During Hannukah, even as we discussed the Maccabees, we have been increasingly concerned with the renewed rocket attacks on southern Israel launched from inside the Palestinian State of Gaza. These attacks had been ongoing for eight years, and since the recent cease fire was not renewed by Hamas, rockets are once again being fired into the sovereign State of Israel.
In the past few days, the government of Israel has (finally!) run out of patience with the situation, and has begun a response with air strikes against Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began by calling civilian cell phones in Gaza, warning them to leave buildings and areas inside Gaza in which the Hamas military stores arms, and from which plans are made and rockets are launched. They did this prior to beginning the air strikes against these military targets, thereby giving up the element of surprise. Currently, the air strikes continue, and the IDF has declared much of the border with Gaza a military zone, and has been moving in ground forces. A spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that as far as the PM is concerned, this is all-out war.
Yesterday, as I was going through my e-mail, I saw this headline from the New York Times:
Israeli Troops Mass Along Border: Arab Anger Rises
My immediate reaction was to ask: Arab anger? What about Israeli anger? How long should a sovereign state tolerate attacks across its border with another state? One such incursion is an act of war that should not be tolerated by any government. One of the primary duties of government is to protect citizens against external aggression. Hamas initiated the war against Israel with the first rocket fired across her border. That the Israeli government has not responded until now could be seen by the citizenry as a dereliction of its duties, and indeed, that is one reason why the Olmert government has fallen and new elections have been called.
A further look at the NYT headline revealed this tag:
With the death toll in Gaza rising to nearly 300, a furious reaction spread
across the Arab world, raising fears of greater instability in the region.
Really? Instability in the region? No shit, Sherlock!
The NY Times has risen to new heights as the Master of the Obvious.
Isn't it clear that the region has been unstable for . . . oh, say, at least since World War I? Or maybe since the Crusades? Or how about when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and erected Aolea Capitolina? Maybe we could go back to the Aryan invasions in prehistory?
Evidently, like most of the rest of the country, the NYT writers have no firm grasp of history.
But I digress. With the Israeli response to Hamas aggression, the usual parade of PC terrorism apologists have once again come out of the woodwork. These are the same people that claim moral equivalency for the mujahideen that murdered nearly 200 civilians in Mumbai right after Thanksgiving. (For an excellent article about this, see this link at the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism). In whatever guise they frame their arguments, these people essentially claim that Israel has the moral obligation to sustain attacks and make no response in her own self defense. Their reasoning, no matter how convoluted on the face of it, is that it is precisely because Israel is a successful state that is capable of defending her people that she is morally obligated not to do so.
Essentially, these people are arguing that a successful state, capable of guarding the rights of its citizens, is morally obligated to commit suicide rather than respond appropriately to incursions by terrorist groups bent on the destruction of the very concept of civilized government.
As Americans, we are heirs to the founders who first framed the duty of government to protect the rights of citizens, and we should not be distracted by convolutions of the PC arguments. We should go right to the heart of the matter. The PC multiculturalist stance is one of radical hatred for Western culture and values, and for the civilization that it has built. If we love our culture and if we want to sustain it, if we love our very lives, then we must stand up for the right of self-defense on the individual and national level. We should frame this as a moral argument.
Israel, like any other sovereign state has the moral right, nay, the moral obligation to defend the lives and property of her citizens. When the Hamas terrorists fired that first rocket across the border with Israel, they were asking for war. Now they have it. Although the IDF has gone out of its way to reduce civilian casualties in Gaza, the moral responsibility for these casualties belongs to Hamas, and Hamas alone. It is they that began this war without regard to the lives and property of the people in whose name they claim to govern. As is typical of terrorists, Hamas has actually shown no interest in, nor concern for the people they claim to represent. If they had, they would not have attacked a country that has superior armed forces.
It is Hamas that wanted this war and Hamas that started it. Israel must now finish it, and should do so decisely, with moral clarity. A decisive victory using overwhelming force to root out and destroy Hamas will do more to reduce civilian casualties and the ongoing misery of the Palestian people than will years more of tolerating the intolerable. Israel's moral mistake is not in finally responding to attacks upon her people and their property, it is in tolerating the Hamas attacks for so long.