Rick Perry Says Children Of Gaza Are Legitimate Targets

A001 - CopyRepublican Governor of Texas, Rick Perry waded into the Israeli assault on Gaza on Sunday to remind America that he is totally fine with the more than 1,000 resulting civilian deaths, including 329 children.

Calling on President Obama and the whole US to provide “vigorous support” for Israel, Perry was asked by CNN’s Candy Crowley for his views on the deaths of Palestinian civilians in the relentless bombardment.

“When you look at 1,700-plus civilian deaths in Gaza — the large majority of which are civilians we are told — what is your thought about that, what is your reaction to that?” she asked.

“War is a horrible thing,” Perry responded without emotion. “There are individuals who lose their lives in war.”

“But when we have a fairly good understanding that Hamas is actually using their citizens as shields, at that particular point in time, it loses a lot of the the power, if you will, from my perspective,” the Texas Republican continued. “When you look back at Hamas’ statements that they will not be satisfied until Israel is wiped off the face of the Earth, then you start understanding the mentality a little bit better of a terrorist organization like Hamas.”

This continued line that Hamas is using civilians as “human shields” has no basis in fact.  The BBC’s veteran reporter Jeremy Bowen writes:

“I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields.”

The Guardian:

“In the past week, the Guardian has seen large numbers of people fleeing different neighborhoods.. and no evidence that Hamas had compelled them to stay.”

The Independent: “Some Gazans have admitted that they were afraid of criticizing Hamas, but none have said they had been forced by the organisation to stay in places of danger and become unwilling human-shields.”

Reuters, 2013: “A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields.”

So, if there is no evidence to support the claim – why is it being made? And why is it so ubiquitous among pro-Israel commentators?

This answer is pulled directly from “The Israel project’s 2009 Global Language Dictionary” – a study prepared by Republican pollster and political strategist Dr Frank Luntz.  This project studied the language that pro-Israel spokespeople, and lawmakers needed to use and avoid, in order to evoke the sympathy of a US audience.

It sounds as Orwellian as it is.

This policy of being the aggressor while claiming victimhood – called ‘shooting and crying’ – did not start in 2014.  One of Israel’s founders, Golda Meir, is cited with creating this narrative way back at the founding of the state with her quote:

“We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

She was referring to the Israeli orchestrated pogroms which saw more than 700,000 Palestinians exiled from their homes, farms and communities to make way for Jewish settlers.  400-500 Palestinian villages were depopulated and destroyed or occupied and renamed. Most of them were left in ruins.  This exodus of Palestinians to the West Bank and Gaza was an act of ethnic cleansing, and horror.

Jewish Voice For Peace has cataloged some of the specific acts of violence meted out to civilians during this process, which Palestinians refer to as ‘The Nakba”:

  • In April, 1948, the same month as the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin, Plan Dalet was put into operation. It authorized the destruction of Palestinian villages and the expulsion of the indigenous population outside the borders of the state.          
  • On May 22, 1948, Jewish soldiers from the Alexandroni Brigade entered the house of Tantura residents killing between 110-230 Palestinian men.          
  • On October 28, 1948, in the village of Dawayameh, near Hebron, Battalion 89 of the 8th Brigade occupied the village. Israeli soldiers said of the massacre that babies… skulls were cracked open, women raped or burned alive in houses, men stabbed to death. 145 men, women and children were killed. Over 450 went missing, of which 170 were women.

Golda Meir absolved Israel of these crimes, turning the revulsion and shame into further resentment against the victims.  Why do they make us hurt them? The plaintiff cry of abusers everywhere.

This narrative has remained unchanged, and largely unchallenged by Western political leaders and media to this day.  In his dictionary, Dr Luntz cites as an example of an “effective Israeli sound bite” one which reads:

“I particularly want to reach out to Palestinian mothers who have lost their children. No parent should have to bury their child.”

For 70 years the Palestinians have been accused of self-genocide. Not only are the Palestinian people being wiped from the map while the world watches, but they are being blamed for their own annihilation.

You can watch Rick Perry in action below.  Video courtesy of Raw Story.