After Israeli cities were pummeled with rockets fired by Hamas in the Gaza Strip despite a six month cease-fire, Israel retaliated with air strikes and artillery fire and has now followed up with a full scale invasion
of the region.
The Israelis have shown remarkable restraint and concern for civilians, including Palestinian civilians, during periods of armed conflict.
For example, the Associated Press reported on December 27th that, despite the risk of militants being informed, thousands of Gazans recieved pre-recorded cell phone messages in Arabic from the Israeli military prior to their air strikes urging them to leave their homes since they might be near militant weapons caches.
The Israeli military also gave similar warnings to Southern Lebanese villagers prior to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 as well.
The Palestinians have done very little with Gaza since the region was turned over to them and Gaza has literally been turned into a terrorist base.
Hamas purposely positions weapons caches near civilian targets hoping such defacto human shields will prevent their positions from being destroyed by Israeli precision fire weapons.
However, despite their best efforts at warning the populace and when Palestinian civilians are killed or wounded as a result of Israeli retaliation, the world turns against Israel
The fundamental difference between Hamas and Israel lies in the Israelis' general respect for man's life and radical Islamists of Hamas virtual worship of death - a difference that Hamas leaders loudly proclaim
It is obvious in Hamas's leader's perverse minds, the only good Jew is a dead Jew. Even at the cost of Palestinian civilian's lives to accomplish this goal with the end result hopefully being the destruction of the Israel itself and the extermination of its Jewish population.
It is clear that Hamas is purposely targeting not only the civilians of their neighbor, but the Gazan civilian population as well; and Israel is doing their best to protect the lives of the innocent on both sides while combatting the enemy, in this case Hamas.
I abhor the manner in which Israel receives much of its aid from the United States government and all taxpayer financed aid to foreign countries, like Israel and Egypt, and entities, like Fatah, should be ended.
However, the Israeli response to Hamas's rocket attacks against its population is being done for purely defensive purposes. Israel is doing what a free nation's government should do when its citizens' lives are threatened with force: respond with force.
Despite a cease fire agreed to by both parties during June of last year, Hamas still continued to bomb Israeli cities with rockets and mortars.
With this action, hopefully, Israel will be able to de-fang or deal Hamas a serious blow from which it can never recover. I am sure that Hamas's rival, Fatah, will not be any better if it were to regain power since, despite the group's renunciation of terrorism, Fatah is still made up of militant groups, like Black September
, that have been a part of it since its founding and it has been the recipient of U.S. military assistance
which it can use to attack Israel too.
Israel is in the right and preserving peace in the region is clearly the goal of the Israeli's actions. Whether they can pull it off is another matter but it is my hope they can since no nation should have to endure constant barrages of missle fire or terrorist activities against its people.