Ha’aretz’s Amira Hass is clearly unable to recognize intent or any moral distinction when it comes to Israel and Hamas. In herlatest piece, she asks:
Why shouldn’t Hamas dig tunnels? What makes a tunnel more “terrorist” than a navy boat firing on fisherman, or less of a security need than unmanned aerial vehicles? Each to his own resources in the arms race.
Intent is a key concept in both the laws of war and the criminal justice system. Consider two scenarios:
I drive my car into a crowd of people with the express purpose of killing someone. On the assumption that I succeed, I would be guilty of pre-mediated murder.
I drive my car in a careless fashion that results in the death of a pedestrian. Of course, I did not set out in a vehicle with the aim of killing someone. The law would therefore take intent into account and perhaps I would be charged with involuntary manslaughter.
In the former scenario, my car could be considered a lethal weapon. In the latter, a simple means of transport from A to Z.
Was the tunnel dug by Hamas under the Israel-Gaza border a means for Palestinians to visit Israel, maybe do a bit of sightseeing or shopping for those hard-to-get items? Of course not. The tunnel was dug with the sole purpose of murdering or kidnapping, which was even confirmed by senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk.
What makes this more “terrorist” than a navy boat firing on fishermen? Again, it all boils down to intent. Israel’s army, unlike Hamas, does not deliberately target innocent civilians. That’s not to say that innocents will not be victims of the conflict. But it’s a huge stretch to attribute some sort of moral equivalence between a Palestinian terrorist group and an Israeli army tasked with preventing Palestinian terrorists from carrying out their murderous acts.
As for “firing on fishermen,” Hass employs this throwaway line with no context in order to tar Israel. The Israeli navy does not shoot fishermen but rather fires warning shots in order to enforce a naval exclusion zone that prevents terrorists from smuggling weapons into Gaza.
Again, an example of how Hass is unwilling or unable to differentiate between genuine terrorism and the actions of those involved in preventing or countering terror.