Yesterday, secretary of State John Kerry was on FoxNews Sunday, and when not lambasting Chris Wallace for having the temerity to actually ask him questions rather than take dictation which is what typically happens when an Obama official appears on one of the Sunday shows he expressed concern about Israel's ongoing operations in Gaza. The reason we know he expressed concern is that he was caught on a hot mic and Chris Wallace asked him about the comments.
Wallace introduced the segment as being in reference to civilians killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip. "While you were on camera and while on microphone," Wallace said, "you spoke to one of your top aides between the interviews about the situation in Israel." He then played what the network had recorded. In the clip, Kerry is holding a cellphone conversation with someone. The person on the other end of the call isn't identified, and the audio from the other participant is staticky.
Kerry's comments are clear. "It's a hell of a pinpoint operation," he says, then repeats it. "It's a hell of a pinpoint operation." It's an apparent reference to Israel's insistence that its incursion into the region would be limited. "It's escalating significantly," the person on the phone replies, and Kerry then says: "We've got to get over there. I think we ought to go tonight." He then calls it "crazy" to be "sitting around."
"When you said it's a hell of a pinpoint operation," Wallace asked, are you "upset that the Israelis are going too far?"
"It's very difficult in these situations," Kerry said, repeating that the United States supports Israel's right to defend itself. He then explained his comments by saying, "I reacted, obviously, in a way that anybody does in respect to young children and civilians."
This points to a moral blind spot in the Obama administration and in much of Europe. There is a lot of concern over Palestinian deaths, nothing wrong with that. On the other hand there is little to no concern expressed by the administration and Europe about dead Israelis, rockets hidden in schools and clinics, civilian populations used as human shields, and well over a thousand Hamas rocket attacks against civilian targets in Israel.
Melanie Phillips, writing in The Spectator, hits the nail on the head:
It’s the moral equivalence which is so devastating. When Egypt this week proposed its ceasefire in Gaza, a BBC presenter asked whether both sides would now conclude that there was no point carrying on with the war. From the start, restraint has been urged on both sides — as if more than 1,100 rocket attacks on Israel in three weeks had the same weight as trying to stop this onslaught once and for all.
To these people, whatever Israel does to defend itself is bad. Killing Gazans is bad, warning them to flee so they won’t be killed is bad, the Iron Dome missile defence system is bad because, while Palestinians are being killed, Israelis are not. Ah yes, that’s the real outrage, isn’t it? Not enough dead Jews. How dare they defend themselves so effectively!
Every western supporter of the Palestinian war against Israel is also tacitly supporting such anti-Jewish derangement. This psychotic bigotry is the true driver of that war, as well as the Islamist war against the West. Yet astoundingly it is never, ever mentioned. The intractable problem of Gaza has been exacerbated by the meddling incomprehension of a western world that just doesn’t grasp how Islamist fanatics play by entirely different rules.
The West insists on moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians, as if the century-old conflict between the Arabs and the Jews were simply a squabble over the equitable division of land. It is not. It is a war to destroy the Jewish national homeland by people driven into frenzy by forces immune to reason.
Kerry seems utterly unable to comprehend that a sovereign nation under attack by a criminal regime might strike back. While it is unfortunate that innocent civilians may have been killed, and when dealing the the Palestinians one is never quite certain who is a suicide bomber, he doesn't seem cognizant of the fact that often Palestinians are killed because of the actions of Hamas.
But Kerry isn't alone, the Weekly Standard reports on a New York Times photo essay appearing this weekend:
It appears the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of fighters. The most influential news organization in the world is thus manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle—precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful: embattled, victimized Gaza civilians under attack by a cruel Israeli military.
A review of the Times's photography in Gaza reveals a stark contrast in how the two sides are portrayed. Nearly every picture from Israel depicts tanks, soldiers, or attack helicopters. And every picture of Gaza depicts either bloodied civilians, destroyed buildings, overflowing hospitals, or other images of civilian anguish. It is as one-sided and misleading a depiction of the Gaza battle as one can imagine.
Today's Times photo essay contains seven images: three of Gaza civilians in distress; one of a smoke plume rising over Gaza; and three of the IDF, including tanks and attack helicopters. The message is simple and clear: the IDF is attacking Gaza and harming Palestinian civilians. There are no images of Israelis under rocket attack, no images of grieving Israeli families and damaged Israeli buildings, no images of Hamas fighters or rocket attacks on Israel, no images of the RPG's and machine guns recovered from attempted Hamas tunnel infiltrations into Israel.
This doesn't ever rise to the level of moral equivalence, it is noting more that cheap agitprop conjured up by the New York Times to create a narrative in which the party under assault, Israel, is the villain and the war criminals carrying out the attacks, Hamas, are the victims.
Don't expect anything to change in Europe. On the continent, especially in France, anti-semitism is so baked into the political culture that is doesn't even rate comment. The US State Department has been resolutely anti-Israel since Harry Truman ignored it and recognized Israel's independence. Obama is a sublimely stupid as ever. He has publicly blamed Israel as the cause that the peace process has stalled (he may be right, having marched meekly into the ovens between 1939-1945 the Jewish people are reticent about trying that strategy again) and praised Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas:
He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security; a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors.
Maybe, eventually, Obama, Kerry, the New York Times, and a large slice of the Democrat establishment will have enough dead Israelis to convince them that they have been support a monstrous regime led, unsurprisingly, by monsters.