Islamists Leave Israel No Choice

[The Australian] Greg Sheridan - After the attack in Jerusalem on a Jewish religious school in which eight civilians died, Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack. On the other hand, Hamas, the Palestinian leadership in Gaza, praised the attack and Gazan civilians danced in the streets with joy. Hamas' strategy is difficult for the Western mind to grasp because of two elements: its genuinely religious foundation, and its willingness to inflict any suffering not only on its enemies but on its own people. It is inconceivable that any nation would allow endless rocket attacks on its civilians without trying to stop them. Rockets fired simultaneously from Gaza, southern Lebanon, and the West Bank would completely paralyze Israel. Therefore, Israel ultimately cannot allow the rocket attacks to go on, especially as they increase in lethality and range. The ABC's "Lateline" program ran a report on the suffering of civilians in Gaza, interviewing a Gazan civilian who complained bitterly about Israel's actions. But the ABC reporter didn't ask the absolutely obvious question: Do you wish your leaders would stop firing missiles into Israel, which make inevitable both the economic blockade and the Israeli military response? Israel is always told to retreat to the 1967 borders. The two places where it has done this - southern Lebanon and Gaza - have been disasters for Israel and have not produced peace. The 1967 borders only work for Israel if its neighbors don't make war on Israel any more. There is no indication at all that either Hamas or Hizbullah, or indeed Iran, which soon enough will possess nuclear weapons, is on a trajectory towards accepting Israel's right to exist.

2008-03-10 01:00:00

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