Saturday, December 27, 2008
The Israeli Strikes on Gaza
I have one word in reaction to the Israeli airstikes on Hamas targets in Gaza in response to rocket attacks against civilian settlements in southern Israel.
At this point, it is reported that over 225 have been killed in Gaza. Since the air strikes were specifically targeted against Hamas sites, it appears the overwhelming majority of those killed were bad guys. Of course, that can never be guaranteed, and we will likely here in the coming days of civilians who were also killed, which is always unfortunate.
Here is the crucial difference, however. The Israelis target terrorists, and do their best to limit the deaths and injuries of innocent bystanders-even when it results in increased danger to their own troops. An example was the recent military action against the terrorist group Hizbollah in southern Lebanon in response to their rocket attacks on civilian targets in northern Israel from Lebanon.
In contrast, the terrorists who call themselves Hamas and Hizbollah specifically target innocent Israeli civilians, women and children in their murderous attacks, be it rocket attacks aimed at Israeli villages or suicide bombs in crowded markets and buses.
Of course, groups like the EU and UN are calling for "an immediate halt to the violence". Were they calling for an immediate halt to the rocket attacks? If so, I never heard them. I wonder what would be the reaction of say, France if someone from a neighboring country like, say Belgium were lobbing rockets into French villages, killing French villagers and the Government of Belgium was unable or unwilling to take action. You know what they would do. They would go in and take care of the problem themselves. Because of international pressure, Israel has conducted itself with unbelievable restraint.
President Bush, to his credit, has laid the blame squarely where it belongs-on Hamas. Barack Obama, in his recent visit to Israel, is on record as having defended the Israelis' right to defend themselves against these rocket attacks. How much he will support Israel when he takes offcie remains to be seen.
In the meantime, here's hoping that Israel can clean out that nest of vipers in Gaza.