More than fifty rockets have been fired across the border wounding four, two of them critically. Some of the wounded were found to be foreign agricultural workers who are simply helping with the harvest to support their families. What would your reaction be if this were the beginning of an article in your local news media outlets, print, radio, and television? Instead of this report being about rockets fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, what if it were about southern Florida and the rockets originated in Cuba, or if this had been eastern Pakistan with the rockets fired by India or if the rockets were fired from Chechnya into Russia? We could go on listing such possible places and combinations for pages but these will suffice. Would we not expect in each case there to be some response by the nation made victim by the rocket fire and whose citizens live with fear of just such events being commonplace in their lives. This has to be put in perspective of these fifty rockets are just one day’s strike in a chain of such strikes totalling in excess of 10,000 rockets to date. Would not the United States acting on Florida’s behalf, Pakistan, or Russia be within their rights to respond and respond harshly to such a provocation, such that is tantamount to an act of war? Surely such retribution would be accepted by the majority of the rest of the world and might even find aid arriving from other sympathetic nations as well as much noise made against the aggressors in the United Nations, through many NGOs and in the general discourse coming from governments throughout the world. I predict we will see a similar level of scorn and denunciations of actions coming from all entities, governments and of course the United Nations with all its disparate agencies. But what we will hear will be different from what we could expect in each of the alternate situations described above.
Should the world hold true to its normative form, we can expect calls for Israel to show restraint and to not strike at the assets of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other known terror groups which populate Gaza and were responsible for this attack. The warnings to Israel will inevitable include reasoning that should Israel strike back it will simply cause the terrorists to be motivated to strike back as retaliation. Israel will be instructed to simply absorb this strike in the hopes that by not striking back, the terrorists will respond with quiet and peace and everyone will live happily ever after. Needless to point out that should such terror strikes have been perpetrated against any other country that the world would accept their retaliation and many might even go so far as to applaud such. But not Israel. Israel is supposed to sit there and allow its citizens to be murdered and traumatized, its properties and infrastructure to be blown to pieces without so much as a murmur of indignation. When Israel does strike in retaliation for this grievous act of war we will likely hear from numerous Muslim countries, the European Union along with many of its member nations, the United States, Russia, China, international NGOs, the alphabet soup of United Nations agencies and especially the United Nations General Assembly to all roundly condemn this overt, harsh and unilateral, unjustified attack on innocent Palestinians. The entirety of Hamas rocket, mortar, IED, and other attacks will be neatly placed out of sight and the world will act as if Israel was the initiator of any and all violence in the Middle East. There will even likely be motions for sanctions against Israel brought before the United Nations Security Council which will hopefully be vetoed and placed rightfully into the waste basket. But there will be one cry which will pierce through the cacophony of denunciations and declarations of unity with the people of Gaza which will ask, “But Israel deserved this as a result of the blockade and their starving of the oppressed Palestinians and what about the occupation.”
Once more let us clear up the misinformation about events and the order in which they occurred which will make those willing to listen to gasp in disbelief and then run to check our facts; we welcome such scrutiny. We all probably will agree that Israel gained possession of the Gaza Strip as the result of the June 1967 Arab Israeli War. Israeli actions in this war has been adjudicated and was found to have been a defensive war as Egypt had initiated the war with their closing of the Straights of Tiran (a casus belli in and of itself), Egypt and Syria in coordinated actions massed troops on Israel’s northern and southern borders, both Egypt and Syria had announced their intent to push the Jews into the Sea, and Jordan was not brought under attack until after they rejected the Israeli calls for Jordan not to attack and they struck anyway. It is also hard to argue against that fact that Israel removed every Israeli and all IDF troops from Gaza in 2005 leaving it completely under Palestinian authority rule and control. There was no embargo or blockade of Gaza at this time. By the end of 2007, Hamas had assumed full control of Gaza after a coup which removed the ruling Palestinian Authority from the enclave. Even after Hamas had taken control of all of Gaza through its violent purge of all things Fatah, Israel still had not put in place the embargo and naval blockade. It was after rockets were fired into Israel by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror interests which have found safe haven in Gaza that Israel acted and put in place the embargo and naval blockade. After the incident with the flotilla and the violent attack on the IDF units enforcing the blockade that the United Nations held an investigation and hearings on the Israeli blockade which was found to be legal and within the applicable demands for legitimacy in international law. The only interaction that Israel has with Hamas and the Gaza governing entities is the transfer of humanitarian aid, supplying some of the water and electricity to Gaza, and offering and supplying Gazans with medical treatments in Israeli hospitals very often at no cost. This is considered by some as a form of occupation but one can only imagine the howling and tragedy that would be noted should Israel cease these “occupation motivated assistances”. Now all we can do is wait and see if Israel retaliates in equal measure or if they instead target a number of leaders of the terror groups operating within Gaza and the resultant highly charged insanities that will follow whichever action Israel should employ. Even if Israel were to not retaliate, something that has occurred in the past, history has shown that this only serves to engender even larger and bolder attacks as not acting is perceived as weakness and an inability to act. This is one truth in the Middle East that the Western nations have yet to figure out or understand. They appear to be unable to see the world through anything beyond their rose colored glasses which filter out any and all truths which they will to wish away.
Beyond the Cusp