I will say up front that I am Jewish. That being said, I do not automatically agree with everything Israel does. While I understood the reasoning, the war against Hamas in Gaza in 2008 was, in my opinion, run poorly and probably not the best option for Israel. The incursion into Lebanon against Hezbollah was even more poorly conducted.
This weekend, there was a humanitarian aid flotilla heading to Gaza that was intercepted by the Israeli Navy. I don’t think anyone knows the whole story yet, but it appears that Israel warned the flotilla of 6 ships that it was going to stop them, and board and inspect them before they would be allowed to continue. 5 of the 6 ships allowed this. On the sixth ship, however, the people on the ship apparently attacked the Israeli Navy as they boarded the ship. We will certainly be buried under the spin and hyperbole of all sides in this incident. However, I have been reading articles online and the comments that accompany them and have seen a frightening amount of extreme anti-Semitism being expressed. It is downright scary to think that there are so many people in America and Europe that still hold such views.
I strongly believe in Israel’s right to exist as well as its right to protect itself. The US asserts similar rights all the time. We attacked Iraq unprovoked because the people in power decided that it was necessary for the protection of America. (I disagreed with this conclusion and with the war and would like to see us completely out of Iraq sooner rather than later). No one would dare question the US’s resolve to protect itself or the actions it takes to do so. And if they do, the powers that be in this country probably would not care. We stop ships and board them all the time when we suspect gun or drug running. And if our Coast Guard or Navy were attacked during such endeavors, rest assured that we would respond with force.
The same should go for Israel. Hamas has used Gaza as a staging ground for ongoing terrorist attacks on Israel (lobbing rockets into southern Israel). They have kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Their hands are as full of blood as anyone else and Israel is in a fight for its survival. Make no mistake. Hamas IS a terrorist organization and its goal is the complete destruction of Israel. Meanwhile, almost everyone around the world condemns Israel for defending itself. We weren’t complaining when the Israelis knocked out Saddam’s nuclear program.
It’s high time that the United States and President Obama step up and show that it is a real friend to Israel. And not just in photo ops. Israel’s needs our help and we need Israel’s help. It is the only democracy in the Middle East (the jury is still out on Iraq). If we are really as interested in spreading Democracy in that region, why do we hammer Israel time and time again for every little thing?