The state of affairs in Israel has escalated and intensified over the past several days. Since the morning of Nov. 14, more than 275 rockets targeting civilian residents and communities have been fired into Israel by Hamas and its terrorist allies in Gaza. Upwards of 4.5 million Israelis that currently live within Hamas’ rocket range have been forced into bomb shelters. Israel and Syria exchanged fire for the first time in three decades. This is perhaps one of the most precarious situations Israel has confronted since 1948.
On Nov. 15, the United States Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution recognizing and supporting Israel’s “inherent right to self-defense in the face of terrorist attacks” while emphasizing the fact that “Hamas was founded with the stated goal of destroying the State of Israel.” Led by Senators Kristen Gillibrand and Mark Kirk, 66 senators successfully conveyed the message of their standing in solidarity with Israel while advocating for Israel’s right to defend herself. Co-sponsored by Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Howard Berman, the House passed an almost identical resolution by unanimous consent on Nov. 16. President Obama also held a press conference on the morning of Nov. 18 stating that “there’s no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders … we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself.”
Israel’s recently deployed Iron Dome anti-rocket missile system, which the United States has helped fund, has provided some recent protection and minimized damage. It has successfully intercepted at least 100 incoming rockets that were headed toward populous Israeli cities within the first 24 hours of operation. As of Nov. 18, the Iron Dome has intercepted more than 265 rockets. Devoid of vital defensive measures like the Iron Dome, which has provided a significantly magnified level of security, Israeli civilian casualties would likely be far higher in numbers.
However, since Israel’s 2008 defensive Operation Cast Lead, Hamas has expanded the range and lethality of its rockets by importing advanced Iranian Fajr, Grad rockets and 120mm mortar bombs. In the past four years, Gaza’s rocket factories have also increased its weapons capabilities both in quality and proficiency. Moreover, terrorist organizations within Gaza have gained access to a substantive amount of highly sophisticated anti-tank and surface-to-air shoulder-launched missiles. All of these new advancements pose threats of a new height to the Israeli civilian population.
The act of self-defense is a right protected and preserved in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. Israel’s military operation aims to quell more than 13,000 rocket attacks on Israeli citizens that have taken place since 2001. In accordance with international law, maintaining that a state must strive to minimize the number of casualties in its attempt to achieve military objectives, Israel uses pinpoint targeting to achieve its goals. Hamas, in contrast, regularly uses civilians as shields and protection of military targets. Furthermore, Article 28 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states, “the presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.”
As stated by Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, “If Palestine were to lay down their guns tomorrow, there would be no war. If Israel were to lay down theirs, there would be no Israel.” The recent attacks validate the deep-rooted need for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. We, student leaders of the pro-Israel community, support Israel’s fight against terrorism. We stand for her right to defend herself.
Danielle Dankner is a third-year political science and English double major.
The UN’s secretary general has called for an immediate ceasefire as Israel’s pounding of Gaza enters its sixth day.
We know brady, you have posted it multiple times….can you graduate already and stop just interjecting yourself into everyones clubs and business?
Don’t Palestinians ever learn? I’m sure Syria’s Assad is just jizzing in his pants now that the UN/EU/international community/biased-as-fuck media is putting the spotlight on Israel. Anticipate this drama to continue for another year or so.
Hopefully this time Israel actually removes Hamas from the equation. I think it is unfair to Israel citizens that they have to go through a war every few years.
This article is great. I want to add something. We support living among Palestinians. We want peace, but we DO NOT support Hamas. Hamas is a terror organization that has time and time again called for the destruction of the State of Israel and for all Jews. There is a difference. When innocent Israelis or Palestinians die because of the strikes gone back and forth these past few days, we honor a life as a life, whether its a Palestinian or an Israeli. Hamas, and other terrorists or supporters of terror, whom in fact endanger their own people are to… Read more »
why they not just bomb where they lay the jew eggs?
Danielle, your article is a farce! Please stop regurgitating AIPAC punch lines and get with the picture. It would take more time and energy than I care to spend going through your article pointing out all of the misconceptions, and reading my response would be long and depressing. Therefor I would like to direct people to a recent commentary written by an expert on the subject, who currently serves and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, UCSB visiting professor Richard Falk: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/11/2012111874429224963.html There it is boys and girls, all the lies exposed in one article. I know… Read more »
You do realize Richard Falk is a total bigot, right? Hardly a reliable source. Rather than attacking the author, what points in this op-ed exactly do you dispute? The reality is the Palestinian terrorist government in Gaza is terrorizing the state of Israel. 40% of the population is living in bomb shelters as I type this. Schools are closed, thank goodness because Hamas rockets hit two schools in the past three days. Imagine if they were loaded with children? Think for a second. Imagine if UCSB is under siege and we all were forced into bomb shelters? Do you know… Read more »
Most of the points she makes in her piece I dispute, much like I dispute various claims in your response. I provided the article because it provides a reliable, honest account of the crisis in Gaza. But since you insist,my first and strongest dispute is with the main argument of the op-ed; Israel has the right to launch “Operation Pillar of Defense” for reasons of self-defense. As Falk points out,the Israeli military dominates the Gaza strip with ships, drones, and military stations on the borders. People in Gaza are constantly on edge, living in fear. Even if we accept the… Read more »
You didn’t address any of her points. I imagine people in Gaza are living on “edge” when their government is a terrorist organization. There is nothing “phony” about terrorists shelling Israel. Terrorists ARE shelling Israel, this is an undisputed fact. The reality is the Palestinians are completely responsible for their actions. I can’t think of another people held to such a low standard than the Palestinians. They can spoon-feed their children antisemitism, siphon humanitarian aid and sell it on the black market, extort businesses, move billions of tax dollars (10% PLO tax) to Swiss bank accounts, and fire thousands of… Read more »
“In accordance with international law, maintaining that a state must strive to minimize the number of casualties in its attempt to achieve military objectives, Israel uses pinpoint targeting to achieve its goals.” Actually Danielle, under international law – well, the GC at least – a nation only has to show it practices discrimination in war. The military objective has to be sensible and achievable. In Israel’s case, the government says their goal is to stop Hamas from firing rockets at Israel. Israel then has to determine what kind of force is needed to stop the rocket fire, and that use… Read more »
Is rallying in support of Hamas like rallying in support of Nazis?
Seems to me it is.
Nazis destroyed Jews. Hamas never stops talking about destroying Jews. Nazis depicted Jews as beneath contempt just as Hams does. Nazis blamed Jews for all their problems and so does Hamas.
Seems to me the only difference is Hamas does not have the rocketry required to really kill the Jews. If they did have these weapons everyone knows they would use them as indiscriminantly as the Nazis did.
Lies and Deceit chose his name wisely.
This one is for him!
‘The only religion I respect is Islam. The only prophet I admire is the Prophet Muhammad.’ — Adolf Hitler
Since this is a university, perhaps you could provide us with a reference. Other than a few dozen anti-Islamic websites, that is.
(As Adolph Hitler is your benchmark, can I assume you are a big admirer of Karl Marx? There was nobody that old Adolph hated more than Marx.)
This one is for John Sutton! “Richard Dawkins says it outright. One wonders why so few other atheists are speaking out in the same way. Note that he does not hasten to qualify his comment by saying, “Islamic extremism” or “radical Islam.” Dawkins: “I’m reasonably optimistic in America and Europe. I’m pessimistic about the Islamic world. I regard Islam as one of the great evils in the world, and I fear that we have a very difficult struggle there.” Narrator: “Why is it more problematic than Christianity, for instance?” RD: “There is a belief that every word of the Koran… Read more »
Is Dawkins speaking for Hitler now?
John, Maybe you will find the following quote more palatable. John Wesley on Islam “Ever since the religion of Islam appeared in the world, the espousers of it…have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations, rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth; that numberless cities are raised from the foundation, and only their name remaining; that many countries, which were once as the garden of God, are now a desolate wilderness; and that so many once numerous and powerful nations are vanished from the earth! Such was, and… Read more »
Been hitting the Google again, Arafat?
While you’re at it, how about some Torah quotes about
God commanding the Jews to slaughter their enemies.
Yes, their are horrible things in the history of Islam. Ditto for Judaism, and Christianity.