We remarked upon the jaw-dropping hypocrisy of the U.S. media in virtually ignoring tens of thousands of children murdered in Syria by jihadists and President Bashar al-Assad while endlessly castigating not Hamas, but Israel, for the horrible but inevitable deaths of innocents in Gaza who were used as human shields for terrorists in order to ring up the death toll. Whether one looks upon it as bias against Arabs (“What do you expect?’ seems to be the attitude when Arabs kill Arabs) or an overt double standard whenever Israel is concerned (there’s a word for that — anti-Semitism), the Gaza coverage tells us much more about the media (and liberal elites more generally) than about the wars the media cover.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, June 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty, Pool)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a  weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on June 29. (Pool photo by Dan Balilty/Associated Press)

But if the media are so terribly devoted to the plight of Gazan children, you would think they’d make a tad more of the story raised in Israeli media but relegated to a few conservative and Israel-focused U.S. outlets. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Hamas used children to help them dig numerous tunnels into Israel and Egypt, a 2012 paper written for the Journal of Palestine Studies reported.

The paper, titled Gaza’s Tunnel Phenomenon: The Unintended Dynamics of Israel’s Siege says that little had been done to stop the phenomenon of child labor during the digging of the tunnels by Hamas in Gaza.

In December 2011, the paper’s author
Nicolas Pelham accompanied a police patrol in Gaza and reported that “nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies.”

He continued and said that “at least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels, according to Hamas.

You wonder what the real number is if Hamas admitted to at least 160.

Writing in the Times of Israel, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center has a marvelous suggestion: “How about we human rights activists launch a fundraising campaign to underwrite a UNHRC investigation of 160 Palestinian children who perished in Gaza. Make that under Gaza. The number and fate of these (nearly) forgotten young martyrs was actually confirmed by Hamas officials. Yet to date there have been no NGO-led outcries for justice, no blaring headlines decrying these killings, no tears shed by Palestinian Sabeel Church activists over their tragic demise—and of course—no Goldstone Report either by the UN Human Rights Council or UNICEF, whose mandate is to protect and nurture the world’s endangered children.”

Hamas is responsible not only for the deaths of the children sent to dig tunnels, but also those who could have been healed and educated if the cement from Israel had been used for schools, clinics and housing rather than to create a subterranean military apparatus. Professor Gerald Steinberg, who heads NGO Monitor (a group that tracks the NGO entities devoted to delegitimizing Israel under the guise of “human rights”), tells Right Turn: “Hamas has been abusing children for years with impunity, with the silent cooperation of ‘watchdogs’ such as Human Rights Watch, UNRWA, Amnesty and many others claiming moral agendas. In addition to sending them to die building Gaza’s terror tunnels, hundreds of Palestinian children are used as human shields to protect deadly missiles, and as suicide bombers in the war machine.” He concludes, “Public documentation of these abuses from Hamas and its accomplices, particularly officials of UNRWA, Defense for Children International, HRW, Al-Mezan, B’Tselem, and Save the Children, as well as their funder-enablers, is essential in restoring the tattered moral principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

This pattern of human sacrifice (what else should we call it?) is one more reason that there cannot be a cease-fire unless and until Gaza can be demilitarized, its rockets and tunnels destroyed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today, “We have destroyed dozens of tunnels and we will finish the rest with or without a cease-fire.” It is the only morally defensible position one can take under the circumstances. The notion that we could freeze the action and then restore aid and open borders so that more children can be abused, more tunnels fortified and more rockets built is moral and geopolitical idiocy. Speaking of which, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reportedly called his Israeli counterpart, Moshe Yaalon, to urge a cease-fire.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.