Historic change

Israeli teens' kidnapping and murder galvanizes nation under siege

“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

– Golda Meir, former Israeli prime minister

 

In the half-century of the bitter, bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict, rarely has there been such a watershed moment.

The unprovoked kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June, apparently linked to Palestinian terror organization Hamas, shocked, horrified and unified the nation of Israel.

It should unify all civilized nations and peoples.

And while a Palestinian youth also has been murdered in retribution, it’s vital to note the vast difference in the way each of the two parties has handled the two atrocities: Israel has arrested suspects in the killing of the Palestinian boy; a Hamas spokesman, on the other hand, saluted the great “success” of the killing of the innocent and unarmed Israeli teens.

Not one of the killings is justifiable. But Israel’s defense of itself certainly is: After enduring sustained rocket attacks on its cities from Palestinian territories, and after seeing Hamas harbor and hail the Israeli teens’ murderers, Israel has had enough.

An email making the rounds on the Internet claims to be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on the subject. It’s not. It’s one Internet commenter’s fantasy about what Mr. Netanyahu should have said.

But the hypothetical speech speaks for many when it imagines Netanyahu expressing exasperation at the “ceaseless chidings” among some in the world for Israel to show restraint in the face of repeated rockets, murders and other violent provocations from Hamas.

And whereas their enemies have shown a proclivity for blowing themselves up without notice in order to kill Israeli citizens, Israel has gone so far as to drop leaflets warning Palestinian citizens that they risk harm to themselves by continued proximity to Hamas terrorists.

Israel already has shown more restraint than most nations ever would have, including this one. There is no moral equivalence between the two parties on this issue.

And there is no debating Israel’s natural and inherent right to self-defense.

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