The escalation of hostilities between Israel and the terrorists of Hamas can be explained in fairly simple terms: Hamas has been regularly firing rockets at civilians in southern Israel. The Israeli military decided to respond.
The result? The military commander of Hamas has killed his last Jew.
Yes, there have been other casualties as well, and this is regrettable. But the international community needs to be reminded—over and over again—that there is a moral difference between the accidental killing of civilians trapped in a war zone and the purposeful targeting of civilians in their homes.
The rockets of Hamas have been aimed at civilians. Israel’s air strikes have been aimed at the command and control mechanisms of Hamas. No doubt there are those who refuse to acknowledge this critical distinction. What a shame that so many of these critics happen to be delegates to the United Nations.
The moral equivalence argument that informs so much media commentary in the U.S. and elsewhere has distorted coverage of Israel’s actions. Many American news organizations linked the Hamas missile attacks on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to Israel’s killing of Ahmed al-Jabari, the Hamas military commander who was responsible for the deaths of countless civilians. You’d never know that missiles have been landing in Israel for years. The Israeli government has withstood these outrages with great restraint, and even now, it is defending itself with as much precision as it can.
The killing of the Hamas commander ought to have been cheered as a victory for all nations fighting terrorism. Nations confronting the same enemy ought to have taken a moment to salute the superb intelligence work that went into that operation.
Instead, Israel found itself accused of exacerbating the bloodshed. Ridiculous, but not unexpected.
President Obama correctly noted that Israel has a right to defend itself. And so it does. What other nation would have continued to stand by while terrorists committed atrocities against civilians?
As this is being written, there is talk of a possible truce in the conflict. That would be a welcome development.
Sooner or later, however, there will be another Hamas missile. And another.
And Israel will respond as it should.
Even the U.N. should understand that.