In fact, an Israeli soldier cannot leave base without having in his or her possession the Israel Defense Forces Code of Ethics, including values like these: “The IDF serviceman will, above all, preserve human life, in the recognition of its supreme value and will place himself or others at risk solely to the extent required to carry out his mission.
“The sanctity of life in the eyes of the IDF servicemen will find expression in all of their actions, in deliberate and meticulous planning, in safe and intelligent training and in proper execution of their mission. In evaluating the risk to self and others, they will use the appropriate standards and will exercise constant care to limit injury to life to the extent required to accomplish the mission.”
Yet so much of the world still sees Israel as the evil aggressor, and when a caller to Geraldo Rivera’s KABC radio show observed that, “there's absolutely no moral equivalency between a free democratic nation trying to protect its citizens and a terrorist organization that's trying to sow conflict by firing rockets at innocent civilians from amongst highly populated residential, civilian areas,” Rivera replied, “No moral equivalency? Yeah, yeah, I get that too, I get that too, except that's not the way the world sees it. You know, that's just not the way the world sees it. And there is, you got 116 dead Palestinians and three dead Israelis. I mean, that’s a, where's the equivalence there either?”
If only there were more dead Jews!
In keeping with this perverse mentality, on November 20th, in an interview with Gil Hoffman of the Jerusalem Post, BBC World News presenter Mishal Hussein asked, “OK, you say that Israelis have been running for their lives ..erm…from rockets from Gaza, so tell me then; until this current confrontation, how many Israelis have been killed by these rockets from Gaza this year?”
Similarly, BBC correspondent Kevin Connolly claimed that on the Israeli side, “there is anxiety . . . there is fear,” whereas he claimed that the people of Gaza (in the words of one woman) are “surrounded by death.” Connolly also noted that, “I think we have to be clear about this, that there is an asymmetry in the casualty figures . . . and there is a colossal asymmetry in military hardware deployed here as well.”
How dare Israel defend itself so forcefully. And how dare its new Iron Dome defense system work so well in intercepting more than 400 Hamas rockets, including new long range missiles supplied by Iran. If only more Jews had been killed!
Even before Israel began its attack on Hamas last week, the student senate at the University of California Irvine (UCI) passed a resolution by a vote of 16-0, accusing Israel of “human rights abuse and institutionalized structural violence against the Palestinian people.” But terrorist groups like Hamas are apparently guilty of no such thing.
If only their rockets and missiles were more accurate. If only more Israelis died. Then Israel wouldn’t be quite so evil in the eyes of the world.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.