Yon Wonders As He Wanders

Michael Yon asks how the world can be so “blind to Israel’s existential threats” (emphasis mine):

It is amazing to me, as an American who travels the world on a near-constant basis, that there is so much confusion over who the terrorists are. Hamas is a terrorist organization that condones and facilitates suicide bombings and will kill every Jew on the planet if they have the chance. Meanwhile, Israel is an energetic democracy with a vibrant press. I could sit right here in Jerusalem and write bad things about Israel and Jews, and nothing would happen. Maybe I wouldn’t get invited somewhere or would be called an anti-Semite, but that would be it. Neither the Jews nor the Israelis would harm me, though they likely would write bad things about me. I came to Israel with no press accreditation and at the airport they knew that I was a writer. Yet they let me in and have allowed me to freely roam the country. Today I was in very close proximity to Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Netanyahu talked about how, in this very hotel, Rehavam Ze’evi had been murdered just a few floors above our heads. The security seemed incredibly lax by American standards. Bernard Lewis and other extremely smart people were there.

Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law. By contrast, if a writer were to go to Gaza or Iran, for instance, and start writing bad words, he might wind up on the news, dead. Israel allows Christians and Arab Muslims to worship freely, while Hamas wants to see us all at the bottom of the sea. Hamas, supported by Iran, is clear about their goals: they want to wipe out Israel completely, utterly, with finality. But it’s not just Israel that Hamas wants to kill; they want to kill all Jews everywhere. Complete genocide.

Everyone knows that Hamas is a terrorist organization. Everyone agrees that condoning and facilitating suicide bombings is wrong. Now that we have agreed on these points, answer me these questions:

  1. Does trapping 1.5 million Palestinian civilians inside a tiny, densely populated strip of land, then killing and injuring thousands of these civilians, destroying their homes and businesses, and afterward continuing to block off all points of access to the outside world, sound to you like the smartest, most effective way to reduce the threat from Hamas and make Israel safer?
  2. What does freedom of the press inside Israel have to do with characterizing Israel’s actions outside its (legitimate) borders? That’s like saying that the Nixon administration did not break the law because the Washington Post published the Pentagon Papers. And speaking of freedom of the press, where was that freedom for journalists who were forbidden to enter Gaza during Israel’s assault, in defiance of orders handed down by Israel’s own Supreme Court? Is that democratic?
  3. If Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law, why did Israel defy its own Supreme Court? If Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law, why has it violated international law by turning the Gaza Strip into one huge open-air prison with no way to get in or out? If Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law, why did it use internationally proscribed weapons in Gaza, such as cluster munitions and white phosphorus?

Bottom line, Michael: The problem here is  cognitive dissonance. You tell us that Hamas wants and intends to destroy Israel, sweep all the Jews in Israel into the sea, and commit complete genocide against every Jew in the entire world. And you tell us, further, that this is not just a pipe dream — Hamas will destroy Israel, sweep all the Jews in Israel into the sea, and commit complete genocide against every Jew in the entire world unless Israel destroys Hamas.

The problem, Michael, is that’s not what we see. We hear that Hamas intends to destroy Israel and commit genocide against the Jews, but what we see is Israel destroying the Palestinian people and the dream of a two-state solution. We hear that Hamas is an existential threat to Israel, but it’s Israel that we see killing thousands upon thousands of innocent Palestinians, bulldozing and bombing their neighborhoods, destroying their farmland, annexing their land, imprisoning them in a twenty-first century Warsaw Ghetto and forcing them to live in bantustans under apartheid conditions, denying them food and stealing their water, and subjecting them to hundreds of humiliations and indignities every day.

So who are we going to believe — you, or our lying eyes?

4 Responses to “Yon Wonders As He Wanders”

  1. gcotharn says:

    I commend you for providing the generous Yon excerpt, and – though I disagree with your conclusions – for addressing Yon’s points at the level of logic and reasoning.

  2. radical_moderate says:

    kathy yours is one of the most rational and clearest voices I’ve read on this vexing issue, that you, and others such as Bob Simon, are American Jews only adds to the clarity of your position…keep up the good work!

  3. Norm says:

    It is very clear that the current Iranian administration intends to fight Israel. To that end Iran is using Hezbollah and Hamas. Jews of the post-WWII generations have only one responsibility:
    preventing the next holocaust and making sure Israel wins this fight with Iran. Otherwise, just shut up and get out of the way…..Kathy. We got work to do.

  4. Kathy says:

    Wow, thank you, rad_mod. You made my day with that compliment.

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