You should be sitting down when you read this from the New York Times:
Red Cross Offers Workshops in International Law to Hamas
Yes, you read that correctly. Still sitting down? Then read on:
GAZA CITY — A new training regimen for fighters in Hamas’s armed wing employs slide presentations and a whiteboard rather than Kalashnikov rifles and grenades. The young men wear polo shirts instead of fatigues and black masks. They do not chant anti-Israel slogans, but discuss how the Geneva Conventions governing armed conflict dovetail with Islamic principles.
The three-day workshop, conducted last month by the International Committee of the Red Cross, followed numerous human-rights reports accusing both Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, of war crimes in their devastating battle last summer, and came as the International Criminal Court prosecutor conducts a preliminary inquiry into that conflict.
It was clear during the opening session that the Red Cross would face a steep climb to convince militant Islamists that international law should govern their resistance against Israel.
Steep climb? Does that qualify as the understatement of the year? There’s as much chance of Hamas conforming to any legal standards of making war, as there is of them participating in next year’s Tel Aviv Gay Pride march. Come to think of it, there’s more chance we will see Hamas in pink in Tel Aviv, than we will see them give up their terrorist operational methods. The rationale is in the article, though it is not presented as such:
But Red Cross leaders say they have seen an increasing commitment from Hamas leaders and linemen alike, if only because they now consider their international image a critical component of their struggle.
Hamas’ international image – or the image they want the world to see – is dead civilians, especially children, killed by Israel. Meantime, the brave fighters want to be able to add a new byline: and we follow international law! If you want further indication of how much this is pure propaganda, consider:
Mamadou Sow, who heads Red Cross operations in Gaza, said that in April he presented a critique of Hamas’s conduct during the 2014 hostilities to its top political and military leaders, and that they “welcomed it” and “indicated that they are a learning organization.” He said they also “challenged us to keep in mind the topology of the Gaza Strip,” one of the most densely populated patches on the planet.
There are two big lies there.
The first big lie is that there is plenty of open space in the Gaza Strip. Hamas choose to setup and fight alongside civilians. They knowingly and deliberately put their people at risk.
The second big lie, repeated so often by unquestioning journalists, is that Gaza is “one of the most densely populated patches on the planet.” The last time I checked, it couldn’t make the world’s top ten list of crowded places. But it is a convenient lie, and it seems to be an enduring one.
On the plus side, a discerning reader will note some of Hamas’ fatal flaws are exposed. For example:
During five hours of conversation, the fighters did not reflect on their own questionable activities or debate any situations they faced regarding risk to civilians while operating in Gaza’s urban landscape. Instead, they repeatedly turned the focus to Israel.
“You are dealing with an enemy that there’s not any difference between soldier and civilian,” insisted one fighter in a plaid shirt.
“Israelis violated everything,” another declared. “You say this also to the Jews?”
The BBC would have translated this as “Israelis,” but in this case the naked antisemitism is allowed out on its own.
Or how about this:
“What was your role when the massacre in Rafah happened?” one fighter wanted to know, referring to Black Friday, when Qassam fighters took the remains of a slain Israeli soldier after a tunnel battle, prompting an Israeli assault that killed as many as 200 civilians. “We were besieged inside the hospital — why didn’t the I.C.R.C. help us?”
This is an admission that they were operating inside hospitals. Remind me again about those civilian casualties? And note the somewhat interesting suggestion that if the IDF are blasting you to bits, who are you going to call? The Red Cross!
So, while the scenario of Hamas and seminars on international law is sickening, there are some nuggets that – inadvertently, so far as Hamas are concerned, I presume – expose them for what they are: Jew hating, hypocritical, terrorists.
Finally, consider the huge waste of money. Does anyone seriously believe that these seminars will change anything that Hamas does for the better? I’d like to know where the money for this fiasco came from.
You can read the whole piece, here.