Monday, June 19, 2006

Probing IDF Defenses is Child's Play 

Here's a story that I came across over a week ago (and another tip of the cap to Gail of Crossing the Rubicon2) that somehow got buried in my pile of blogging to-do's. Usually, when this happens, I just toss the now-outdated link and move on with some pointless top-ten lists instead, but this story was just too infuriating and relevant to let it pass.

Are you aware of how Palestinian militants probe Israel's border defenses?

A group of Palestinian children were sent towards the Gaza Strip border fence holding toy guns on Thursday in order to test the vigilance of the soldiers on duty.

From a distance, troops noticed four apparently armed Palestinians approaching the border north of the Kissufim crossing.

When the four were some 400 meters from the fence, the soldiers realized that they were children, who looked to be about 13 years of age, and that their guns were toys.
You probably didn't see this story anywhere else. I know I didn't. It isn't part of the story the Palestinians and their media partners are trying to tell.

But if -- God-forbid -- there comes a day when perhaps it is too foggy, or evening is falling, and it isn't possible for the soldiers to recognize from 400 meters away that an approaching group of armed militants is actually a bunch of older kids carrying toy guns, you can rest assured that every newspaper, TV newscast and website will carry the story of the outrageous cold-blooded slaughter of innocent Palestinian children who were only playing.

Then again, on the day -- God-forbid -- when Israeli soldiers hold their fire, uncertain about what might be toy guns in the hands of an approaching group, and end up getting shot by slightly older Palestinians -- late teens rather than early teens -- this will make the news, but only in the statistical roundup of soldiers killed by noble Palestinian resistance. Of course it will make the headlines in Palestinian and other Arab news outlets, and result in much ululation and sharing of sweets.

I'd rather imagine a third theoretical day, a different kind of day, in which the world media publishes accurately what is done by BOTH sides. When the Palestinian "militants" are finally exposed not as the defenders of their nation's children, but as their exploiters, maybe -- just maybe -- this kind of thing could stop. World peace? No. The conflict would go on. But I'd rather see the conflict carried on only by adults who know what they're getting into, rather than carried out through militants' proxy use of their own children as burnt offerings on the media's altar of "Israel is Bad" coverage.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: