Pillar of Defense according to the Left

Piers Morgan exemplifies the Left’s propensity to omit cause and effect when establishing opinions.

Anti-war protester 390 (photo credit: NADAV SHEMER)
Anti-war protester 390
(photo credit: NADAV SHEMER)
Most people prefer reading or listening to commentaries of those with whom they agree. Since most people like to think that they are right and that “truth” is on their side, they prefer having their beliefs and opinions reinforced rather than shattered. As such, it’s crucial that journalists are scrutinized by fact-checkers - perhaps even more so than politicians, who are disposed to dispensing with their righteousness in return for money and votes.
CNN did an excellent job covering the week-long war of attrition between Israel and Hamas. Most of the coverage seemed fair and objective – all with the exception of one primetime daily talk-show, hosted by British journalist, Piers Morgan.
Generally speaking, the host of the eponymously named “Piers Morgan Tonight” has done a fair job in conveying a sense of objectivity and impartiality. Except, however, in the case of Israel. While Morgan is not alone in his uneducated bias, the show’s high ratings indicate that his opinions shape the thinking of a large segment of the population.
That’s no to say that Morgan is an anti-Semite. Neither is he even anti-Netanyahu. He is simply a left-leaning journalist who harbors an indiscriminate preference for the underdog. The underdog in this case is the terrorist entity ruling the Gaza strip.
In the latest series of interviews conducted on the subject of Israel’s Pillar of Defense operation, Morgan laid out his point of view and entirely avoided any criticism of Israel’s right to self-defense. He kept hammering on with the argument that Gazans are a desperate people under “an Israeli-imposed” siege. Without going so far as to condone the rocket attacks, Morgan nonetheless implicitly expressed an understanding as to why Hamas launched continuous rocket attacks on civilian populations.
Instead of drawing conclusions by analyzing cause and effect, Morgan resorted to casualty statistics, using them as proof of who the aggressor was. Since the number of casualties on the Palestinian side amounted to 167 fatalities versus 6 on the Israeli side, Piers’s conclusion was predictable. Yet this one-dimensional, inept analysis failed to take into account several key elements that should have been considered before drawing any conclusions:
1. Hamas has always had a choice between war and peace, while Israel hasn’t.. Had Hamas chosen peace, its economy would have prospered with Israel’s cooperation and support. Gaza’s residents would neither be desperate, nor under siege as Morgan depicts them. Gaza’s leadership – not anyone else – is solely responsible for the fate of Gazans. Further, Hamas’s agenda entailing the elimination of the Jewish State and its Jewish citizens has been the only objective that ever mattered to these terrorists. Cost was never an issue, not financial costs or the cost of lives. The resulting misery has only served to enhance their sacred agenda and has even garnered support by left-leaning, easy-to-fool people like Piers Morgan — predominantly since blame can be pinned  on the Jews.
2. Had Hamas have chosen peace, there would have been no restrictions on the movement of either people or goods. There would have been no restrictions on the fishing limit for Gazan fishermen. The sea blockade that Israel had been implementing was only to prevent weapons smuggling. Put simply, were there no weapons smuggling for the purpose of Jew-killing, there would have been no sea blockade.  3. Had Hamas have chosen peace, the 400-meter no-man’s land or buffer zone along the frontier would not exist and Palestinians would have retained their right to tend that land without question.
4. The so-called “siege” of Gaza is a myth. Even during Pillar of Defense, Israel continued to provide electricity and water to the Strip. Israel admitted sick Palestinians (both from Gaza and the West Bank) into hospitals throughout Israel, indiscriminately providing them with advanced healthcare not available in their own areas. Even as Hamas and Islamic Jihad were shooting rockets into Israeli towns, Israel continued shipping goods to and from the Strip through official border crossings.. Hamastan is not even surrounded by Israelis on all sides since for all intents and purposes, Gaza now shares a border with Egypt..  “Siege” is an inappropriate term if you consider the fact that there is an open door that is not under Israeli control, allowing Gazans in and out of their unoccupied land. Hamas’ isolation—a homemade cordon sanitaire—and one that they (and Piers Morgan) have been referring to as “siege”— was its own choice.
5. When Israel withdrew the army and the settlements from Gaza in 2005, it ended its occupation of that territory. But instead of “land for peace,” Israel faced “land for terror.” The same scenario transpired after Israel withdrew from West Bank cities following the Oslo Peace accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority , and again in May 2000 following Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon. Hamas refers to Israel as “the Occupation”  despite the fact that Israel no longer occupies Gaza. Of course, unbeknownst to Piers Morgan et al, Hamas isn’t  even talking about Gaza. “The Occupation,” according to Hamas, is the Zionist entity, which occupies Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and the rest of Israel. Had Hamas accepted Israel’s existence, a two-state solution living peacefully side by side could have become a reality.
Reversing cause and effect has always been an art practiced by the Palestinians. Unfortunately Piers Morgan and his leftist comrades have fallen prey to the same logical fallacies.
During the conflict with Hamas, Morgan interviewed prominent guests representing the two sides of the conflict. Unfortunately, when it came to interviewing those from the pro-Israel camp, he was barely even listening. Some of those guests (President Shimon Peres and government spokesman Mark Regev in particular) made strong, enlightening arguments that explained Israel’s actions. Yet Morgan did little to change his tune, because his mind was latched onto a false concept of “fairness”. Anytime a guest mentioned the endless rocket attacks and suffering endured by Israeli citizens throughout the years since Israel withdrew from Gaza, Morgan countered with, “And what about the Palestinian sufferings?”
Piers Morgan did not stop to ponder the following question: What   would have happened had Israel employed similar rules of engagement to Hamas? For starters, civilian casualties among Gazans would have far exceeded 167. It is time that Piers Morgan – and others like him – realize that fatality statistics are not enough to pass judgment. Its time they understand the difference between bellicosity and self-defense and between those who have choices and those who do not.
The writer is the author of “72 Virgins”—a popular thriller about a countdown to a terror attack on US soil. He is currently a talk show host at Paltalk News Network (PNN). He served as an intelligence expert for the Israeli government and was a professor at Northwestern University. He was a VP at NMS Communications, a Bell Laboratories distinguished staff member and manager, and a delegate of the US and Lucent Technologies to UN International Standards body. He is also the author of “Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks.” For more information, visit www.aviperry.org.