Musing over the Gaza War

    February 2009            
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Musing over the Gaza War


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Opinion & Society

Hypocrisy in Europe

By Ron Landesman

Although I am a Jew who has been living in Israel for the past thirty years and am fluent in Hebrew, I still read the various English newspapers that abound on the internet. Perhaps I became numb to the international reaction to the happenings that surrounded the outbreak of the Gaza war.

For several long years the residents of south east Israel have been suffering from the indiscriminate shelling of Quasaam rockets that target a purely civilian population; yet the international community did very little to stop or even condemn these 'terrorist' actions even when it became clearly apparent that it was done with and by the elected government of Gaza, the Hamas Islamic organization. This group was not merely responsible for training and providing supplies to the terrorists who shoot the rockets at the civilian population, but the members were and still are the Hamas!

Even when Gilad Shalit was kidnapped, the world did little to condemn the Gaza government's involvement in the kidnapping and the subsequent denial of any information about Shalit's health or even to protest the refusal of the Red Cross to visit him. Perhaps I get too accustomed to the world's cold reaction to Israel's plight in absorbing daily rocket attacks, but I never believed that the world was in our corner.

This government of Israel, which was one of the most unpopular governments that I have seen, seemed to be helpless to do anything of any worth. In the vain hopes of peace, they pulled out communities in their entirety from the Gaza strip, communities that had lived there for twenty years or more, and at the behest of the Israeli governments and in removing these idealistic families, the government creating severe family problems. Yet a government more desirous of peace, the world has not seen since Neville Chamberlain. But peace did not come; in its place came more daily rocket attacks. In spite of all of the constant Quasaam attacks, the Israeli government allowed this to go on for years with out any response.

To add stupidity on simple mindedness, they agreed to a temporary cease fire, a cease fire that allowed Hamas to arm and to build their terror armies, yet this pathetic Israeli government seemed to prefer to ignore it as if this would cause it to disappear just like so many other errors made in the name of peace. When Hamas announced that it would not renew the cease fire and began renewing the rocket attacks even before the cease fire ended, I wondered where it would end. I could not believe Olmert could/would do anything because of his overwhelming desire for 'peace'.

Yet when finally the Israelis realized that they must destroy the terrorists, that Hamas was sincere in that they did not want peace but rather to destroy our tiny Jewish state and the Israelis began a surprise attack on the terrorists bases the world was shocked. And why? If any other country defended its citizens from terrorist attacks it would be acceptable, yet Israel was soundly criticized by the European community.

To a logical thinking person, a country who elects a government and then supports this government that carries out terrorist operations, then these very people bear responsibility for the actions of that government. When the people give support and shelter to the terrorists, when they allow them to use their homes, their schools, their children, their hospitals and their mosques as shelters and launching areas, they should expect to be judged as not innocent civilians. These people willingly gave their sons and daughters to the cause of Hamas, the cause of terrorism – are they to be judged as innocent bystanders?

Yet Hamas which failed miserably to carry out a war against Israel decided instead to take the war to the media which sadly seemed to fall into the hands of the anti Israel persuasion. It was difficult to look on the internet with out seeing a picture or a video of some Arab lady wailing over her son, husband, or house that has been destroyed. But what about her son or husband's support of Hamas? Did they not realize that support of Hamas and the terrorists is definitely a reason to be killed? That giving shelter in their house to terrorism is a reason to lose that very house?

It seems that the international community overlooks the Israeli justification for the war and instead focuses upon the suffering of the Arab population. But really, are they the innocent people that they portend they are? Are they not getting paid back for their complicity? Are they really the innocents that they are trying to convince the media that they are?

The news media seems to focus on the numbers, how many Israelis killed and wounded versus the number of Arabs killed and wounded, as if there was some justification in making a numerical equivalent. The point missed is that the Israelis want the rockets to stop, they want Gilad Shalit back. What do we see? Read this statement reported in the news attributed to the head of the UN:

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon headed to the region to press for a truce in a week of talks with leaders in Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Syria.
    "My message is simple, direct, and to the point: the fighting must stop. To both sides, I say: Just stop now," Ban told reporters before his departure.

What does he mean, "Just stop now"? Does this really have any meaning? Why does he not demand that Hamas stop the aggressive behavior that caused the conflict? Will Hamas have some desire to live in peace with Israel? Come now, we are not so naïve.

It reality, like most Israelis, I believe that the Europeans are judging us not only unfavorably, but have cast the blame upon us. It seems that we, who only desired peace with the Arabs for years, are blamed for being the cause of the fighting.

This is coming from the same Europe that permitted a holocaust that turned their backs on the murder and torture of six million Jews. This is coming from the same Europe that country after country took turns in expelling Jews and confiscating their property.

Can I, as a logically thinking being, look at the human right groups condemnation of Israel for 'violating the Arab human rights' and yet see that they turn a blind eye on the suffering of the residents of the south. How can I have any respect for an institution like the United Nations when the Arab workers in the Gaza strip allow the UN schools to be covers for shooting rockets, when their hospitals are shelters for terrorists?

It seems that more than this war bringing out the frustration of the Israelis against the daily terror attacks, but this war has united Israelis from almost all political views against not only the radical Islamic terrorist government, Hamas, but also against the blatant miscarriage of impartiality of the European press.


from the Februrary 2009 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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