You have probably seen pictures of families in Gaza sitting in the dark, and heard of five or more patients who have died in hospital due to the lack of electricity, as well as many thousands who are hungry.
It is a lovely campaign, that has already brought demands for Israel to stop the embargo of supplies to Gaza. The calls come from within Israel as well as from Europe and Arab governments, the United Nations, and humanitarian organizations.
The problem is that the image of suffering is in large part bluff, created by Palestinians who are exploiting an opportunity to obtain sympathy and support. Electricity continues to flow to Gaza from Israeli and Egyptian sources. Overall power is less than normally available, insofar as Palestinian officials are not using fuel still available to supplement imports of power with their own generating station. According to Israeli sources, there is enough electricity to allow the functioning of hospitals. The people who have died when life support has been shut off should be recorded as involuntary suicides for the sake of Palestine. They were killed by Palestinians in pursuit of public support.
This is not the first time that Palestinians have orchestrated the drama of death.
Remember the pictures, shown time and again on television, of the young girl who threw herself on the sand upon discovering members of her family killed by an explosion. The claim was it came from an Israeli artillery shell. The Palestine National Authority lowered flags to half mast, and proclaimed several days of national mourning. However, IDF's inquiry found a gap of 8 minutes between the time of the last cannon fire and the explosion. It does not take that long for an artillery shell to fly a few hundred meters. There was no crater in the sand of the type an artillery shell would create. Israel admitted some of the injured to its hospitals, and found that the shrapnel taken from their bodies was not the kind of metal used in Israeli shells. The best guess was that the explosion came from Palestinian munitions.
On another occasion, a group of fighters paraded through the streets of Gaza with a truck filled with rockets. The missiles exploded and killed 19 and injured 120. The public relations machinery went into action and blamed Israel. Political opponents of those involved said that the missiles did not blow up due to an Israeli attack, but because of clumsy handling by those who paraded with them. That did not stop a rain of other missiles sent toward Israel as retaliation.
In response to current events, an Israel expert in communications has complained that Israel's public relations is failing once again. It is not producing a unified and convincing campaign to counter Palestinian accusations.
He may be correct. On the other hand, he should know that Israelis are not going to be united about anything. It is part of our strength to demonstrate that we do not operate like the minions of a dictatorial regime. We differ among ourselves. Some of us think that Israel is a cruel conqueror. Others reject that view, but waffle about the need to cut off so much of the supplies to Gaza. Yet others call for massive bombardment in retaliation for continued attacks on Sderot, and admire whatever is done to make Palestinians suffer.
The lack of harmony among Israelis may gain us more support than it loses because we do not all sing the same tune. If the enlightened people of the world support Israel because it is a lively democracy under frequent attack, they can probably put up with a few days of ugly pictures produced by Palestinians and their sympathizers.
A cut off of electricity and a shortage of food make dramatic pictures. The Palestinians are suffering. Civilized people do not enjoy pictures of hungry people sitting in the dark, or hearing about hospitals without electricity.
It may be time to remind ourselves once again that war is hell. The purpose of the embargo is to try a different tactic that may stop the bombardment of Israeli civilians. A cut off of supplies, even one that is worsened by Palestinian efforts to engineer world opinion, is less awesome than an artillery barrage, or an invasion by thousands of troops with hundreds of tanks.
Consumers who enjoy a good meal need not visit the factories where meat is prepared. Israelis and others who want to stop attacks on Sderot and other communities close to Gaza need not join the chorus of those who cannot tolerate portrayals of Palestinian suffering.