As anyone with even a passing familiarity with Hamas could have predicted, civilian casualties in Gaza have climbed - by design.
Not Israel's - Hamas's. The death of their civilians is part of their plans.
Yet the Western media, and a number of Western leaders, rarely if ever acknowledge it. And even when they do, the acknowledgement is couched in mamby-pamby language that clouds the truth rather than illuminates it.
A case in point is a story in the Washington Post today by Terrence McCoy that does a good job attempting to point out what the real situation is. For example, it includes these paragraphs:
According to longtime Mideast analyst Matthew Levitt, Hamas has long planted weapons in areas inhabited by vulnerable residents. “It happens in schools,” he wrote in Middle East Quarterly. “Hamas has buried caches of arms and explosives under its own kindergarten playgrounds,” referencing a 2001 State Department report that said a Hamas leader was arrested after “additional explosives in a Gaza kindergarten” were discovered. . . .
For years, Hamas has “planned carefully for a major Israeli invasion,” according to a Washington Institute for Near East Policy report. In addition to an elaborate tunnel system, there was the “integral use of civilians and civilian facilities as cover for its military activity; schools, mosques, hospitals, and civilian housing became weapons storage facilities, Hamas headquarters, and fighting positions … IDF imagery and combat intelligence revealed extensive use of civilian facilities.”
But it also begins with attribution presented in a way that inevitably introduces doubt: "alleges" rather than "states," for example, as well as a long paragraph that condemns an Israeli strike.
Don't get me wrong - that story is far, far better than most, since it does make clear that Hamas purposely stores weapons in area where civilians will die if attacked. But it quickly pulls back from making the obvious conclusions that Hamas wants its civilians to die - the weapons are stored in schools and hospitals in an attempt to have Israel kill them. It's as if the writer - or maybe his editors - are afraid to draw that obvious conclusion, because then they would have to admit that Hamas is in fact evil - and not the equivalent of Israel. I'm sure they know it; they just feel they can't say it, because that would mean they weren't objective.
But the object of journalism isn't objectivity; it's truth. And the truth here, even if no one wants to face it, is that a strong faction of Hamas leaders want civilians to die, since those deaths will give them power.
If you're not willing to acknowledge that, you'll never really understand what's going on there.