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Hamas on the Wrong Side of World Opinion

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 18, 2012

For some months the conflict between Israel and Hamas, who controls the Gaza Strip, has been quite.  For reasons only known to Hamas, it has upped the ante in recent weeks firing rockets into southern Israel.  Initially Israel turn the other cheek for the attacks, possibly seeking to have world opinion its side when it did respond.  That response started a few days ago and has been significant.  It has included the killing of Hamas’ military leader Ahmed Jabari, and significant bombing of Hamas’ military capabilities and infrastructure including yesterday’s destruction of its prime ministers headquarters.

In the past Israel has typically been condemned for retaliatory attacks against radical Palestinians.  This time the reaction is different with many world leaders including President Obama indicating that Israel is justified in the response.  Similar reactions from other world leaders include:

European Union – Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton defended Israel saying: “The rocket attacks by Hamas and other factions in Gaza, which began this current crisis, are totally unacceptable for any government and must stop…Israel has the right to protect its population from these kind of attacks.  I urge Israel to ensure that its response is proportionate … I am deeply concerned at the escalating violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip and deplore the loss of civilian lives on both sides.”

Germany – Chancellor Angela Merkel spokesman Georg Streiter called on Hamas to “to immediately stop shooting rockets from Gaza into Israel,” and stating that it was “responsible for the outbreak of violence.” The spokesman concluded “there is no justification for the shooting of rockets at Israel, which has led to massive suffering of the civilian population.”

United Nations – Even this typically pro-Palestinian organization was unusually noncritical of Israel merely calling upon it to halt the “dangerous escalation” and concluding that Hamas’ rockets must stop “at once.”

Much of the world seems to be in agreement with Israeli’s Prime Minister Netanyahu who said: “no government in the world would allow a situation where its population lives under the constant threat of rockets“.

Hamas has overplayed its hand in this round of its battle with Israel.  Their use of longer-range Fajr 5 rockets from Iran, capable of hitting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, has not only given Israel an excuse for the aggressive response, but has given them no alternative.  Leaving the terrorists equipped with the longer-range rockets is unacceptable to most Israelis.  It is akin to the Mexican drug cartels not only having the capabilities, but using rockets to hit American cities as far from the border as Chicago, Illinois.

Israel is showing signs of launching a ground war to eliminate Hamas’ offensive military capabilities.  It has called up 75,000 reservists, a significant and costly action that does not seem in line with a bluff.  It is likely that much of the Middle East understands the implications of Israel’s intent and have started a actions towards a negotiated solution.  It is reported that Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar, as well as others, are working on an agreement.

It is likely that the world’s unusual favoring of Israeli in this current round of violence is due to more significant underlying issues than merely Hamas lobbing missiles into Israel.  It is likely that the world is more concerned with strategic issues including Iran’s likely involvement, as well as the ongoing carnage in Syria.

It is likely that even the Progressive politicians in Europe have come realize that the narrative proffered in recent decades that the Middle East would become peaceful if only the Israelis and Palestinians resolved their differences was fallacious.  The actions of Iran since the late 1970s, Iraq in the 1980s and 1990s, worldwide terrorism sponsored by radical Islamists, the violence of the Arab Spring, and the ongoing carnage in Syria, etc. have offered a cold dose of reality.  It is long past the time to end the political correctness that has shrouded Middle Eastern politics for too many years.  Terrorism, no matter what the cause, is unacceptable and must be met with total disdain from the civilized world.  The current worldwide reaction to Hamas’ belligerence is a start in that direction.

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