Truce and Consequences: Israel's Defense
By Bonnie Chernin Rogoff
Founder, Jews For Life
July 15, 2001
The American politically corrective mind is an incredible device when it comes to Middle East terrorism. It forgets violence quickly, and forgives the wrong people.
Whenever a senseless act of violence occurs in Israel, our State Department and President lend a sympathetic ear, offering a temporary agreement to uphold Israel's security. Shortly afterward, there is a stony silence as Israel announces plans for rightful retaliation against the terrorists responsible for the latest bloodshed. Our silence undoes our pledge of support. We recognize Israel as a loyal ally, and then we peddle peace on behalf of her enemies. How can the United States be two things to one people? Such a foreign policy is a forgery.
Disapproval was evident and voiced by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who objects to Israel's current surgical defense policy and made it known recently in his remarks to Reuters: "We continue to express our distress and opposition to these kinds of targeted killings and we will continue to do so."
It never fails; within days of a suicide bombing, the dead are quickly forgotten by our State Department. The horror of eighteen dead teenagers, murdered at a disco, did not influence our policy. Israel was reproved and advised to adjust her reprisal tactics, conceding to the terrorists' demands. It happens every time.
It happens when a car blow up in Hebron, killing an Israeli father of nine children. It happens when a Molotov cocktail is tossed at a children's school bus in a small town in the West Bank. It happens when a terrorist, posing as a disabled driver in Northern Gaza calls two Israeli soldiers for help, waits for their approach and detonates explosives, killing them both. It happens when IDF outposts are targeted by Palestinians with gunfire, or when an Israeli boy is stoned in a Hebron cave.
Bill Clinton's hard line approach and demand for territorial concessions from Israel did irreparable damage to its security, setting a dangerous precedent to progress. Rather than demanding Arafat show a commitment to peace, Israel's citizens were demoralized and the PLO gained strength. There were signs that the Bush administration's approach to Israel would be different, but then Secretary of State Colin Powell had, to use President Bush's favorite term, a difference of opinion.
On his visit to Europe, Sharon hoped the European countries would apply pressure to Yasser Arafat to live up to the terms of the ceasefire. French President Chirac was concerned that Israel was undermining Yasser Arafat's authority, and German President Gerhard Schroeder called for a cessation of building residential housing in the settlement areas. Although he has modified his tone, the Ha'aretz Daily reported that President Schroeder's stand is firmly and unequivocally tied to the policies of the European Union. It is obvious the EU does not have Israel's best interests at heart.
Germany and France have their concerns with oil, but they are not countries under siege of an Intifada. Therefore, they are out of line criticizing Israel and instructing the Prime Minister how to handle mounting internal violence that has gone unabated since September 2000.
Since the Tenet agreement and so-called "ceasefire," Israel has been victimized by 26 incidents of mortar shells, 109 shootings, 19 grenade attacks and 15 roadside bombs. Ten Israelis and fifteen Palestinians are dead. That does not sound like a peacemaking mission to me.
This week, yet another IDF soldier was murdered when a bomb exploded near his jeep. Despite Arafat's assurance that he would implement the ceasefire, the Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli security is being tightened because they are receiving warnings of new imminent terror attacks. This is an outrage!
Israel must do everything to defend her borders, and her people. Further, targeted strikes against terrorist leaders with known ties to Hamas eliminates the problem of killing innocent civilians, so there really should be no grievance regarding Israel's current defense strategy.
Yasser Arafat's call for a continued truce is pathetic, considering his security forces have refused to recapture the most dangerous terrorists freed from prison. That's why it's so important for the targeted killings of Islamic Jihad leaders to continue, and for our State Department not to interfere.
Everyone worthy of life has a right to it, but that does not include those whose extremist views embrace the murder of innocent men, women and children.
Pat Robertson, President of the Christian Coalition made a public statement supporting Israel's targeted surgical strikes, stating that the beleaguered country has every right to defend itself.
"Which is more righteous - to make war against one person who is an architect of terror, or is it more righteous to wage war against an entire population?"
He's right. I'm waiting for President Bush to agree.
Copyright 2001 by Bonnie Chernin Rogoff. Not to be reproduced in any fashion, in whole or in part, without written consent from the author. All rights reserved.