31 December 2008

No Sympathy for Hamas

For all the wailing and hand-wringing among the instinctively anti-Israel left elite in the world, I fully support Israel’s attack on the Hamas terrorists in Gaza. While all the big names in America’s mainstream media keep shouting, as John Noonan at The Weekly Standard’s “The Blog” reminds us, all castigate Israel for “disproportionate force,” this term is a red herring. Ezra Klein of The American Prospect complains that Israel’s is responding with deadly force to Hamas’s “potshots.” Hamas is not killing anyone, though there are some injuries. Thus, the close to 400 dead Palestinians in Gaza cannot be justified by anyone. Besides, Klein adds, almost as an afterthought, Israel is a terrorist and anti-Palestinian racist state anyway, so why have sympathy for them?

Well, I have no sympathy for Hamas. The nonsensical argument that there is no justification for responding to what Klein calls “potshots” is despicable. You try living within range of those potshots and have them rain down on your backyard day after day for years on end. Even if we grant the—untrue—argument there have been no casualties as a results of Hamas’s continual bombardments, is Israel just supposed to shrug its collective shoulders and ignore Hamas as if it were merely an annoying bug?

For years, Israel has bent over backwards to turn the other cheek. Yes, sometimes it has responded inappropriately, but that is hardly surprising given the fact that Hamas has vowed to wipe Israel off the map. You run out of cheeks at some point. Nor does Israel believe that all Palestinians are evil. But these reprisals are not disproportionate. Hamas is a huge terrorist network sitting on a strip of land about twice as large as the District of Columbia and spends almost all its energy on lobbing missiles into Israel. The relatively low casualty rate is no reason for Israel not to avoid future mishaps.