Israel and Hamas: There's no comparison

Michael Coetzee says the terrorist group is completely indifferent to civilian deaths, both on its own and the other side

I often wonder what armchair leftists would do if they didn't have the State of Israel to obsess over. Would they find another cause? 

Another country, perhaps, to attach the "apartheid" moniker to? 

Their labelling of Israel as an apartheid State is quite telling, as it exposes not only their intellectual dishonesty and bankruptcy, but also laziness. 

It's as if, after the fall of the real apartheid regime in South Africa, it seemed like just too much effort to find a real new cause. 

The whole anti-apartheid machinery was up and running, complete with slogans and posters and a comfortable ideology of self-righteousness. 

Why not just cross out "South Africa" and pencil in "Israel"? But one suspects that deep down even the most dedicated propagandists for this analogy know that they are peddling nonsense. And this is where we get back to the problem of their dishonesty. 

Hamas, at least, is perfectly honest about its goals. It seeks nothing less than the destruction of Israel and the annihilation (or, at best, mass expulsion) of its Jewish inhabitants.

The preamble of its official charter quotes Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna: "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."

Article Seven quotes a well-known hadith, in which the Prophet Mohammed says: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews [killing the Jews], when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him." 

Articles 22, 28 and 32 present classic anti-Jewish conspiracy theories that are indistinguishable from Nazi propaganda.

Just a cursory glance at the headlines makes it obvious that Hamas and other terrorist groups that wish to destroy Israel have never been shy to put theory into practice. 

They have resorted to kidnapping, murder, suicide bombings and hijackings. In the past month, more than 400 rockets have been shot at into Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip. 

The targets are any persons inside Israel - man or woman, adult or child, Jew or Muslim or Christian. If Israel had not spent billions on its sophisticated Iron Dome anti-rocket system and countless bomb shelters, even more innocent civilians would have been dead by now. The actions of Hamas and co are textbook examples of terrorism. 

But according to so many leftists, there's no difference between the indiscriminate murder of civilians and legitimate attacks on military targets to defend a population under siege. 

When Israel targets terrorist leader or rocket installation in Gaza, it warns people at the target site and those nearby beforehand. 

It drops leaflets, makes phonecalls and sends SMSs.

Sometimes, despite all these precautions, innocent civilians die.

When this happens, Israel does not celebrate, as those on the other side do when its rockets kill pregnant women.

The Israeli military has to operate with one hand tied behind its back at all times as it goes far beyond what any other military would to minimise collateral damage. 

And let's not forget that the terrorists in Gaza deliberately base their operations in civilian areas, knowing that the inevitable deaths and injuries to civilians that will result can be exploited for propaganda purposes. 

For them, the lives of their fellow citizens are obviously just as devoid of value as those whom they target in the schools of Sderot and Ashkelon.

What sort of person can find moral equivalency in these two approaches? What has to be wrong with one's moral compass to think that deliberately trying to murder innocent civilians is the same as surgical strikes on those people who devote their lives to killing these civilians?

Not to mention those who would actually cast the terrorists as the heroes in this tale. 

While some are just blatant antisemites who celebrate the death of any Jew, others engage in what must be a quite strenuous mental exercise aimed at ignoring the context of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

But then a selective memory is practically a requirement for membership in the anti-Israel clique.

To join, one need not only forget that Palestinian terror organisations have waged a decades-long campaign of terror against the Israeli people and Jews in general. 

It's also necessary to forget that the Palestinians and their "allies" were the true authors of the Nakba when, instead of accepting the UN's plan for separate Jewish and Arab States in 1948, they chose war. 

Amnesia is also called for when it comes to the Egyptian and Jordanian occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, respectively.

One must forget that time and time again, ever since the founding of Israel, Palestinian leaders and their allies in the Arab world have chosen war and terrorism despite countless concessions and attempts to reach a final peace by Israel.

Indeed, this selective memory loss is required to extend back centuries. 

Islamic and Arabic culture came to the Holy Land through wars of conquest, yet the return of Jews to their ancestral land is termed colonialism.

Arab Israelis serve as judges, run hospitals and are elected to the Knesset in Israel, while most Arab states have laws denying Palestinians basic citizenship rights. 

Yet it's Israel that is referred to as an apartheid state by the likes of terrorism apologist, pretend-Palestinian and professional hypocrite Omar Barghouti, who recently received a hero's welcome in South Africa.

That so many journalists have agreed to swallow the amnesia pill and present one-sided, politically-correct narratives on what is happening in Israel and Gaza today is a sad indictment of the state of modern journalism.

It is a situation that is unlikely to get any better, at least not in South Africa, where anti-Israel sentiment is rampant in the profession. 

This is why it's up to ordinary people to do what they can to counter the blatant untruths currently sweeping the Internet and social media.

Selling lies to protect terrorists and killers is immoral, but so is keeping quiet in the face of such falsehoods. 

The time to speak up is now.

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