I could hardly believe my ears when I tuned into Radio New Zealand this morning and heard an Australian academic describing how Hamas and Hezbollah, the Palestinian terrorist organisations, hide their arms caches, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft batteries amid the civilian population so that the Israeli Defence Force has no choice but to risk collateral damage – that is, deaths and injuries to innocent people – when it retaliates to attacks.
The speaker went on to say that the aim of Hamas and Hezbollah is to make the Israelis look like bastards and therefore win the campaign for international sympathy. This seemed extraordinary: an interviewee on Radio New Zealand actually admitting what Israel has been saying for years – namely, that the Palestinian terrorists deliberately put their own people at risk.
Oh, but wait; he hadn’t finished. Noelle McCarthy’s guest – Australian law professor Tim McCormack, whom the RNZ website describes as an international humanitarian law expert – went on to absolve Hamas and Hezbollah of any blame. “My response is to say ‘well, what do you expect?’”, McCormack said of the Palestinian tactics. “In an asymmetric conflict where one party has overwhelmingly superior firepower, what’s the other side to do?”
So the end justifies the means, and never mind the innocent casualties. It seemed an odd position for a supposed humanitarian to be taking. But at least I was reassured that nothing has changed at RNZ, or its choice of interview subjects. Earth hasn’t tilted on its axis after all.