Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Everything the anti-Israel side says is a lie. With Rafah, the lies are getting even bigger.

Rafah is now what Gaza always has been, but more. 

It now has more civilians, it is where much of the aid arrives, and it is where the bulk of the remaining Hamas forces are concentrated.

Just as with the past four months, Egypt and Jordan are dead set against allowing Gazans to flee - and their rhetoric has increased, with Egypt threatening to scuttle the peace treaty with Israel if Gazans escape past its series of fences and walls. 

Anti-Israel organizations are ramping up the already existing industry of lies to hysterical and uber-exaggerated. They are replacing "Gaza" with "Rafah" and putting all their resources into trying to pressure Israel not to attack Hamas there. 

The lies about Rafah are insane. Jewish Voice for Peace wrote Monday, "Last night, the Israeli military bombed the over 1.4 million displaced Palestinians the Israeli government forced into Rafah. This is genocide."

Really? They bombed 1.4 million people? They must have really bad aim!

The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights says Israel is merely threatening to exterminate 1.4 million people:

Amnesty says civilians in Rafah "are facing the real and imminent risk of genocide."

Palestinian Red Crescent says any Israeli operations would be a "death sentence" for 1.4 million people.

What do all of these statements have in common? They are exactly the message that Iran and Hamas want the world to hear. 

Hamas' war has been a war of public relations more than a war of bullets. Hamas Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar, who prides himself as knowing Israeli psychology inside out, bet that Israel would cave under pressure and allow Hamas to survive the way it did in previous wars. He knows that Israel is sensitive to world opinion and world pressure is his major strategic asset. This is why human shields are an integral part of Hamas' strategy - dead children, real or imagined, are his guarantee that he will survive.

Israel isn't playing by the same rules any more. It is certainly following international law in its attacks, but it is adhering to the way other nations interpret it, not the overly cautious way it had been following it in previous wars. This time it is too important to utterly destroy Hamas as a threat, and this is a valid military goal - anything goes in that pursuit as long s it does not violate the principles of distinction and proportionality. 

But Sinwar and Iran bet the farm on Israel's sensitivity to world opinion. And they see that the US and UK are starting to waver, to criticize, to show a shakier support for Israel. 

This is why the effort by Hamas and Hamas allies - including "human rights groups" - to shame Israel as genocidal has been redoubled for Rafah. 

Rafah is critical to Hamas' survival. The bulk of aid goes through Rafah where Hamas can take all it needs first. There are widely believed to still be major tunnels from the Palestinian side to the Egyptian side of Rafah where weapons and people can be imported or smuggled out. Without Rafah, Hamas is toast.

So the pressure is mounting. And Israel is responding in the only possible way it can: assuring its allies that it will do everything possible to minimize harm to civilians but making clear that the effort to destroy Hamas is paramount.

Every Gaza civilian death is the result of Hamas' war strategy. That is the message that real human rights campaigners would be pushing if they were honest, and not on Hamas' side.

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