Following yesterday’s fatal attack on 4 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, responsibility for which was claimed by the military wing of Hamas, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev informed Al Jazeera that this episode was evidence of how all Israelis are now considered equally valid targets—with no mention of course that Israelis not located on illegal settlements have in recent years generally been targeted by Hamas only following Israeli breakage of ceasefires, and that such targeting during the Gaza War of 2008-09 resulted in the deaths of 3 Israeli civilians compared to over 1200 Palestinian civilians. The latter figure did not prevent Regev from claiming at the time that Israel had “made every possible effort to target enemy combatants only”.
As for whether Regev’s audition for the position of Israeli government spokesman had consisted of reciting such things as “The guinea pig initiated violence against the boa constrictor” and “The armadillo attacked the wheel of the car” with a straight face, further evidence in support of this possibility was found in his response to the Gaza flotilla massacre of May 31, 2010, in which IDF commandos who boarded humanitarian aid boats in international waters and murdered 9 activists were determined to have been on the receiving end of violence.
Were Hamas allowed access to the same logic as Israeli spokesmen, the organization may well have excused yesterday’s attack by publishing outdated photographs of assorted household items on Flickr and claiming that these were weapons found in the vicinity of the 4 settlers. The fact that Israel continues to qualify its bellicose endeavors with claims of a commitment to conflict resolution meanwhile suggests that Palestinian time may be more efficiently spent searching for a partner for Mark Regev rather than a partner for peace.