Nearly 70 years ago, in the course of World War II, a heinous crime was committed in the city of Leningrad. For more than a thousand days, a gang of extremists called "the Red Army" held the millions of the town's inhabitants hostage and provoked retaliation from the German Wehrmacht from inside the population centers. The Germans had no alternative but to bomb and shell the population and to impose a total blockade, which caused the death of hundreds of thousands.
Some time before that, a similar crime was committed in England. The Churchill gang hid among the population of London, misusing the millions of citizens as a human shield. The Germans were compelled to send their Luftwaffe and reluctantly reduce the city to ruins. They called it the Blitz.
If you find this "absurd," Avnery argues it is no more so than "daily descriptions in our media, which are being repeated ad nauseam," of the official Israel contention that "Hamas terrorists use the inhabitants of Gaza as 'hostages' and exploit the women and children as 'human shields,'" and therefore "leave us no alternative but to carry out massive bombardments, in which, to our deep sorrow, thousands of women, children and unarmed men are killed and injured."
Read the FAIR Media Advisory: "International Law Seldom Newsworthy in Gaza War: Israeli Justifications Often Cited Uncritically" (1/13/09)