Melanie Phillips

14 November 2012

Israel defends itself against hundreds of rocket attacks. Tut-tut!

Published in: Melanie's blog

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So here we go again. In the four days from Saturday until yesterday, Islamic terrorists under the Hamas umbrella fired more than 120 rockets from Gaza at Israeli civilians, along with a number of mortar shells. Some hit civilian homes and factories; some civilians were lightly wounded and others treated for shock.  Some million or so inhabitants of southern Israel have been under siege from such attacks for years, with air raid sirens giving people just a few seconds to find shelter. If there weren’t so many shelters, there would be more casualties.

None of this has caused the slightest concern in Britain or the west. The rocket attacks have barely been reported. But today, Israel finally took action. In a targeted drone strike on Gaza it killed Ahmed Jabari, the leader of Hamas’s military wing and second-in-command of the Iranian proxy al-Qassam Brigades, a man who was  linked to hundreds of terror operations and human bomb attacks over several decades, and his second-in-command, Raed Al Attar.

If you look at the video footage of the strike, you can see the care the Israelis took to avoid other casualties, waiting until the terror commanders’ car had passed other traffic before striking it.

Rocket attacks on Israelis are not news; Israeli military action to defend Israel against such attacks is. Suddenly, media indifference has been transformed into media hyperactivity. And in the eyes of the British media and foreign office Israel is at fault; astoundingly, it is apparently Israel which is responsible for inflaming the situation, not the Palestinians. Never mind the 120 rockets in four days or the 50 further rockets this evening, including 17 Grads fired at the city of Beersheva; or that since the beginning of 2011, 1,100 rocket have been fired on Israeli targets, 797since the beginning of this year; or that a staggering 5274 rockets have been fired from Gaza at southern  Israel since 2006 (what’s that – you had absolutely no idea about the scale of these attacks? Of course not – the British media haven’t bothered to report them. Didn’t you know? Israeli victims don’t count – especially when not enough of them actually die to meet the British definition of ‘proportionality’).

Never mind the fact that this current round of violence started when an Israeli Defence Force jeep was attacked by an anti-tank missile, wounding four IDF soldiers. Never mind that Hamas have hidden rocket launchers under civilian homes in Gaza, thus once again turning the Palestinian population into human shields.

As The Commentator notes, the Foreign Office tweeted:

‘We continue to call on all sides to exercise restraint to prevent a dangerous escalation that would be in no one’s interests. #Gaza

while

‘the Guardian glowingly quoted the BBC's Wyre Davies as calling the Israeli attack “a massive escalation of the situation around Gaza”’.

So let’s get this clear: in the mindset of the BBC and Foreign Office, 120-plus rockets in four days is not an escalation of violence or attempted mass murder; but a targeted strike to kill two individuals who have been organising such attacks, in order to prevent them from organising any more, is an escalation. What kind of hideously warped perspective is this?

Israeli forces are also targeting terrorist weapons stockpiles in Gaza; it has been reported that the Israeli Air Force struck a suspected stockpile of advanced Fajr 5 missiles smuggled into Gaza from Iran. Doubtless the BBC and Foreign Office think that Iran’s involvement in smuggling in such missiles aimed at murdering civilians is not an escalation of hostilities -- but destroying these missiles and thus protecting innocent people from being murdered is.

There are occasional oases of decency in this desert of moral bankruptcy: here is the BBC, for example, giving Jonathan Sacerdoti, Director of the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, the opportunity to put the situation into its proper context -- and to make a splendid job of it.

But in general it’s the same old story, I’m afraid: as far as much of the British media and wretched Foreign Office are concerned, Israel is the only country on earth which is not entitled to defend its people against attack. Does anyone think that if Britain had sustained a rocket barrage of 120 rockets in four days, let alone nearly 800 in a year or more than 5000 in six years, it would not have been at war long ago? But in the British establishment mind, Israel can never be a victim, only an aggressor. In the British official mind, Jews cannot be allowed to kill their attackers in order to defend their own people; the proper ‘proportionate’ response, it would appear, is for lots of Jews to die.

Tonight Israeli sons, husbands and fathers are being called up from the reserves to defend their country once again. They are being summoned from their dread-stricken families to place themselves in harm’s way because a mob of genocidal Jew-hating fanatics has been allowed by an indifferent world to amass lethal force to realise their infernal aim of destroying Israel and the Jewish people. Meanwhile, so-called civilised Britain totally ignores not just the rocket attacks but the deranged Judeophobia and the terrible echoes from history -- and instead looks down its nose at the putative victims, and tut-tuts that they are ‘escalating’ the situation by daring to defend themselves.

It is a shameful, shocking and disgusting response, and I’m afraid it is going to get worse.

About Melanie

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents.

Read full biography

Books

  • The World Turned Upside Down
  • Londonistan
  • The Ascent of Woman
  • America's Social Revolution

Contact Melanie

Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail
Northcliffe House
2 Derry Street
London W8 5TT

Contact Melanie