Politics & Policy

It Takes One to Terrorize

The Palestinians keep asking for it.

While that thought may make Ramsey Clark want to sob in his soy, some of us see action in Gaza in a much more positive light.

Yes, war is bloody and ugly. But so was the Popular Resistance Committees’ threat that Asheri would be “butchered in front of TV cameras” if the Gaza operation to rescue Shalit did not stop. So was the raid in which Shalit was wounded and snatched, and two other soldiers killed. And so was every ensuing vicious ultimatum. And the fact that Hamas’s military wing keeps aiming for distance records with their Qassam rockets, two last night in the coastal city of Ashkelon and one there Tuesday night that hit a school parking lot. Enough is enough.

Frankly, it made my day when Israel nabbed dozens of Hamas parliamentarians and cabinet ministers, and when Israeli forces did a not-so-friendly flyby over the abode of Hamas babysitter and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. I considered the 2 A.M. Sunday airstrike on Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s office a bit of redecorating. Never mind that rampaging Fatah backers already redecorated the place just a few weeks ago — when Israel does it, it’s considered evil.

“This total war is proof of a premeditated plan,” Haniyeh ran around saying the past week. Has he missed all of the internal jockeying within Israel over peace plans and unilateral withdrawals, the go-rounds with Likud, Kadima, and Labor? Was he pretending not to have seen Israel pulling screaming settlers out of Gaza in some vain hope that the Palestinians could actually run the state and that it would somehow quench their jihad lust?

While it’s just so touching that Hamas, Fatah, and various other delinquents have turned their attention from shooting each other in the streets to presenting a unified front against their Zionist aggressors, it’s even more heartening to see the terrorist coalition get stared down by a column of tanks. Because enough is enough.

To many, though, Israel setting one tank tread in Gaza is naked aggression worth a thousand mind-numbing U.N. Security Council meetings. And it’s not just the usual “die Zionist” protests throughout the Middle East. Try writing a pro-Israel column sometime, and watch the nasty mail pour in from all types, ranging from arrogant intellectuals to housewives on CNN overload to people claiming anti-Semitism is overblown and so is Hamas’s terror resume.

To put it differently, way too many people view Israel as satanic oppressors of the Palestinians, and way too few give a damn about the men, women, and children shot into mass graves under the regime of Saddam Hussein.

They’re usually the same people who think the murderer Tookie Williams should be canonized for writing kids’ books, who would have Mumia Abu-Jamal to their dinner party, and who are protesting an invasion of Iran before it’s even a twinkle in a general’s eye. They may be the ones who get giddy at news of the Haditha murder investigations or other blows to the U.S. military, who think Hugo Chavez is a misunderstood genius, or who called in sick to work and lay in bed depressed the day Karl Rove didn’t get indicted.

A giant chunk of logic is lost on these folks: cause and effect. As in, Palestinians using a hostage to try to extort outrageous demands from Israel has the effect of Israel taking the means necessary to get their man back. The Palestinians pulling such a stunt does not cause the Israelis to roll over.

And it’s not just about an enemy that provokes a fight, but one that demonstrably cannot and should not be trusted. The Popular Resistance Committees — one of the groups that took Shalit — held a press conference last week, waving young Asheri’s identity card and demanding concessions for his return, but the kid was already buried in a Ramallah field with a bullet in his brain as the PRC mugged for the cameras.

But Israel is apparently so wicked that it merited the first special session of the United Nations’ new Human Rights Council — and we are so blessed to have Algeria, Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba, Syria, Iran, Sudan and Libya, who all participated in the Wednesday debate, spelling out human rights for us. The council will be voting Thursday morning on a draft resolution to slap Israel around and send an investigative team to Gaza — no doubt poised to agree with Special Rapporteur John Dugard, who Wednesday said Operation Summer Rain violated a prohibition on “measures of intimidation and terrorism” and nabbing the Hamas legislators fell under the “taking of hostages” in the Fourth Geneva Convention. (Hey, U.N., there’s this guy named Gilad…)

I hate to break it to all those — within the U.N. and without — envisioning the Palestinian struggle to be a great stand for humanity, but the aggression is pretty one-sided. Israel does not sit around fantasizing about turning the Middle East and beyond into a Jewish theocracy. Young Israelis aren’t strapping bombs to their midsections — like a wannabe “martyr” whose attack was foiled just yesterday in central Israel — and blowing up restaurants, buses, and other gathering places for Palestinians. Israeli kids aren’t given textbooks that deny the existence of Palestinian territories and aren’t brainwashed about the glory of martyrdom.

“If Israel gives in to the kidnappers’ demands, the kidnapping might become a new fashion in Arab states, which … is happening in Iraq and now in the Palestinian Authority,” an Egyptian source told Haaretz on Monday.

And those sympathizing with the Palestinian government and its not-so-distant terrorist cousins had better wake up, because what happens in Israel does not stay in Israel.

– Bridget Johnson is a columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She blogs at GOP Vixen .

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