Hamas and Its Liberal Supporters are Responsible for the Current Crisis

Hamas cannot bomb Israel out of existence.  Hamas has dropped ten thousand rockets on civilian targets in Sderot since 2001.  Hamas' suicide bombers have killed hundreds of Israelis eating in restaurants, dancing in discos, and riding on buses. None of this has or will remotely achieve Hamas' avowed goal of destroying Israel. 

On December 19, Hamas declared an end to a temporary and frequently breached truce with Israel and launched a major rocket attack on Sderot timed to coincide with the end of the school day. In response, Israel did what any nation state would be expected to do; it bombed Hamas' military targets in Gaza.

As then Presidential Candidate Barack Obama said, while standing in Sderot, if his daughters were having rockets raining down on them while they slept, he would do everything in his power to stop those rockets.

Jewish children have long been a favorite target of Hamas' rockets and suicide bombers.  And when some other terrorist group murdered Jewish children, as at the Jerusalem yeshiva in June of 2008, Hamas embraced the killings as if they were their own by dancing in the streets of Gaza and passing out sweets. 

Hamas' covenant is not about achieving a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but about replacing Israel with a Palestinian state and pushing the Jews into the sea. It is not just Hamas' covenant that commits it to this goal, but its murderous actions.

We in the West live in an environment dominated by situational ethics. We tend to believe religion is either irrelevant or allegorical. We increasingly lack the cultural impulse to defend anything. We are incapable of understanding a zealous movement like Hamas.

We think that Hamas is like the Irish Republican Army or the secular Palestine Liberation Organization.  With such organizations there is the prospect of compromise, if not conciliation. Such groups deal in tangibles.  Hamas traffics in eschatology.

In 2005, Israel risked civil war by forcing its settlers out of Gaza.  This was a bold commitment to the policy of exchanging land for peace. This is a policy loudly enunciated at every forum on the Middle East hosted by the peace and justice community.  American Jewish philanthropists, in a deal brokered by former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, poured fourteen million dollars into Gaza to buy three thousand state-of-the-art greenhouses from the departing settlers (said to be worth 100 million).  These were turned over to the residents of Gaza, who immediately turned them into scrap. 

The transition brought increased violence. Hamas' rocket attacks that began in 2001 escalated.  Israel, as part of a deal brokered by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, turned over monitoring of the Rafah crossing with Egypt to the European Union, resulting in an exponential increase in arms smuggling.  Hamas, under the Israeli occupation was able to launch fifty Kassam rockets a month.  Two years after Israel's departure from Gaza, Hamas was lunching fifty rockets a day.

When these rockets fell on the people of Sderot, forcing them to live their lives in bomb shelters and with the gnawing fear that their children's schools would be hit, the world gave silent approval.   The so called "human rights" organizations were not blocking traffic on San Francisco's Market Street on behalf of the children of Sderot. Liberal clergy in my community, under the banner of peace and justice, spoke of the military and political wing of Hamas, as if these were different entities.  This convenient fiction by "men of God" gave justification to the murder of Jewish children.  Had the same groups who now militate against Israel's right to self defense militated on behalf of the children of Sderot, perhaps there would be no war in Gaza today.

No civilized society seeks war.  No civilized person relishes the death of his enemies, for they too are human beings. But no nation will sit by while ten thousand rockets rain death and destruction from the sky and do nothing.  Those who have abrogated their moral and theological authority by not having the capacity to be concerned about the victims of Sderot must share in the blame for the current crisis.

Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science who lives in Contra Costa County, California.  He was counter terrorism consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Hamas cannot bomb Israel out of existence.  Hamas has dropped ten thousand rockets on civilian targets in Sderot since 2001.  Hamas' suicide bombers have killed hundreds of Israelis eating in restaurants, dancing in discos, and riding on buses. None of this has or will remotely achieve Hamas' avowed goal of destroying Israel. 

On December 19, Hamas declared an end to a temporary and frequently breached truce with Israel and launched a major rocket attack on Sderot timed to coincide with the end of the school day. In response, Israel did what any nation state would be expected to do; it bombed Hamas' military targets in Gaza.

As then Presidential Candidate Barack Obama said, while standing in Sderot, if his daughters were having rockets raining down on them while they slept, he would do everything in his power to stop those rockets.

Jewish children have long been a favorite target of Hamas' rockets and suicide bombers.  And when some other terrorist group murdered Jewish children, as at the Jerusalem yeshiva in June of 2008, Hamas embraced the killings as if they were their own by dancing in the streets of Gaza and passing out sweets. 

Hamas' covenant is not about achieving a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but about replacing Israel with a Palestinian state and pushing the Jews into the sea. It is not just Hamas' covenant that commits it to this goal, but its murderous actions.

We in the West live in an environment dominated by situational ethics. We tend to believe religion is either irrelevant or allegorical. We increasingly lack the cultural impulse to defend anything. We are incapable of understanding a zealous movement like Hamas.

We think that Hamas is like the Irish Republican Army or the secular Palestine Liberation Organization.  With such organizations there is the prospect of compromise, if not conciliation. Such groups deal in tangibles.  Hamas traffics in eschatology.

In 2005, Israel risked civil war by forcing its settlers out of Gaza.  This was a bold commitment to the policy of exchanging land for peace. This is a policy loudly enunciated at every forum on the Middle East hosted by the peace and justice community.  American Jewish philanthropists, in a deal brokered by former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, poured fourteen million dollars into Gaza to buy three thousand state-of-the-art greenhouses from the departing settlers (said to be worth 100 million).  These were turned over to the residents of Gaza, who immediately turned them into scrap. 

The transition brought increased violence. Hamas' rocket attacks that began in 2001 escalated.  Israel, as part of a deal brokered by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, turned over monitoring of the Rafah crossing with Egypt to the European Union, resulting in an exponential increase in arms smuggling.  Hamas, under the Israeli occupation was able to launch fifty Kassam rockets a month.  Two years after Israel's departure from Gaza, Hamas was lunching fifty rockets a day.

When these rockets fell on the people of Sderot, forcing them to live their lives in bomb shelters and with the gnawing fear that their children's schools would be hit, the world gave silent approval.   The so called "human rights" organizations were not blocking traffic on San Francisco's Market Street on behalf of the children of Sderot. Liberal clergy in my community, under the banner of peace and justice, spoke of the military and political wing of Hamas, as if these were different entities.  This convenient fiction by "men of God" gave justification to the murder of Jewish children.  Had the same groups who now militate against Israel's right to self defense militated on behalf of the children of Sderot, perhaps there would be no war in Gaza today.

No civilized society seeks war.  No civilized person relishes the death of his enemies, for they too are human beings. But no nation will sit by while ten thousand rockets rain death and destruction from the sky and do nothing.  Those who have abrogated their moral and theological authority by not having the capacity to be concerned about the victims of Sderot must share in the blame for the current crisis.

Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science who lives in Contra Costa County, California.  He was counter terrorism consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice.