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February 3, 2009

On the Right Side: Israel need not give in to Hamas


I'm trying very hard to give Obama a 30-day honeymoon period, but it's getting harder and harder to do so.

He sure is giving me plenty to write about in future columns, but first, one more column on Israel and Hamas.

Let me see if I have this right. Israel accomplished most of its goals during its self-defense actions.

The Israelis destroyed Hamas' infrastructure and greatly reduced its military capabilities, eliminated 1,000-plus terrorists, destroyed more than two-thirds of the smuggling tunnels and caused Hamas' brave leaders to scurry like cockroaches.

The Israelis declared a unilateral cease-fire and pulled back, applying their own time frame. So what did the cowards do?

Hamas crawled back out of its Saddam-like spider holes, peeked warily out from behind the women and children, nervously looked around to make sure it was safe, and then, and only then, did these brave warriors stick out their chests and declare victory!

I'm sure Israel would love to have more losses like this in the future. These terrorists pound their chests and celebrate every rocket launched, hoping to kill Israelis. Any Israeli will do.

Yet they declare to be victims when fire is returned. They sure do know how to play the victim's part, don't they? It's amazing how they can cry, producing real tears on cue. Even a lot of Hollywood actors can't do that.

Then the world, seeing Israel respond with force in self-defense, claims Israel has reacted disproportionately. How is it supposed to respond when its very survival is at stake? It should respond until the threat has been removed.

When you walk back and forth to your garden and are harassed daily by wasps or hornets, being stung once in awhile, what do you do? You buy a can of wasp-killing spray and seek out the nest. Once you find the nest, do you wait and try to identify the wasps that stung, eliminating only those, or do you wipe out the whole nest?

Most of us know the right answer. And what makes the wasps smarter than Hamas is that the wasps know enough to leave the area and seek out a new home.

Only those of the anti-Israel crowd would answer differently. If it were your home or your town constantly bombed, you living in constant fear, you would be reacting exactly the same way.

Now, what about negotiations? There is really nothing to negotiate. As an article in The Daily Star pointed out, "Israel has only four main demands: an end to Gaza rocket fire, a halt to Palestinian attacks, international supervision of a truce and an agreement to stop Hamas from rearming."

I would add a fifth. Israel simply wants to live in peace with its neighbors. Aren't these truly fair requests? Israel has already given more than enough. Gaza was created from land seized from Egypt, and the West Bank was land taken from Jordan as a result of the six-day 1967 war.

At the same time, Jerusalem's old city was recaptured from Jordan. Israel has already given Gaza and the West Bank to the Palestinians. There is nothing more to give.

Also, how can you possibly negotiate with people who want your elimination and have shown no flexibility in that regard?

Israel obviously wants none of its people eliminated. Is the U.N., the European Union or some other world body supposed to assume that in negotiations an acceptable percent is to be agreed upon? Can you see the negotiations going back and forth with Israel eventually accepting 30 percent as an allowable percentage of its citizens eliminated? Get real.

The fate of Jerusalem? It should remain, undivided, in Israeli hands. Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for more than 3,300 years.

It has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. It is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible and not once in the Koran. All Muslims and other Arabs are welcome to visit and live peacefully.

Yet, all of these peace initiatives are probably a waste of time. Peace will never be achieved when one country wants the other wiped off the face of the Earth and will accept nothing less as satisfactory.

Our objective should be simply to arm Israel sufficiently to defend itself from terrorism and hostile nations.

The Israelis have proven able to protect themselves time and time again. They also seem more capable than we are at solving the growing Syrian and Iranian threats. I say let them.

The Palestinian homeland issue? It's already been settled. When the state of Israel was created, an Arab state was also created with substantially more land. It already is more than 70 percent Palestinian. It's called Jordan.

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Tom Sears is a professor of accounting at Hartwick College in Oneonta. He can be reached at SearsT@hartwick.edu. His column appears every other week.