Special Report: Alone Against the World (Again)
Vol: 87 Issue: 29 Monday, December 29, 2008
On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by nineteen terrorists who launched their attack as an act of religious obedience. To my knowledge, none of the nineteen had a personal beef with Uncle Sam — by all accounts, they seemed to have had a pretty good time here.
Even before we had a handle on the awful carnage, American outrage boiled over at the random nature of the attacks. The passengers on the planes; the victims at the WTC who died simply because they got to work early; those at the Pentagon who died at their desks . . .
To my mind, the attack was many times worse than Pearl Harbor for the following reason(s). 1. The victims were civilians. 2. The perpetrators were civilians. 3. The attack took place on our home soil. 4. Many nations were complicit, but none accountable.
America’s national reaction was proportionate to the attacks. It wasn’t merely a matter of avenging the blood of more than 3,000 innocents (although that would have been sufficient motivation) behind America’s response.
In 2002, the US invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Afghani government. Had Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf not withdrawn his support for the Taliban and agreed to stand down, the odds are good Pakistan would also be under new, more US-friendly management today.
For the most part, the US action against Afghanistan was considered proper under the circumstances and therefore enjoyed widespread international support. There remains an eight-nation coalition of allies engaged in Afghanistan today.
Fast forward to the Israeli border with Gaza today, as the Israelis mass troops and tanks for a ground invasion of what had formerly been its most ungovernable protectorate. Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza in 2005, in effect, letting the world see what the Palestinians would do if they had a state handed to them.
The Palestinians of Gaza promptly chose Hamas, an Islamic terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their political representatives, electing them to majority control of the Palestinian legislature. As soon as the Israelis withdrew to their side of the border, Hamas began lobbing rockets into Israeli cities and towns.
The rocket attacks were at random — they aren’t aimed, they are pointed in a general direction. Like tossing a hand grenade into a neighborhood at random, dozens of times a day. The victims are civilians. The perpetrators are civilians. The Palestinian Authority is complicit in, but not accountable for, random attacks against Israeli civilians from Gaza.
So Palestinian rockets have been raining down on Israel for years. Recently, newer, longer-range rockets from Iran and Syria and smuggled through tunnels from Egypt have begun raining down on Israeli cities and towns as far away as Ashkelon.
More than forty such rockets rained down on Israeli civilian targets in the past few hours, according to this morning’s Jerusalem Post. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned Hamas publicly to stop attacking Israeli targets or face massive Israeli retaliation. Hamas continued its assault against Israeli civilians. On Saturday, Israel declared, “Enough!”
Barak outlined the Israeli strategy in advance, telling the Knesset, “We will avoid as much as possible hitting civilians while the people of Hamas and other terrorists deliberately hide and operate within the civilian population.”
After three days of what Ehud Barak called “all-out war with Hamas and its proxies,” at least 318 Palestinians are dead and more than 1,000 wounded. Most of the dead and wounded were Hamas. The same people that were, only days before, firing rockets at Israeli markets, plotting ways to kill Israeli civilians, and carrying out their official reason for existence — the destruction of Israel.
When America took the battle to the enemy in Afghanistan in 2002, it enjoyed the moral support of most of the civilized world, not to mention the material support of NATO and the allied coalition.
When Israel took the battle to the enemy on Saturday, the world reacted as if the Israelis had firebombed an orphanage.
The Brits made it clear that, even if they had to support Israel’s right to defend itself, their sympathies lay elsewhere. The Foreign Office issued this typical British statement of ‘support’.
“The only way to achieve lasting peace in Gaza is through peaceful means. Whilst we understand the Israeli government’s obligation to protect its population we urge maximum restraint to avoid further civilian casualties . . ”
(To which the Foreign Office added the following, “oh, by the way” as an afterthought to Hamas):
“We also call on militants in the Gaza Strip to immediately cease all rocket attacks on Israel.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a similar statement, (right down to the afterthought mention of the very reason the Israeli incursion became necessary):
“Moscow deems it necessary to stop large scale military action against Gaza, which had already led to big casualties and suffering among civilian Palestinian population. At the same time we call on Hamas leadership to stop shelling Israeli territory.”
The European Union issued a typical boilerplate statement calling on either a “ceasefire” or “maximum restraint” (without actually specifying a preference.)
Iran ordered all Muslims world-wide to come to the defense of Gaza. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a religious decree ordering them to defend Gaza against Israel “in any way possible,” saying on Iranian state TV:
“All Palestinian combatants and all the Islamic world’s pious people are obliged to defend the defenseless women, children and people in Gaza in any way possible,” Khamenei said.
“Whoever is killed in this legitimate defense, is considered a martyr.”
What is missing in all of this is any kind of condemnation of Hamas fighters who attack Israeli women and children from a distance and then hide themselves among Palestinian women and children to protect themselves from Israeli retaliation.
Israel released cockpit video of the destruction of an Hamas launching pad purposely located in a Palestinian residential area. But you have to look real hard to find it — publishing it interferes with the myth mindlessly being cultivated by the politically correct mainstream media that Israel, and not Hamas, is responsible for civilian deaths.
Nobody denies Hamas has been attacking Israel without provocation and at random for several years. Nobody denies Hamas exists for the express purpose of destroying Israel. Yet it is Israel that the world blames for the conflict.
There is no natural explanation for this kind of blindness. That Israel has been deliberately provoked is undeniable. Hamas hides among its own women and children, hoping they will become Israeli collateral damage they can later exploit. The media KNOWS that it is being manipulated by Hamas and its allies. Still, it works every single time.
Israel is the only legitimate representative and Western-style democracy in the Middle East. Israel is the only utterly consistent friend the West has in the region. Citizens of Israel come from every nation and from every people — more than 86 languages are spoken there.
Israel has extended its hand of friendship to any nation willing to accept it, and Israel has sacrificed much in the pursuit of peace. Yet no nation on earth has seen more war and less peace than tiny Israel.
The world hates Israel. It can’t help itself. Even when it tries not to, that hatred still manages to simmer to the surface. Why? What did Israel ever do to deserve to be singled out for this kind of universal animosity?
It is interesting — the world hates Israel, and it does so out of instinct. Israel stands as a testimony to God’s Word — God said that Israel would be restored in the last days. Israel was restored. God said Jerusalem would be restored to Israel in the face of global opposition. And that is precisely the case.
The Church loves Israel, also instinctively — and for the same reason. Please join me in prayer for Israel and her troops as they face off against their enemies.
May God be with them.