Burt Prelutsky

Just for the record, I am a non-observant Jew. That means that my mother’s father, Max Lashevsky, who kept kosher and attended an orthodox synagogue every day of his life, would probably have considered me a heathen, while Adolph Hitler would have exterminated me in a gas oven.

I want that to be perfectly clear so that when I declare my concern for Israel, nobody will simply assume it’s because I’m Jewish. I am on the side of Israel because it’s a western democracy, an ally of America, and because I regard her enemies as the scum of the world.

Israel’s foes believe in targeting women and children just so long as they’re Jewish or Christian. They are not only intolerant of the freedoms we take for granted -- speech and religion -- but they are polygamous, treat their women as chattel and encourage their children to achieve martyrdom as suicide bombers. Moreover, so-called honor killings are part of what passes for their culture.

In order to realize what a paternalistic society they have, you need only look at a photo of an Arab mob carting a corpse through the streets of Gaza; even when it’s the corpse of a child, I challenge you to find a woman anywhere in sight. So far as the Arabs are concerned, the mother, grandmother, aunts and sisters, are of absolutely no consequence.

Yet here in America and even more so in Europe, you will find millions of theoretically civilized people who find a moral equivalence between Israel and her sworn enemies -- and even more millions who favor the Arabs.

In a recent Rasmussen Poll, 62% of Republicans in America sided with Israel, while a mere 31% of Democrats favored Israel in the current conflict.

As you may have noticed, the world’s media rarely if ever remarked about the thousands of missiles Hamas fired into Israel over the past few years. However, once Israel finally got around to announcing that enough was enough, and went on the offensive, Condoleezza Rice and the European Union didn’t waste a second before crying “Foul!” and throwing a penalty flag.

This same pattern is followed each and every time that Israel responds to unprovoked attacks. You can invariably count on the nations of the world agreeing that Israel is out of line. While it’s nice they can agree on something, it’s a shame that “something” never seems to be Islamic terrorism, Arab barbarism or slavery in modern- day Africa.

Can you imagine anyone in his right mind 67 years ago claiming that America was over-reacting to Pearl Harbor? Would anybody but an idiot have suggested that once America had sunk an equal number of Japanese battleships or killed an equal number of Japanese soldiers and sailors that we should have ceased hostilities and turned things over to European diplomats, especially after seeing how well those fellows had kept Hitler and Mussolini in check?

The fact is, only Arabs would continue to call the human refuse of Gaza refugees. The only reason that there were any Arab refugees back in 1948 was because Egypt, Jordan and Syria, promised to exterminate the Jews and divide the spoils, not because the Israelites had exiled its Arab population. Once Israel fought off the invaders, no Arab nation would open its doors to the refugees, and to this day no Arab nation ever has.

But that was 61 years ago! Who ever heard of people being refugees for six decades? How can people who have never lived in Israel, whose fathers and mothers never lived in Israel, continue to lay claim to a place where they’ve never set foot -- and which, according to Arab textbooks, doesn’t even exist? They might as well insist they have a claim to Oz, Atlantis or Brigadoon.

Frankly, I marvel at Israel’s spiritual fortitude, at her reluctance to seek Biblical retribution. Even one missile would be enough to get me riled up. To absorb 10,000 missile attacks strikes me as verging on the masochistic. I honestly think Israel continues to be far too concerned with world opinion. After 61 years of hearing one’s enemies repeating Hitler’s plans for the final solution, collateral damage would be the least of my concerns.

I understand that civilized societies are supposed to worry about the deaths of women and children. But in civilized societies, parents don’t raise their youngsters to be suicide bombers and they certainly wouldn’t dance in the street when 3,000 innocent Americans were incinerated on 9/11.

There are still people who regret the A-Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I am not one of those people. That’s because it’s estimated that if the bombs had not been dropped, if, instead, America had been forced to invade Japan, as many as a million lives -- Japanese as well as American -- would have been lost. Coincidentally, like the Arabs and the Muslims, the Japanese had their own version of youthful suicide bombers -- the Kamikaze pilots who sacrificed their lives by crashing their planes into American ships.

One of the young sailors who was in the South Pacific at the time, on his way to the planned invasion, was later to become a dear friend of mine. Last week, he died at the age of 81. Perhaps the reason that Joe X Price got to live those additional 63 years was because when it really counted, America didn’t overly concern itself with collateral damage.