What if Mexico or Canada started lobbing bombs over the border at us?
Not them, but terrorists within their borders. Freedom fighters, they would call each other. And Mexico and Canada do nothing to stop them.
Do we have the right to fire back? Do we have a responsibility to defend ourselves against attack? How should we react? What is our goal? Make it stop? By any means necessary? We negotiate and they agree to a cease fire. But the bombs keep coming. How do we make it untenable for them to continue? What would you do?
Sometimes, it is easy to be objective and sit here, far from the battlefield, and moralize on how war should be conducted. The Rules of War say we should be compassionate and fair to people who are trying to kill us. Well, that all sounds good and well when you are sitting in a comfortable castle in Europe somewhere in front of a roaring fire, smoking cigars and drinking brandy. But when you are there, and it is you or them, what would you do to live?
You would do whatever it takes to survive. And if the choice is to die or do something that every fiber in your body screams at you and tells you is wrong, well, you do what you have to do to survive. You made that decision right after you survived your first firefight. Afterwards, as you lie awake all night, alone with your thoughts, shivering, thinking, “I just killed a man,”you justified your actions by thinking you would do whatever it takes to get back home alive and see your family again.
You will do things you will not be proud of, but you will go home, alive. This is how atrocities in war happen.
So, here we are. Israel is killing innocent Palestinian civilians so that innocent Israeli citizens don’t have to die. What would you do?
I don’t think it is unreasonable for Israel to insist on the right to exist. They have existed for 67 years. Which begs the question, how do you negotiate with someone that refuses to acknowledge you exist? This is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
According to the Koran, the Bible and the Talmud, Moses was promised, by the Lord, in Exodus 6:8 that the Land of Canaan would be the possession of the Israelites. Inshallah. The Lord has spoken. Any questions? Over time, they were driven out and settled in parts of Europe.
In the late 1800s, they began to want a home of their own again. Many began to migrate back to the Holy Land. After WWI, Britain was given control of Palestine and an uneasy peace was maintained until the end of WWII. The state of Israel was created in 1947 with little regard for the people already living there. Israel has since become the 43rd most prosperous country in the world. But they also became a boil on the butt of the Arab world.
Hamas and Hezbollah, both funded by Iran, are dedicated to the destruction of Israel. As long as they continue to attack Israel, Israel has no choice but to defend herself. Look, I ain’t got a dog in this fight. Superfluous as it sounds, I think everyone has a right to exist. I regret the collateral damage of the people of the Gaza strip, but if you continue to allow the terrorists to hide in your schools, hospitals and mosques and launch attacks on Israel, well, you should know by now that Israel will do what it has to do to defend herself, public opinion be damned.
So the terrorists attack from safe places in the city, the safe places become unsafe, Palestinians get killed and Hamas seeks revenge. This loop continues until one of them stops. If Israel stops, they concede their right to exist. What would you do?
Remember, Israel did not start this fight.
If Iran is funding this, what would it take for Iran to turn off the funding and starve the beast? Would it be worth it? It’s true, Israel could treat Palestinians better. But that cuts both ways. I think a two-state solution, with conditions, is a reasonable accommodation. The conditions — Israel must be free from attack and her right to exist must be acknowledged. In return Israel can give some land back. It’s called a compromise. We give a little to get a little. That’s what I would do.
What would you do?
John Wallace is a resident of Leesburg.