Cliff May

And Muhammad Dahlan, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, told the Arabic language newspaper al-Hayat that Hamas has sacrificed "the Palestinian cause for the illusion of an Islamic emirate in Gaza."

By stark contrast, an army of American and European commentators have been treating Hamas with kid gloves while bitterly criticizing Israel. Reuters, the international wire service, relentlessly editorializes -- in what are ostensibly news stories-- against what it terms "Israeli aggression against Palestinians." Reuters characterizes pretty much anyone who is against Israel - no matter how extreme their views -- as "in support of the people of Gaza."

Others make the case for moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel, or charge that Israel's response to Hamas' attacks has been "disproportionate." On CNN the other day, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered an apt analogy: If you call the police to report an intruder in your home, do you want only a single officer dispatched - because that would be "proportionate"? Or would you rather enough cops arrive to ensure your safety?

By that measure, Israel's response has been not disproportionate but inadequate -- as demonstrated by the fact that the missiles keep on coming.

Time magazine's most recent cover story argues that no matter what Israel does militarily it "can't win." Time proposes that Israelis stop fighting and return to the borders they had in 1967 -- when they were attacked by their Arab neighbors in a war meant to wipe the Jewish state off the map. "Only then will the Palestinians and the other Arab states agree to a durable peace," Time advises. "It's as simple as that."

But if it were as simple as that, wouldn't Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 have brought something other than a 500% increase in missile salvos? What's more, from the West Bank even the smallest missiles could hit Israel's largest cities and international airport. Can you imagine the death toll should those come under daily assault?

Evidently, many pundits and solons cannot. More than a few ordinary Iranians could probably explain it to them.


Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.



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