Iran wants to buy time -- time to continue pursuing its nuclear program, in the wake of growing international opposition. So to distract the world's attention, let's start a proxy war.
Hamas, the Palestinian terror group, on June 25, 2006, tunneled into Israeli territory, kidnapped one Israeli soldier, killed two more, and have since launched hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel.
Nearly three weeks later, the Iranian- and Syrian-backed terrorist group in Lebanon, Hezbollah, entered Israel, killed eight Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two others. The terror group then launched over 1,400 rockets into Israel during the first five days of the conflict, and even struck an Israeli ship with a missile -- showing more capability than experts assumed.
The European Union urged Israel to show restraint, expressing great concern "about the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Lebanon in response to attacks by Hezbollah on Israel." France's President Jacques Chirac said, "One may well ask if there isn't today a kind of wish to destroy Lebanon. . . . I find honestly -- as all Europeans do -- that the current reactions are totally disproportionate." The Vatican issued a statement saying, " . . . [T]he Holy See deplores right now the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation. . . . "
Restraint? Hezbollah threatens to exterminate Israel and to defeat America. Hamas accuses the Israelis of "stealing" the Palestinians' land. The Hamas Covenant, Article Three, describes the duty of all Muslims: " . . . [To] fear Allah and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors." Article Eleven clarifies their belief "that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [property that generates revenue for mosques and religious schools] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day." Article Thirteen flatly states, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad."
World Net Daily's Joseph Farah, an Arab-American, years ago wrote a column titled "The Jews Took No One's Land." The Holy Land, writes Farah, was described as a vast wasteland in the 19th century. Beginning in the mid-1800s, Jews were the majority -- often an overwhelming majority, especially around Jerusalem. When Jews began to return to their "promised land" early in the 20th century, the desert literally began to bloom under their industry. Arabs followed, coming in large numbers for the jobs and prosperity. In 1948, when the United Nations partitioned the land into separate Arab and Jewish states, the surrounding Arab states immediately declared war. The Jews urged the Arabs to stay and live peacefully. Many Arabs chose to leave, to be rejected, used and virtually imprisoned by Arab power brokers.
Joan Peters, in "From Time Immemorial," a wonderful book about the history of the Israeli/Arab conflict over Palestine, quotes Khaled Al-Azm, Syria's prime minister after the 1948 war. Years later, Al-Azm wrote, "Since 1948 it is we who demanded the return of the refugees . . . while it is we who made them leave. . . . We brought disaster upon . . . Arab refugees, by inviting them and bringing pressure to bear upon them to leave. . . . We have rendered them dispossessed. . . . We have accustomed them to begging. . . . We have participated in lowering their moral and social level. . . . Then we exploited them in executing crimes of murder, arson, and throwing bombs upon . . . men, women and children -- all this in the service of political purposes. . . . "
Peters also quotes King Hussein of Jordan, who, in 1960, said: "Since 1948 Arab leaders have approached the Palestine problem in an irresponsible manner. . . . They have used the Palestine people for selfish political purposes. This is ridiculous and, I could say, even criminal." Israel withdrew its troops from southern Lebanon in 2000, and pulled completely out of Gaza in August 2005. Following the withdrawal from Gaza, Israel weathered some 700 rocket attacks launched from the former occupied territory. So much for the notion that this crisis turns on the withdrawal from "occupied" territory.
Bombay. Bali. Madrid. London. Cairo. Washington, D.C. And New York, and New York again. Spanish authorities foiled a terrorist attack on its National Court, Spain's center for prosecuting terrorists, after the Spaniards agreed to withdraw from Iraq following Madrid's train bombings. Much of the world, and unfortunately, much of America, refuses to get it. This is World War III. Islamofascism seeks our destruction -- not accommodation, not conciliation, but complete and total destruction. Islamofascism does not end with the "recapture" of "historic Palestine." Our very existence -- democracy, freedom, religious tolerance and gender equality -- threaten Islamofascism.
If the Europeans don't get it, at least some of the so-called "moderate" Arab states do. In a dramatic departure from the past, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and several Gulf states blame Hezbollah, not Israel, for starting the war. Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu notes that the terrorists call Israel "little Satan," and America the "great Satan." But, Netanyahu warns, sooner or later the Europeans will realize that terrorists consider them the "middle Satan."
Nothing short of civilization is at stake.