Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Monday, July 28, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
One of the fundamental mistakes in the coverage of Gaza in the media, in the UN and by so-called "human rights" groups is the utter inability to understand  a basic fact:

The IDF is not a human being.

It is not acting out of malice, or frustration, or revenge.

The IDF have perhaps thousands of targets in Gaza - tunnels, weapons caches, rocket launchers, command and control facilities, terrorist communications infrastructure. It has limited time and resources to destroy them all. It bases its decisions and priorities on intelligence, on real time battle circumstances, on the presence or absence of civilians, and dozens of other factors.

The IDF has layers of command, teams of lawyers reviewing every major decision, checks and balances, auditing and accountability - like any decent sized organization. It has to. It cannot possibly be effective without it.

But from watching the images and listening to the reporting in Gaza, the journalists make assumptions as if the IDF is a whiny toddler who is lashing out at anything and everything.

In other words, the media and politicians are using their ignorance of modern warfare as an excuse to project their own human emotions of irritation or revenge or spite, emotions they might have while driving or at the bar or at work, onto an organization that by definition cannot be driven by knee-jerk emotions.

It is no coincidence that the people who defend the IDF the most are often those with military experience. They know what an army is like and they can see the extraordinary lengths Israel is going to in order to minimize casualties.

This morning, Al Arabiya published this video showing, within one hour, the destruction of a series of building in Beit Hanoun. It is easy, and lazy, to anthropomorphize this to some sort of desire by the IDF to lay Gaza to waste within a single hour before a ceasefire. But let's look at it a little more closely:



The implication is that Israel is wantonly and methodically destroying buildings for no reason.

But the video actually shows what is almost certainly an attempt to destroy a Hamas terror tunnel under the buildings.

Nearly all of the explosions seen are in a straight line from left to right, only the second explosion seems to be in a different area, probably a different operation.

More than once, there seem to be secondary explosions of (presumably) weapons caches, at least at 0:17 and 0:42.

Tunnels under buildings cannot be destroyed without destroying the buildings. And we know that Hamas has built hundreds of such tunnels under buildings in Gaza. By any measure, they are a valid primary military objective.

People who think that the IDF is bombing buildings just for fun, or for revenge, or purely for spite to hurt Gazans show that they are biased from the outset. Professional armies don't act the way humans do - not when each bomb costs tens of thousands of dollars and when every shell must be accounted for and justified. There are plenty of real targets in Gaza thanks to Hamas and the other terror groups, and the idea that the IDF is only trying to make people miserable - a subtext of many clueless reporters' stories - is nothing but slander.

The media and NGOs cannot admit when they don't know what's going on, That's why you are hearing  a constant refrain of "indiscriminate bombing" and the like. But two seconds of thought show that this is a reflection of ignorance, not of knowledge. There is no military or political  advantage for indiscriminate bombing, and as even HRW admits when it is defending terrorists, intention is the key. Without knowing the intent of the IDF  - something that it cannot reveal in real time without affecting its abilities - everything else is just guesswork, and those guesses more often than not reflect the biases of the reporters and NGOs rather than anything approaching reality.

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