Friday, January 23, 2009

"Choo-choo". That's A Warning

There was a widely circulated video of a Gazan doctor who lost his daughters in a barrage of Israeli attacks in which he was clearly distraught and questioning how it could possibly have happened. It was a poignant portrait of the horrors of warfare, and it elicited an appropriate response from a high-ranking Israeli official.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that he cried when he watched the video, and demanded to know how anyone could not. I happen to agree with him, as I was also brought to tears by the good doctor's obvious anguish. There are those, however, who will scoff at the emotions of the Prime Minister, citing his culpability in the demise of the girls as foremost. This is where we part company, those detractors and me.

My reasoning is quite simple and straight-forward, and I answer with a question. Would someone so vehemently fault the conductor of a train that killed a child thrown onto the tracks moments before impact? I maintain that the obvious answer would be no. The person who placed the child in harm's way would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but admittedly only after a lengthy process to determine the mental health of the same individual. Yet there is no similar mindset where the latest Gaza conflict is concerned. No one seems quite willing to lay the blame squarely where it truly belongs; on Hamas.

Israel could not have telegraphed their targets better even if Samuel Morse had somehow been reincarnated. They sent out text messages, they dropped leaflets, they broadcast their intentions to anyone who would listen, and they even diverted already-fired missiles to avoid casualties of innocent civilians.

Hamas responded by positioning themselves in the midst of the intended target areas, dragging children with them as they embedded for the coming onslaught. They effectively threw kids onto the tracks of the approaching Israeli train and hoped for sympathy from the middle-east crowd, even as Israel tooted the warning whistle.

Why is it that no one sees this plain truth but me?

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