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Imagine for me, if you would, the following hypothetical scenario. You are lounging around in your apartment or house on a relaxing Saturday afternoon watching television, enjoying time with friends and preparing dinner. Suddenly, you hear a sound not all that unlike an air raid/prison siren go off, indicating that the town you live in is in danger of getting hit by rockets. As this is the seventh time it’s gone off in as many days, you and everyone in your abode calmly pile into the bomb shelter that comes standard in every house in the neighborhood. You wait with baited breath for half an hour, hoping that your home isn’t hit and that your loved ones are safe.
Unsurprisingly, when you turn on the news to find out more about the situation, the anchor tells you that the attack was the work of terrorists that want everyone in your country dead. When your government proceeds to respond to the attacks by assassinating a high ranking leader of the enemy, you are unfortunately not shocked to find that many people around the world — including citizens of many of the countries allied with yours — decry the assassination as another example of “oppression,” “tyranny” and “aggression.”
Unfortunately for the people of Israel, this isn’t a hypothetical situation. Especially for those who live nearest to the Palestinian territory of Gaza, but even for Israelis residing in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, the looming threat of the terrorist organization Hamas is an ever present danger to life and one’s livelihood.
For just a bit of perspective, the area Hamas could strike Israel with rockets is roughly equal to someone standing in the center of Los Angeles being able to hit Simi Valley or Thousand Oaks in Ventura County or Mission Viejo in Orange County; for you Nor-Calians, that means being able to hit any of the cities or suburbs in the greater Bay area while standing on Alcatraz Island. Israel’s situation has only been made more precarious as of late due to the ascension of the Muslim Brotherhood, the “peaceful” arm of Hamas, to political control of Egypt’s government during the Arab Spring.
Thankfully, our president decided to act out of character and has offered unequivocal support for Israel’s right to defend itself, and the Iron Dome missile defense system has ensured that few of Hamas’ rockets have not met their mark. However, the criticisms coming from pro-Palestinian forces and some of the media following Israel’s assassination of Hamas’ chief military leader have been completely lacking in common sense and ought to be disregarded as lunacy.
It would seem, according to their criteria, that it no longer makes any sense for nation states to, you know, eliminate those who plot their destruction. No, apparently it makes more sense for Israel to sit down for “peace” negotiations with Hamas who, if their founding charter is any indication, would be just as likely to attempt to jump across said negotiating table and throttle them where they sit. Until such negotiations happen and Israel surrenders it’s land, they say we might as well imagine Darth Vader’s Imperial March playing in the background whenever Bibi Netanyahu makes a public statement.
No country on Earth desires peace with its neighbors more than Israel, and all it is seeking to do now — as has always been the case — is to defend its people. Now more than ever, we Americans ought to stand with Israel not just as allies but as friends.
Jeffrey Robin is a fourth year political science major.
Jeffrey Robin’s rebuttal to “Left Said” columnist Michael Dean’s argument:
In his attempts to portray Israel as a corrupt and heartless totalitarian state, my counterpart claims that over 700 Palestinians have already suffered as a direct result of Israeli military action. The real number? The official estimate stands at 74. Granted, were it not for the Iron Dome missile defense system, Israel would be in much worse shape and many more of its citizens would be lying dead. The tired argument that Israel is a colonial power with eyes towards empire is simply ridiculous, especially when such visions of empire are only the “expanse” from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Israel currently only occupies an area twice the size of Los Angeles County; its narrowest point is literally only nine miles wide. If Israel is an empire, it’s easily the most pathetic empire history has ever seen.
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