August 26, 2016

A response to Melanie Phillips's "Tunnel Vision"

Melanie Phillips had a typically extreme piece in last week's Jewish Chronicle denouncing aid to Gaza as the funding of "mass murder".  To its rare credit, the JC has published a response by Deborah Maccoby.  The JC doesn't publish letters on line so here's the letter which Deborah copied to me:
Tunnel Vision

Melanie Phillips (JC, August 19) writes: "Israeli officials have claimed that every month, Hamas builds another six miles of tunnels whose sole purpose is to deliver killers and weapons to wipe out as many Israelis as possible."

Does it ever occur to her that Hamas builds tunnels as self-defence, in preparation for yet another murderous onslaught on Gaza by the Israeli Army?

Phillips goes on: "A Hamas operative captured by the Israelis last June revealed that terrorists can travel underground throughout the whole of Gaza".

In July 2014, when Israeli launched Operation Protective Edge, which killed 1,400 Gazan civilians, including 500 children, only 12 of the tunnels passed under the border into Israel and these could easily have been sealed off on the Israeli side. The tunnels are built so that Hamas militants can emerge within Gaza and engage with invading Israeli soldiers.

Deborah Maccoby

We're not sure who the JC is suggesting is tunnel visioned but Mel does seem to spend more time on hasbara than Deborah does on debunking the same.

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