Joel Greenberg has a good story that appeared in the Financial Times and McClatchy, touching on Israel’s claims about Hamas’s responsibility for the murder of the three Israeli teens. Greenberg writes:
“Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay,” [Netanyahu] said…. Beyond Netanyahu’s accusations of Hamas responsibilities, there is no evident link between the abduction and the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip. No group has claimed responsibility for the teens’ disappearances and murders….
But that doesn’t matter, Greenberg reports:
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, noted that Hamas leaders have repeatedly called for abductions of Israelis to exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, but he said it remained unclear whether the kidnappers of the teenagers acted on their own or on direct orders from superiors.
“We don’t feel that (such orders were) actually necessary,” Lerner said.
There you have it. Israel is retaliating and killing people, and a high Israeli official says that the country doesn’t need any proof to do so, not even the most minimal evidence– say, statements from Hamas leaders or communications from them– in order to establish their guilt of the murder of the three Israeli teens, and set about to kill them.
Are these Israeli leaders mindreaders? Would this pass muster in any court of law anywhere?
P.S. This is a tactic that Israel has used in the past. Rockets from Gaza don’t come from Hamas, but from some splinter group. It doesn’t matter: All Palestinians are the same, an aggressive act by one makes them all guilty without proof. And so if a couple of Palestinian extremists in the West Bank kill three Jewish teens, Israel doesn’t need any proof, you just retaliate against Gaza.
Kudos to Joel Greenberg for trying to tell both sides of the stories. Language like his was entirely missing from the New York Times account of the killings today.