Editorial: Israel’s Struggle
As horrifying as the images from Gaza in these days may appear, it is necessary to constantly keep the roots of this conflict in focus. Israel — surrounded by enemies who wish to remove the Jewish state from the map — is in a struggle for survival. That is the starting point.
Israel has a self-evident right to defend itself. The violence, terror, and war come from Gaza and are forced on the sole democracy in the Middle-East, Israel, which then reacts with a completely legitimate “Enough is enough”.
One can discus the proportion in the military response, although it must be recognized that Israel seems to take into consideration the civilian population of Gaza, that the nature of war otherwise makes difficult: According to news agencies approximately 180 of the 250 killed are regular Hamas-warriors.
However, there is a reason to keep remembering the fundamental conditions in this endless war between Israel and the terror organizations that surround the country, because in such a tragic conflict a false symmetry quickly appears, clearly stated in the phrase “They are equally guilty. Nobody has anything to let the other hear”.
This is and remains manipulation; a moral and intellectual knee-jerk towards the violence and terror. The two parties aren’t equally guilty. The violence goes one way — and releases a response. Israel has throughout the years given its enemies all chances. They have been rejected. The violence has on the contrary been escalated.
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After a massive international pressure Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon. Has this led to peace? No, the rockets continued to rain down over Israel, so a military response on this front became unavoidable last summer.
After a massive international pressure Israel withdrew in 2005 from Gaza. Have this led to peace? No, rockets and mortar shells have ever since rained down on Israel — according to Israeli calculations 6,300 rockets and shells since then(!). A military response was also here unavoidable.
Gaza is one large catastrophe. The humanitarian conditions are horrible. 1.5 million people are pressed together in a small area. The structures of society have all broken apart. The only thing that still works is apparently the military structure and the will to constantly challenge Israel.
Is that the fault of Israel? When will the international community hold the changing Palestinian regimes responsible? For decades the West has pumped a dazzling amount of money into Gaza. Denmark has contributed generously as well. Money that was meant for common Palestinians and in an effort to make the region better able to take care of itself. What has become of that money? Well, the international community slowly realizes what the corrupt-to-the-core Yassir Arafat used the billions for. He spent it on a two-digit number of security services in addition to keeping his private accounts abroad fully stocked.
What Hamas uses the energy and money for is beginning to be equally clear. They have built up to 700 tunnels under the border to Egypt, which are being used to smuggle weapons into Gaza, and they have thrown themselves into a simultaneous battle of life and death against the competing Fatah organization.
Israel cannot be responsible in any way for the changing leaders of the Palestinians, taking their own population as hostages in a darkened, fundamentalist battle. Israel is essentially a Western outpost in this struggle, which is underlined by the fact that on all of Israel’s fronts Iran is pulling the strings.
We must understand Israel’s position. But naturally friends should also by criticized, when there is reason for it.