Belfast Telegraph

Besieged Israel has every right to protect its own

By Ian O'Doherty

So, according to one headline, Israel has reacted against the kidnapping and execution of three of its teenagers by warning that "Hamas will pay". In response, Hamas has promised that if Israel "brings a war, we will open the gates of Hell". Oh dear, both sides are at it again. Will they ever learn?

That's the way the murders of Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar, both 16, and their 19-year-old hitchhiking companion Eyal Yifrach have been framed – both sides as bad as each other.

Even Barack Obama – hardly a friend of the Israelis – piously declared that "I urge all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilise the situation", once again implying that there is a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas.

But there is a world of difference between the only democracy in a region that is rapidly reverting to open savagery and a terrorist organisation that has the complete destruction of a neighbouring country as the central plank of their constitution.

But we will still see any Israeli response condemned by those useful idiots in the West who insist that Hamas is a legitimate, democratic organisation. It's not, it never has been and it doesn't want to be.

Professional ideologues, and those simply too stupid to make up their own mind, would have you believe that Hamas probably didn't do it, but if they did, they must have had a good reason.

This is the kind of wilful ignorance that compels people to justify or explain the murders with counter-accusations and slurs before resorting to some nonsense about the Israeli Defence Forces being as bad as the Nazis and Israel being some of sort of Zionist, apartheid Fourth Reich.

We've seen a lot of that kind of rubbish in the days since the bodies were discovered and it's a myth which has been peddled by more than one politician in the past whenever they wanted to bolster their revolutionary credentials. And, in a classic example of counter-intuitive liberalism, it's wrong, they know it's wrong, but they say it anyway.

The uncomfortable truth is that Israel is the front line of a war that was declared on Western values years ago and it's one which we in the West have refused to acknowledge.

That reluctance has been due to a combination of fear, an unwillingness to be perceived as racist or Islamophobic, and of course, for some, there is a genuine, implacable belief that Israel deserves everything that's coming to it.

In fact, Israel must be the only country in the world that is expected to accept the execution of three of its citizens without doing everything within its power to eradicate those responsible.

But then it is used to being asked to stoically accept atrocities without retaliating, because when it does push back it is then accused of being "disproportionate" in its response.

This ignores the fact that Hamas routinely launch their rockets into southern towns like Sderot from schoolyards in Gaza, safe in the knowledge that any retaliation will provide the kind of footage that fools people into believing the Israelis like nothing better than bombing schools.

Eighty rockets have fallen on its soil in the last month. Would we expect any other country to sit on its fingers, hoping that the brave freedom fighters of Hamas will simply become bored and return to their mosques?

These are the questions which Israel's oh-so-liberal opponents need to ask themselves: does Israel encourage its citizens to strap on suicide belts and get on a bus? Does Israel execute gay people or women who wear immodest dress? Does Israel openly call for the destruction of another country and the genocide of its citizens?

Do opposing factions of the Knesset openly kill each other on the streets, as we saw Hamas do to members of their rival Fatah?

Everyone is twitchy in the Middle East at the moment and this week's declaration of war on the West by Isis should be proof, if people still needed it, that we really are facing the long feared 'clash of civilisations.'

Of course, Israel could stop this all tomorrow if it wished and it could return this tiny pocket of land to the kind of peace and harmony of the areas that surround it. All it needs to do? Cease to exist.

In the meantime, people need to stop siding with the fascist theocrats who look on the destruction of Israel as merely the first step in establishing a global caliphate.

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