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Victory as Path to Peace

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Victory Now!

October 5, 2004

October 5, 2004

Some 600 miles west of Samarra, another important battle against terrorism is unfolding as Israeli troops fight Palestinians in Gaza to stop them from firing rockets into Israel. The offensive began after an attack killed two Israeli toddlers on Wednesday. In five days of fighting, more than 60 Palestinians, most of them believed to be terrorists, died as the Israelis carved out a security zone.

One of the things that sets this incursion apart from similar Israeli military campaigns in the past is Europe's rather muted reaction. While normally jumping on every opportunity to criticize the Jewish state for trying to protect its citizens, most European capitals have so far remained unusually silent.

That's a worrying development for Arafat and his cronies -- and it didn't go unnoticed in Ramallah. "The international response did not rise to the anticipated minimum level of expectations," Arafat adviser Saeb Erekat complained. Even French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier's response smacked of boiler-plate: "Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorism, but in doing so it must respect international humanitarian law."

Could it be that Europe is finally waking up to the reality in the Middle East? A lot has happened over the past year that may have changed the perception of this conflict on the old continent. Even though outgoing EU External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten still denies that any European funds for the Palestinian authority have been used for terrorism, the evidence showing the opposite is simply overwhelming. Even ordinary Palestinians have protested in recent months against the corruption, anarchy and the lack of political freedom the "System Arafat" has brought them. Without openly acknowledging it, most European leaders have followed Israel's and America's calls to isolate Arafat.

Many Europeans though still make an artificial distinction between Hamas and the global threat of Islamic terrorism. "It's the occupation, stupid," is the catch phrase of a worldview that pretends Hamas' quarrel is with Israel's size rather than its existence -- even though Hamas has never concealed that its ultimate goal is to destroy Israel.

But the decision by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to withdraw all settlements from Gaza -- unilaterally and without waiting for a Palestinian partner to emerge to sign a deal -- was a further blow to the charade that Hamas's terror was in any way a legitimate resistance to end the occupation. If that were the case, Hamas would stop its attacks now, at least from Gaza. But as it intensifies its attempts to terrorize the Israeli population, ostensibly to show Israel is retreating because of it and not despite it, Hamas only strengthens those Israeli forces who are opposed to the pullout.

Hamas's murderous ideology means the oft-repeated mantra that there is no "military solution" to this conflict is plain wrong. The opposite is true -- just as al Qaeda and its global networks must be defeated, only a military solution can end the Palestinian terror. And thanks to improved intelligence, targeted assassinations and the security barrier, the Israelis are saying that it can be done. Palestinian suicide bombers now find it almost impossible to reach their targets. That's why Hamas has resorted to firing rockets.

And just as the Iraqi and American troops in Samarra and Fallujah must be allowed to fight until victory, so must Israel be allowed to finish off Hamas. Without these "military solutions" there is no hope for peace, neither in Iraq nor between Israelis and Palestinians.

The U.N. Security Council convened an emergency session on Gaza yesterday afternoon. We hope the European members during this session will not blindly support the usually one-sided resolutions against Israel, thus forcing the U.S. once more to use its veto. Israel, like any sovereign nation, cannot allow its population to come under missile attacks from enemy territory. If Europe wants to help contain the situation rather than encourage Hamas, and indirectly terrorists elsewhere, it should send a clear message to the Palestinians.

التعليقات

Re: Victory as Path to Peace

Europe should be boycotting Israel until the last settler outside of the green line returns to it.

Re: Victory as Path to Peace

If you think there is a military solution (ie bomb, kill and mutilate innocent civilians, who happen to be Palestinian or Iraqi) to blatant injustice, then you are exceptionally naive or stupid.

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