Over the last week or so, Israel finds itself once again in battle with elements of radical Islam intent on its destruction. I won’t rehash the whole conflict, as that’s currently grabbing headlines on all the media. Currently, it’s Israel versus Hamas (the elected ruling party of the Palestinians) and Hezbollah (a terrorist group that functions as Iran’s surrogate).
As is usual whenever this happens – and it’s become all too common in recent times – the din of condemnation of Israel is deafening compared to the whisper of support.
The Los Angeles Times, also known as Al Jezheera West, published an editorial today (15 July 2006) that clearly illustrates the moral vacuity of the Left on this issue, as well as their comrades in the UN and Europe.
Interestingly enough, as you’ll see, the piece was written by a professor of Jewish history at UCLA named Myers. Never having been the kind of person who pays attention to such things, I can’t say for sure, but I think Prof Myers may himself be Jewish. If so, he is very illustrative of a point to which I’ll return later.
Let me be perfectly clear on my own thoughts. I strongly support: the existence of Israel; its right to defend itself; its membership in the UN; US alignment with and support of Israel.
I base this on the following rationale: Israel is our only true ally in the Middle East, and – as trite as it may sound – it’s the right thing to do. Again, more on that later.
First let’s take a look at the editorial, which I have expurgated for brevity. I haven’t deleted anything that affects the tone, tenor, thrust, philosophy, etc., of the piece. I’ve simply deleted redundant or irrelevant sentences.
LAT (the editorial)
Me (my comment)
The Middle East's Symbolic Slugfest
Arabs strike, and Israelis hit back harder. Where's the creativity and courage in that?
By David N. Myers, DAVID N. MYERS teaches Jewish history at UCLA.
July 14, 2006 “
Notice the phrasing: placing the onus on Israel, the victim of the attack (was the rape victim wearing a mini-skirt? Weeeelllll……).
Perhaps the correct response, when someone shoots missiles at you, is to throw back roses? “Can’t we all just get along?” (in a whiny Rodney King voice). Let’s just hold hands and sing “Kumbaya”.
LAT: And so the power of symbols brings Israel and its Arab foes together again in a deadly dance. Driven by the need to protect these symbols, the competing sides have entered into yet another cycle of violence that threatens to plunge the region into a new abyss.
Me: Trying to draw a moral equivalence between the attacker and the victim.
LAT: Israel, in particular, must weigh these questions before acting further. It was goaded into action by the two sets of kidnappings and accompanying rocket attacks.
Me: A pretty strong goad!
LAT: Instead of adopting a "more restrained and level-headed policy," as the Israeli newspaper Haaretz counseled, Israel swallowed the bait of the terrorist groups that wanted nothing more than for it to react with massive force and propel the region into chaos.
Me: Yeah. Back to holding hands and “Kumbaya”.
LAT: Israel has the right to protect its citizens from attack. No self-respecting state would stand idly by while rockets fall on its cities. But a measured, targeted and finite response — and not necessarily an immediate one borne of wrath — would seem a far more prudent course.
Me: Well, I was taught that the best strategy for defeating your enemy is to destroy him. Pound him until he has either surrendered, or doesn’t exist anymore (that way he can’t come back at you later). I think Israel is showing commendable restraint.
I can’t figure out what Myers has in mind. Tit for tat? “You shoot ten rockets, then it’s our turn”? Is that how any war is won? (For the mentally challenged, the answer on that pop quiz is: “no”).
LAT: Of course, Israel is not solely to blame for the escalating violence.
Me: Wow, big of you, there, bud.
LAT: But as a sovereign state with a major army, it has to be the most responsible party.
Me: Why? Just because you hate Israel?
LAT: What, after all, can we expect from Hamas or Hezbollah?
Me: Being smart enough not to pick a fight with someone who’s going to clean your clock? Take that leap from 15th Century lunacy to 21st Century rationality (and bring the rest of your Islamo-fascist buddies with you)?
LAT: Before plunging even further into the darkness of war, Israel must weigh carefully the consequences of its actions, lest the force of symbols overtake sound reason.
Me: H+H (Hamas and Hezbollah), of course, please feel free to kidnap, attack, launch missiles, whatever. Hey, it’s all goooood!
That’s the attitude of the Left, the UN , and Europe. To illustrate how absurd their position is, let’s posit two scenarios:
- H+H lay down their arms, cease all military action.
- Israel lays down all its arms and ceases all military action.
Under which scenario does the violence in the region stop? Answer (for the mentally challenged – and liberals – once again): Both, but under #2, Israel is wiped off the face of the planet.
The other two issues I mentioned earlier. I am constantly amazed at the liberal and anti-Israel attitude of the Jewish community in this country. Not all individuals, of course, but a large percentage don’t support Israel’s actions, and the majority are liberal/Left. That, to me, is inexplicable.
Supporting Israel – aside from our treaty commitments, political considerations, etcetera – is the morally right thing to do. They are the only true democracy in the Middle East. Their nation was founded under UN mandate (one of the few things the UN got right). They are besieged by enemies who are also philosophically committed to our own destruction (a pragmatic aspect, also, to that one). THEY ARE THE VICTIMS, not the instigators.