Airstrike on Gaza: Israel’s Right of Self-Defence

Here we go again.

On returning home from my jog on Tel Aviv beach, this morning, I turned on Sky News, only to be greeted by the sound of sirens and a hysterical (understandably) Palestinian giving an eyewitness account of events in Gaza. Israel had responded, finally, to the months of provocation from Hamas and its proxies, to the daily barrage of rockets fired at its civilian population. Eighty hit on Wednesday alone.

The sadly predictable emphasis of Sky‘s reporting was on the “fact” that the airstrikes came as Gaza’s children were leaving school (I would have liked school days finishing around 11 in the morning). I didn’t see any such intensive “Breaking News” flashes on Sky (or other networks) covering the daily barrages on Sderot or Ashkelon, or emphasizing the fact that, for months, Israeli children in the worst-affected areas have hardly seen the light of day, being forced to remain in shelters and reinforced rooms. Sadly, we have become accustomed to such uneven coverage, and most of us expect little more.

Israel’s actions, this morning, followed intense debate, both governmental and public, on how to best respond to this continuing, untenable situation. Even the doveish, left-wing intellectuals of Israel’s Meretz party called for military action on Thursday, something virtually unheard of. And the Egyptian Foreign Minister, too, has stated that Hamas had received enough warnings to put a stop to the rocket fire.

Now, the media will wheel out all the usual suspects – the “Pinters” (though, I expect, not Harold) and “Galloways” (I can dream, can’t I?!) – who will trot out the usual crap about the deliberate and indiscriminate targeting of women and children, and the disproportionate response of the “mighty Israel” (if you have, and are interested in challenging, such a notion, an interesting exercise involves taking a look at a map of the Middle East . . . and not one received from one of those Friends of Palestine-type “charities”, many of which are covers that would be more aptly named Give Your Hard-Earned Cash to Help Kill Israelis). From their silence during the bombardment of Israel, day in, day out, for months, are we to assume that they considered that legitimate?

Israel, in response, will have to mobilize its (usually hopeless) spokesmen to defend its actions.

If we can trust the latest pronouncements by Hamas, today’s death toll is high. And it is a tragedy that innocent people will, undoubtedly, have been killed. But, be in no doubt, Israel is in a permanent state of war with Hamas, a neighbouring “government” whose raison d’être is to destroy it. An inevitable consequence of every war is that innocents suffer. To buy into the inevitable Hamas (and general Arab) propaganda, that Israel deliberately and indiscriminately targeted innocent civilians, is for the dimwitted and/or those with their anti-Israel/America/Britain/Jewish/Christian/western/democratic (delete as appropriate . . . though you might choose to keep them all) agenda(s).

To Hamas, the blood of Palestinians is only a little less cheap than that of Israelis. And it has been playing Russian roulette with the lives of Gazans for far too long now. Of course, the leaders of Hamas won’t poke their grubby little heads above the parapet, any more than that coward Nasrallah did in Lebanon in 2006 (he spent the entire war in hiding). But Gazans are responsible for choosing those leaders or, at least, for allowing them to remain in office.

Anyway, it is all very depressing. I, for one, certainly don’t rejoice in the bloodshed or jingoistic notions of revenge.

And it is weird, too – I am writing this on my laptop in a Tel Aviv café, struggling to concentrate through all the loud conversation and laughter (Israelis are a noisy bunch), when less than 45 miles down the Mediterranean coast there is death and destruction.

One thing is for sure, though – neither the British government or public, nor any other, would have tolerated such a situation on its border for so long. That Israel has done so is testament to its democracy, humanity and ethics (even in spite of Wednesday’s eighty rockets, Israel reopened crossings into Gaza on Thursday, to alleviate its worsening humanitarian situation).

That I should even have to write all of this is an indication of the different standards by which the world judges and treats Israel – as I always say (and this one’s mine): like Israelis and their tea, the world doesn’t like its Jews strong.

Unlike seventy years ago, however, we can defend ourselves now. And we will.


14 responses to “Airstrike on Gaza: Israel’s Right of Self-Defence

  1. Dear Mike.
    I wish you could send this article to the british leading newspapers (even though i dont think they would publish it).

  2. Hi Mike, i left blogs on a few websites who took the palestinian side, basically told them its about time they got a taste of their own medicine, ignore the protests in london, we brits are firmly on the side of the israeli people, god bless you all, graham

  3. …nut and using a hammer…..comes to mind!

  4. Jack Schuldenfrei

    A little off key there, Mike. I have been avidly watching Sky (and other networks) and have been favorably impressed at their impartiality. This is in total contrast to previous campaigns when they have been frightfully in favor of the Arab view.

  5. Dear Mike

    I’m sure, I like many others feel you worry and suffering of your fellow citizens.
    Your quite right to say that Britain like others would not put up with the situation on your borders. I am heartened to read that you don’t rejoice in bloodshed or revenge.
    Having followed the troubles of Ireland (my home country) for so many years I can see it will take many years to change anything between Israel and Palestine.

    It will take a brave man on both sides of the border or brave men to stand up, talk to each other without spite and an open heart as amazingly happened between Egypt and Israel.

    I am constantly reminded of the phrase ‘all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’. Good men like yourself must stand up and do something, something that can be called good in the name of change.

    I hope these don’t sound like empty words and long may Israelis be allowed to be a noisy bunch in a cafe.

    God bless (whoever your God is)


  6. frederick walker

    my knowledge is only from the news, it seems where ever there is muslemns there is trouble, why can not the rest of our world condem and outlaw this religation, it seems to me that is the only way we can ever have world peace, how can any one condemm the jewesh people for protecting them selves, my best wishes for the jewish people, wishing them every success

  7. Hi Mike ! I am perplexed… How can it be that Hamas has the gall to commit acts of war against Israel yet whine as if they were the victims?

    And I truly don’t understand why the civilians of the Gaza strip don’t condemn and rise up against a “government” that puts their innocents in the line of fire . And then there are the Arab spokespersons who “demand” that Israel stop their bombing and ground assault, pretending to be blind to the fact that it was Hamas that started the bloody war……it’s their fools game of selective memory, isn’t it?

    I hope that Israel turns Gaza, Iran, and Syria and all perpetrators of war against Jews into dust. …and screw Islam.

  8. Actually, the press seem to have been very balanced, in fact one could argue very sympathetic to the Israeli side of the argument. What you can’t seem to stand is any suggestion that there’s another side to the argument, and a single element of that leads you to accuse the media of bias. Again, bully and accuse anything you don’t like the sound of. I think you hear one thing and then shut off.

    The situation is far from simple. It’s not “they sent rockets so we defend”.

  9. Achilles,

    You write that “the situation is . . . not ‘they sent rockets so we defend'”. Here’s your big chance . . . please tell us all what it IS.

    melchett mike

  10. ” please tell us all what it IS. ”

    If I could explain it in a couple of sentences then the problem would have been solved long ago. The answer involves anthropology as much as history. Yet, when Jews comitted acts of terror in the past (before independence, against the Nazis etc.), as the victims, history has looked favourably upon their actions. This isn’t to legitimise the militant Palestinians’ actions, but to understand them.

  11. p.s.

    “Here’s your big chance . . . ”

    Don’t overestimate the importance of your blog 🙂

  12. Judging by your voluminous (though largely worthless) comments (to this and other posts), Achilles, you seem to consider my blog sufficiently “important”!

  13. Just one question:
    If the Hamas is the “bad guy” and Israel is “just defending his territory”, How more than 1.000 palestinian already died and no more than 20 israelis (mostly soldiers) died ? How a ONU school was destroyed ? I traveled to Israel last year and I could see what the goverment were doing: Preparing a ethnic cleanness… Ring any bells ?

  14. No “bells”, Fabricio, no.

    I’ll tell you why many more Palestinians have died . . . because Hamas uses women and children as “human shields”, as well as hiding behind schools, hospitals, UN institutions, and mosques (but my guess is that you already know that).

    The only people interested in “ethnic cleansing” in this part of the world, Fabricio, are Islamic fundamentalists. Their idea of living in peace is with all the Jews in the Mediterranean.

    Who was your tour guide last year? Hassan Nasrallah?! Next time you leave your small little fantasy world to visit Israel, Fabricio, try doing so without an agenda.

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