Friday, January 09, 2009
Good Sense From a Good Student (and Steny Hoyer)
Here are my favorite parts:
Our 2005 visit to Israel took place during the "disengagement" period, when Israel painfully uprooted its military and all Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made the decision to leave in spite of significant domestic opposition. We remember how divided Israeli society was, with critics defiantly brandishing orange protest ribbons from their cars. Mr. Sharon's goal, however, was an international show of good faith to kick-start a moribund peace process by giving the Palestinians what they asked for: full control of Gaza.
The plan collapsed. Israel's good intentions were never reciprocated. Instead of building roads, bridges, schools and industry, Hamas and other terrorists wasted millions turning Gaza into an armory. The already flimsy notion that Palestinian terrorism was a consequence of Israeli occupation -- an article of faith among those currently decrying Israel's "aggression" -- blew up along with the 7,000 indiscriminate rockets Palestinian terrorists began to launch into Israel.
Prior to military action, Israel tried a number of other options to stop the rockets, all to no avail. Israel pleaded with Palestinian terror groups to stop their attacks. Israel raised numerous complaints at the United Nations that fell on deaf ears. Israel imposed a blockade of Gaza to deprive Hamas terrorists of the rockets and weapons being used to attack Israel. Israel pressed Egypt to cut down on smuggling tunnels used to deliver rockets and weapons to terrorists. And most recently, Israel worked with Egypt to broker a six-month cease-fire with Hamas.
As Israel negotiated for peace, Hamas built up its weapons supply, acquiring longer-range, more powerful rockets, which are now paralyzing almost 1 million Israelis. Israel's decision to go to war came late last month when Hamas declared that it would not renew the Egyptian-brokered, six-month cease-fire (a cease-fire, it should be noted, that Hamas frequently violated and was urged by Egypt to restore).
America would never sit still if terrorists were lobbing missiles across our border into Texas or Montana; and just as we assert our right to defend ourselves, Israel has every right to protect its own citizens from the implacable foes on its borders. Support for Israel in her time of need, from both Democrats and Republicans, is not just the logical choice. It is both a strategic and moral imperative.
Good work, Eric, and you too Steny, if that really is your name.
You have mentioned before that the blockade is irrelevant since Gaza has nothing to export. Well, you gotta start somewhere.
Israel used to export orange juice.
Not true. Gaza exports at leats two commodities of which I can think. Gazans and terror.
Best wishes for the New Year.