2009-01-23 / Columnists

The Rockaway Beat

A Case of Self-Defense
Commentary By Howard Schwach

Think about an all-too-possible scenario.

The narco-terrorists, who now kill police officers, elected politicians and anybody else who gets in their way in northern Mexico, are angered by law enforcement officials in Texas, who are limiting their access to U.S. markets.

To get even, they start lobbing mortar shells over the border, targeting police stations and city facilities.

Sound far-fetched? Just wait a bit.

What would this nation do if such a scenario comes to fruition?

Would we sit there and negotiate with the narco-terrorists, or would we quickly move in and obliterate the terrorists with all the military force at our disposal?

You know the answer to that question. We would not wait five minutes to start the battle.

Israel, facing a situation where terrorists were lobbing missiles into the country on a regular basis, waited months to take retaliatory action.

Why, then, are the majority of national publications, the New York Times and thousands of demonstrators (some of them not very peaceful) excoriating Israel for its defensive action?

Their answer would be, of course, that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, but a legitimate group fighting for the freedom of its people from the oppressive yoke of the Israeli aggressors.

If only the Israeli's were willing to sit down and negotiate with Hamas and Hezbollah, the world would be sunshine and daffodils.

The record shows, however, that the belief that Hamas and Hezbollah want peace with Israel is ridiculous.

Those terrorist organizations will settle for nothing less than the utter and complete destruction of the nation of Israel and the death of each and every one of its inhabitants.

It was so during World War II, when the Grand Mufti sided with Hitler and asked for the destruction of all the Jews on Earth.

It was so in 1948 when the United Nations set up two separate states, a solution that was approved by Israel, but rejected by the Muslims, who attacked the new nation in great numbers and lost.

It has been true in every Middle East war since 1948.

The mantra, of course, is that Israeli forces are indiscriminately killing Palestinian women and children, and, therefore, are guilty of war crimes.

As with many things, however, the killing of civilians, while regrettable, is not necessarily what it seems.

Even the New York Times, in a rare glimpse at the downside of how Hamas wages war, said that the organization has turned Gaza "into a deadly maze of tunnels, booby traps and sophisticated roadside bombs. Weapons are hidden in Mosques, schoolyards and civilian homes, and the leadership's war room is a bunker beneath Gaza's largest hospital."

Is there any wonder why civilians are killed, when Hamas fighters hide behind those civilians and then decry publicly the fact that they are killed.

In addition, the Times says that it has a report that states that Hamas fighters are told to wear civilian clothing and that even the police have been told to take off their uniforms to blend in with the civilian population and then to pop out of hiding and shoot Israeli "invaders."

In one publicized case, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) even sent a message to one Hamas leader, who had a weapons cache in his basement, that they were about to blow up his home. He refused to go. He, several of his wives and kids were killed.

What other army warns people that they are about to attack? Certainly not Hamas.

The problem is that media in the United States buy the Hamas propaganda.

In one case, CNN ran a video about the death of the young brother of one of their cameramen at the hands of the Israelis.

It turns out, however, that the footage was staged for propaganda reasons. One doctor emailed the network to tell them that he had viewed the video a number of times and to his trained eye the "doctor" who was treating the "patient" was not in fact a trained medical person.

"The video of bull," he wrote. "The large man in the white coat was NOT performing CPR on that child. He was just sort of tapping on the child's sternum a little bit with his fingers."

CNN later pulled the video from its programming, but never apologized or explained why it had been removed.

There is more evidence than anybody could want to show that the Muslim terrorist groups want to eradicate Israel and its inhabitants.

They have constantly said so themselves. The charters of both Hamas and Hezbollah state that the aim of their organizations is to destroy Israel and reclaim the land for Muslims.

Just last week, a Muslim cleric, appointed to his post by the Egyptian government, said, "God has inflicted the Muslim nation with a people whom God has become angry at and who he cursed so he made monkeys and pigs out of them. They killed prophets and messengers and sowed corruption on Earth. They are the most evil on Earth."

Who was he talking about? You already know the answer to that question.

Two or three years ago, there was a large peace movement in Israel. That is not as true today. While the peace movement still exists, its numbers have been reduced by the recent rhetoric of the Muslim world and the mis- siles that arrive in Israel a number of times each day.

Even last week, when Israel called a unilateral cease-fire, Hamas continued to drop rockets on Israeli cities, reiterating the belief that the rockets would not stop until Israel was annihilated.

It's tough to believe in peace at any cost when somebody is knocking down your door and dropping bombs on your roof.

More than 40 years ago, the Egyptians, now perhaps the only friend of Israel in the Arab world, had driven a UN peacekeeping force from its borders with Israel, blocked the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and put seven armored divisions and infantry on those borders. Arab radio stations proclaimed an attack that would wipe Israel from the face of the Earth and drive its inhabitants into the Mediterranean Sea.

The bulk of the Israeli population looked to the future with dread.

The same feelings exist today.

Zippi Livni, Israel's foreign minister, perhaps said it best.

"Hamas needs to understand that our aspiration to live in peace does not mean that Israel will take this kind of situation any longer. Enough is enough."

Wouldn't our government do the same if it were attacked by terrorists from across our border?

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