I wish to complain about the questioning by Andrew Pierce (on LBC on 29 Dec) of Ron Prosser the Israeli Ambassador. Mr Pierce sarcastically and repeatedly asked why so few Israelis had died if the attacks against them were as serious as the Israelis claimed ("come on Mr Ambassador just tell me how many dead Israelis are there from these so-called rockets").
Mr Pierce exhibited appalling ignorance, unprofessionalism and insensitivity. He seemed to be completely unaware of the years of rocket attacks and their seriousness (including the use of long-range Iranian Grad missiles). He had no conception that 800,000 Israelis were living under constant threat of rocket attacks, unable to be more than 15 seconds from a shelter, unable to work, shop, drive, or go to school. He was unaware that the reason for the relatively few fatalities was the infrastucture, warning system and use of shelters since Israelis (unlike Palestinians) take repsonsibility for their citizens. But what was especially unforgivable was that he was unaware of the particularly ferocious and significant barrage of rockets that rained down on Israel for several days prior to Israel's response. That new barrage included attacks against major cities (including Ashdod and Beersheba) which had previously been beyond range.
Perhaps if news stations like LBC had bothered ever to report the attacks against Israel, Mr Pierce and other listeners may have realised that these actions put Hamas beyond the pale, especially when their misfiring rockets also kill Palestinians such as on 26 Dec when a Hamas rockets killed two Palestinian children in Beit Lahiya.
In fact if News stations such as LBC had bothered to ever report on the daily rocket attacks against Israel over the last few years then I believe that the current Gaza crisis may never have happened since Hamas may have been made aware by the rest of the world that these actions were intolerable.
The last bit is something I really believe. Although I am not naive to assume that the Hamas attacks - if reported properly - would have triggered the same kind of worldwide condemnation and UN action that greeted Israel's eventual defensive actions, I believe there would have been widespread revulsion of Hamas and even pressure on it, which could have led to its eventual demise.
Unfortunately, nobody in the West has ever been made aware of the suffering of the Israelis living under constant rocket attacks. It was painful having to explain to even intelligent Jewish pro-Israel friends after the Israeli response that Israel had just been subjected to days of intolerable attacks. Typical responses were "that cannot be true because there was nothing about it in the newspapers or on TV". And it is little surprise that idiotic presenters like Andrew Pierce behave in the way they do. Or why Palestinian spokespeople, such as Diana Buttu (who, note, is an advisor to the 'moderate' Fatah not Hamas) are now consistently - and without challenge on interviews like on CNN - making the claim that the Hamas rockets never carried any explosive charge.
So, you see, the 800,000 Israelis living under constant threat of rocket attacks are all either a figment of the imagination or need to realise that their worries about being harmed are totally irrational since the rockets fired at them are less harmful than a broken sparkler.
Anyway, some good pieces on the situation are here:
Alan Dershowitz's analysis of the legal aspects of Israel's actions
Melanie Philips on the moral case
Barry Rubin on the ground in Gaza
Michael Totten: Gaza and the Law of Armed Conflict