Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict

I don't say much about it, because let's face it, after 60+ years, there is very little that hasn't been said. However, this much needs to be repeated everywhere it can right now. Yes, both sides have been guilty of doing lousy things to one another at various points. And we can argue about which things, and who has done more of them, until we are all another 60 years older. But, the bottom line is that Israel is not currently wrong, nor are their current actions "disproportionate". People seem to forget that their actions cannot simply be weighed against the inaccurate rockets lobbed over the border by the barbarians currently running Gaza. Seen solely in that light, one might be able to argue that this is an overreaction. However, there are a few other points that need to be kept in mind. For example:
-HAMAS WANTS TO DESTROY ISRAEL. This point seems to be lost on a lot of people. If you need some clarity, do a word search through Hamas' charter. You'll see gems like this: "Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors." "Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims. 'Let the eyes of the cowards not fall asleep.'" "After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion', and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying." Would we really tell any other nation in similar circumstances that, simply because their enemies are not currently strong enough to destroy them, they must bide their time and not fight back until their enemies ARE strong enough to mount an existential threat?
-HAMAS WAS VOTED IN BY THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE, WHO SIMPLY ALLOW THEM TO PLACE ROCKETS AND WEAPONS IN THE MIDDLE OF CIVILIAN AREAS. The Israelis were foolish enough to withdraw and allow the Palestinians to try out democracy. This resulted in Hamas coming into power. These same "innocent" Palestinian people (you know, the ones celebrating 9/11), sit by as Hamas locates their weapons in the middle of civilian areas in a deliberate attempt to create Palestinian civilian casualties. Israel responds by attempting to minimize casualties among these willing human shields, and is criticized in this attempt, while Hamas' deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians is ignored. Go check the AP wire, or "moderate" civil rights groups like CAIR. You'll find plenty of condemnation of Israel, but not much regarding the Hamas rocket attacks that spawned the Israeli reprisal.
-ISRAEL IS A TINY STATE AMIDST NATIONS INTENT ON DESTROYING IT. Let's count the wars aimed at conquering Israel, shall we? In 1948, Israel declares it's independence, and is immediately converged on by no less than four neighbors, merely for deciding to exist. In 1967, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, with aid from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Algeria were again at war with Israel. There was a further war with Egypt in 1969, and another invasion in 1973. Then there were also the two wars in Lebanon in 1982 and again in 2006. All of these wars were the result of invasion attempts or cross-border terrorism. Meanwhile, only one war, the Sinai War, was a result of Israeli aggression. Even this war has to be tempered by the realization that Egypt was attempting to strangle Israel by cutting off supplies through the Suez canal.

The bottom line is that we expect Israel to do something no other nation would do. Respond to cross-border rocket attacks deliberately targeting their civilians that are merely one part of a wider attempt to wipe their nation off of the map, supported by the local population, who willingly act as human shields, and their useful idiots worldwide, by killing no more than the same number of people Hamas killed and not hurting a single one of the civilians standing in the way of their rockets despite Hamas' best attempts to guarantee that the terrorists and civilians are impossible to tell apart. If any other government in the world acted that way, their citizens would vote them out in a minute for not caring about their safety.