The recent disclosure that Omar Misharawi, the baby son of BBC reporter Jihad Misharawi, was actually killed by an errant Hamas rocket rather than by an Israeli missile, should have absolutely no moral implications. Of course the baby was killed by Hamas. He would have been killed by Hamas even if the missile that ended his life had been fired by Israel. Hamas is totally and wholly responsible for this death, as it is responsible for every civilian death in Gaza and in Israel. It is Hamas that always begins the battle by firing rockets at Israeli civilians. Generally Israel does not respond. When it does, its rockets occasionally kill Palestinian civilians. That’s because Hamas wants Palestinians civilians, especially babies, to be killed by Israelis rockets. They want Palestinian babies to be killed precisely so that they can display the kind of photographs that were shown around the world: a grieving father holding his dead baby, presumably killed by an Israeli rocket. For years, I have called this Hamas’ “dead baby strategy.” The recent United Nations finding simply confirms the reality of this cynical strategy.
The errant rocket that killed Omar Misharawi was fired by Hamas terrorists from a densely populated civilian area adjacent to the home of the BBC reporter Jihad Misharawi. Hamas selects such locations for firing its rockets precisely so that Israel will respond by firing into civilian areas and killing Palestinian civilians. They regard such dead civilians as “shahids”, or martyrs for the cause. It is better for Hamas’ publicity campaign if the rocket that kills the Palestinian baby was fired by the Israeli Defense Forces, but even if the rocket was fired by Hamas terrorists, Hamas will claim, as they do regarding this death, that the lethal rocket was fired by Israel. Often the evidence is inconclusive, though the forensic evidence in this case points clearly to a Hamas rocket.
The important point is that it doesn’t really matter who actually fired the rocket that killed the baby. The baby was killed by Hamas as part of a calculated strategy designed to point the emotional finger of moral blame at the IDF for doing what every democracy would do: namely, defend its civilians from rocket attacks by targeting those who are firing the rockets, even if they are firing them from civilian areas. As President Obama said when he visited Sderot shortly before becoming President:
The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if…somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.
Babies like Omar Misharawi will continue to die in Gaza and in Israel so long as the world media continues to serve as facilitators of Hamas’ dead baby strategy. Every time a picture of a dead Palestinian baby being held by his grieving parents appears on television or …read more