Monday, May 31, 2010
There are times when the anvil of liberty tests the steel we're made of. When those times arrive, there can be no squirming or equivocation.
When the storm rages, when it is no longer easy or convenient to take a stand, false friends and hangers on melt away.That's a given. The ones that remain will have shown what they are made of and will be all the stronger for having triumphed, and their triumph will be all the greater for the struggle having been more difficult and dangerous.
Yesterday, an event occurred that will act as a catalyst to sort out those who will stand and those who will melt away because it is easy and convenient.
This division has been coming for some time.
The events in the Mediterranean off Gaza were a response by Israel to aggression, albeit aggression cleverly disguised. It's a textbook example of how the rules applied to Israel are applied to no other nation and how they are intentionally made so as to be impossible for Israel to meet them.
If Israel defends itself against the most outrageous assaults aimed at its citizens, their actions are always deemed 'disproportionate' simply because Israel's military is better at killing their enemies than their genocidal enemies are at killing them. If Israel fails to respond as they have sometimes in the past, their enemies simply up the ante and the result is simply more dead Israelis. That suits the so-called international community quite well, because at this point a substantial portion of it would just as soon Israel didn't exist anyway.
Yesterday's act of war sponsored by the Turkish government - and yes that's exactly what blockade running is - was not designed as any kind of 'humanitarian' mission.It was an intentional act designed to provoke a response to succor Hamas, improve Turkey's relationship with Iran, and position Turkey and its leader Tayyip Erdogan as a mover and shaker in the Sunni Arab world. Ironically, Israel's foes cite international law to condemn Israel's response when under international law, Israel was fully justified in stopping the ships before they breached Israeli territorial waters.
Let's examine The San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, an accord both Turkey and Israel are signatories to:
SECTION V : NEUTRAL MERCHANT VESSELS AND CIVIL AIRCRAFT
Neutral merchant vessels
67. Merchant vessels flying the flag of neutral States may not be attacked unless they:(a) are believed on reasonable grounds to be carrying contraband or breaching a blockade, and after prior warning they intentionally and clearly refuse to stop, or intentionally and clearly resist visit, search or capture.
Under international law ( UN Resolution 1701) Hezbollah was not supposed to have been rearmed by Iran and Syria or allowed back into its bases in south Lebanon either, but it was, with no consequences to Iran or Syria for that particular transgression while the UN peacekeeping force stationed there turned a blind eye and allowed it to happen. The logic of this, however bigoted is clear; international law is simply a standard applied to Israel when it is convenient to her enemies, and ignored when it is not. And none of it makes a bit of difference. Because the ultimate goal is Israel's destruction, by whatever means.
It's time that reality was discussed openly and the question put bluntly, so that people can reveal where they stand on the matter.
In a bizarre twist, many Jews appear to be leading the charge to destroy Israel, although very few of them admit it in those terms even to themselves. Peter Beinart, for instance, recently used the vehicle of a book review to launch into a rambling and uneven discourse confessing his 'discomfort' with Israel and his lack of sympathy for the country as not being liberal enough for him - the one country in the Middle East that can truly be said to be free. He is hardly alone, and his essay unleashed a great many angst-ridden similar pieces from Jews on the Left confessing how distanced they were from Israel and in how little regard they hold the country.
The fact that Israel defends herself and her citizens actually embarrasses them in front of their non-Jewish Leftist friends.
The ironic joke of this is that such people applaud themselves as being courageous, when they are anything but.
It took very little courage to be pro-Israel in the past, before the Saudi-funded narrative took hold in the media, academia and elsewhere, before George Soros became the Left's paymaster,before elements of the Left made the Palestinians a cause célèbre . It takes just as little courage now to join the anti-Israel camp, when it's in fashion and the rewards are obvious.In fact, there are few positions today more comfortable and advantageous today than that of an anti-Israel Jew. Careers are made from such positions, and people like Beinart have simply reverted to type. I could do it myself easily and quite lucratively, if I wanted to whore out my soul.
The main price of admission to this club is to eagerly support segregation and apartheid applied to Jews and Jews only by calling for the removal of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria(AKA the West Bank), championing the re-division of Jerusalem so as to make Jewish Holy sites off limits to Jews and viscerally attacking any effort by Israel to defend itself.
It is a point of honor to for the anti-Israel Left to demonize people they refer to as 'settlers' simply because these 'settlers' insist that Jews should be allowed to live in peace and freedom everywhere. Meanwhile, the Left ignores the Arab support for judenrein and genocide, as well as the more unpleasant aspects of the sharia law their societies are based on.
Without even grasping a hint of the absurdity involved, such people describe themselves as liberals and intellectuals with a straight face!
If this were just about Israel, it would be enough. But ultimately, this is not only about Israel, but about the survival of the West and victory or defeat in its conflict with its enemies. The stakes are that high.
For all the rightness and justice of its cause, Israel does not stand alone as an isolated target - to its enemies it is a battle front, a surrogate for America, for freedom, and for Western civilization. Those in the West who relish the idea of destroying Israel, no matter what sophistries they beguile themselves with, are busily engaged in tearing down their own house whether they know it or not.
These people, who embrace the idea of abandoning of Israel in hopes of appeasing the Muslim world and being left in peace resemble nothing so much as a swimmer being chased by a shark cutting off an arm and throwing it to the predator chasing him, hoping that he will be satisfied.
They simply resist seeing the full extent of the evil which threatens not just Israel,but the entire West out of fear or for more ignominious reasons . Do they really think that the jihadis, having disposed of the Jews of Israel are going to stop there? Do they expect mercy and tolerance for themselves? Do those Jews who reject Israel think that they are going to be immune from what occurs afterward?
The arguments are pretty much over at this point. The division in the West on Israel reflects the division in Western society, and one side is going to win and another will lose. Such sorting outs occur from time to time, but it is almost always a healthy occurance. And truthfully, given the innate and servile cowardice and exaggerated self-interest of many of these people and the courage of most of those on the other side of the fence, I am not worried about the outcome.
However dark things look, there is dawn coming, although things may undoubtedly get darker before the sun rises. And I have no doubt in my mind that freedom and liberty in Israel will ultimately prevail, just as it will in America.
I simply do not see G-d allowing Israel or America to be destroyed, because both nations have been, in the balance of things, such beacons of freedom and forces for good.
But it will take a wholehearted and courageous effort. Liberty is never cheap and frequently inconvenient, but in the end, it's always worth shedding blood for. Israel, like America has proven itself willing to pay that price many times. We owe our posterity no less. And when my children and grandchildren in happier times ask me which side I was on, I want to be able to tell them unflinchingly where I stood.
UPDATE: Several readers have brought UNSC Resolution 1860 to my attention, which was passed in January 2009 during the Gaza war and called for ending the blockade and opening unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance to Gaza,which several sources are claiming supersedes the San Remo Agreement.
Resolution 1860 was a worthless piece of paper that called on Israel to to cease fire immediately, but did not mention Hamas, or kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. And yes, it does in fact call for unimpeded access.
It also calls for an end to violence against civilians and for member states to end 'illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition.'
One could make the argument that since Hamas and Iran never abided by this,nor even received any consequences for blatantly violating it that Israel isn't bound to it either...especially since the Israeli/Egyptian blockade is a direct result of Iran illegally shipping arms to Hamas and Hamas subsequently using them against Israel's civilians.
One could, but why bother? Like I said, international law is simply a standard applied to Israel when it is convenient to her enemies, and ignored when it is not.