“If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.”Benjamin Netanyahu
On May 14, 1948, 73 years ago, Israel became an independent nation state. It was soon attacked and has been ever since. As rockets again rain down on Israel—a country of about 9 million that’s roughly the size of New Jersey—from the Gaza Strip the world is again confronted with a narrative that never changes: much of the Middle East—and their proxies—seeks the annihilation of that country as an article of faith and first principle of their governments.
The current violence being imposed on Israel is being carried out by terror groups Hamas, the Iran-supported Palestinian militant group, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Over 1,800 rockets have been fired into the country in the last few days with most of them targeting Israeli civilians. (There would be far more harm done and deaths resulting without Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system which exists with U.S financial and technical support).
What we must understand is that Hamas runs the Palestinian government in Gaza even though every recent U.S. Administration, Republican or Democrat, has declared Hamas a terrorist organization. So, this terrorist organization that is the elected government of Gaza is firing missiles and rockets into the civilian population of Israel. However, when Israel defends itself and responds Hamas often puts children in front of the targets it knows Israel is likely to attack so when they are killed Hamas can dishonestly appear to claim the moral high ground by accusing Israel of killing innocent children. This is truly sickening but a simple if grotesque summary of Israel’s existence.
The Biden Administration has now ham-handedly responded with a call for “de-escalation” of this situation as though there is a moral equivalence between the unprovoked attacks on Israel by these terror groups and Israel’s unquestioned right to defend itself. This new conflict reveals the stark contrast between the Trump Administration, which shepherded a number of historic peace agreements in the Middle East (and for which President Trump has received multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominations), and the Biden Administration, which in 4 months has led to the outbreak of a new war in the Middle East.
(The Biden Administration is modeling its Middle East policy after the Obama Administration which clearly and conspicuously favored Iran. Recall President Obama’s disastrous nuclear “deal” in which Iran “committed” to halting its development of enriched uranium for at least 10 years. In return, it had strict economic sanctions lifted and received billions of dollars from the Obama Administration. This cash was very likely used by Iran to fund acts of terror, wars, and purchase weapons to kill Americans and Israelis. This is all a fraud. Iran cannot be trusted. The only way to insure that a perennially bad and dangerous actor like Iran stops developing nuclear weapons is to destroy its capability to do so and then closely monitor it).
Israel is simply unlike any of the U.S.’s other allies in the world and there are many reasons Americans passionately love and support it. Those reasons include its ancient religious history and sacred role as the birthplace of Christianity and origin of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Its eternal significance is founded on its connection and proximity to Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and ascension into Heaven. They also include God’s promise to Abraham that the Jews were His chosen people and that He would grant to Abraham and his descendants the land that is Israel today. Lastly, Israel has always been America’s strongest ally in the region and one of its strongest allies in the world.
The Biden Administration must quickly and clearly signal to the world that it will stand with Israel. The U.S. cannot appear to accept that there is any moral equivalence between the actions of Israel and these terrorists. There is none and America undermines its credibility in the world and weakens our trusted ally when it hesitates to decisively note and embrace this fact. As we learned from President Obama’s cowardly and impotent “red line” approach to Syria after it gassed its own people, when the U.S appears to hesitate between good and evil, evil forces like Hamas—and its sponsor, Iran—are emboldened.
Royal Alexander is a Shreveport Attorney.