GS Don Morris, Ph.D.
The sound of a descending missile, the moment of impact, the explosion and destruction to buildings, individuals and a community’s life multiple times a day. Running to escape the inevitable, children laying on the ground, bleeding; adults crawling around in the dust kicked up by the missile and fearing for your life. All supplies cut off, your ability to communicate with anyone outside of your small ground where you lie, awaiting anyone’s help-this is the human experience of an attack. Civilians all, this morning you went on your way to your workplace, the local store or just for a coffee at your favorite café-you now find yourself bleeding, on the ground next to a young child who is dying-you can do nothing to help, prayer comes to your mind. This has been private citizens experience these last days on all sides of this war. It is not one of humanity’s prize moments. How any of this makes it to your newspaper or media vehicle does matter. The nature of the representation explains the writer’s perspective, viewpoint, bias and/or ability to distinguish between reporting and opinion. You, the news consumer assumes that what you are reading or watching is accurate and demonstrative of the truth. Regrettably this is not what is so. The unreported side of the current Israeli event demonstrates the hypocrisy witnessed in much of today’s media.
What do we know happened up to this moment in time? Israel’s northern border was quiet soldiers were on patrol. Hizbollah crossed-under via a tunnel-they invaded the border dividing Israel and Lebanon. With no provocation, Hizzbollah illegally entered Israel. Simultaneously, Hizzbollah began a barrage of rockets into Israel firing upon a dozen or more northern communities. Two Israeli soldiers are kidnapped, three soldiers killed, another killed trying to assist his fallen colleague. Please understand that our enemy was strategically firing upon civilians to divert our attention to the real military objective: to kill and kidnap our soldiers. They used the destruction of civilians as the basis for their attack. Homes, businesses and human beings were hit by the katusha rockets. At that moment, citizens’ safety and business were now placed in danger. Beginning with this invasion operation, Israeli citizens livelihoods were taken away from them. Citizens saw their entire lives uprooted and destroyed in the moment of the Hizbollah invasion and attack-two actions in any other part of the world would be called war. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis were about to begin a new phase in their lives.
The initial view across the international community was really a “wait and see” what happens action. Other than the factual reporting of events, you did not hear what others were thinking about this illegal activity, a clear violation of international law. This all changed in 24 hours. As Israel struck back (defending its sovereignty and her citizens) targeting military facilities, domestic infrastructure and Hizzbollah individuals and buildings, the world began to change its mind. Israel dared to standup to the terrorists, we were willing to do the proper thing and take military action against an enemy who had once again broken international law by invading our country, killing our soldiers and kidnapping two additional soldiers, our response was open for criticism. We heard once again the term proportionality and collective punishment.
Let me be clear that within 54 hours of being attacked, our enemy has fired over 700 rocket/missiles/mortar rounds into our sovereign state killing several citizens, destroying homes and businesses, trampled upon one third of our population’s right to live in quiet. The enemy has launched a rocket attack deep inside Israel as it sent two rockets into Haifa-our third largest city. I have not heard one media source proclaim Hizzbollah’s lack of proportionality upon the Israeli civilian population. When Israel did respond in kind and Hizzbollah once again fired barrages of rockets and mortar rounds into Israel, attacking only civilian sites, I did not hear any media, not one, who indicated Hizzobllah was out of line collectively punishing Israel.
I suggest that either the media and/or corresponding foreign governments critical of our response are either displaying hypocritical behavior or they are choosing to misrepresent the facts as they truly exist. Where is the outrage for the country and terrorist organization that, unprovoked, attacked its neighbor-Israel? Why are the standards of conduct that are used to describe Israel’s behavior not equally used with Hizzbollah? Please reconcile the fact that Hizzbollah continues to target civilians, we are their primary military offensive goal and not one word regarding collective punishment is issued. Tell me how the media and foreign governments use two eyes to see our military striking military targets and specific infrastructure designed to take away our enemy’s ability to fight, thus bringing this event to a faster conclusion and yet draw the conclusion we are “over fighting” this event. Surely this is a comparative description they are using to determine we are “out of line.” This being so, I suggest they are choosing to ignore facts-Israeli citizens in similar numbers to the Lebanese, are suffering as well. Lives are in ruin.
Finally I offer an observation. The use of the terms “collective punishment and proportionality” are corrupt concepts when it comes to war. I understand their meanings and their applications-I simply argue that they are used to homogenize one of human beings most grotesque behaviors: destruction and killing via war! Furthermore, they are code words for individuals and governments to use to sanitize and disguise their hatred for Israel. Using these terms allows you to “look good” in the eyes and minds of your biased colleagues and demonstrate your empathy for the underdog enemies of Israel. You thus set yourself apart from those of us who must therefore admire cruelty and suffering in human beings. You ride high upon your humanity pedestal looking down on those of us who dare challenge you. Hypocrisy we see you and we read you –every day. Watch out, we are onto you now!