Condemnation of Israel Prevents Peace

(Forbes) Hilik Bar - The international response to Israel's defensive actions against terrorism is disturbingly familiar, and it is galvanizing the Israeli public against making further compromises to their security for the sake of peace. This experience is driving yet another nail into the coffin of Israeli-Palestinian peace, as global condemnation of Israel becomes increasingly disconnected from realistic expectations of how a sovereign nation should handle terrorist rockets raining down on its cities. With no better solution to offer Israel for the protection of its population, international opinion becomes increasingly irrelevant to Israel's government and alienates moderate Israelis who would support political and territorial concessions to the Palestinians - but not at the cost of their personal safety. That the Gaza war, one of many raging in the world today, has yielded one of the lowest rates of civilian casualties, and showcased some of the most valiant efforts in the history of modern warfare to protect the other side's innocents, seems to matter not one whit to Israel's critics. Israel scrupulously abides by the laws of war. Israelis have watched the hypocritical international reaction and have concluded that Israel's very real security concerns are not taken seriously. Israel has a right to defend itself, we are told, but apparently this is a right that exists only in theory, not in practice. Consider the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, during which right-wingers warned that Gaza would turn into a launching pad for rockets against Israeli cities. Israel's left, and the international community, regarded the idea as preposterous. That laughable idea has become reality. Now rockets are raining down on Tel Aviv and beyond. The writer is deputy speaker of the Knesset and Secretary-General of the Israeli Labor party.

2014-08-13 00:00:00

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