A Proportionate Response

Douglas Murray in the Spectator has the following video from Hamas’s TV station (A translation of the presenter’s remarks is below). The video is in response to the bombing of a bus in Tel Aviv:

‘These are the scenes of the casualties. God willing, we will soon see black body bags. I pray to Allah the exalted that we see body bags in a short while. These are scenes of the Zionist casualties so far.’

Right now in these moments, the mosques in the Gaza Strip – their minarets are loudly sounding cries of “Allahu Akbar” and cries of joy, and the residents of the Gaza Strip are bowing down to Allah for this offering. The morale of the Gaza residents is in the sky right now, and is rising just as the rockets of the Resistance.’

The Israel/Palestine issue provokes a wide range of often very strong reactions, and that is quite understandable. It is, after all, a ‘biblical struggle’ that has lasted for more than 2000 years.

It is regularly said by people who are “pro-Palestine” that Israel has acted in a disproportionate way by bombing Hamas targets in the Gaza strip (The Goldstone Report, which alleged that Israel had previously targeted civilians was discredited by none other than Richard Goldstone in The Washington Post). Israel has in the past overreacted to Hamas’s provocations, and it is good news that there was no ground offensive during Operation Pillar of Defence. It is, of course very saddening news that more than 100 Palestinians were killed during past couple of weeks.

However, as Rob Marchant rightly points out on The Centre Left, Hamas is not Palestine.  Palestine is a country which, sadly, is being held hostage by Hamas and other associated terrorist groups. The distinction must be made that Hamas is a terrorist organisation. The following is an extract from Hamas’s organisational charter:

The Nazism of the Jews does not skip women and children, it scares everyone. They make war against people’s livelihood, plunder their moneys and threaten their honor. In their horrible actions they mistreat people like the most horrendous war criminals. Exiling people from their country is another way of killing them. As we face this misconduct, we have no escape from establishing social solidarity among the people, from confronting the enemy as one solid body, so that if one organ is hurt the rest of the body will respond with alertness and fervor. 

Presumably the last highlighted quote is why Hamas purposefully place their missile launchers in civilian neighbourhoods.

Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defence achieved the following:

  • All in all, the Israel Air Force hit approximately 1500 targets across Gaza,
  • Destroyed 60 bomb tunnels
  • Destroyed 140 smuggling tunnels
  • Destroyed Hamas’s headquarters and major command centers, including a Gaza media building where Hamas housed its intelligence operations.

All of this is in response to the 1,947 missiles fired at Israeli civilians since January 2012, and the approximately 300 Hamas missiles that fell on Palestinian civilians.

 

Surely this is a proportionate response?

 

 

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“You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

 

“You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

- Winston Churchill on Chamberlain’s return from signing the Munich Pact with Adolf Hitler

This was quoted by Douglas Murray when he quoted Britain’s most famous Prime Minister at the Cambridge Union in 2007, speaking on a debate on the dangers of a nuclear Iran early last year.

I wrote here on the dangers of Iran that is in possession of a nuclear bomb.

Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz through which passes 20% of the worlds oil, and is probably closer to acquiring a nuclear bomb than it has ever been despite mysterious attacks on their nuclear programme. As Iran is put under pressure globally and regionally it becomes more likely that they will eventually produce a nuclear weapon.

As Douglas Murray points out, when they are on the verge of acquiring The Bomb Israel will strike to prevent that from occurring.

Governments around the world will condemn Israel, but they will privately be thankful that the Iranian theocracy doesn’t possess the power to “eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world” (Israel).


 

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Britian would be foolish to rule out an attack on Iran

The United Kingdom, Israel, and the United States would be foolish to rule out an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report this week is expected to reveal that Iran has an active nuclear weapons programme and is close to achieving it’s goals.

Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom have all suggested in recent weeks that that a military strike on Iran cannot be ruled out. Russia and China have both voiced opposition to the IAEA report, fearing that Iran will respond negatively and accelerate it’s programme in self defense.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran has said that the contents of the IAEA report are “fabrications”.

For several years, the IAEA has warned of Iran’s nuclear facilities, and in the past Israel and the United States have applied sanctions to the regime to slow their nuclear weapons programme. Israel and the United States have, according to. There have been fears about “undisclosed nuclear activities involving military related organisations”, including research into the process required to enable the initiation of a nuclear chain reaction.

So – What are the option? Unless Iran backs down, which is unlikely, it seems that the alternatives are further economic sanctions, which tend to hit those that are not responsible for them, or it is military action, potentially along the lines of the Operation Opera strikes that the Israelis conducted against Iraq’s nuclear facilitites.

One thing is clear – Iran can not be permitted a nuclear bomb. A country which has nuclear weapons, like North Korea, but in the heart of one of the worlds oldest conflicts would produce a human disaster on a scale not seen since the 2nd World War.

Military action may distasteful, but it may be the only way to stop a belligerent Iran from developing atomic weapons. Proactive counter-proliferation has been the best mechanism for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons since the Cold War.

Tony Blair, speaking on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks said:

If Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons capability it would destabilise the region very, very badly.

 

Once they have a nuclear bomb, it is too late to do anything about it.

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