This was published today at the JPost, and republished with the author’s consent, with corresponding footnotes.
How the UN and Westerners became Unpaid Consultants to Genocidal Palestinian Murder-Promoters
Manfred Gerstenfeld and Jamie Berk
One little-publicized aspect of the Protective Edge campaign during the past summer was that the United Nations, along with a variety of prominent Westerners, have in fact – though not publicly recognized as such – served as unpaid consultants to the genocide-promoting terrorists of Hamas.
Before analyzing this issue in greater detail, one should summarize the opinions of leading professionals on the Protective Edge campaign. General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has stated that the Israeli Defense Forces have gone to “extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties in its war against Hamas.” The US Army has thus sent a professional team to the IDF, “to get the lessons from the particular operation in Gaza.” Dempsey also remarked that in a conflict like Protective Edge, Israel is judged by a standard that its enemy is not held to.1
Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan said, in regard to the Israeli army, “The IDF has developed the most comprehensive and sophisticated measures to minimize civilian casualties during attacks against legitimate military targets.”2
Kemp has also stated that on a global average in warfare, the ratio is four civilians killed for each combatant killed. In Protective Edge, despite Hamas’ use of human shields and its use of residential areas for shooting and launching rockets, the average was one civilian killed for every combatant. In Kemp’s words, “No army in the world acts with as much discretion and great care as the IDF in order to minimize damage. The US and the UK are careful, but not as much as Israel.”3
Based on an investigation of 40% of Palestinian deaths in Gaza resulting from the campaign, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorist Information Center concluded that 49% were terrorists and 51% were civilians.4
The Hamas charter explicitly states that the movement wants to exterminate all Jews, because that pleases Allah.5 Palestinian Media Watch has mentioned that Hamas TV broadcasted similar statements over the summer. One of them was from the Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, who said, “We love death like our enemies love life! We love Martyrdom, the way in which [Hamas] leaders died!”6
It is against this morbid background of Hamas’ love for death that it tried to have as many Palestinian civilians killed as possible, so that Westerners would condemn Israel.
Hamas knew that the more civilian casualties would occur within the Palestinian population, the more condemnations Israel would receive from the West. By condemning Israel, these Westerners thus encouraged Hamas to expose even more Palestinian civilians to Israeli fire, including children.
Only a few examples among many of the de facto unpaid consultants to Hamas can be mentioned here. One category is the United Nations and some of its associated organizations. The United Nations’ World Health Organization condemned Israel for targeting civilian populations. It went even further, blaming Israel for all civilian casualties in Gaza and ignoring the fact that a number of the Palestinian civilians who were killed, including nine children in a Gaza City refugee camp, were actually killed by misfired Hamas rockets and mortar shells.7 If Hamas were ever to create the “Hamas Award for the Love of Death”, the WHO, it seems, would be a prime contender.
Another unpaid consultant was the UN Security Council. The UNSC President released a statement on behalf of the entire Council. It condemned Israeli actions in Gaza and the loss of civilian lives. It also requested an increase in humanitarian aid to Gaza, because of its “critical humanitarian needs.” In the UNSC’s statement, Hamas’s use of human shields, its use of residential areas as cover, and its deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians were ignored.8 The statement was yet another vehicle indirectly advising to Hamas to increase civilian casualties.
A second category of unpaid consultants to Hamas are the so-called “humanitarian” NGOs. In an article titled “Unlawful Israeli Airstrikes Kill Civilians,” Human Rights Watch argues that Israeli airstrikes against non-military Hamas infrastructure are war crimes. According to HRW, “Israel has wrongly claimed as a matter of policy that civilian members of Hamas or other political groups who do not have a military role are ‘terrorists’ and therefore valid military targets, and has previously carried out hundreds of unlawful attacks on this basis.”9 Yet, according to the U.S. and the EU, all of Hamas is a terrorist organization, not merely its military wing.10
A third category of unpaid consultants to Hamas’ genocidal murder propagators are several Western politicians. Probably the best example is Austrian President Heinz Fischer. He must have rendered Hamas quite happy when at the European Alpbach Forum in August 2014 he said that Israel acts with its military in such a tough way that the number of deaths is significantly, if not extremely disproportionate.11 Fischer said nothing about Hamas using human shields, Hamas shooting from residential areas and its digging of an elaborate network of tunnels which would be used to kill as many Israeli citizens as possible.
When Fischer visited Yad Vashem in 2008, he wrote in its guest book: “From here, we take the message that we have to work for the education of the young generation towards human rights, human dignity and mutual respect. In this spirit we have also to encourage all human beings to stand up against racism and anti-Semitism in any form.” A president of Austria where Nazism flourished, however does not educate any one by indirectly supporting the Islamo-Nazis of Hamas.12
Former U.S President, Jimmy Carter, and former UN Human Rights High Commissioner and President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, are in another category altogether. They are open supporters of Hamas’ interests. In an article in Foreign Policy, they state that the way to solve the conflict is via Israel’s lifting of the blockade of Gaza and Israel’s recognition of Hamas as a legitimate partner in a Hamas-Fatah unity government.13
In short, Hamas’ policies of exposing the Palestinian populace by shooting from residential areas, using civilians as human shields, and thus increasing the number of deaths among its own people, has given it bonus points in the UN and parts of the Western world. Furthermore, the costs of repairing what damage was caused in Gaza will be paid for by others.14
With all these free consultants and various countries willing to foot the bill for the damage, the official Hamas policy of loving death has paid off reasonably. A genocide-promoting organization can have quite a good image these days. This is true in particular if it is Palestinian.
Manfred Gerstenfeld is a former chairman (2000-2012) of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. His
upcoming book, The War of a Million Cuts analyzes how Israel and Jews are delegitimized and how to fight this. Jamie Berk is a researcher working toward a MA in Political Science at Hebrew University.
1 Michael Wilner, “Washington sent ‘lessons learned’ team to model Operation Protective Edge,” The Jerusalem Post, 9 November 2014.
2 Richard Kemp, “Gaza’s Civilian Casualties: The Truth is very Different,” Gatestone Institute, 3 August 2014.
3 Lahav Harkov, “Former British commander in Afghanistan: No army acts with as much discretion as IDF does,” The Jerusalem Post, 4 September 2014.
4 “Examination of the names of Palestinians killed in Operation Protective Edge- part five,” The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorist Information Center, 22 September 2014.
5 “Hamas Covenant 1988,” Yale Law School, 18 August 1988.
7 Joshua Levitt, “Italian Journalist Defies Hamas: ‘Out of Gaza Far From Hamas Retaliation: Misfired Rocket Killed Children in Shati,’” The Algemeiner 30 July 2014.
8 “Statement by the President of the Security Council,“ United Nations Security Council, 28 July 2014.
9 Israel/Palestine: Unlawful Israeli Airstrikes Kill Civilians, Human Rights Watch, 16 July 2014.
10 “Foreign Terrorist Organizations,” US Department of State. Anton La Guardia, “Hamas is added to EU’s Blacklist of Terror,” The Telegraph, 12 September 2003.
11 Bundespräsident Heinz Fischer beim Europäischen Forum Alpbach: “Nicht jede Kritik an Israel ist Antisemitismus.” [German]
12 “Visit of Austrian President Heinz Fischer at Yad Vashem,” Yad Vashem.
13 Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson, “How to Fix It,” Foreign Policy, 4 August 2014.
14 Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, “Reconstructing Gaza,” Moshe Dayan Center, 17 November 2014.