01 February 2009

Gazans Continue To Violate Cease-Fire

I'm not surprised that attacks on Israel from Gaza have continued since the most recent cease-fire; I just hope that the Israelis follow through on their recent threats of retaliation.

Gaza militants launched two rockets and a mortar shell into southern Israel early Sunday, drawing a threat of "disproportionate" military retaliation from Israel's prime minister and further straining a cease-fire that ended Israel's devastating Gaza offensive two weeks ago.
Israel has the right to defend its citizens. If Hamas doesn't put a stop to the attacks on Israel, then Israel must respond. There are two options: "Disproportionate" retaliation or "proportionate" retaliation.

The world community has already condemned a so-called disproportionate retaliation, so maybe it is time for Israel to respond proportionally. If some individuals in Israel were to randomly fire mortars and rockets into Gaza at civilian targets, that would be a response that would comparatively match the magnitude of the attacks upon Israel. The Israeli government can note, as Hamas does, that the attacks are not being launched by the Israeli government, so the Israeli government isn't responsible for the proportionate retaliatory attacks on Gaza. Even the explanations and excuses could be proportionate!

Now, I don't believe that the world community or the terrorist apologists would accept a "proportionate" response, either. If a comparable attack was launched on Gaza from Israel in response to attacks upon Israel, then the world community and terrorist apologists would likely quote the Geneva Conventions and international law as to the illegality of such attacks, and demand that the Israeli government be prosecuted for allowing such "crimes against humanity," all the while neglecting similar calls for such penalties against Hamas and the other terror groups in Gaza.

Israel isn't going to win the popularity contest, and the double-standard will remain. Since no one in the world community or Gaza is going to stop the attacks upon Israel, Israel must ignore world opinion and act to protect its citizens in whatever manner it deems necessary and appropriate.

Personally, I would like to see the proportionate response I described above just to be able to tell those who oppose a "disproportionate" response that the retaliation is equal to the original attack(s), so there should be no complaints. I know that there would still be complaints, though, because Gaza doesn't have the same infrastructure that Israel has, so there would be a good probability of higher casualties in Gaza from an equal retaliatory strike.

In the end, I support the disproportionate response. The residents of Gaza do not turn on Hamas, in part, because they or their loved ones would be killed by the terrorists. Until Gazans are more afraid of the repercussions of terror attacks on Israel than they are of the repercussions of ousting Hamas and the terror infrastructure in Gaza, the attacks upon Israel will continue.

This is much like what the U.S. faces in our war against Islamic terrorists. We can tell the world that we will only use a pre-defined set of interrogation tactics in a bid to "improve our image" and claim a moral high ground. We can tell adherents to Islam that we believe that the majority of Muslims are peaceful, and that we only want to weed out the few bad seeds who have "hijacked their religion." Those and other similar platitudes will not help to find the terrorists in the midst of the Islamic community, because those in the Islamic community will continue to fear what the terrorists might do to them more than any repercussion from those of us in civilizations that follow the rule of law.

If Israel wants to stop the attacks coming out of Gaza, they should inform the Gazans that the response to any attack upon Israel will be to completely obliterate everything within a one-quarter-mile radius of the site that the attack was launched from; and then to carry out that threat if an attack is launched on Israel. A few absolutely immediate and brutal responses to the rocket attacks will get the attention of the Gazans, and they can decide to support more terror attacks, knowing fully the coming repercussions; or they can put an end to the terrorists around them in order to secure their own survival. Israel would likely never take such action, though, because they know that the world community (including the U.S.) would put harsh sanctions on Israel that would severely hamper their ability to resist attacks upon their nation from the surrounding Arab/Muslim countries.

Until Muslims are more afraid of a Western response than they are of the terrorists in their own midst, they will not turn over or turn against those terrorists. The West doesn't have the stomach for such extreme retaliatory measures yet, and I shudder to think of what sort of terror attack would create enough carnage to push the Israelis, or any other Western nation, to the point of executing a thoroughly punishing response against those sheltering and supporting Islamic terrorists.


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