25 June '15..
With publication this week of the report on Operation Protective Edge, the UN Human Rights Council has reached new heights of hypocrisy and a new moral abyss. Put aside the anti-Israeli opinions of those who chaired this committee, the fact that it took at face value the claims of Hamas or pro-Palestinian Israeli NGOs but cast doubt on everything that emanated from official Israeli sources, and the whole composition of the Human Rights Council that turns it into a grotesque farce.
But one of the most serious aspects of this report is that it establishes an ethical equivalence between a democracy respectful of the rule of law and a terrorist organization that unscrupulously tramples humanitarian principles. Although the findings of this commission have no legal force, they will help fuel the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic atmosphere created by the Palestinian Authority in its global war against Israel. To associate the words "Israel," "Hamas" and "war crimes" is a crime against truth and justice.
And something tells me that this report is the only one that will prevail in the international public and media arenas, not the one written by 11 international military experts who concluded that they "know no other army in the world that takes such great steps to avoid civilian casualties" and that "Israel goes further than most armies to remain faithful to international law and to protect civilians."
Israeli leaders - of the government and the Zionist opposition - soon realized where the main fault of this unjust report lies: the amoral and abject juxtaposition between Israel and Hamas, which could set a dangerous precedent with practical consequences in the fight of democracies against terrorism.
In its conclusions, the UN fact-finding commision officially erased the moral line that distinguishes the attacked from the attacker, the one who protects his people from the one who protects himself with his people, the one who regrets every death of an Arab child from the one who considers the death of a Jewish child a victory, the one who sanctifies life from the one who regularly proclaims that he "loves death as much as the Jews love life."
In the Knesset, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted the anti-Israel obsession of the Human Rights Council and recalled its many condemnations of Israel, which exceed those directed at Iran, Syria, Sudan and North Korea. His comment was greeted with protests from the benches of the extreme left, which asked the prime minister why he applies to Israel the same kind of criteria he applies to these kind of countries.
There is in this last argument, which one also often hears abroad, something deeply perverse, driven by a deliberate or unconscious psychological distortion: "You, Israel (the Jews), are heirs of a long moral tradition, so we expect better from you. You cannot compare yourselves to those around you". This kind of talk was heard for example from the representative of the European Union in Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen. According to this logic, those seeking to behave morally should be judged with extreme severity even when they are forced to defend themselves, whereas those behaving like savages - well, that is their nature and they will be judged with more understanding and indulgence.
Demanding of one’s self high moral standards has never meant turning the other cheek.
There were too many civilians casualties, including women and children, in Gaza. There would have been ten times more if the IDF really was the army described by those who contributed to this report. For those who do not know it yet, war produces casualties. But the full responsibility for the civilian deaths in Gaza rests with Hamas, which, with unbelievable cynicism, sought to draw in soldiers and confront them with a moral dilemma: How to combat terrorists hiding among civilians. The plethora of videos circulating on the net provide more than enough evidence of the "moral standards" practiced by organizations such as Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, Jabhat al-Nusra, Islamic Jihad and all their variants.
Israel did not ask for Operation Protective Edge as it did not desire any of the wars that have marked its history to date. But the Jewish state and the IDF can look in the mirror of morality without shame, because unlike those around us, in every IDF soldier there is a man reluctant to kill.
On the other hand, Jewish morality does not dictate suicide or passivity in the face of aggression, and it does not judge acts according to the identity of the perpetrator but by an objective scale of moral values.
It is strange to receive lessons from those who never practice what they preach at us.
Shraga Blum is an independent journalist. He publishes a weekly press review in the "P'tit Hebdo" and political analysis on Israeli-French language sites.