When missiles from Gaza strike Israel and inflict civilian casualties, Jihadist leaders and their spokespersons appear in the media and insist that the way to end the violence is to end Israel’s blockade or occupation. They go on to claim that the occupation and U.S. foreign policy is the cause of the Middle East conflict – Islamic terrorists blow themselves up and murder others (we are told) because they are frustrated victims of Israeli oppression.
However, the one question that many in the media seem not to ask and Jihadists might be skilled at avoiding is:
If the answer to all of the problems in the Middle East is to end Israel’s attacks on Gaza, why did the Israelis invade Gaza and the West Bank in the first place?
The Islamist propaganda machine and their allies in the media lead us to believe that the Israeli's take over, attacks and outright occupation of Gaza and the West Bank is part of the country's imperialistic policy as condoned by the U.S. They go on to make the flagrant accusation that Israel would like to return to the days of vibrant Jewish communities in all parts of the lands that once made up Israel during biblical times which would be accomplished by wanton slaughter and enslavement of Muslims in Israel and the occupied territories.
It is true that a minority of Israelis do subscribe to this. However, contrary to what you may believe, the dominant voice in Israel is one of peaceful coexistence with its neighbors and not intrinsic warfare.
When the country was founded in 1948 Israel was a small strip of land located on the Mediterranean coast and the Israeli leadership at the time and even to this day supports peaceful coexistence with Muslims in and outside of the country. This being the case the reason for the occupation of territories (like Gaza) and its military campaigns against Hamas is grounded in one simple answer: self defense.
When Palestinian Muslims rejected the U.N.'s partition plan which would have granted Jews a home in a small part of Palestine, neighboring Muslim states initiated a war of extermination against Israel then and continue to do so via groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. All three groups are funded and armed by states like Iran and Syria and because the wars Israel has fought have been in self-defense she has the moral right to occupy the territories that have been used to attack her and endanger Israel's existence.
So, one may ask, what about the Palestinian's rights? Don’t they have a right to the land they once occupied in what is now known as Israel? Palestinian refugees initially left for Gaza and the West Bank of their own accord in order to either flee the 1948 war or join the fight against the Israelis. They and other Muslims in the occupied territories who suffered from conflict with Israel are, in truth, aggressors and are not innocent victims. Those who initiate force and flagrantly disrespect the rights of others do not deserve to have their rights respected by anyone.
The Palestinian authority formerly under Yasser Arafat and now presently ruled by Hamas has one objective: the destruction of Israel. If taken to its irrational, illogical conclusions this also means the slaughter not only of the Jews but also other religious and ethnic groups (including Muslims) that live in the country as well.
In opposing the occupation the Islamists really want Israel to halt its territorial occupation and naval blockades so the they can have license to initiate more terrorist and rocket attacks in order to destroy it. As a result, Israel has no alternative but to occupy Gaza and the West Bank. This action has been imposed on Israel by her enemies and is not being done out of a want to slaughter Muslims or due to mindless imperialism.
In the past Israel has made numerous concessions but, rightly, will not give in on allowing a Palestinian state. If she does, Israeli leaders know to do so is suicide. Israelis want to be left alone and have no reason to want to conquer her neighbors. If she wanted to she would have done that long ago. However, the country’s hands-off approach is too much to ask from jihadist groups hell-bent on seeing Israel's demise.
Israelis can and should continue to survive and thrive in peace. But, if provoked they should defend themselves using the country's military might.
Our struggle with the Jews is very great and very serious. - Hamas Charter
Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it. - Hamas Charter quoting Hassan al-Banna of the Muslim Brotherhood