Israel has a right to defend itself against Hamas

Israel has a right to defend itself against Hamas

Photo courtesy of Israel Defense Forces via Flickr Creative Commons

Three weeks ago the most intense fighting between Israel and Hamas within the last four years broke out in the Gaza Strip. Now that the Egyptian and American brokered cease-fire has been in effect, it is appropriate to reflect on the cause of the hostilities that resulted in the unfortunate loss of lives on both sides and the objectives of each side. It is increasingly clear that Hamas’s indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians sparked the conflict, and Israel dealt with the situation in a proportionate and appropriate manner.

When Israel’s legitimate attempts to stop the barrage of rockets from Gaza results in civilian casualties among the residents of Gaza, it is a travesty, but Israel still acted appropriately. Israel tries to avoid such collateral damage. Israel takes steps in advance to alert the population of Gaza of its targets (through leaflets, telephone warnings and texts), and Israel investigates the unintended injuries to Palestinian civilians. On the other hand, when Hamas rockets kill Israeli men, women and children, Hamas openly celebrates.

Over the past year, Hamas has fired more than 2,500 rockets into Israel. Beginning in October of 2012, Hamas started increasing rocket attacks, and according to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren in the Washington Post article “Falling Hamas’s Media Manipulation,” 1,500 rockets were fired into Israel during the November conflict. Israel’s response was proportional; Hamas launched 1,500 rockets and Israel launched 1,500 air sorties in response.

Hamas specifically targeted Israeli civilians. At the same time, Hamas takes advantage of residential areas and public buildings in Gaza, including schools, to hide rockets and batteries. While some in the international community may unfairly characterize Israel’s legitimate defensive measures as violating human rights during conflict, nothing could be further from the truth. As noted, in instances where the Israeli military felt that civilian casualties could occur, the Israeli military called and texted Palestinian civilians and warned of imminent attack. In addition, Israel allowed Gazan citizens to cross the border into Israel to receive medical care. Israel also sent truckloads of humanitarian supplies across the border.

Israel is like every other nation and has an inherent right to defend itself and its citizens from terrorist attacks and threats to its existence. In response to times like these, it is vitally important for the United States to continue its strong support of Israel’s right to defend its citizens. No other country in the world faces daily rocket attacks against its civilians, nor would any other country tolerate such violence.

*The views in this article represent the opinion of the author, and not those of CisternYard News.

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  1. mat catastrophe12-09-2012

    Mmmm, college neocons.

    I’m just going to leave this here:

  2. Will12-09-2012

    Funny how the refers to our water and our land: Unfortunately the Palestinians sold the land to Jewish settlers in the 1880’s-1920’s. Then went to war to try to steal it back.

    It’s funny how people throughout the world believe it’s okay for Hamas to bury rocket batteries beneath, it’s okay for 10 year old boys to launch rockets into Israel, it’s okay for Hamas to believe in medieval blood libel against the Jews, it’s okay for a terrorist organization to lead a country, but it’s not okay for the only country in the Middle East that has full rights for women, gays, Arab and Christian citizens living in Israel, and even rights for terrorists (all associations must be approved by the supreme court, and all detainees are afforded due process).

    Article 7 of the Hamas covenant-“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.”

    Article 22-“You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.”

  3. Will12-09-2012

    Also, are Bill Clinton and Barack Obama neocons? Neither tolerate or tolerated terrorist action from Hamas? And gentleman who is holding the sign forgot to mention he is to blame for using child soldiers, and for democratically electing an anti-semetiic terrorist organization that denies the holocaust to rule his country.

    When the people of Gaza realize that it is better to live in peace than to fight Israel their conditions will improve significantly.

  4. mat catastrophe12-10-2012

    Yes, Clinton and Obama are neocons with regard to American foreign policy.

    Also, what you call “terrorist” action is what the Palestinians call “freedom fighting” and I’m certain you could probably figure out what the British called the American colonists in the late 1700s, or what either side in the Civil War called the other.

    It’s pretty much all relative, isn’t it?

  5. Will12-10-2012

    1. The American revolution was not motivated by anti-semitism and Jihad. In the American revolution child soldiers were not used, and the American colonists recognized England’s right to exist. The American colonists also did not believe that the Jews were engaged in blood libel
    2. One of the main tenants of “neoconservatism” is interventionism. Obama has pulled out of Iraq and will not intervene in Syria. Clinton refused to intervene in Rwanda, and refused to commit ground forces to Kosovo and Bosnia.
    Mat Catastrophe:

    Is Hamas’s anti-semitism a matter of relativity and perception?
    Is using child soldiers a matter of relativity?
    Is using child soldiers a matter of relativity?
    Is hiding rocket batteries beneath schools a matter of relativity?
    Is launching Qasam rockets directly at civilians a matter of relativity?
    Is denying the holocaust a matter of relativity?
    Is praising Hitler a matter of relativity?

    • mat catastrophe12-14-2012

      Your first point is complete nonsense. It’s irrelevant how the American Revolution relates to Judaism. The British viewed the colonists as traitors (at best), and terrorists (at worst). Americans viewed the British as oppressors.

      After all, the colonists weren’t above threats of death against British officials in the years running up to the start of actual military action. I’m also not so certain that child soldiers weren’t present at all in the Revolution. They certainly were in the Civil War.

      Everyone gets uptight about child soldiers, but no one seems to be bothered when innocent children are blown apart by bombs, especially if it is in the “defense” of some other nation. Do you shed tears for a million Iraqi children who died as a direct results of two decades of bombs and sanctions in Iraq? Or, since they were the children of the enemies of Israel, do you view that cost as “worth it”, as former Secretary of State Albright once said that she did?

      Your second point is pretty interesting, too. Sure, we’re out of Iraq (militarily, at least – you can bet there’s still an American presence there, though, both “private” and quasi-legal military) but we’re still in Afghanistan and we are essentially occupying lots of other nations in the form of the threat of drone attacks.

      The reason for non-intervention in Rwanda and Syria is more complicated. In Rwanda’s case, there was simply no American interest there (which is a key part of the neoconservative platform, unless you are going to tell me you have not ever bothered to read about the Project for A New American Century). As for the Kosovo/Bosnia conflict and Syria, we simply aren’t going to wander around in places where Russia has an interest. The Cold War isn’t completely over, after all.

      As for your questions, the answer is pretty much “yes” to all of them. You can use those questions to morally justify to yourself continued aggression against Palestine, just as the supporters of Palestine will find reasons to morally justify aggression against Israel. It doesn’t make any of you right.

      Because there is no “right”.

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