|— by Steve SheffeyHamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel this week.Can you imagine what the U.S. would do if hundreds of rockets were coming into it from the Delaware Bay? It would not exercise a tenth of the restraint Israel has exercised.Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) spoke for all of us last Tuesday:
|The fundamental duty of any state is to protect its citizens. The reason so few Israelis die from rocket attacks is that Israel does everything it can to protect its citizens from rocket fire. The reason so many Palestinians die from Israeli air strikes is that despite Israeli leaflets and other warnings that attacks are imminent, Hamas launches rockets from hospitals and densely-populated areas, and deliberately keeps civilians in harm’s way.Some people urge a “proportionate” response on Israel. What would that be? Firing dozens of rockets randomly into Gaza?The correct amount of force is the amount necessary to stop the Hamas rocket attacks. If anything, the Israeli response has been insufficient, as the rocket attacks keep coming.The Jewish Federations of North America have issued a statement commending President Obama “for his continuing support of Israel’s right to self-defense.”
You may have seen misleading headlines about White House Middle East coordinator Philip Gordon’s major speech last Tuesday. However, it was a good summary of the U.S. policy on Israel, Syria, Iran, and the peace process:
Israel is doing exactly what Gordon urges. The only way to restore calm is to stop the rocket attacks, and Israel is doing all it can to protect civilians.
Unlike previous administrations, the Obama administration has never condemned, threatened, or punished Israel for using military force to protect its citizens. Who can argue with what Gordon said?
Gordon also discussed the specifics of President Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security, preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, removing chemical weapons from Syria (a huge success that was achieved without firing a shot), and the prospects for peace with the Palestinians, even as rockets are striking Israel. This is where the headlines have been misleading.
I urge you to read what Gordon said, all of it, and decide for yourself if these are the words of a friend or if he is “blasting Israel.”