New York Daily News editorial 7-12-2014

Playing the Death Card

This much we know: Israel lives under constant threat from terrorists who would like nothing better than to exterminate the Jewish state that they consider an outright abomination.

This much we have also come to understand: In polite society, it is increasingly fashionable to roll one’s eyes or outright indict Israel for daring to defend itself against those who aim to indiscriminately kill its people and undermine its right to exist.

The cycle continues as Hamas fires hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities, and Israel responds with far more precise and effective salvos at terrorists. All too predictably, international condemnation is starting to come Israel’s way.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, warned Friday that Israel’s air campaign in Gaza, one of the most focused in the history of war, may violate international law.

Citing “deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes,” Pillay said “such reports raise serious doubt about whether the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”

Nonsense. A nation has the right to defend itself from a fusillade of rockets. A nation has the right to attack those who war against it.

Some Israeli salvos have killed innocent Palestinians. This is a fact all should mourn — and that the vast majority of Israelis do mourn. A civilian casualty is a tragedy, no matter the victim’s religion, nationality or background.

Only the radical fringe that dominates Palestinian leadership does not mourn. Hamas purposely houses its operations in civilian neighborhoods and near mosques, launching rockets from there to batter Israeli cities.

These rockets are not an act of self-defense, nor are they a retaliatory answer to any violence. They are simply an attempt to force Israel to live in constant fear — one that even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has disavowed.

“What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?” asked Abbas in a televised address, signalling that, perhaps, the Palestinian terrorists have finally gone too far for their more moderate partner in government.

Israel’s good-faith efforts to make its necessary war more humane — and to stay within the rules of war — include warning Palestinians to vacate buildings that have been targeted as sites from which Hamas is warring.

Perversely, Hamas’s Interior Ministry reportedly ordered residents of the Gaza Strip to remain inside, preferring to boost the civilian body county in hope of turning world opinion against Israel and winning sympathy — sympathy for the devils.

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