Forget Canadian politics for now. It can wait.
I am disgusted beyond belief at the reactions to Operation Cast Lead (Israel-Gaza conflict) from the leftist lobby. The Globe and Mail calling the rocket attacks "shock and awe" only to exert military superiority. The Star calling for proportionality and an immediate ceasefire. CBC broadcasting "analysts" that distort and mislead, and CTV giving carte blache to a hatemonger that call the operation a "genocide," "Nazi-like," and trys to legitimize Hamas's terrorist actions. Pro-Palestinian protesters in Toronto burning the US and Israeli flags. Even Jon Stewart hopping on the train, one hopes only to appeal to his liberal audience, saying that the "other side" (i.e., the terrorists) aren't getting enough press time.
It's not that I'm not used to this. I live in a country that leans to the left, and for the past couple of years, hating Israel has become quite "trendy" in the liberal camps. On top of that, I (usually) attend York University, one of the most anti-Israel universities in Canada, where it seems like "Israel Apartheid Week" all year long. But this latest outbreak of blame-Israelitis reaches a new low, as our good friend Comrade Sid "Death to Israel" Ryan, head of CUPE, proposes to ban Israelis from teaching in Canadian universities "unless they explicitly condemn... the assault on Gaza." The motion hearkens back to the days of communist USSR, where refusal to swallow the party line meant your destruction. It is racist, it is counterproductive, and it is just plain wrong.
Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post recently that this conflict "possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating." Perhaps it is ignorance that drives people to support an organization whose charter call for the destruction of Israel and laughs at any and all talks of negotiation. But the facts remain; Hamas has not only targeted only civilian areas in Israel for the past three years, (beleive it or not, the number of ripped-out waterpipes blasted at Israel since 2006 is almost at 6500) but has set up their own bases of attack to kill as many Palestinians as possible. To quote Krauthammer again, "For Hamas, the only thing more prized than dead Jews are dead Palestinians." And the facts, rarely shown on the news, prove him right. Palestinians told to stand on the roofs of soon-to-be-assasinated Hamas leaders. Mortar fired from the playgrounds of elementary schools. Mosques and universities stockpiled with rockets. Family members trapped in the homes of their terrorist father and husband, certain to be rocketed. Indeed, these extremists value death almost as much as Israelis value life. If they were really fighting for Muslim ideals, as they claim, they must have skipped over the part of the Quran that states, "if anyone slew a person... it would be as if he slew the whole of mankind." (al-Ma’ida, 5:32)
Israel has unceasingly tried to save as many civilian lives on both sides. She has sent text messages and dropped "sound bombs" to warn civilians in advance to get out. She is attacking only military targets. Israeli hospitals are giving aid to hurt civilians from their own attacks. Show me one country that has ever displayed that quality of ethics in a time of war.
The difference between the two sides are clear: one targets killers, while the other targets innocents. One warns civilians to get out, while the other tells them to literally bite the bullet.
Detractors of Israel use two tactics to try to drain public support from Israel without being labeled as extremists. First, they call the attacks "disproportionate." The entire concept is ridiculous. It implies that because there are less Israelis dead than Palestinians, something must be wrong. If Israel were to be "proportionate," they'd either have to a) send only Qassam rockets into civilian areas of Gaza, ensuring defeat and endangering civilian with no chance of destroying the terrorists, or b) let Hamas kill 400 Israelis to even the score. There is no other explanation of the concept; it is merely a buzzword to make people beleive that neutrality is the way to go. Second, they push for a ceasefire. This is clearly wrongheaded; if Hamas knows how to do anything, it's how to quickly regroup. All of the civilian lives lost in this battle will be in vain. Israel must do what it set out to do: destroy Hamas. Palestinians can no longer stand a government spending all resources on turning Gaza into a terrorist base.
When Israel pulled out of Gaza, they gave new hope to Palestinians that they could have a properous future. Hamas took away that dream in an attempt to destroy the country that gave them an autonomous territory of their own for the first time in Palestinian history. Now, Israel is finally doing what is expected of any democratic country; restore security to its citizens and the citizens of Gaza. Those so-called Palestinian supporters should look at the facts and hang their heads in shame.