Monday, January 12, 2009

Free Gaza Indeed*

Rarely do I venture into the realm of international politics here, but the one-sided media coverage and feigned outrage on this issue is such that I just can’t take it anymore.

Israeli soldiers and settlers pulled out of Gaza back in 2005 – as always with the promise of peace for land. Later, Hamas defeated the incredibly corrupt Fatah for control of the Palestinian Authority. Since then, Hamas has subjected southern Israel to rocket attacks launched from Gaza on an almost daily basis, regardless of whatever “ceasefire” was ostensibly in place at any given time, and the Israelis finally responded in the only manner that terrorist groups seem to understand.

In my mind, the differences between the combatants could not be more stark. Hamas, a terrorist organization formally sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state, merely extended its tunnels and moved its rocket launchers that much closer to the border when the Israelis withdrew. Hamas, similar to its Hezbollah brothers-in arms, plays the victim card incessantly, even as it hides arms in schools, hospitals, and mosques – thereby deliberately incurring civilian casualties for propaganda purposes.

Israel, a staunch ally of the United States and a haven of parliamentary democracy and religious tolerance in a region noted for neither, calls Palestinian civilians living near Hamas targets on their cell phones to warn them of impending air attacks and distributes leaflets to the Palestinian civilians located along IDF approach routes so that they can avoid injury.

And international opinion appears to be largely on the side of the terrorists (again).

This is not to say that Israeli policy is above criticism – no country’s is. Even so, I find the moral equivalence drawn between Israel and the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, not to mention the calls for military “proportionality” made by many, to be both intellectually disingenuous and morally irresponsible.

To buttress the point, consider a trio of reading assignments that all make related points:

The first, “Gaza Needs to be Freed from Terrorist Control” is an op/ed from the Nashville Tennessean written by Reda Mansour, who heads up the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast. For the record, Mansour is an Israeli Arab Muslim. Given the relentless pillorying of Israel in the international media as opposed to the fawning covering typically lavished on Palestinian terrorists (reminiscent of Lenin’s employment of “useful idiots”), let the irony of that one sink in for a moment.

The second is “Yes, Israel Can Win in Gaza” by Edward Luttwak, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, from the Wall Street Journal.

The third is a Wall Street Journal op/ed, “Muslims Against Hamas”.

Finally, Dawgs for Israel is kicking off the semester with “We Stand With Israel.” The event, which takes place at 6:00 p.m. in Room 248 of the Miller Learning Center on Thursday, 15 January, features Scott Allen, executive director of the Georgia Federation of Christians for Israel. Mr. Allen's topic is “Israel’s efforts and the necessity of our support.” Afterward, those in attendance will have the opportunity to write letters of support to Israeli soldiers, along with letters urging our congressmen to continue their support of Israel.

*This is the title of Mansour's piece as posted on the Consulate General's web site.

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