This is a really provocative piece by Norman Geras (h/t Sullivan) on the reactions to the recent Israeli military incursion into Gaza. Mr. Geras points out that the the media tends to target Israel as the aggressor and even war criminal, while Hamas, which has also reportedly engaged in war crimes, is given much more tea and sympathy.
I agree with the sentiment, despite disagreeing with Israel’s rationale and expected results from the incusion (as well as the terrible human toll on the Palestinian nation). Hamas is a terrorist organization. They do some good for the Palestinians in Gaza, sure, but they also routinely use Gazans as human shields, use civilian areas to stage military operations (rocket launching, sniping, etc.), and still refuse Israel’s right to exist. And as Geras points out, the civilian/military fuzziness that they engage in is 100% contrary to the Geneva Conventions, and thus makes such actions “war crimes.”
I certainly do not mean to excuse Israel’s possible war crimes, or claim that one side’s violation of international law justifies the other’s, but it’s important to remember that neither side here should escape criticism.