Same dance, different music

More radicalized Arab world places Israel in greater peril

The two Koreas have technically been at war since the 1950s. But they’ve been more peaceful than the Mideast since then.

The reason is simple: Israel’s neighbors have never really accepted its existence and have been in a war against it, hot and cold, since 1948.

Harriet Lerner once wrote a book about troubled relationships called The Dance of Anger. Well, she could’ve been writing about the Mideast. The two-step that Israel’s enemies engage in is: 1) fight a freelance guerilla war against Israel, with terrorism and rockets fired on Israeli cities from within Palestinian (and now Egyptian) population centers; 2) show the world, or fake for the world, the collateral damage that occurs when Israel defends itself.

From the Palestinian Playbook: Photos of dead or wounded children work best, so produce them when you can – and manufacture them when you must.

Then, belatedly, the United Nations tries to cut in – wailing for a cease fire, now that it’s not just Israelis being targeted.

Another fine job of seeking peace, U.N. Wait until the shooting has started and call for a cease-fire.

That’s not how peace is created. It’s how wars are allowed to simmer for decades. You allow hatred to fester – without stepping in to condemn or counteract it. Then, after the unrelenting hostilities of one group finally goads another into defending itself, you finally say something.

If you’re at all muddled on the nature of this chronic conflict, ask yourself two questions: 1) When was the last time a free country was attacked by an Israeli terrorist? 2) How long would the United States wait before taking action to stop rockets from being fired at homes and businesses and schools and churches in this country from a neighboring land?

We pray for the people of Gaza. But they have allowed some in their midst to create a war zone. The hate and murderous hostilities that have been sowed for years are sadly being reaped yet again.

Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip, is leading its people into an endless desert of despair and enmity. There is no good place you can go when your first step is toward malice and loathing. Palestinian indoctrination of their young into a lifestyle of hatred is the stuff of legend.

In contrast, the democratic nation of Israel is more than 20 percent Arab.

In short, one side in this conflict has shown a willingness to coexist. The other has done the exact opposite.

This dance has gone on a long time, but the music seems ominously different now. With increasingly radicalized and less predictable Arab governments and an American administration that appears oddly ambivalent to Israel’s fate – as well as to Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons – our Jewish ally’s future seems as precarious as ever in its history.

We were impressed and uplifted by President Obama’s trip this week to Myanmar (the former Burma), and his eloquent advocacy on behalf of democracy. We hope he will do the same in Israel someday, which he has yet to visit.

During an official visit to Gaza by the Egyptian prime minister, Israel observed a cease-fire. Do you suppose its enemies would extend the same decency to our president?

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