Monday, November 19, 2012
Operation Pillar of Defence - A Prelude
There has been lots of anti-Israel propaganda from Israel’s enemies (and many uninformed bystanders to the conflict) about what are euphemistically labelled as ‘provocations’ by Hamas and the other militant groups operating out of Gaza. I have an analogy that I would like to share with you to counteract that line of thought:
Gazan activity against Israel may be compared to a thug throwing stones at your house: If a thug threw 5 stones at your windows every day, are 5 stones too few for us to make a fuss about them? At what point would you involve the police, and if they failed to act, the local council? When would you become fed up with being ignored by your government institutions? In the same vein, let me ask, what if they were not stones but bullets from a bb gun? Ok then, when does nuisance become threat? What defines deadly threat and what is a proportional response? This is important. From the outset, the reaction to the ‘occasional’ daily missile (or 10) launched at Israel has been far more subdued than what we should expect of rational human beings.
In the UK people have committed suicide because of police inactivity over bullying by thugs who just threw stones over an extended period of time. The events have made national news. This is important.... being teased/bullied until you can't take it any more is something that we should all understand. But it appears that the world is largely indifferent when the discussion concerns Israel and three and a half million Israeli’s living under constant threat of missile bombardment for almost 12 years.
The most immoral part of this whole warped debate occurs when we discuss proportionality and compare body counts. We should not have to apologise for the fact that Israel builds residential areas in such a way that the populace has where to run if necessary, such as stairwells, and yes.... bomb-shelters. As of 10 years ago, each building no matter how big or small was/is obligated by law, to include a reinforced room. In Southern Israel every person must have access to protective shelter within a 15 second running radius of the sounding of Code Red sirens. Those sirens warn the populace of incoming missiles, not rocks.
Israel has blessedly placed the protection of its people before its enemies. Its missile technology has protected the nation from hundreds if not thousands of casualties and that the casualty count is less than equal is something of which the State should be proud. And its advanced missiles, which can be directed to the bull’s-eye, are minimising collateral damage to Gaza’s civilian population.