conservative

Stikkel: After the Turkey coma, Israel makes for perfect discussion

The following pro-Israel perspective is free for anyone seeking exciting political science discussions this Thanksgiving.

The leaders of peaceful nations do not want war, but sometimes they must wage war to mitigate the threat of terror against their people. Israel has the right to defend itself and deserves full American support.

President Barack Obama agrees. This week he said, “We are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians.”

On Nov. 14, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense against Hamas and other terrorist forces in the Gaza Strip, citing the Nov. 12 attack on Israel — where 100 rockets from the Gaza Strip rained down on southern Israel — as one reason for retaliation.

Three Israelis were injured in this attack during their morning commute to work, The Jerusalem Post reported.

When asked by a reporter, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes placed the blame correctly saying, “We believe that the precipitating factor for the conflict was the rocket fire coming out of Gaza.”

Israel initiated its Nov. 14 response by neutralizing Hamas de facto military leader Ahmed Jabari. Specifically, an Israeli drone-fired missile found Jabari’s car as it drove down the road, The Telegraph reported.

Jabari was known for orchestrating the military takeover of Gaza that put Hamas in control and terrorist attacks including suicide bombings against Israelis.

Since Nov. 14, Israel has carried out approximately 1,100 air strikes against military targets in Gaza, and Hamas and other terrorist groups have fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israeli civilians, ABC News reported.

On Monday, the Palestinian death toll was at 105 (half civilians according to the Palestinians), and the Israeli death toll was three (all civilians), the BBC reported.

Some compare the death tolls and look critically at Israel’s response in Gaza, but they forget that Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepts many would-be deadly rockets as they fly toward Israeli civilians.

For instance, on Sunday, the Iron Dome system intercepted two Iranian-made Fajer 5 rockets headed for Tel Aviv, an Israeli city of more than 400,000 people, The Jerusalem Post reported. On Tuesday, a Fajer 5 rocket hit an eight-story building just outside of Tel Aviv, bringing the Israeli death toll to five.

Regarding the asymmetric casualty count, we should not fault Israel for being better equipped to make war than its attacker. Israel, despite its superior retaliatory strength, is still the victim of undue aggression.

Regarding the civilian casualty ratio, assuming the Palestinian figures are accurate, Israel is compelled to strike military targets even when Hamas embeds them among civilians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s primary responsibility is the security of his people. Wherever there are hostile missile launch sites, munitions depots or military leaders, Israel must strike.

The Palestinian leadership has betrayed its people by waging war against a well-armed nation from a position that jeopardizes the safety of the Palestinian people.

Therefore, the Palestinian civilians are much more victims of their Hamas-run government than victims of Israel. The Palestinians should get rid of their extremist government because it is getting them killed.

Some sympathize with Israel’s attackers, but the bottom line is: Do not point rockets at Israel, and Israel will no longer be compelled to strike.

Michael Stikkel is a junior computer engineering major. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at mcstikke@syr.edu.

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