Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Residents of Bizzaro World Strike Again

My Israel activism days are long over, but every once in a while a situation arises that gets my blood boiling. When I first heard about Israel's retaliatory strikes on Hamas, I was ambivalent. Frankly, nothing permanent is going to come out of this, Hamas will still be around when the dust settles, and Israel will hopefully have earned itself some peace and quiet (which is an important virtue I admit). But any victory is likely to be pyrrhic, and anyone who thinks this "war" is going to fundamentally change the situation is dreaming.

Yet despite literally 12,000 rockets being shot into Israel over the last few years, we have self-professed experts pontificate that Israel's reaction is disproportionate, her strikes are a massacre, and that is Israel's ambitions are genocidal. Every time I read such nonsense I feel like grabbing the author and shaking him until he can explain what exactly is permitted to do under these circumstances. Hamas is the democratically elected government of the Palestinians in Gaza. It is also a terrorist organization according to the US, EU, and Israel. It has made no peaceful overtures. It not only officially states that its goal is to destroy Israel, but its leaders make such comments on a daily basis. There are no moderate members of Hamas (at least publicly). Hamas has unequivocally made it clear that its raison detre is to destroy Israel..

So what is Israel allowed to do when they are attacked by this entity? If Israel can't strike at Hamas policemen, if Israel cannot target Hamas leaders (even political leaders), and if Israel cannot target civilians, how can Israel defend itself? Unlike the IDF, Hamas "soldiers" wear no uniform or insignia designating them as combatants. They intentionally blend in with civilians. If Israel cannot attack its openly identified members (policemen and leaders), who can they attack? The terrorists aren't exactly wearing a placard stating their intent to carry out the next suicide bombing or launch the next quassam. WHO CAN ISRAEL ATTACK?

I'd like the next critic of Israel's policy to describe in detail what moves are permissible under international law, morality, or whatever. Enough with the meaningless criticism, let's hear some particulars.