Israel Is Morally Superior
That's right – I said it. It might be difficult for some people to grasp how a nation that kills children by firing missiles at its enemies can still be credited for being morally superior. If you're an anti-semite, you probably froth at the mouth and spit with anger any time someone takes Israel's side. Unfortunately, that's exactly why Israel deserves the support of the international community and why Palestine does not.
Israel occupied land that some Muslims and Palestinians think it shouldn't have occupied. This all stems from a war between Israel and four Arab countries. Jews and Zionists wanted independence, freedom and safety following centuries of enslavement and persecution. After the United Nations voted to declare the validity of a Jewish state alongside Arab states, Israel fought off Arab aggressors to maintain its independence. After the war, Jordan annexed the West Bank and Egypt annexed Gaza. The majority of Palestinians within Israel's borders fled or were expelled for various reasons. Ever since, generations have become accustomed to what is known as the Israel/Palestine conflict. Unfortunately, truth and accuracy have become less present in most media coverage, helping to create a growing animosity toward Israel around the world. Barack Obama's administration has tapped into America's growing resentment of Israel and adopted an astonishingly inept foreign policy.
Almost immediately after the United Nations voted to back the creation of a Jewish state, Arab nations retaliated with intolerance and violence. It wasn't greed that prevented them from accepting the peaceful existence of a neighbouring Jewish state, it was anti-semitism.
Since its creation, Israel has been a democracy. Contrary to popular belief and some school curricula, Israel is not a theocracy or an exclusively Jewish country. In fact, Israel is a secular state open to all religions and political affiliations. Israel exists to give all Jews a safe, secure place to call home – something they've never had, unlike Arabs and Christians. However, unlike most of its Arab neighbours, Israel also offers a safe home to Christians, Muslims, Catholics, agnostics and atheists. Over the past 50 years, Christians from across the Middle East and the former Soviet Union have sought sanctuary in Israel from their oppressors.
After Jordan, Israel has the second largest population of Palestinians. Close to two million Palestinians live within Israel's borders, peacefully co-existing with Jews. Rather than just the Palestinian Liberation Organization, groups like Hamas are largely to blame for most of the hostility and violence directed at Israel in the region. An important caveat to note when blaming Hamas, however, is that Hamas was democratically elected in Gaza. The terrorist group was given 74 out of 132 seats in the Palestinian Parliament by the people of Palestine. In 2006, 44% of voters gave Hamas a mandate to rule.
Hamas – and groups like it – preach, spread, and promote militant anti-semitism. Like Iran's leadership, Hamas opposes Israel's existence and has suggested the necessity of wiping Israel off the map. At no point in history has Israel condoned or suggested the elimination of Islam and all Arab states. Nothing has driven Israel to retaliate with force besides its own independence and security. The hostility towards the world's only Jewish state is driven by nothing more than cold, callous anti-semitism. We see evidence for this dating back to Israel's recognition by the United Nations and the immediate reaction of the four Arab states that chose violence over peace and co-existence.
In May of this year, senior Hamas leader, Mousa Abu Marzouk, said, “Hamas will not recognize Israel.” Since this month's conflict between Israel and Hamas, Hamas has launched missiles at Israel from inside civilian neighbourhoods and used civilian homes as hide-outs, making Israel's retaliations almost impossible without civilian casualties. Immediately following any Israeli strikes, Palestinian and Middle Eastern tabloids report that Israel is deliberately targeting civilians. Such coordinated military and propaganda efforts help fuel further anti-semitism across the region – and even in the West. Although the use of human shields by Hamas is well documented, most media reports leave out these facts in favour of demonizing Israel. To this day, Israel has never used civilians as shields and has never fired rockets or waged military attacks from civilian neighbourhoods. In fact, the Israeli military dropped leaflets in Gaza encouraging civilians to evacuate and called off an airstrike after discovering children near a target.
The first strike in the most recent exchange between Israel and Hamas came from Hamas with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June. Although Hamas has neither confirmed or denied the kidnappings, a recording of a call to police by one of the teens was sent to US investigators. The three teens were allegedly kidnapped by a Hamas militant posing as a religious Jew and then shot ten times with a silenced gun. The killings triggered a revenge murder of a Palestinian teen that infuriated Hamas. It wasn't until Palestinian casualties began to mount that the UN and United States began to call for a ceasefire.
Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system is to credit for the lack of Israeli casualties. Over 100 Palestinians have been killed in the recent conflict, while no Israelis have lost their lives. Israel's Iron Dome is 90% affective in keeping civilians safe, but it could also be the reason for Israel's negative coverage and dwindling sympathy. As Palestinians die from Israel's defensive tactics, life goes on as normal in Israel. Bloomberg's Peter Coy pointed this out on July 11 in a column entitled “Israel's Iron Dome Is Amazing, And That's A Problem”:
Israel hardly feels like a place under assault from close range. Bars, restaurants, and the Mediterranean beaches are still busy. Although traffic is lighter than normal, the roads are hardly abandoned. Incoming rockets that would ordinarily wreak havoc are being blown up in the air, causing nothing but a boom, a puff of white smoke, and falling debris. - Peter Coy, Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Unfortunately, because Israelis aren't being killed, that means that Israel is not allowed to defend itself and root out its enemies to further secure the safety of its civilians. That's the view that seems to have been adopted by some North American news organizations. One question seldom asked by media is why Hamas continues to unsuccessfully fire rockets at Israel and put Palestinians in danger when it knows what the consequences will be.
Any mother or father should imagine having an angry mob outside of their homes, wielding sticks and knives. They can't get into your home to harm your children, so your neighbours might blow a gasket if you try to shoot at them from your upstairs window. God forbid you kill one of the people who wants your entire family wiped off the face of the Earth.
Anti-semitism has been on the rise in North America to a noticeable extent. It's mostly fueled by ignorance, misinformation, and blatant deception. This fact is what makes North American anti-semitism completely infantile but very nefarious. Unlike the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration has alienated Israel and taken a more neutral approach to the conflict. This is the result of electing a president that was born into a generation of growing contempt and ignorance toward Israel and its history. The generations of North American youth being persuaded by this mentality is still growing, and Barack Obama's presidency and foreign policy are the consequence.
Luckily, Canada has stood beside Israel in the face of opposition. Despite the media's perpetually biased and negative coverage of Israel, Stephen Harper is the only Western leader that has taken the country's side against a known terrorist organization. It's not in Stephen Harper's nature to care about public opinion, so as long as the Conservative Party continues to rule, we shouldn't expect Canada's support for Israel to soften. In any case, Israel shouldn't expect to have the world's support, especially since the election of Barack Obama. This is exactly why Israel is under a strong obligation to defend itself. When no one else but Canada and a few European countries take your side, what other choice could you possibly have but to defend yourself at all costs?