Reuters Social Media Director Wonders Why Israel Should ‘Retaliate’ (i.e., Defend Itself) Now That It Has Iron Dome
Well, that didn’t take long. Fulfilling a fear expressed on Tuesday by David Horovitz in the Times of Israel, someone is already using the country’s mostly (but to be sure, not completely) successful deployment of its Iron Dome missile defense system as an argument against Israel’s right to robustly defend itself.
The assertion came the very next day in the form of a tweet from a member of the establishment press (how unsurprising), one Anthony De Rosa from Reuters, the wire service’s Director of Social Media. Alert responder “Robbie Guy” posted a riposte so deliciously effective that De Rosa removed the tweet. Too late. The takedown came after Simon Plosker at Honest Reporting (HT Bruce Kesler at at Maggie’s Farm via Instapundit) had captured shots of both items:
De Rosa’s argument is exactly what Horovitz feared (bolds are mine):
Successive days of rocket attacks on Tel Aviv and efforts to reach Jerusalem? Well, that’s worrying for sure. Those alarms are terrifying, no question. Plenty of Israelis from the center will now join the traumatized ranks of the Kassam-worn south. But injuries and death on the scale so gleefully contemplated by Hamas? Sorry. No, actually. We brought protection. We’ve got Iron Dome.
This being the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however, even in Israel’s defensive victory, even in its staggering success in keeping its people physically safe, lies the danger of defeat.
When Israel’s short-sighted critics insistently refuse to look beyond the numerical asymmetry, the very effectiveness of Iron Dome becomes the latest weapon with which to attack Israel for its purported aggression. All those Gazans are suffering terribly, dozens have been killed, yet hardly any Israelis are dying? That can’t be right. How can the Israelis claim to be the victims of unprovoked and indiscriminate aggression? They’re still alive.
… the cumulative impact is to convey a sense of relentless Israeli assault on the densely populated Gaza Strip that simply must be unjustified. After all, again, the Israelis aren’t dying. They must be in the wrong.
So to restate what is blindingly obvious and yet still so often ignored: The fact that Israeli citizens have not been dying in large numbers in this conflict to date has nothing to do with Hamas, which is employing its very mightiest efforts to kill us, and which is highly skilled and experienced in the endeavor. We live, rather, because in partnership with our American allies we added Iron Dome, a remarkable new supplement to the alarm systems, safe rooms, fortified schools and other measures into which we have poured effort and resources over the years to defend our civilians from attack.
And Palestinians in Gaza are dying in growing numbers because they are either directly involved in trying to kill us or — to our genuine sorrow and Hamas’s cynical delight — they had the misfortune to be sleeping, walking, talking, studying or praying very close to a key Hamas terror chief, missile launch site, ammunition store or other element of the sprawling Hamas kill-the-Jews infrastructure.
To put it succinctly, Hamas is doing its best to kill any and all of us in Israel, while cynically seeking to protect itself from attack by emplacing its offensive capacity among Gaza’s often unwitting civilians. And Israel is doing its best to prevent its citizens being killed, while trying to thwart the attacks without harming Gaza’s civilians. There’s the relevant asymmetry.
The fact that Hamas and its Iranian-led sponsors have been thwarted this time — the shock they must have felt, and the awe we feel, at the astonishing success of Iron Dome — is no excuse for underestimating the ongoing danger.
De Rosa won’t be the last person, particularly in the establishment press, much of which is likely still beholden to Arab paymasters under special arrangements, to attempt a similar argument. The naive self-appointed “human rights” advocates and many in the diplomatic community probably aren’t far behind. May others respond as strongly, but perhaps with a little more decorum depending on the circumstances, as “Robbie Guy.”
Ironically, De Rosa’s most recent blog post (“Where Social Media Fails”) complained that “sometimes the short, context-less text updates (in social media) can lead to a poorly informed public.” So can ignorant tweets by people acting like twits, sir.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.