Israel’s long overdue strike against Hamas: A time for war

December 27, 2008, 4:27 pm
  


 



By Andrew L. Jaffee

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…

A time for war and a time for peace. …

Ecclesiastes 3

Echoing the Old Testament’s verses from Ecclesiastes regarding Israel’s massive offensive against Hamas terrorists today, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “There is a time for calm and there is a time for fighting, and now is the time for fighting.” Hamas, and possibly other Palestinian terrorist groups, have launched approximately 300 rockets and mortars into southern Israel just during the past week. Previously, Gaza terrorists have fired more than 2,300 rockets and mortars into Israel since since January 2008, and launched at least 2,000 at the Jewish State in 2007. Any other democratic nation faced with a rain of terrorist projectiles aimed at its civilian population would be expected to act forcibly to stop such attacks, yet once again many in the “international community” are pressuring Israel to show “restraint.” This is not like Mumbai in late November, where India is still trying to figure out exactly who planned and executed the terrorists attacks. Palestinian terrorists work out in the open, flaunting international law, when they launch their lethal projectiles against Israeli civilians. According to the AP:

… The [Israeli] offensive [against Hamas in Gaza] sparked angry protests throughout the Arab world, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Vatican, the U.N. secretary-general and special Mideast envoy Tony Blair all called for an immediate restoration of calm. The Arab League scheduled an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the situation. …

Stock Photos from 123RF

The “international community” is once again holding Israel to a standard which no other nation would be expected to adhere to. Good thing Israel is ignoring these calls, and is exercising its right to self-defense:

Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing more than 200 people and wounding nearly 400 in the single bloodiest day of fighting in years. …

It doesn’t matter that Hamas was elected to govern “Palestine.” Hamas doesn’t act like a civilized and responsible government. Just yesterday, Palestinians militants fired a rocket that killed 2 Palestinian schoolgirls. Hamas violently seized total control of Gaza in 2007 despite agreeing with Fatah “to form a national unity government.” From GlobalSecurity.org:

… The accord was signed by PA President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political leader Khalid Mish’al in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, after two days of talks under the auspices of Saudi King Abdullah. …

The civil war between Fatah and Hamas caused scores of Palestinian civilian deaths, with hundreds wounded. This is not governing; this is a gang-style power-grab.

Hamas, by its own admission, has violated the terms of a ceasefire accord which it agreed to with Israel in June:

… “We cannot talk about stopping [arms] smuggling because it is something beyond our ability as a government and we did not give a commitment in this regard,” [Hamas Prime Minister Ismail] Haniyeh told worshippers before Friday prayers in Gaza City.

Haniyeh also said Hamas would not to impose the truce by force on other Gaza militant groups, but added that other groups had agreed to the deal voluntarily. …

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Hamas controls Gaza without question, so it should be able to stop arms smuggling. Hamas certainly could stop other terrorist groups from operating within Gaza, as the group was able to kick Fatah out of the Palestinian territory. Just six days after the ceasefire was agreed to, “at least two rockets were fired [by Palestinian militants] from Gaza” at the southern Israeli city of Sderot.

On the other hand, Israel has tried to adhere to its part of the ceasefire agreement. On November 11th:

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has agreed to partially lift Israel’s suspension of fuel supplies to the only power plant in the Gaza Strip.

The facility shut on Monday a week after Israel stopped fuel in response to rocket attacks from Hamas. …

Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation

On December 10th:

… despite the continuing Kassam fire, [Israeli Defense Minister Ehud] Barak decided to keep the crossings into Gaza open and approved the transfer of NIS 100 million in cash from Palestinian banks in the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. …

Just yesterday:

Israel is sending food into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip while threatening an invasion. But Hamas is not backing down.

Israel reopened border crossings and sent basic food and supplies into Gaza. The army said 90 trucks crossed the border carrying rice, flour, fuel and medicine. The border crossings have been closed since a six-month Gaza cease-fire expired a week ago. Since then, Palestinian militants have bombarded southern Israel with dozens of rockets and mortar shells. …

According to the BBC:

… Israel said it initially began a staged easing of the blockade, but this was halted when Hamas failed to fulfil what Israel says were agreed conditions, including ending all rocket fire and halting weapons smuggling.

Note that Israel, as usual, is doing its best to strike only military targets, according to today’s BBC:

… Most of those killed were policemen in the Hamas militant movement, which controls Gaza, but women and children also died, Gaza officials said. …

One would think that Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 after 38 years of occupation, a key and long-standing Palestinian demand, would’ve lead to peace, but:

… the withdrawal did not lead to better relations with Palestinians in the territory as Israeli officials had hoped.

Instead, the evacuation was followed by a sharp rise in militant attacks on Israeli border communities that on several occasions provoked harsh Israeli military reprisals.

No matter how many compromises Israel makes, as Hamas violates agreements, and rockets continue to rain down on southern Israel, the Jewish State has been left with no option except massive military force in order to protect its civilian population. Enough is enough. There can be no hope for Israel to negotiate with Hamas, as the group’s founding charter states:

… The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! …

The charter also states that Hamas:

… “strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine” and sees “no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad [holy war]” …

Stock Photos from 123RF

Make no mistake: Israel is doing the right thing. She is protecting her very existence. At least Israel has one stalwart ally, the U.S., which happens to be the most powerful nation on Earth:

… It was “completely unacceptable” for Hamas, which controls Gaza, to launch attacks on Israel after a truce lasting several months, said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

“These people are nothing but thugs, so Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas that indiscriminately kill their own people,” Johndroe said in Texas as President George W. Bush was spending the week before New Year’s at his ranch here. “They need to stop. We have said in the past that they have a choice to make. You can’t have one foot in politics and one foot in terror.” …

“The United States strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza,” Rice said in a statement. …

Israel has the green light from its most important ally, and I doubt that will change with the new administration.

I predict that President-Elect Obama will be a stalwart ally of Israel, despite my previous misgivings. His reaching out to Joe Lieberman and his selection of a politically broad-based and highly-experienced cabinet are evidence that he will be a mainstream leader, reflecting the majority of Americans’ sympathy towards Israel.

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Related: Extremists, Governing, Israel, Obama, Palestinians, Public Opinion, Terrorist Groups


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