The Lie Behind The War, Ctd

After the Israeli police spokesman gaffed to the BBC that the casus belli of Netanyahu’s latest war on Gaza was a lie – that Hamas orchestrated the murders of three teens – Eli Lake sprang into action. You can tell where Eli is coming from by his opening sentence:

Over the weekend it appeared that an Israeli official conceded something very valuable to Hamas.

Actually something very valuable to anyone trying to figure out the truth. And the worries come from people of good faith around the world not just “pro-Palestinian activists,” as Lake describes all those outraged by the Netanyahu government’s collective punishment. So Lake re-reported the news. He couldn’t get the spokesman to repeat what he had told the BBC, but then concedes:

At issue is whether or not the two Hamas suspects were acting on orders from the group’s Gaza leadership. To date no Israeli officials have asserted that.

That’s the defense?

So, to recap: an Israeli spokesman said that the teen murders were done by a lone cell without authorization from Hamas in Gaza, and with no proof of any official Hamas involvement – indeed they denied having given the go-ahead. Yet Netanyahu simply declared “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” withheld critical information about the murder, whipped up public support, and used it to sweep across the West Bank, imprisoning hundreds of Hamas suspects – and all with no smoking gun at all. I mean you might be forgiven for thinking that Netanyahu, stung by a reconciliation between the PA and Hamas, decided to use the incident for yet another assault on the West Bank, to teach the PA a lesson, and then provoke a Hamas response from Gaza allowing him to blow the place to smithereens. None of this excuses Hamas’ war crimes against Israeli citizens. But it sure casts a darker hue to the motives in Jerusalem.