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calendar   Tuesday - January 06, 2009

The war in Gaza is terrible. But the alternative was worse - for all of us

This is a fairly long read. However, this lady has nailed almost every point and she has done so brilliantly.

Yes, the war in Gaza is terrible. But the alternative was worse - for all of us
Last updated at 10:10 AM on 05th January 2009
War is always terrible and to be avoided if humanly possible. War in Gaza, where Hamas terrorists are embedded within densely crowded areas, is particularly awful.

By Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail

No one wants to see civilians being killed. Every decent person will be dismayed that it has come to this.
What is profoundly troubling, however, is that as the Israeli ground offensive escalates hostilities still further, so many in Britain don’t understand that, appalling as this war is, the alternative is even worse.

This is a war that Israel spent more than seven years trying to avoid, while no fewer than 6,000 rockets and other missiles rained down from Gaza upon its southern towns. No other country in the world would have sat on its hands while its traumatised children were raised in bomb shelters.

The often-made comparison with IRA terrorism spectacularly misses the point. Hamas actually run Gaza. The equivalent would have been the Irish government firing 6,000 rockets at England.

Does anyone seriously doubt that, in such a hypothetical situation, Britain would have been at war with Ireland long before that total had been reached?

Besieged

Far from acting out of political opportunism, as some so offensively suggest, Israel has taken massive risks on every front with this operation. A ground war almost certainly means many of its soldiers will die. If just one of its shells were to go astray and hit a school or hospital, a hostile western world would unleash the furies against it.

And in Lebanon, Hezbollah may launch its ferocious arsenal of rockets pointing at northern Israel, forcing it to fight on two fronts. But the brutal fact is that tiny, besieged Israel is damned if it does and dead if it doesn’t.

While Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blame Hamas for provoking this war, it is Israel which is drawing western protests.

These are not confined to the thuggish demonstrations organised by an alliance of Islamists and the far-Left we have seen on the streets of London at the weekend. Many others also share the view that Israel is in the wrong. So why is a country under attack from genocidal fanatics pilloried for defending its citizens against slaughter?

The main complaint is that Israel’s response is ‘disproportionate’, since some 500 Palestinians have been killed compared with ‘only’ four Israelis since the war started nine days ago.

This is absurd. In World War II, 20 times more civilians were killed in Germany than in Britain. Did that make the war against the Nazis ‘disproportionate’? Of course not.

Yes, the war in Gaza is terrible. But the alternative was worse - for all of us
Last updated at 10:10 AM on 05th January 2009
Comments (100) Add to My Stories War is always terrible and to be avoided if humanly possible. War in Gaza, where Hamas terrorists are embedded within densely crowded areas, is particularly awful.

No one wants to see civilians being killed. Every decent person will be
dismayed that it has come to this.

What is profoundly troubling, however, is that as the Israeli ground offensive escalates hostilities still further, so many in Britain don’t understand that, appalling as this war is, the alternative is even worse.

This is a war that Israel spent more than seven years trying to avoid, while no fewer than 6,000 rockets and other missiles rained down from Gaza upon its southern towns. No other country in the world would have sat on its hands while its traumatised children were raised in bomb shelters.

The often-made comparison with IRA terrorism spectacularly misses the point. Hamas actually run Gaza. The equivalent would have been the Irish government firing 6,000 rockets at England.

Does anyone seriously doubt that, in such a hypothetical situation, Britain would have been at war with Ireland long before that total had been reached?
Besieged

Far from acting out of political opportunism, as some so offensively suggest, Israel has taken massive risks on every front with this operation. A ground war almost certainly means many of its soldiers will die. If just one of its shells were to go astray and hit a school or hospital, a hostile western world would unleash the furies against it.

And in Lebanon, Hezbollah may launch its ferocious arsenal of rockets pointing at northern Israel, forcing it to fight on two fronts. But the brutal fact is that tiny, besieged Israel is damned if it does and dead if it doesn’t.

While Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blame Hamas for provoking this war, it is Israel which is drawing western protests.
These are not confined to the thuggish demonstrations organised by an alliance of Islamists and the far-Left we have seen on the streets of London at the weekend. Many others also share the view that Israel is in the wrong. So why is a country under attack from genocidal fanatics pilloried for defending its citizens against slaughter?

This is absurd. In World War II, 20 times more civilians were killed in Germany than in Britain. Did that make the war against the Nazis ‘disproportionate’? Of course not.

Then there’s the belief that the Hamas rockets are some kind of homemade, harmless Dad’s Army effort which could and should be ignored.

But the only reason more Israelis haven’t been killed by them is that in the south, the population has been all but living in bomb shelters. And there is nothing ‘homemade’ about the Russian-designed Katyushas and Iranian Grad rockets now putting around one-tenth of Israel’s population within their range.

Contrary to Arab propaganda, the Israelis are taking enormous pains to avoid civilian casualties in their attempt to curb these rocket attacks. The UN has confirmed that the vast majority (75 per cent) of the dead in Gaza have been Hamas terrorists. Given the huge number of bombing sorties that have been conducted, this proves that the Israelis are specifically targeting the Hamas infrastructure.

What must be understood is that Hamas have deliberately situated their weapons under apartment blocks, in mosques and in hospitals.

The Israelis build bomb shelters for their civilians;

Hamas stores bombs underneath its civilians in order to create as many civilian casualties as possible to manipulate world opinion.


Fanaticism

What people find so hard to grasp is that Hamas actually wants to maximise the number of Palestinians who are killed because, as they boast: ‘We desire death as you desire life.’

Despite this fanaticism, many fear that Israel’s attack will merely create yet more suicide bombers. There is a grain of sense in this — but only a grain.

This is because every single act of self-defence against Islamist aggression is used as a recruiting sergeant for the Islamic holy war. So if this is allowed to dictate world responses, it follows that no one can ever defend themselves against Islamist rockets and bomb attacks — not just in Israel but in Afghanistan or against Al Qaeda anywhere.

Islamists such as Hamas are galvanised into battle by the perceived weakness of their victims, and are deterred only by implacable strength. That’s why the ferocity of suicide bomb attacks actually rises after peace initiatives. Gaza’s rocket barrage against Israel went up by 500 per cent after Israel ended its occupation.

And the 2000 Intifada which killed thousands of Israelis was the Palestinians’ response to being offered more than 90 per cent of the West Bank and Gaza for a state of their own.

What is so distressing is the desperate unfairness of so much Western reaction. Thus Israel is accused of causing a humanitarian disaster in Gaza, even though it is allowing hundreds of trucks of supplies through the crossing points — so that at one stage aid agencies in Gaza said their storehouses were full.

Few are aware that wounded Gazans — 65 per cent of whom voted for Hamas — are continuing to be treated in Israeli hospitals.

Nor are they aware that in a Gaza hospital, by contrast, Hamas shot dead five suspected Palestinian ‘collaborators’ — and murdered a further 30 elsewhere.

The reason for this grotesquely unfair reaction is that so many in Britain now believe as fact the Arab lies about the Middle East impasse. Many think, for example, that the Palestinians are the rightful inheritors not just of Gaza and the West Bank but Israel itself.

Suicidal

But this is totally false. The Jews are the only people for whom ‘Palestine’ was ever their nation state, hundreds of years before Mohammed was even born.

It was in recognition of that inalienable right that in the 1920s the British undertook the legally binding international obligation — never rescinded — to settle Jews in every part of Mandatory Palestine. 

That included not just modern Israel but the West Bank and Gaza, too. Despite this, Israel is willing for the Palestinians to have their own state — as was first offered to them in 1937 — but not if its only purpose is to be a launching pad for the final destruction of its Israeli neighbour.

No other country on the planet has ever been expected to make suicidal concessions to its enemies even while they continue to try to destroy it. Yet that is what the world expects of Israel.

Now the British Government, among others, has called for an immediate ceasefire. But this would effectively mean victory for Hamas. Gordon Brown wouldn’t dream of calling for a ceasefire with Al Qaeda. So why the double standard where Israel is concerned?

Most important of all, this war is not actually about Israel and the Palestinians. Hamas is controlled by Iran. Unless Hamas is stopped, Iran’s growing influence in the region will be entrenched and put Britain and the West in even greater danger from Islamist aggression and blackmail.

Israel may or may not eventually manage to stop the Hamas rockets. But the Middle East conflict will not end until and unless the West comes to realise that Israel is in the frontline of the West’s own fight for survival, and starts properly defending the country struggling to defend civilisation instead of siding with those waging holy war against it.

THE MAIL


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/06/2009 at 09:12 AM   
Filed Under: • PaleswineRoPMATerroristsWar On Terror •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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