Finally the Israeli government has decided to act with force. It took a called off cease-fire on the part of Hamas to do it. Hamas has resumed shelling Israel with barrage of rockets after a relatively peaceful truce. Israel has retaliated:
Israel Air Force warplanes struck at least 60 Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip early Sunday, after a day of intensive air strikes that killed some 230 Palestinians and wounded close to 800.
Those who read this blog regularly know my penchant for peace. I am a strong proponent of 'land for peace'. But only if one can achieve a true peace with it. That has been proven to be a virtual impossibility. So at this point in time I am completely opposed to 'land for peace'. It would have to be proven to within a shadow of a doubt that giving the Palestinians a State would result in peaceful co-existence in order for me to return to that position.
Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Islamic Fundamentalist terror organizations have assured that this will never happen as long as they have even one member left standing. It took giving them the Gaza Strip to prove that point. They could have set up a country. Israel would have helped them. Instead they chose to hit Israel with everything they have using Gaza as their new and closer base of attack.
At this point in time Israel has no alternative but to defend itself. And defending it self means Palestinian civilian casualties Hamas operates out of a civilian population - daring Israel to retaliate so that they can have those casualties. And if Palestinian children are killed or wounded – all the better. They garner more sympathy that way! This way can show how much suffering the ‘evil’ Israeli ‘Nazi-like’ occupiers of holy Arab Land in Palestine inflict.
Israel therefore has no alternative to doing what they did. And as noted above there were many civilian casualties. That has angered Hamas leaders who are calling for reprisals by any and all willing to attack Israel or Israelis in any way they can. Demonstrations abound.
I believe that at this point Israel should re-take Gaza. Perhaps that is their ultimate goal. They have called up 6500 reserve troops and are amassing tanks on the Gaza border. Once there Israel should militarize Gaza. No civilian population allowed. No settlements. Just military bases. They should seek out and kill or arrest every Hamas leader as a war criminal – They should not be treated any differently than Nazi war criminals were treated in Nuremberg. Those who point to all the social services Hamas provides to their people - so as to prove they are not all about terror - are of a morally repugnant view. I does not matter. Hitler was just as nice to Aryans – his people. Murderers are murderers.
Of course this action – even if they go to the extent of re-taking Gaza – will not change the dynamic enough to reconsider 'land for peace'. The Arab nations will scream bloody murder. And their European lapdogs will be right there next to them condemning Israel in the United Nations. So Hamas et al will live on to fight another day. As long as Islamic Fundementalism exists, their can be no peace. Any one who thinks it can is just plain naïve. Islamism itself must be destroyed if Israel is ever to consider making peace with the Palestinians via a Palestinian State. How likely is that? Not very.
And that’s why I applaud President Bush. He understands Islamic Funementalist terrorism. And he has courageously supported this action. He rightly blames Hamas for their own trouble - a fact that should be recognized by the Palestinians themselves. Fat chance.
President George Bush has proven himself to be a true friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. That he does so when the vast majority of Jews oppose him and voted against him in both election says much about his character. Gerorge Bush does what he believes is right, not what he thinks will make him popular. He is truly a great man - one of the Chasidei Umos HaOlam, a righteous gentile.
History will ultimately be the judge as to whether he will be treated overall as a great President or not. But to the Jewish people there can be no doubt. He has proven his mettle with us. He is one of best friends of the Jewish people to ever hold the high Office of President of the United States. I think that most Orthodox Jews already know that.
Whether President elect Barrack Obama will be of a similar mindset remains to be seen. He has not yet commented – as of this writing – on the Gaza invasion. My hope is that he will support it the same way President Bush has. If he does, that will go a long way to dispelling my initial fears about how strong his support will be. One thing seems certain. The way he responds now will set the tone for the future. We’ll see.