The Rockets' Red GlareCurrent cries of outrage over Israel's foray into the Gaza strip are misplaced. Israel is doing exactly what HAMAS wanted and engineered. When Israel disengaged itself from Gaza last summer, many naively hoped it was a step toward peace. All we had been hearing was "occupation, occupation, occupation,." And now that occupation was over, at least in Gaza.
The actions of HAMAS could not have been more carefully calibrated to bring about a tough Israeli response. In fact, it is surprising that it took so long for Israel to get tough. Can you name any other country that would put up with acts of war against its sovereign territory without response?
We must assume that HAMAS leadership knew the response it would get and therefore that they deliberately provoked it. We in the West often assume the Palestinian people want what we want, namely peace and the opportunity for our children to have fulfilling lives. But if that were the case, why did they vote for HAMAS, whose charter says no such thing? See for yourself, go to http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm. There you will see in HAMAS' own words what it stands for, and it isn't pretty.
HAMAS is a terrorist organization. The name HAMAS is an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement. A religious fundamentalist organization, it is part of the Muslim Brotherhood and is linked to the global jihad against the West with ties to Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, and Al Qaeda. Those who thought that winning the Palestinian election and assumption of the responsibilities of government would force HAMAS to moderate its views misunderstood what HAMAS is all about.
American apologists for the Palestinians find it easy to vilify Israel from the comfort of their homes. One wonders what their tune would be were rockets raining down on New Haven. To their way of thinking it is always Israel that is at fault. Oddly, the Palestinians enjoyed a better standard of living under Israeli "occupation" than they did after they took charge of their own affairs under Oslo. With Israel out of Gaza and no one left to blame for their misery, Gaza has sunk into Hobbesian anarchy, with everybody against everybody.
What lessons will Israel and America learn from this? The first one should be to recognize that HAMAS is part of the global war of terror. It does not want Palestine to be a state alongside Israel. It wants to be a state instead of Israel. This has Jordan very concerned about Israel's announced plans to pull out of most of the West Bank.
In the red glare of the rockets raining down on Israel we can see HAMAS' true intentions, and they aren't peaceful. A good way of judging a society's true values is to look at what it teaches its children. Palestinian children are cruelly abused. They are taught an abhorrent culture that glorifies death and so-called martyrdom. They are taught ugly untruths and hatred.
So when surveys show the Palestinian public supports the rocket attacks and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, we shouldn't be surprised. When we are told of their poverty and hopelessness, we should ask what became of the massive aid that was given to them over the years. World Bank figures show that on a per capita basis Palestinians were given twice as much money over twice as long as Europeans got under the Marshall plan. Unfortunately for them, it disappeared down the sewers of corruption.
Meanwhile, sadly, generations have been brought up on hatred and lies. Now they have voted to be led by self-proclaimed religious fanatics. These are conditions for a perfect storm. Calls to Israel for moderation and negotiation miss the point.
As has been said before, when the Palestinians love their children more than they hate the Jews, perhaps there will be hope. Meanwhile, batten down the hatches.