4th Quarter 2004
Every day, year-round, year after year, Israel is under attack. From within, Arab Muslim terrorists strike at Israeli civilians through suicide/murder bombings, shootings, and rocket or mortar attacks. When they succeed at killing Jews (children, the elderly--it doesn't matter to these murderers) everyone gathers in the streets to celebrate, dancing and handing out sweets.
Israel is also assailed from without by a world community that quite often seems to have gone mad. The PA has done nothing to stop, or even slow down, Palestinian Arab terror against Israelis. Yet, they have diplomatic relations with more nations than Israel does, widespread support against Israel, and many reliable world bodies eager to criticize Israel at the drop of a hat. And when a mother and her four children are shot dead in their car; when students and senior citizens are blown to pieces on a city bus; when two toddlers are killed by a rocket fired in their direction by cowards, just because they are Jewish children--when all of these horrible things happen, no one decries in the press and at the UN how Arafat's government allows them to continue. It's a different story, though, if Israel decides to put an end to the madness of its citizens constantly being victims of Palestinian Arab mass murder.
The world erupts in outrage when Israel hunts down the Islamic terrorists who hide and operate among a civilian Arab population. Yes, then the world leaps into action with the UN, the EU, and the mainstream press like some sort of perverse vanguard of hypocrisy in a campaign of unfair criticism--even as the IDF spares nothing, including the blood of its soldiers, in its efforts to keep Arab civilians out of the line of fire while pursuing terrorists (terrorists those civilians are all-too-happy to harbor and assist). Somehow, Israel still ends up as the brutal, callous oppressor in the world's eyes. The world often seems to resent the fact that Israel will stand up to defend its unarmed civilian population when they are repeatedly targeted for wholesale slaughter on city streets, in restaurants, on buses, and in their homes. Like it's surprising and appalling for a nation to take effective action when these awful things are happening to its citizens, within its borders!
Why is this? After all of the terror, hatred, and murder that's come from the Palestinian Arabs, why are they seen as the aggrieved victims? The PLO, after a slew of terror attacks against Israeli civilians in the late sixties and early seventies, won observer status at the UN. Later, the UN passed a resolution condemning Zionism--a philosophy which simply asserts that Jews have the right to live in security in their homeland--was tantamount to racism. Then Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize. And 56 years after Israel declared its independence and successfully defended itself against Arab aggressors, Palestinian Arabs are the only "refugee" group in the world to have their own UN welfare program: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), with 60% of its yearly budget paid for by the United States (the evil, Zionist-loving United States). It seems that the more Palestinian Arabs engage in terrorist violence and killing, the more they are rewarded for it.
Israel, though... Israel can do nothing right. Nothing just or good. Instead of lashing out to kill Arab civilians (who live on land that Israel won in a defensive war) when Jews are killed in Arab terror attacks, Israel builds a fence to protect its own civilians. The International Court of Justice and the UN call it illegal. Arab, Islamic, and leftist groups call it apartheid, a land grab. Israel sets up checkpoints (as it allows Arabs to come into Israel to work) to prevent suicide bombers from getting across its borders. The world cries foul--it's humiliating! It's unfair! Israel watches as its sons and daughters are cut down in their prime by wicked men, and eventually goes after those men and their leaders, always careful not to hurt the innocent in the process. Muslims, Europeans, Americans, the UN... all raise a strident hue and cry fit to wake the dead. It's only when Israel's citizens are dying at the hands of Islamic Arab thugs that the world will relent in its incessant and unfair criticism of the Jewish state. And even then, it doesn't stop.
Where is the righteous indignation of the global community when little Jewish kids are shot down by masked creeps in the name of Allah? Why doesn't anyone seem to notice when a young woman is killed in her home by a Qassam rocket which crashed through the roof? Who remembers the devastated mother who begged the world to help Israel, after watching her baby daughter and her own mother killed by a Palestinian Arab suicide bomber? Fine. So many seem to be all right with it when Jews are the ones being killed. But have the humanity to shut the hell up when the Jews can't take it anymore and need to take steps to make the killing stop.
And this isn't about a "cycle of violence" either. For Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa, and the rest of the vile scum who prey on Israel's unarmed and unknowing civilians, killing Jews is a year-round job that needs to be done whether or not the Jews are fighting back. It's a religious duty--literally. We're talking about Islamic terrorists here, not "freedom fighters." When peace and concessions are offered to them, they redouble their efforts and hit back even harder. And why shouldn't they? Virtually the entire world community rewards them for doing it. This "cycle of violence" nonsense is perhaps the most preposterous notion yet put forth regarding this conflict. But then again, the premise of putting common, criminal Islamic terrorists on the same level as the sovereign democratic state they are trying to destroy... well, that's quite preposterous also.
I find it all very sad. Sad and frustrating. Anyone who is objective and fair must recognize that Israel works extremely hard to strike the difficult balance between defending its citizens and respecting the rights and lives of its enemies. Israel has to work harder than most countries, due to its permanent location under the global microscope. And yes, Israel does make honest mistakes and does commit the occasional unethical act. But what nation doesn't? It's just so very hypocritical how Israel is singled out for undue censure, time and again, despite all of the good things it does and which its enemies do not do.
So, every time I see Israel take the gloves off (with one hand still tied behind the back) to get down to the business of defending its people, I am very glad. The Jewish faith doesn't allow Jews to take pleasure in the death of their enemies. I'm not a Jew. I quietly celebrate in my heart each time a fanatical, Islamic sociopath is sent to hell by the IDF. I am not cheerful and light about it. I'm just relieved to know that it is one less monster who will be killing a little boy in a kippah. Or his Mom. Or his baby sister. I don't care where you come from or what your cause is; killing a society's most innocent and vulnerable is just wrong. Those who would do such things have no place in civilized society. And whenever the IDF gets the go-ahead to bring these Islamic terrorists to justice, yeah, I do indeed celebrate because I know that innocent lives were saved. I also know that the organs which plan and orchestrate the destruction of those lives have been destabilized and incapacitated.
Israel has the right. The right to use its military forces to neutralize the terror groups that threaten its people, and the right to liquidate the evil men in those groups. The right and the responsibility. I wonder how long Belgium would wait to wipe out armed, religious fanatics who were murdering unarmed people in the Belgian streets. Would France abide suicide/murder attacks on Frenchmen, and not build a security barrier so that it could instead appease sanctimonious world opinion? And here in my own country, where a smug and aloof leftist "intelligentsia" pharisaically impugns Israel for defending itself from Islamic lunatics armed with guns and explosives: what would you do if your neighbor or your cousin or your mother was killed by the noble mujahideen you give a multicultural pass to? Simple morality and plain sense tell us that such acts of rank depravity must be met with harsh, swift, and uncompromising reprisal which renders those acts completely counterproductive to those committing them. Far be it from me to expect the majority of mankind to make sense, though.
Israel is easily among the most ethical and fair nations in the world today. So, they are also in the right. Heaven knows how each prime minister, the Knesset, and Israel's supreme court have endeavored to honor justice and the preciousness of life. I cannot imagine the frustration of knowing that one is doing the right thing, yet over and over, one is told how wrong it is.
I've never asked, but I've wondered if Israel's Jews must sometimes just want to yell back at the world, "Shut up and leave us be if you won't show some decency and help us! Get out of our way, and we'll defend ourselves." And maybe that ability and willingness to defend themselves is exactly what bothers the world in the first place.©2004 Patrick D. O'Brien. Published with permission of author.
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