CAMERA Counters News & Observer ‘Misplaced Anger’

In her July 22 Point of View, Tema Okun charged Israel with “unspeakable acts of inhumanity in my name.”

In World War II, Great Britain carpet-bombed German cities and the bombing of Japan killed more than 500,000 civilians. In fighting Hamas and other terrorists in the Gaza Strip, Israel has issued warnings to noncombatants in targeted neighborhoods, sacrificing the element of surprise and probably increasing the number of casualties to its own military. Meanwhile, the terrorists inhumanely base themselves among civilians and rocket civilians in Israel.

Okun alleges Israel used the murders of three teenagers to “justify a new round of state-sanctioned violence.” Israel launched the air strikes of Operation Protective Edge in response to increased Hamas rocket fire apparently meant to protect its tunnel network. Israel added the ground incursion after it discovered the tunnels included numerous routes into Israel to facilitate kidnappings and terrorist attacks.

She invokes her anger at Israel four times and worries that Israeli self-defense will lead to increased anti-Semitism. But she never mentions anger at Hamas for placing weapons of war in and under hospitals, mosques and schools or for spending tens of millions of dollars on armaments, tunnels and incitement but virtually none on local development.

She tries to pre-empt rebuttal by claiming Israel has become “skilled at spreading a rhetoric that sounds reasonable to justify the unthinkable.” This is the sort of “don’t bother me with facts, my mind’s made up” posture often seen in those unable to deal with a reality that threatens their beliefs with cognitive dissonance.

Ziv Kaufman

Media assistant, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

Washington, D.C.

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