On Saturday, January 3, a Muslim-led rally for peace in Gaza was held in Charlotte’s Marshall Park. Similar rallies have taken place in recent days in cities across America and around the world with a clear and consistent theme: Stop the massacre of the Palestinians!
To be sure, even Israel’s staunchest allies and friends rue the loss of Arab lives — especially the lives of innocent civilians — and one would be hard-pressed to find Israelis celebrating the deaths of defenseless women and children. No caring person – regardless of their religious beliefs or ideology – can remain unmoved by the suffering of so many people, which is why Israel does its level best to avoid civilian casualties.
Even the media has reported that the Israeli army has sent out hundreds of thousands of text messages, placed specific phone calls, and dropped countless pamphlets, urging civilians to flee from targeted sites — sites which Hamas intentionally placed in populated neighborhoods so as to maximize potential civilian casualties. The dictum still holds true that the Israelis consider it a tragedy when Arab children are killed by their troops, while Muslim extremists consider the killing of Israeli children by terrorists a cause for celebration.
But there is something terribly hypocritical about these anti-Israel protests, and it is fair to ask why these same protesting voices have been so deafeningly silent while hundreds of defenseless Israelis have been intentionally killed or maimed or orphaned by the very terrorists whom Israel is presently targeting. Which act is more deserving of protest, the unintentional (and much regretted) killing of civilians during an attempt to stop the murderous attacks of terrorists over a period of weeks, or the intentional killing of civilians over a period of years?
If Mexico was raining down missiles and rockets on cities in Texas — targeting schools and shopping malls and neighborhoods — also sending in suicide bombers whenever possible, how long would America wait to respond? And what if the government of Mexico had vowed to wipe Texas off the map? America’s response would be swift and devastating. Yet Israel has endured 10,000 rocket and missile attacks over the last eight years, along with devastating suicide bombings, resulting in more than 1,200 deaths and 7,000 injuries (from all terrorist attacks).
And how did Israel respond to this bombardment? The Israeli government, under Ariel Sharon, chose to forcibly evict its citizens from Gaza in 2005, pulling out all its troops as well, in an attempt to promote peace. (This was a terribly costly endeavor for Israel, in terms of both financial expense and emotional trauma.) Hamas responded with increased attacks against the Israeli people, causing daily terror and shock in these communities, not to mention the terrible loss of life.
Where were the Arab and Muslim voices saying, “Stop the massacre of the Jews”? Why the outcry over the loss of Arab life today but no outcry over the loss of Jewish life over the past decade? Is Jewish blood somehow less precious than Arab blood? Or do the Arabs have some kind of “right” to kill the evil, occupying Israelis?
Let’s remember that Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States — think of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaida as a point of comparison — and the Hamas charter states, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” And, “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” The Hamas charter also endorses the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious, anti-Semitic forgery that claims Jewish leaders are secretly plotting to take over the world, a document exploited by the Nazis as well.
But this is not all. The Jerusalem Post reported on January 7 that Hamas was imprisoning and crippling fellow Palestinians: “The Hamas government has placed dozens of Fatah members under house arrest out of fear that they might exploit the current IDF operation to regain control of the Gaza Strip [Fatah was ousted by leadership in Gaza by Haams]. Fatah officials in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that Hamas militiamen had been assaulting many Fatah activists since the beginning of the operation last Saturday. They said at least 75 activists were shot in the legs while others had their hands broken. Wisam Abu Jalhoum, a Fatah activist from the Jabalya refugee camp, was shot in the legs by Hamas militiamen for allegedly expressing joy over the IDF air strikes on Hamas targets.”
So, Hamas activists are brutalizing fellow Muslim Arabs, and yet Muslim protesters in Marshall Park held up signs directed at Israel saying, “Stop the hate” and “End racism,” the latter slogan being connected to the particularly ugly charge that “Zionism is racism.” How can these demonstrators make Israel out to be the guilty party? It is common knowledge that Palestinian children are taught to hate the Jews from their earliest days, with one famous textbook even stating, “There is no alternative to destroying Israel,” yet is Israel which must “stop the hate.”
Middle East expert Daniel Pipes noted in 2005 that out of Jews worldwide, “Israel faces the most extreme danger, surrounded as it is by enemies who in the past generation have dehumanized Jews in ways reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. In both cases, governments have engaged in a systematic campaign to transform the Jewish next-door neighbor into a beast-like threat that can only be controlled through his destruction.” Not surprisingly, one pro-Hamas demonstrator at a rally in Fort Lauderdale, FL on December 30 shouted to Israeli supporters, “go back to the oven” and “you need a big oven, that’s what you need.”
This is the reality that surrounds the people of Israel every day — from Hezbollah in Lebanon, from Hamas in Gaza, from Syria, from Iran (just to name a few) – and at this point, at least 500,000 Israelis are within range of Hamas rockets. Yet when Israel finally said, “Enough is enough,” taking the necessary action to stop terrorists from trying to kill its people, there is an uproar of protest. The moral outrage of these protesters rings hollow, to say the least.
If Hamas would put down its weapons for good, there would be peace, along with the massive improvement of the quality of life for the population of Gaza. Until then, Israel can be expected to do what is necessary to stop the murder of its citizens, and those calling for peace should focus their attention on putting an end to extremist Muslim terrorism rather than protesting Israel’s self-defense.