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Disproportionate Response and Moral Blindness By: FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Israel is waging a struggle, but this struggle is not Israel’s alone. Israel is standing on the frontlines of the Western world’s war against terror, and we expect support for doing the right thing and fighting the war of the entire free world.

"It is true: the pictures broadcast on television all over the world are provoking harsh public opinion against Israel. Unfortunately, some of the world’s decision makers are swayed by public opinion and the media, even though they know what is true and what is not, and how they would act in a similar situation.

- Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni's recent speech before the Israeli Knesset.


AS ISRAELIS WHO NEVER THOUGHT THEY WOULD FACE TERRORIST ROCKETS TRY TO HIDE FROM FALLING ORDNANCE, their elected officials are attempting to avoid a more structurally catastrophic obstacle: pressure from the "international community."

Overnight, the Olmert government wisely rejected a 48-hour "humanitarian truce" hammered out by French President Nicholas Sarkozy and his foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, on behalf of the 27 member nations of the European Union, in consultation with foreign ministers continent-wide. Sarkozy and Kouchner plan to spend the day haranguing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni to accept a two-day standoff under the pretext of allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza, with the spoken desire to make the ceasefire "lasting." The very concept has been described as "a diplomatic victory" for Hamas, with negotiations threatening to elevate Hamastan to the standing of an international quasi-state in its own right.

Despite increasing criticism for its self-preservation ethic, Israel has rendered the EU's proffered pretense irrelevant in its prosecution of the war. The Jewish state has regularly allowed humanitarian aid to reach the war zone of Gaza. An international news dispatch noted, despite imposing a blockade following Hamas' blood-soaked rise to power, Israel "let in dozens of truckloads of humanitarian aid on Friday." The New York Times reported Tuesday night, "Israel sent in about 100 trucks with emergency supplies of food and medicine" from Jordan and Turkey, as well as international organizations. As one Olmert aide remarked, "Gaza is not undergoing a humanitarian crisis. We're constantly supplying it with food and medications, and there's no need for a humanitarian ceasefire." (The fact that the Israelis refused to allow the Free Gaza "aid boat," carrying a group of international leftists and Islamists, to dock in Gaza yesterday indicates that Tel Aviv did not consider its primary objection humanitarian.)

The arresting disparity between the Israeli attempt to wage a humanitarian war and the international perception of ravenous Zionist warmongers decimating innocent Arab women and children stands at the heart of this conflict, of the wider War on Terror, and of the perpetual struggle between Western values and the new Dark Ages offered by a crusading Islamic fundamentalism. Each European-brokered accommodation to terror has invited renewed aggression. After disengaging from Gaza in 2005, rocket attacks increased 500 percent. In every case, the ossifying nations of Old Europe brand the victims - because they possess greater wealth and military might - as indefensible aggressors who must wait supinely for the next terrorist attack.

To this end, in the midst of Israel's long-overdue bid to secure the lives of its citizens so long rained upon by rockets, Europe seeks to impose a ceasefire before Israel can drive a genocidal theocracy from power on its border - a movement feared and despised by neighboring Egypt and others in the region. Before the latest squeeze, Israelis believed they had until, at the latest, January 5th before the "international hourglass" ran out and they would have to go back to passively enduring qassam showers. The effort to end this war prematurely, and to secure the welfare of modernity's enemies, stems from the European governements' profound moral blindness.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Nicholas Sarkozy and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown tried to broker a ceasefire through a series of phone calls to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak nearly coterminous with the eruption of Israel's military response.

Though Sarkozy acknowledged the "provocations" that led to the military action, he joined UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and virtually every other leader of any industrial power in calling Israel's response "disproportionate." Printer French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner - who proposed the 48-hour ceasefire to Barak - publicly scolded, "All hostile acts in Gaza must stop at once." His counterpart across the Channel, British Foreign Minister David Miliband demanded "an urgent cease-fire and immediate halt to all violence." Javier Solana, EU foreign policy chief, kvetched that "the current Israeli strikes are inflicting an unacceptable toll on Palestinian civilians." But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke most forcefully in a telephone call Sunday with Livni, calling for "an immediate end to military actions in the Gaza Strip" and bewailing the "numerous victims among the Palestinians." A statement released by the ministry recorded, "It was underlined that it is necessary to restore the regime of ceasefire, which would ensure the security of the civilian population in Israel's south." Further, "Russia stressed the importance of letting humanitarian cargo into Gaza." It was Lavrov who had Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's ear Tuesday, as she held a round of discussions about imposing a ceasefire on Israel.

Thankfully, President Bush and German Chanellor Angela Merkel saw the matter a bit more clearly. Bush, vacationing at his Texas ranch, was well represented by his spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, who said: "These people are nothing but thugs, and so Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas...The United States hold Hamas responsible for breaking the ceasefire." Merkel, meanwhile, said responsibility for the destruction lies "clearly and exclusively" with Hamas. So elementary is the logic that even Palestinian adolescents get it. The New York Times quotes 13-year-old Yousef Nakhla of Gaza City thus: "I blame Hamas. It doesn't want to recognize Israel. If they did so there could be peace. Egypt made a peace treaty with Israel, and nothing is happening to them."

Europe is not incorrect in stating the Israeli response is "disproportionate" to Hamas' instigations. A "proportionate" Israeli response would involve firing rockets targeted at innocent civilians, rather than military targets (which Hamas terrorists hedge about with Palestinian civilians). Although Hamas suicide bombings claimed the lives of at least 300 innocent Israelis - roughly the number of "policemen" Israel has killed thus far in its military campaign - the bloodthirsty Zionists never induced a wave of Jewish youngsters to strap on explosives and hug Palestinian children riding public transportation. This disproportionate warfare manifests itself in every aspect of the war:
Israel's response to Muslim terrorism is disproportionate and always will be. The asymmetry represents the gulf between civilization and barbarism. It underscores the difference between nation-states and terrorist entities that have momentarily accrued the resources of nation-states.

Those in the latter category, or who hope to join it, recognize this. From the safety of Damascus, top Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal called for a new intifada with the words, "This is the time for a third uprising." Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei decreed "all the Islamic world's pious people" are "obliged" to fight with Hamas and conferred upon the future casualties a martyr's death. Already, Iranian clerics have registered more than 3,500 volunteers to wage jihad. Saudi cleric Sheik Awadh al-Garn issued a fatwa declaring all Israel fair game.

As the Islamic world sends the flower of its youth off to die - and, they hope, kill - the Western world inveighs against Israeli "disproportion." The irony is not merely that their criticism is disproportionate, but it is self-defeating. Israel is the canary in the mine of worldwide terrorism, waging a proxy war for - us. The relativist governments of Europe now strain to prevent Israel from doing the one thing necessary to preserve itself and the West: hunt down the terrorist enemy, destroy their power base, and test their allegiance to the proposition that 72 virgins in heaven are preferable to three on earth.

We can rejoice that even a moderate Israeli government grasps distinctions that elude their European (and often, American) counterparts. Of course, their lives and the lives of their families depend on it.

Unfortunately, so do ours.



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