Israel is now firing on Hospitals. Do you actually believe that Hamas is using the Hospital to hide a stash of rockets?

On facebook, a friend asked, “Israel is now firing on Hospitals. Do you actually believe that Hamas is using the Hospital to hide a stash of rockets?”

I wrote “Yes”.

Yes, I actually believe that Hamas is using hospitals to stash weapons. While I can believe that the Israelis are evil enough to destroy a hospital out of hate, I can also believe that Hamas is evil enough to turn a hospital into a target. My friend only seems capable of believing the Zionists are evil.

Even if Israel is evil enough to destroy a hospital for no reason other than pure hate, how could they be so stupid? Not only did they fire upon El-Wafa hospital, they broadcast their intentions in advance to allow a everyone to gather around and watch. “Hey look everyone, we’re about to destroy a hospital. Grab your smartphones, you won’t want to miss this!”

International solidarity activists are staying in a Gaza hospital, which the Israel Defense Forces has indicated it plans to bomb, as a human shield.

Hamas is not stupid either. Hiding weaponry in a hospital is a win win situation for them. They either get to store their weapons in a place that Israel won’t dare destroy, or, more likely and more lucrative, they get the publicity of showing Israel’s wanton destruction. So the the next question is if Hamas is willing to sacrifice Palestinians to further their goal of destroying Israel. Considering the suicide bombers and the belief in martyrdom, I have to think the answer is yes.

They are both capable of evil. I am not as pro-Zionist as my friend thinks. But the Israeli strike on the hospital would be completely against Israeli interests if there wasn’t a tactical reason for it, and creating a tactical reason is very advantageous to Hamas.

Much of What You Believe About the Middle East Conflicts Is Probably False

I don’t like posting about Israel and Palestine because it’s hard for me to compensate properly for my bias. But I’ve seen posts by Facebook friends of faked or falsely attributed photos about the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian violence and feel I must at least help dispel some of the lies.

My bias makes me react more strongly to the lies about Israel than to the lies about Palestine, but there are indeed lies 0n all sides. Because of all the lies, you cannot form an intelligent opinion about the Middle East by reacting to Facebook posts and tweets. If you have a few Zionist or anti-Zionist friends and you mindlessly forward their shocking pictures or heartbreaking stories without taking at least a couple of minutes to find out if they are real, then you are probably helping to disseminate false propaganda, which leads to more violence.

So here is a quick list of things to consider and hopefully compel you to do more research on more than one side of the issue. Some of my items are pro-Israel, some pro-Palestine. It’s not an “all you need to know” list, but it’s a start.

* Hamas uses human shields, and that is part of the reason the body count is so one-sided (another, of course, is Israel’s military superiority). And Israel warns the Palestinians about their targets. (see Video Shows Gaza Residents Acting as Human Shields, Newsweek, and Israel drops leaflets warning Gaza residents to evacuate ahead of airstrikes, CNN )

screen capture from IDF blog with photo of rocket launch labeled: Hamas Caught Firing Rocket from Civilian Area

Photo: Screenshot of page on idfblog.com

* Some of the horrible pictures that we’re seeing are not current and/or not from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many are from Syria (see Report: Gaza supporters using false images on Twitter, Haaretz. Also see More Fakestinian lies, old lies, and video tape, from Almost Midnight in the West. I don’t advocate the hate that this website promotes, but this page has good examples of falsely attributed images.)

* Many would be surprised how many Jews opposed the creation of Israel, and still oppose its existence. There is a rational for saying the Jewish Religion forbids a Jewish homeland. ( see Why Orthodox Jews are Opposed to the Zionist State, Neturei Karta )

* There are a significant number of Arabs and Muslims who will not accept any solution other than the destruction of Israel, and are lying when they come to the negotiating table. (see Benny Morris: “The 1948 War Was an Islamic Holy War”, Middle East Quarterly).

* Israel also lies at the negotiation table, and cannot in good faith work towards peace while it continues to build settlements. (see Obama and Israel: The pessimistic perspective The Hill)

Update: A counterpoint to my first point. Emily Hauser suggests we read Is Israel committing war crimes in Gaza?, Haaretz.

Update 2014 July 25: I had originally written “there is rational for saying the Torah forbids a Jewish homeland.” That was completely wrong. I changed “Torah” to “Jewish Religion”.