Tags: israel | hamas | gaza

Israel Entitled to Its Security

Monday, 12 Jan 2009 03:08 PM

On Jan. 8, the United Nations Security Council voted on Resolution 1860, which called for a cease-fire in Gaza. The resolution passed 14-0, with the United States abstaining.

The resolution only mentions Israel by name and does not mention or refer to the terrorist organization, Hamas, which started this war by firing rockets at Israel.

The governments of the United States, Great Britain, Egypt, as well as the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, all acknowledge that Hamas began the latest hostilities by declaring the cease-fire that was agreed to in June 2008 to be at an end in mid-December 2008.

The position of the United States, as expressed by a White House spokesman, is that “Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, was responsible for the outbreak of violence and called its rocket attacks ‘completely unacceptable.’ The people are nothing but thugs . . . and Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas.”

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on Hamas “to cease all rocket attacks on Israel immediately” and said he could “understand the Israeli government’s sense of obligation to its population.”

According to The New York Times of Jan. 3, 2009, “Government officials including Mr. Mubarak and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit have blamed Hamas for abandoning the cease-fire with Israel and seeming to seek Israeli retaliation.” The New York Post reported on Jan. 3 that Nimr Hammad, an adviser to Palestinian President Manmoud Abbas, told the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar that “The one responsible for the massacres is Hamas, and not the Zionist entity, which in its own view reacted to the firing of Palestinian missiles.”

Israel’s stated goal in Gaza has been and continues to be stopping and preventing in the future the raining of rockets on the state of Israel, terrorizing 750,000 Israelis who live and work within the current range of the rockets. Israel is also determined to prevent Hamas from smuggling rockets and other weapons through tunnels that run beneath the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

The case-fire, which was approved by the Security Council, does not address how to accomplish those two objectives. That is why Israel has rejected the resolution and continues its battle to defend its people from current and future attacks.

Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel, disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis, as well as maiming and killing Israelis. Because of the inaccuracy of the missiles, which are intentionally aimed at civilian areas, the attacks do not always accomplish their mission, which is to kill as many Israelis as possible.

That Hamas has rejected the U.N. cease-fire resolution is an indication of how extremist it is. Hamas is saying in effect that it hopes to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, aided by other terrorist states like Iran, whose President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has stated that the destruction of Israel is his goal.

Some American media outlets have contributed to the incitement of violence against Israel by publishing false reports on the conduct of the Israeli Defense Forces. On Jan. 7, 2009, a misleading headline in The New York Times reported, “Israeli Shells Kill 40 at Gaza U.N. School.” The article does mention that the casualties took place “outside a United Nations’ school in Gaza.” Nicholas Kristof, Times columnist, was even more outrageous in his recent column, urging President-elect Barack Obama to punish Israel.

On Jan. 8, the Times again reported, “The Israeli mortar rounds killed as many as 40 people outside the school. Palestinian hospital officials said Tuesday that 10 of the dead were children and five were women. Residents of the neighborhood said two brothers who were Hamas fighters were in the area at the time of the attack.”

As the incident at the U.N. school demonstrates, Hamas attacks and then uses civilians as shields when Israel fires back in self defense. Obviously, Hamas is responsible for the resulting civilian deaths.

The Associated Press was even more detailed on the Hamas attack that provoked the Israeli response. The AP reported, “Two neighborhood residents confirmed the Israeli account, saying a group of militants fired mortars from a street near the school, then fled into a crowd of people in the streets. Israel then opened fire.”

I agree with the statement issued by Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League on Jan. 9: “U.N. Security Council Resolution 1860 is deeply flawed and falls far short of offering a realistic approach to ending Hamas' reign of terror against Israel.

“It lacks the kind of clarity needed to actually accomplish a ‘durable’ ceasefire and fails to address the fundamental need to stop once and for all Hamas' ability to launch rockets on Israel and smuggle weapons and munitions into Gaza. Before the ink was dry, Hamas let the world know what it thinks of the resolution by continuing to launch more than 30 rockets and mortars aimed at densely populated communities in southern Israel.

“We were surprised that the United States allowed this flawed resolution to be adopted by voting to abstain rather than veto. At a time when Israel is engaged in defending its citizens against the brutality of Hamas terrorism, which has unleashed an outpouring of anti-Semitic rhetoric, threats and intimidation and violence in the U.S. and around the world, we expected the Administration to abide by its longstanding commitment to fighting global terrorism and the scourge of anti-Semitism and Israel's role on the front lines of that fight. This is the wrong resolution at the wrong time.”

The following are two letters I have sent — one to The New York Times and one to CNN — which are self-explanatory.

January 8, 2009

Letters To The Editor

The New York Times

To the Editor:

In his column of January 8th, Nicholas Kristoff calls on President-elect Obama, when he becomes president, to punish Israel for attacking Hamas to the extent it has in the Gaza Strip. Kristoff states, “So, Obama, find your voice. Fall in tough love with Israel.”

Kristoff believes Israel should have limited itself to “[b]ombing the [smuggling] tunnels . . .” Better still, “ease[ing] the siege in Gaza.” He deliberately omits the fact that since terrorists flexed their muscles in Gaza seven years ago, they have launched 10,000 rockets and mortars at Israel, over 1,000 of which were shot in the last six months, terrorizing 750,000 Israelis living in southern Israel, disrupting their daily lives with at least 20 shells falling each day. Also, the shells, first limited to six miles, now fly 24 miles and may soon be aimed at Tel-Aviv or Israel’s nuclear reactor at Dimona, 45 miles away. Kristoff will perhaps urge Israel to ignore the latest rocket attacks on northern Israel launched from Lebanon. And what if Iran launches a missile at Israel? Shall Israel simply petition the U.N. to help it, as have the people of Darfur? Fortunately, Israel has the capacity to defend itself and doesn’t need Kristoff’s advice, let alone his love.

All the best.

Ed Koch

January 8, 2009

Jack Cafferty

The Cafferty File


Dear Jack:

Watching television, particularly CNN, the public would conclude that at least 40 Gazans, mostly children, staying in a U.N. school were deliberately killed by Israeli troops. The New York Times, to its credit, reported on January 8th, “The Israeli mortar rounds killed as many as 40 people outside [italics added] the school. Palestinian hospital officials said Tuesday that 10 of the dead were children and 5 were women. Residents of the neighborhood said two brothers who were Hamas fighters were in the area at the time of the attack.” The Associated Press reported, “Two neighborhood residents confirmed the Israeli account, saying a group of militants fired mortars from a street near the school, then fled into a crowd of people in the streets. Israel then opened fire.”

What should Israel have done, ignore the attacks upon its soldiers because the U.N. school was nearby? The mothers of those Israeli soldiers who were the subject of Hamas mortaring would feel the same pain as all other mothers, Palestinian mothers included.

The president of Israel, Shimon Peres, recently said, "We are not asking for surrender or submission. We are simply entitled to our security like anybody else."

What would we, the great United States, do under similar provocations by neighboring countries? I have no doubt that we would have responded militarily and with even more military power. I regularly watch the reporting of CNN on the fighting in Gaza. Regrettably, they have joined those who denounce Israel for defending itself instead of rolling over and allowing its own citizens to be terrorized, have their lives disrupted daily, and suffer injuries and death.

All the best.

Ed Koch

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