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Israelis may be savvy on the battlefield, but they never fail to lose the PR war. Both fronts are imperative to win and both lend to Israel’s security and survival.
To start, the very name of their current initiative in the Gaza, “Operation Cast Lead,” could not have been any worse if Hamas itself had chosen the name. What Israel is now fighting is Operation Homeland Security, Operation Save our Citizens, Operation Survival – titles that would certainly instigate acid reflux in BBC and Al-Jazeera journalists and their ilk.
But survival is what Israel is fighting for. So let us now take on this canard of “disproportionate use of force” and see what is truly disproportionate.
Imagine you’re home in bed, your children are sound asleep, and then someone breaks into your house wielding a knife and screaming, “I’m going to kill you and your family!” You’re about to reach for the gun hidden under your pillow, but then suddenly there’s a news break on CNN: The United Nations has officially announced it not fair to use disproportionate force. So you forsake the gun and reach for the Swiss army knife in your drawer. Good luck cork screwing this invader into submission. There is none who would subscribe, in such a circumstance, to this gross stupidity called “disproportionate use of force.” Oh, but wait, there is – it’s called Israel.
As rockets poured into its country for years terrorizing and traumatizing its citizens, Israel was indeed guilty of reacting disproportionately – it did nothing at all. Israel not only responded with disproportionate patience and waited an unconscionable amount of time before defending its homeland, but it also compromised its own military edge by pre-warning Hamas where they were going to hit and urging them to vacate citizens from the premises. Has Hamas afforded innocent Israelis that decency? No? How disproportionate!
What appears to be disproportionate is the wide and wailing claims by Hamas that they care about the lives of innocent women and children. Facts seem to work against them. Just last week, Israel forewarned Nizar Rayyan, a prominent member of Hamas, to leave his house where he had hidden a weapons cache. He refused to leave, and in true bravery, let one of his wives and eight of his kids die along with him. But then again, his kids appeared to be dispensable to him, as he sent his own son on a suicide mission in Israel in 2001 that killed two Israelis.
What stands out here as disproportionate is that Israel, the vilified enemy, cares more for the civilians of Gaza than their own people do, which is further evidenced by the fact that Hamas hides themselves and their ammo and explosives in schools, mosques, universities and even their own homes. Israel ushers their people to shelters, while Hamas uses their own people as human shields.
What’s disproportionate is that Hamas engages in anti-personnel warfare by launching non-guided missiles into Israel not caring who gets hit – a mother, a child, a school, a playground, a shopping mall – and so proud are they of their actions that they sign their ammunition (as per Alan Dershowitz). Yet Israel takes every measure possible to avoid innocent civilian casualties. And while on the subject of innocent civilians, let’s not forget that these civilians voted for Hamas, who never made a secret of their extremist agenda and whose platform is the destruction of Israel.
What’s disproportionate is that in 2005 Israel left Gaza completely, plucking out not only resistant Jewish settlers but also the graves of dead Jews. (The only Jew left in Gaza is the one Hamas kidnapped, Gilad Shalit.) Israel put full faith in the Palestinians that they would be partners in peace. Instead, their prospective peace partners have launched a non-stop campaign of terror, smuggled in 80 tons of explosives and brought in the guerrilla-warfare trainers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Similarly, when the Israelis left Lebanon, they were rewarded with rockets launched into northern Israel by Hezbollah. When they made unprecedented concessions during Oslo, they were rewarded with the second intifada. It’s amazing how disproportionately silent the world was when “Jewicide” was the objective.
Let’s not forget Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which affords every nation the right to engage in self-defense against armed attacks, and though many may be disappointed to learn, that includes Israel. And so, those wielding the term “disproportionate” should just really state what is disappointing them: that Israel continues to exist.
What’s disproportionate is that Israel tempers its actions altogether against an enemy that proudly declares that its main mission is the eradication of Israel and who intends to reclaim Palestine through blood. Would America temper its reaction toward al-Qaida? Certainly not. After 9/11, NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) was prepared to shoot down commercial airplanes filled with innocent passengers, if it deemed a flight had been hijacked and was targeting a national site.
What’s disproportionate is that Israel gave the Palestinians their first sovereign territory in Gaza, something no other country in history had done for them, and instead of building the country they have gladly killed for and died for, by developing infrastructure, schools, hospitals, businesses and a future for their people, the Palestinians have built downward, digging tunnels and digging graves.
What’s disproportionate is that there are 15 million Jews in the world and 1.5 billion Muslims with 22 countries of their own, yet the 5.7 million Jews living in Israel are censured, vilified, mortally threatened and “resolutioned” against for defending their tiny country, their biblical heritage, which is 16 times smaller than the state of California alone, a country that pre-1967 was nine miles wide at its narrowest point.
As Benjamin Netanyahu clearly pointed out: Is “disproportionate” assessed by body count? If so, he asks, were the British wrong to take on Hitler, since many more Germans were killed during World War II than Brits?
What’s disproportionate is that the U.N. calls an emergency Security Council meeting on a Saturday night when Israel defends itself but not when Israel is bombarded by rockets from Hezbollah or Hamas. What’s disproportionate is the public outcry and rallies around the world when Israel, as would any country and any person, defends itself. As Israeli consul general Asaf Shariv has said, “Yes, Israel’s militarily is stronger, and we make no apologies for being so – if we wouldn’t be stronger, then we wouldn’t be at all!”