The mainline church-supported U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation claims to support non-violent resistance to Israel by Palestinians. How then does one explain their latest posting, seeking to enlist the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in their support for terrorists? Felicia Eaves and David Wildman (the latter a staffer for the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries) write:
As we approach Dr. King’s birthday, at a moment when Palestinians and many Israelis are mourning the Israeli military’s killing of Jawaher Abu Rahmah with U.S.-made tear gas during a nonviolent West Bank protest conducted in the spirit of MLK…
…and also commemorating the 1,400 dead after the Israeli military’s attrocities in Gaza two years ago…
…and while our own country is mourning the dead and injured in Tucson…
We remember the lessons of Dr. King. [Emphasis added.]
Funny thing about those 1400 dead (the Israeli military put the figure at 1166, but let’s grant them Hamas’ number). Turns out that the majority of them were legitimate targets. From Agence France Presse:
A senior Hamas official admitted on Monday [November 1, 2010] that up to 300 fighters were killed in the 2008-2009 Gaza war after the Islamist group initially put the toll at 48.
Hamas interior minister Fathi Hammad told the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat that between 200 and 300 Hamas fighters were killed during the 22-day onslaught in addition to hundreds of civilians.
“They say the people suffered from this war, but is Hamas not part of the people? On the first day of the war Israel targeted police stations and 250 martyrs were killed, from Hamas and other factions,” he told the paper.
“In addition to them, between 200 and 300 fighters from the Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’s armed wing) and another 150 security forces were martyred.”
His numbers roughly match the 709 “terror operatives” the Israeli military said it had killed during the fighting, which included members of the Hamas-run police force that has patrolled Gaza since the group seized power in 2007.
So, Israel killed hundreds of armed individuals–members of the terror wing of Hamas proper, as well as police who are also part of Hamas’ armed forces and another 150 “security forces”–who under pretty much any definition would be called “combatants,” at the very least. (This, by the way, gives the lie to the Goldstone Report that has become the touchstone of the religious left’s case against Israel in Gaza, which bought the initial propaganda figures from Hamas, which claimed the vast majority of deaths were civilians, hook, line and stinker.) Many of those combatants, moreover, were killed as they were in the process of using genuine civilians as human shields, taking refuge in apartment buildings, schools, mosques, and the like.
So the long and the short of it is that Wildman and Eaves want to “commemorate” the dead of Gaza, the majority of whom were armed combatants engaged in violent resistance to a military operation that was, itself, in response to daily mortar and rocket fire directed at civilians in southern Israel.