For those now condemning Israel's decision to confront and destroy Hamas, I suggest reading Ron Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum, who wrote the book "Explaining Hitler", has written a compelling piece entitled Some differences between Hamas and the Nazi Party. Rosenbaum doesn't mince words -- arguing in effect that Hamas represents a bigger threat to Jews than even the Nazis did: The Hamas founding covenant explicitly calls for the extermination of all Jews. Hitler never made total extermination an official plank of the the Nazi party platform. (see Holocaust scholar Omar Bartov’s article in the February 2, 2004 issue of The New Republic. 7th article of the founding Hamas covenanat which cites the Hadith (saying of the prophet). Here is a translation of the Hadith ina deeply disturbing summary of Hamas’ exterminationist anti-semitismby the Brown University scholar Andrew Bostom:
“The Prophet, Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’ except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985).
In other words, Hamas is not committed merely to the political goal of expelling Jews from the land of Israel but to what they believe is a sacred religious goal of exterminating all Jews everywhere behind every tree in creation. (I’m not pinning any hopes on “the Gharqad tree”). I’d suggest those who deceive themselves into believing Hamas is just another Palestinian rights group, maybe a little on the extreme side, read the whole Bostom article. The exterminationist anti-semitism of Hamas is more excessive than Hitler’s.
Many might take issue with Rosenbaum's position by noting that Hitler actually killed millions of Jews at the head of a mighty industrial Nazi machine, and that Hamas has done comparatively little to carry out its genocidal ambitions. But in this day of WMD and nuclear technology, it is important to give a disproportionate weight to intent: one suicide bomber with sarin gas or a nuclear bomb, and Article 7 of the Hamas covenant could be realized in an instant.
Nonetheless, Israel has (again) come under terrible fire from the left for it's "disproportionate response" to Hamas and the "poor people of Gaza" -- citing the fact that many Palestinian civilians have been killed and wounded. Of course, it is Hamas' strategy to put women and children in the path of the Israeli attack, so that civilians will be killed. Hamas knows that on the left, nothing Israel ever does in right, and that media pictures of civilian destruction is certain to bring condemnation from the UN, the EU and the other Palestinian apologists. Its so predictable -- and to Israel's credit, they have not been intimidated by it.
Nor should they be. Let's put this into perspective: suppose Al Qaeda -- a group with a sworn objective to destroy the United States and kill every last infidel in the West -- had developed a settlement over the U.S.-Mexico border and was lobbing missiles into San Diego on a daily basis, terrorizing the civilian population and killing and wounding American citizens.
Is there any chance in a million years that the United States would not wipe those settlements off the face of the earth to protect American lives?
Of course not. But because the much of the world wallows in anti-semitism and has fallen in love with the "Palestinian cause" there is a double standard at work. When Israel acts to defend itself, the world protests. No other nation would live under such a threat. But that doesn't matter -- because Israel never gets the benefit of the doubt.
In the end, we should be grateful that Israel has the courage to do what needs to be done. If they are successful here, they will destroy Hamas and free the Palestinian people to pursue statehood under a peaceful two-state system. That's the only future for the Palestinian people that makes sense. Israel is doing them a favor.
Let's hope that Israel is successful, and that this is but a precursor to them taking on (and taking out) the real 800 pound gorilla in the region: a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. This is a threat that Europe and a post-Iraq America have failed to face up to. Israel can't afford to be so cavalier.
We are all Israelis now.