Starvation has claimed the lives of 128 people — 18 of them children or babies — in the Palestinian refugee camp since the conflict began. But the Yarmouk Camp is in Syria, where images of atrocities go viral only when misrepresented as coming from Gaza, so the world has paid little attention to their suffering.
“My Twitter and Facebook feeds would have me believe that the only noteworthy military conflict in the world today is that between Israel and Hamas,” wrote Jonathan Messing, a research fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, at JonathanMessing.com. “Either many of you care about war only when it involves a Jew holding a gun, or you are woefully unaware of what else is going on in the world.”
At the time Mr. Messing wrote, about 170,000 had died in ongoing violence in Syria; 600 in Gaza.
“It must be so awkward having to check whether the dead child is from Gaza or Syria before deciding whether to be morally outraged,” tweeted Marc Lynch, director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University.
The sequence of events triggered by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers reminded Clarice Feldman that “Providence isn’t just a city in Rhode Island.” She wrote at AmericanThinker.com that “had thugs not brutally murdered three young men in Israel, the Israelis would not have stepped up efforts to find those responsible. Had the Israelis not done so, Hamas would not have begun the rocket barrage. Had the rocket barrage not occurred … the Israelis would not have entered Gaza … would not have found the tunnel system … nor learned of the long-planned Hamas effort to send thousands of their troops deep into lightly guarded Israeli communities on the holiest of days, Rosh Hashanah, to murder thousands.”
The elaborate tunnel system was dug in part by child labor, according to a 2012 paper in the Journal of Palestine Studies. Each of the 31 tunnels discovered so far cost about $1 million to build. “At least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels,” the author of the journal article says he was told by Hamas officials. “Much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies.”
Per capita national income in Gaza is a meager $2,900, 172nd in the world — but many ordinary people have to live on less than $3 a day. Hamas leaders Mousa Abu Marzook and Khaled Mashaal are reportedly billionaires, their top lieutenants millionaires.
Gazans live in abject poverty chiefly because most of the money Hamas leaders don’t stuff into their pockets is spent to attack Israel. Destroying the Jewish state and murdering all the Jews in it is just an intermediate goal, according to Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of the Hamas founder and a convert to Christianity who rejects Hamas objectives.
The ultimate goal is building a worldwide Islamic state upon the “rubble of every other civilization,” Mr. Yousef told CNN July 24.
Hamas (the Arabic acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement”) was founded in 1987 with initial funding from Saddam Hussein, according to Discover the Networks, a website that tracks the political left. Hamas is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan Muslimin) founded in 1928, which received initial support from Adolf Hitler.
An Islamist state can’t be built without shedding innocent blood, Hamas teaches children, according to Mosab Yousef. Many civilians die because Hamas clusters them around its rocket launchers and the entrances to its tunnels.
Israel builds shelters to protect its people. Hamas digs tunnels to protect its weapons. Hamas kills Israeli civilians. Israeli soldiers die trying to protect Palestinian civilians.
There are only about 13 million Jews in the world. They’ve been productive citizens wherever they’ve lived since Rome drove them from their homeland in 70 A.D. It’s hard to find in history an ethnic group less threatening or more persecuted. Israelis want only to live in peace in their tiny portion (about 0.2 percent) of the Middle East, just 23 percent of what Jews were promised for a homeland.
When Clarice Feldman spoke of Providence, I imagine she was referring to the Bible’s description of the Jews as “God’s Chosen People.”
The utter moral depravity of support for Hamas inclines me to believe hatred of the Jews is Satanic. God didn’t choose this “stiff-necked people” through which to tell His story because He admired their qualities, the Bible makes clear. But because He chose them, Jews acquired the eternal enmity of God’s foremost adversary, and of those in Satan’s thrall.
Jack Kelly is a columnist for the Post-Gazette (firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1476).