Hamas, has lately been bombarding Israel with a new type of missile. For years they have been firing short range missiles into Israeli border towns and, of course, Israel would retaliate. The missiles weren’t very effective because they were very inaccurate and had a short range. They generally landed in unpopulated desert areas. When it appeared that a missile was going to hit in a populated area, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) were often able to shoot it down with their “Iron Dome” anti-missile system.
Thanks to Iran, Hamas has graduated to bigger and better missiles. They now appear to have some with a longer range and more accuracy. From Gaza they are now able to hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Both cities are half way up the Mediterranean coast between Gaza and Lebanon.
Let’s look at this: What do you think would happen if some terrorist group in Mexico were able to fire missiles that travel half way up the US between Mexico and Canada? They would be able to hit St. Louis or Kansas City or Topeka. You best believe that retaliation would be sure, swift, and harsh — as it should be.
As I write this I see that Israel is hitting back pretty hard. Bombs are not very discriminating and I will assume that some innocent people are going to feel Israel’s anger. The world newspapers are beginning to carry some photos of damage in Gaza. Do they carry pictures of the damage that Hamas rockets did to Israel? Other than pictures in the Israeli press, I haven’t found any. It is clear that Israel has tried to hit military targets. According to Hamas, every Jew is a fair target. That makes it easy! Hamas leaders have said many times that they are committed to the destruction of Israel and, hence, have nothing to talk about. Under those circumstances it is pretty tough to negotiate some sort of understanding.
The Palestinians shooting those missiles are probably men somewhere between 20 and 50 years of age. Have they ever set foot in Israel? Probably not. How about their parents? Have THEY ever set foot in Israel? Again, probably not. How about the grandparents? Probably not. Yet they claim Israel as their home. Now, I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. My dad was born in Minsk, Belarus. He left in his teen years as did the rest of his family. Let me assume for a minute that the family was forced out because of Russian anti-Semitism. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances were. I would have no right to claim Minsk as my home.
Let’s look at the Israeli soldier. He doesn’t know any home but Israel. How about his parents? They also probably know no other home but Israel. Well, you get the idea.
We can discuss the Balfour Declaration, the post World War II immigration, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and his extreme anti-Jewish activities from now until eternity but the facts on the ground are just that — facts. The Israeli is fighting to protect his home. The Arab is fighting because (1) he believes that his ancestors may have lived in what is now Israel, (2) his interpretation of the Quran demands that he do, (3) that is all he knows how to do, (4) he likes the camaraderie of his fellow murderers, (5) he gets a rush out of cheating death (6) he is sexually repressed and really believes that he will get his 72 virgins if the Israelis kill him.
It is easy to understand the hatred. We read a lot about Jewish zealots crossing into Palestinian areas and setting up settlements. The Arab administration in the West Bank is not strong enough to remove them and the Israeli government won’t. The actions of these zealots are despicable. They are also war crimes (Geneva convention – 1948).
Those settlers need to be removed from these settlements and placed back in Israel. I should point out that, when offered peace, the Israeli government has always been willing to do just that. When Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed a peace treaty with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt in 1978, there were Jewish settlements in the Sinai Desert. The treaty said that they must be removed — and the Israeli Army did just that. They were removed very quickly.
Similarly, there were Jewish settlements in Gaza. When Israel decided to withdraw their troops they forcibly removed the settlements.
At first glance, it looks like David (Hamas) is fighting a Goliath (Israel). But is it? It looks to me like a group Islamic zealots trying to impose their religion on the rest of the Gaza population and the Israelis. As soon as Hamas is throughly destroyed, there might be a chance of peace between Israel and Gaza — if the world can stop Iran from exporting arms to Gaza.
To be philosophical about all this: from the time that the British conquered Scotland until the Scots and British learned to get along was 400 years. For the Jews and Arabs it has only been 65 years. Maybe we should just be patient — and pray that Hamas does not introduce Iranian nuclear weapons into the fight!