Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another "Massacre" That Wasn't

On Tuesday approximately 50 rockets and mortars slammed into Israel from Gaza wounding five Israelis. Yesterday 40 more rockets were fired into Israel, injuring 10 people, all civilians. The Israeli Air Force responded and eight Palestinians, including three civilians, were killed in air strikes yesterday.

In recent days the usual suspects have been crying "massacre" and blaming Israel for derailing the peace process. For those who always blame Israel for all the ills in the Middle East the facts simply don't matter. It doesn't matter that Israel wouldn't have taken any action against Gaza at all if rockets weren't raining down on Israeli cities and towns. It doesn't matter that the Israeli military never deliberately targets civilians and that most of those killed in Gaza recently were Hamas gunmen or Islamic Jihad terrorists who were firing the rockets. It doesn't matter that the Qassam and Katyusha rockets are always aimed at Israeli civilians. After all, there was no international outcry when a Qassam rocket struck a kindergarten near Ashkelon. If a Palestinian child is tragically killed, though, the world cries and condemns Israel. Why does nobody condemn the Palestinian terrorists who fire on Israel from heavily populated civilian areas? International law clearly places the brunt of responsibility on those using human shields.

Despite President Bush's rather delusional assertion that peace could be achieved in a year I don't think anyone in Israel believes anything like that is remotely possible. Perhaps Prime Minister Olmert is shrewder than we give him credit for being. He makes all the requisite conciliatory speeches to keep President Bush and the American Congress happy while adding that there will be no peace while terrorism continues. He knows there is, at present, no Palestinian leader strong enough or even willing to do anything about terrorism.

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