Aug 24, 2008

A Case for Israel

By Sammy Levine

Israel is a sprawling, industrialized Democracy where its citizens enjoy freedom and individual liberty comparable to that found in America. The freest Arabs in the Middle East reside in Israel, and the nation desperately wants peace.

Outside of the gates of Israel, however, Middle Eastern dictators rule their respective nations with an iron fist, by depriving their own citizens of basic liberties, treating their women like second rate citizens, and openly advocating for the extermination of the Jews.

One such dictator is the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ajhmadinejad. In the past, Ajhmadinejad has labeled Israel, "a rotten stinking corpse." Recently he has called for Israel to be, "wiped off the map." Most seriously, the dictator is now seeking Nuclear weapons. Does anyone doubt his purpose?

Although some blame Israel for the instability in the Middle East, a brief look at the history of the Middle East will tell the real story. In 1947 the Palestinian Arabs were offered their own state, adjacent to Israel, by the United Nations partition plan (resolution 181). This offer was flatly rejected by the Arab states in the region and Palestine. Many Palestinian's then left their homes because they were promised a swift return by the five neighboring Arab countries, who had just declared war on Israel, and were planning to annihilate the Jews. However, Israel won its War of Independence in 1948 against unbelievable odds.

In 1967, all of Israel’s neighbors mobilized for a simultaneous attack against the Jewish state. However, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike, ending the war in only six days, an incredible military achievement. In 1973, a coalition of Arab states, including Egypt and Syria, launched a surprise attack against Israel. As usual, Israel successfully defended itself.

Despite repeated attempts to annihilate the small nation, in the summer of 2000, Israel made an incredibly generous offer to the Palestinian Arabs that included Israeli withdrawal from 95% of the West Bank and 100% of the Gaza Strip, to form a Palestinian state. Under the arrangement, the Palestinians would control parts of Jerusalem, including most of the old city, and slivers of Israel to compensate for parts of the West Bank left out. The Palestinian's, led by the father of modern terrorism, Yasser Arafat, not only rejected this offer but responded with a new wave of suicide bombings, sparking the second intifadah.

Israel vacated most of Southern Lebanon in 1986, and all of it in 2000. Shortly after, this region was taken over by Hezbollah, a brutal terrorist organization funded by Iran, and committed to the destruction of Israel. In 2006, in a daring cross border raid, Hezbollah killed several Israeli soldiers, captured two more, and launched rockets into Israel, starting the very costly 2nd Lebanon war which led to the deaths of hundreds of Israeli's and thousands of Lebanese. About a year ago Israel returned the occupied Gaza strip to the Palestinian people, and what happened? Gaza is now controlled by Hamas, another brutal terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel. Since Israel vacated Gaza, over four thousand (4,000) rockets have been fired into Israel from the formerly occupied Gaza territories.

Given this pattern of past events, can there be any doubt about what will occur if Israel hands over the West Bank to the Palestinians or the Golan heights to the Syrians? Israel currently occupies these lands for national security purposes, not because of nefarious or imperialistic goals to rule the Middle East.

Amidst a clear history of repeated attempts to annihilate the Jews, some critics claim that Israel constantly uses a disproportionate amount of force against its enemies. The truth of the matter is that Israel uses much more restraint than its adversaries. While Israel, to its detriment, meticulously aims at only combatants and military targets, these militants intentionally aim their weaponry and suicide bombs at Israeli civilians. When the Israeli army accidentally kills innocent Palestinian civilians it is viewed as a true tragedy by the Israeli's that is regrettably unavoidable in the scope of war. However, when Hamas kills innocent men, women, and children in Israel, Palestinians celebrate jubilantly in the streets and hand out candy. This was the case after the terrorist attack against the yeshiva in Jerusalem a couple months ago, where 10 Jews were killed, most of them teenagers. In this example, the incredible moral disparity between the Israelis and the Palestinians is abundantly clear. Currently, Israel has the military power to annihilate the Palestinians but does not. Is there any delusion about what would happen to Israel if the roles were reversed; if Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran had this capability?

The truth of the matter is that Israel desperately wants peace, but in order for this wish to become a reality Israel needs an able and willing partner. Until radical Islam, the driving force of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and similar terrorist groups and states is squelched in the region, any genuine attempts by moderate Arabs to partner with Israel to make peace will be subverted and obstructed by radicals resorting to the only thing they have been successful at in the last 60 years; indiscriminate acts of terror and violence. As such, Israel must pursue an unflinching military campaign to destroy the terrorists and protect its cities.