ramadan. But how much do you need to know to appreciate values cultivated by its observance? Believe in self-discipline? It takes self-discipline to observe a day-long fast, day after day after day for twenty-nine or thirty days. How about family and community? Observing Ramadan strengthens bonds among family and friends who join together at the end of each day’s fast to share a meal.
But if our sympathies aren’t aroused by the glories of Islam, well let’s try something else:
If you, dear American reader, cannot relate to Ramadan, maybe your sympathies are aroused by this: the victims of this story have no place to hide, not even places conventionally considered off limits to military attacks: a mosque, a hospital, a school.
And when the reader wants to rebel, wants to point out the reality that Hamas wants civilians to die, we get this:
(Yes, but. Yes, but. I know. I know. I know. They hide _____ there. They live among _____. They this, they that, they the other, which is why we must this, that, and the other, heroically trying to minimize harm to uninvolved people.)
And then there’s the crowning insult:
Now meet the al-Baba family, a family of fifteen. A “corrugated tin roof,” Omer tells us, was all that stood between them and the bombs.” Because other families have been killed in their homes, when a drone is heard overhead, “for safety, [Mr. al-Baba] split [his] family into different rooms—a scene played out in nearly every home in Gaza, a grim shell game of family members.”
I know this story! It’s the story of Jacob, on the eve of his reunion with Esau, dividing his family, herds, and camels into several camps, so that if Esau and the 400 men accompanying him were to attack, Jacob wouldn’t lose everyone and everything dear to him.
The deaths of Palestinians are special deaths, more horrible than Syrian deaths. The Palestinian effort to survive echo the struggles of the Patriarchs. The glory. The heroism. The pain. The injustice.
There is a word for this kind of writing and thinking.
This person is a willing accomplice in a monstrous wrong. Hamas protects its ability to kill Jews by ensuring that many, many Palestinians die and that people like Mr. Chess and Mr. Omer see those deaths, write about those deaths, and put those deaths in front of every American eye. And if not enough Americans are outraged, more Palestinian children must perish. Hamas will continue to kill children as long as that strategy continues to yield rich rewards in western sympathy. Only then will the terror tunnels survive. Only then will the rocket stockpiles persist. Only then will Hamas live to kill as many people as it can as long as it can until the Jews of Israel give up and flee their own land.
I have no patience for this kind of cowardly evil. I will believe the tears when they are shed for all innocents, and I will lend credence to the rage when it is directed at true injustice. Until then, the poets, the journalists, the writers who wallow in Palestinian suffering are nothing more than shills for terrorists as vile as the SS — who lack only the military strength to show the world what they would do to Israel and her people.
Shame on them. They know exactly what they are doing.
PHOTO CREDIT: Pro-Hamas Demo in Frankfurt am 12. Juli 2014. Foto: Sacha Stawski