I was sitting at home doing some channel surfing. Hadn't blogged in a couple of days having had been terribly sick. Its the longest I hadn't blogged since the start of the Gaza war.
I came across FOX News on which Geraldo Rivera was surrounded by four female presenters. Geraldo was becoming very emotional. And while the ladies on the show had him outnumbered four to one, and did their best to counter his claims, nobody could. And so I feel the need to do so here.
France 24 Reporter ducking from outgoing rocket fire, and this one too.
Parroting much of the media, Geraldo burst out that 1400 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians. Apparently Geraldo has no problem accepting the "Official Count," which is published by none other by Hamas itself. While Israel has put in a large amount of research which shows pretty definitely that the civilian death toll is more like 53%. But far be it from Geraldo to actually do research.
And by the way that Geraldo screeched this "fact" on national TV one would think it is an atrocity never seen before in the history of human kind. When in fact, sadly enough, the average civilian casualty ratio in war is typically 3 civilians for every combatant. Maybe he should read this article by Richard Kemp, who was a commander of British forces in Afghanistan and knows very well the dangers and difficulty of fighting an enemy combatant who doesn't play by rules.
The other commentators then asked Geraldo if, as Colonel Kemp has also stated numerous times, if Israel hadn't taken all precautions it could to try and prevent civilian casualties. Geraldo then went on to quote his "years of experience" in war and talk about how a sidewinder missile is so accurate it can be shot through a window, and that there is absolutely no reason why there should should be such a high collateral death rate. But what Mr. Rivera didn't bother examining is the fact that Israeli soldiers are on the ground in Gaza, and Hamas is everywhere. Shooting at soldiers from rooftops, from open windows, from UN schoolyards, from moving motorcycles, and yes from Hospitals. Popping up from tunnel shafts out of nowhere. As an example of the type of environment ground soldiers, who are going door to door are put through, we can see the following graphic:
He could also check wtih Brigette Gabriel,a Lebanese woman who experienced first hand how Hizbulla used the population as human shields. Or maybe he thinks it also not relevant, even though this is one of the many methods Hamas uses.
Israeli soldiers are not in Gaza to kill Palestinian civilians, even if Mr. Rivera might think differently. They are there to seek out tunnels that were built to sneak into Israeli communities and kill Israeli civilians, and store weapons, and seek out bomb making factories, and bring an end to the indiscriminate bombing of Israeli civilians.
And that brings us to another sad, spurious, emotional claim that shows us just what Mr. Rivera is made of.
At one point Mr. Rivera took great pains to explain to his hundred million viewers out there that the missiles that Hamas is launching into Israel are worthless, they don't cause any harm. And in any case Israel can shoot them down. He talked about the three casualties of Hamas missiles, two of which were Arab (he made a point to emphasize this), and all of who lived in the desert where they had no alerts and no bomb shelters.
Well I hate to burst your bubble Mr. Rivera, but if a blind nut was standing across the street with a gun. Every time he raised his weapon an alarm went off to warn you and your family that the nut was about to shoot at your house, even though chances were he was about to miss, and would then fire in the general direction of your house, would you be willing to live with that? I live in Tel Aviv Mr. Rivera, with my wife and child. And so does my wife's entire family. As do my friends, and colleagues, and even lots of people I don't like. As a matter of fact, 6.5 million Israelis now live under daily sirens, which are targeted only for the areas that are at threat. Sirens go off and people run for shelter. Do you think that's acceptable to you Mr. Rivera? Would you expect your government to do whatever it takes, even if it involved killing scores of people, to stop missiles from flying over your head? Do you honestly expect Israelis to live in constant fear and anxiety because you think the bloody photos coming out of Gaza are unacceptable? Do you really think that those missiles cause no harm?
And how dare you hold Israel responsible. Do you have no conscience? Do you have no shame? You, who claim to have been experienced in war reporting? Do you see what's going on in Syria? Have we ever, a single time, heard your emotional and frantic cries to protect the innocent Syrian children, of which now I understand more than 15,000 have died? With a total death count of 200,000? Can you be any more biased, one-sided and hypocritical?
But wait, there's more. When one of the female broadcasters dared to question his intentions or credentials, Geraldo Rivera screamed bloody murder saying how dare she ever put into question his love or caring for Israel. He even has a Star of David tattooed on his hand, he showed it proudly. Proving that every word that came out of his mouth was only because he CARED about Israel. But Mr. Rivera, while in your mind you might care about Israel, you don't seem to give a damn about its citizens. About me, my wife, or my child. About us. You say there has to be a political solution. That's another lie. You know Hamas will never accept Israel. The entire left wing of Israel who up until just five weeks ago still held out some shred of hope for peace with the Palestinians now think there's not a chance in hell. And you know why Mr. Rivera? Its because of journalists like you.
Who scream and shed your crocodile terrors for the death of innocent Palestinian civilians, who have lost any ability to use critical moral judgement and look at a situation through the eyes of circumstance and intent. No, all you see is a pile of dead bloody babies, each death which was organized courtesy of Hamas, and then the death Paparazzi circling around the hospitals being produced by Hamas stagers to get the best photos and send them off through Twitter so people like you can scream bloody murder and renew the Jewish blood libel all the while giving Hamas a pass for any accountability.
Indeed sir, it has been said on more than one occasion in the past month that it is you and journalists like yourself who should be held accountable for the death of innocent Palestinians in Gaza. You who don't report about Hamas, you who don't hold Hamas accountable, you who persecute the country you claim to love, because you can't stand to see the dead bodies of children, and can't see past them, as any journalist worth a nickel should be able to, to get the real story. Of course the story here is of the tragedy of the dead children, but your emotional pleas on international TV reaching a hundred million worldwide viewers is almost as big a crime as the person who launched missiles from the courtyard of Shifa hospital.
No, your crimes are even worse, for you should know better. You are a seasoned journalist, one that is supposed to be objective. And yet not only are you not objective, but you supposedly tout your experience to show the world that the criminals here are the ones that are protecting their population while taking all reasonable precautions in an ugly, urban war made as hard and grinding as possible by an organization that takes depressed and retarded children, straps bombs to them and sends them to pizza parlors and public buses to massacre other children
Mr. Rivera, take a good look in the mirror. You no longer have a place in the media, not even in the tabloids. If you honestly believe the spurious mistruths you presented on tonight's show, then you should do some soul searching, and should leave reporting, and writing for that matter, for good. I'm sure you know the expression the road to hell is paved by good intentions. And if you believe what you said, you just build a twelve lane highway that, for years to come, will transport the dead corpses of both Palestinians and Israelis to their graves.
Because if there are only two truths in this war, they are these:
- Israel will do everything it needs to continue to protect its people, even if it tragically causes the death of others and even if the world whips up into a fury, and
- Hamas will do everything it can to continue to murder Israelis as long as it exists.
You know as well as I do both of these are truths. And by legitimizing Hamas, helping it to live another day to attack and kill more Israelis, the bloodshed will continue unabashed.