Israel's 'crimes'

Ralph Peters:

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What have been Israel's "crimes?" Not "stealing Palestinian land," but making that land productive, while exposing the incompetence and sloth of Arab culture.

Israel's crime isn't striking back at terror, but demonstrating, year after year, that a country in the Middle East can be governed without resort to terror. Israel's crime hasn't been denying Arab rights, but insisting on human rights for women and minorities.

Israel's crime has been making democracy work where tyranny prevailed for 5,000 years. Israel's crime has been survival against overwhelming odds, while legions of Arab nationalists, Islamist extremists and Western leftists want every Jew dead.

But Israel's greatest crime was to expose the global cult of victimhood, to prove that hard work, fortitude and courage could overcome even history's grimmest disaster.

Was it a crime to hand Gaza back to Palestinian authorities, to give peace a chance? Look what Israel received in return for trading land for peace.

Let us never forget the fundamental truth that, while Israel longs to live in peace with its neighbors, those neighbors openly profess the desire to eliminate Israel and exterminate its people.

Indeed, Arab and regional jealousy toward Israel is so all-consuming, so necessary to excuse the Arab art of failure, that even these judicious airstrikes will hardly make a dent in the terrorist threat.

Unless Israel sends in ground forces for the long haul - and thousands of IDF reservists are being mobilized - there will be, at best, a temporary respite from terror attacks. Even a new occupation of Gaza would not fully solve the problem.

A crucial point about interfaith and interethnic conflicts that we sheltered Americans refuse to understand is that, all too often, there's just no good solution - and not even a bad solution, short of acts of barbarism.

It's a rare conflict that results in an enduring peace. Unintended consequences abound. At times, you fight just to buy time, to gain breathing space - or merely to frustrate an enemy's designs for a limited period.

That's the situation Israel faces: No hope of an ultimate victory, but a constant fight to survive. Enemies who believe their god ordains their actions can't be placated. For faith-fueled terrorists, such as the core members of Hamas, the struggle with Israel's a zero-sum game. Compromise is, at most, an expedient tool, never an acceptable end state.

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Dealing with religious bigot nihilist is never easy. In some ways Hamas wanted to provoke an attack by Israel, just not one so effective. The idiotic rocket attacks on Israel non combatants got a response that has so far failed to yield the victim offensive the Hamas death cult wanted. They have managed to scape together a few images of wounded children for their propaganda effort, but as Peters points out, there has been a 15 to one ratio of terrorist deaths to civilian deaths. Given, Hamas's war crime of locating its fighting units among civilians that is a remarkably effective attack.

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