Many have labeled Israel’s response “disproportionate.” The European Commission called “for an immediate halt to military hostilities that are having a heavy impact on the civilian population in Gaza.” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his “extreme concern and disappointment” to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. France’s Foreign Ministry, in language that characteristically begins by criticizing Israel, said “France condemns the Israeli ground offensive against Gaza as it condemns the continuation of rocket firing (by Hamas against Israel).” And after much pressure, the U.N. finally passed a 14-0 resolution, with the U.S. abstaining, that calls for a ceasefire.
Meanwhile, Israel has deployed its own resources to lessen the humanitarian costs and civilian casualties in Gaza, while Hamas has pledged to launch further suicide attacks against Zionists everywhere. Yet, most nations—with some refreshing exceptions like the Czech Republic, which is now the European Union President—seem unable to distinguish the moral difference between a free state defending its sovereignty and a terrorist group attacking civilians.
Of course, the reactions throughout Western Europe pale in comparison to the calls throughout much of the Muslim world for the death of America and Israel. And while certainly not all Palestinians and Muslims can be characterized by the actions of groups like Hamas, and, in fact, so many are victims and deserve better, events in the Middle East still reflect a war between two civilizations…and a clash between three.
Hopefully America’s incoming President, Barack Obama, will appreciate the difference between the three civilizations upon taking office, although there should be cause for concern. He has remained remarkably quiet throughout the most recent Mid-East conflict and there are reports that his administration plans to open a dialogue with Hamas. Furthermore, President-elect Obama seems awfully preoccupied with impressing the international community and a group of nations neither with us nor with the terrorists, just hopeful that someday the divide will disappear.
That result is improbable at best, because in this war, only the most committed will win, and there is no question that terrorist groups like Hamas are committed. Luckily, there is another civilization—however, dwindling—that loves freedom as much as the other civilization loves death. In the meantime, a third people are exhausted and resigned to yelling from the sidelines. In case people have not noticed, they are not yelling encouragement to the good guys.
In Honor of His 103rd Birthday, Here Are The 20 Best Quotes From The Late, Great Milton Friedman | John Hawkins