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With Friends Like These

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

If Israel won't do it, who will? The Israelis understand that friends, even old friends like the United States, are nice -- but nice is never enough. The Europeans, who were saved by outsiders from an evil a lot like radical Islam twice in the previous century, are the last people on earth the Israelis can depend on. And who knows what this American president would do for anybody when crunch comes to crunch? No, if the Israelis are interested in survival, they'll have to do it.

Hamas continues to rearm for more war against Israel, secure from accounting for their atrocities behind the barrier of the double standard. They're aided and abetted by friends in the neighborhood, mostly the Turks, who sponsored the "peace" flotilla intercepted by Israeli commandos early this week.

The arguments continue about the how and when of the Israeli response to the provocation, but never the why. The sponsors of the flotilla, a not-so-obscure "charity" with close ties to Hamas, knew when the boats left Cyprus bound for Gaza that the Israeli navy would intercept them. The sponsors knew why, too: Hamas has been trying for months to open new routes for the rockets, arms and ammunition the Palestinian terrorists intend to fire into Israel to kill Jews. The fewer rockets fired into Israel, the fewer dead Jews. It shouldn't be difficult to understand this.

This preference for life seems a mystery to the Europeans and to some people we expect to know better. David Cameron, the new prime minister of Britain, gives lip service to the ritual promise, "reiterating," in the words of the British Foreign Office, "the United Kingdom's strong commitment to Israel's security." Only don't count on it: The prime minister urged Israel to "respond constructively to legitimate criticisms of its actions, and do everything possible to avoid a repeat of this unacceptable situation."

Cameron, who seems bright enough, "deplored the heavy loss of life off the coast of Gaza," as if unaware of who started the fighting that led to the heavy loss of life.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was "profoundly shocked" by the Israeli raid, though fortunately for France, not fatally shocked. His Excellency imagines that his contribution to the West's struggle against radical Islam -- banning Muslim symbols and headgear in public schools -- should be enough. We're all aware of the French trade in haute couture, but the Israelis are threatened by weapons somewhat deadlier than needle and thread.

The Turkish government is unhappy with the invective against Israel. It was particularly unhappy with President Obama. Trying to find words to satisfy Americans who applaud Israel's grit in the face of provocation while nevertheless appeasing the Democrats on his left who are weary of Jews, Obama merely said he wanted "more information" before he draws conclusions. Fair enough, so far, though the provocation is probably as much to test Barack Obama's professed loyalty to Israel as to provoke Israel.

"I have to be frank," the Turkish foreign minister told reporters in Washington. "I am not very happy with the statement from Washington. We expect a clear condemnation of Israel. We expect full solidarity with us." Something more like the response of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, perhaps. The clown prince of Iran called the Israeli commandos "rabid dogs."

The rabid hysteria in the rest of the world capitals will subside as facts emerge. Searches of the "peace" ship Mava Marmara discovered aid that you wouldn't expect to find on a "peace" ship: bulletproof vests and night-vision goggles, like those worn by Navy Seals. And 50 of the "peace activists" were discovered to be traveling without passports, risky business anywhere, but particularly in the Middle East, and with envelopes stuffed with enormous amounts of cash. Cash, of course, is always welcome, particularly by terrorists.

Several familiar faces were found to be on board when the boats docked under Israeli escort. These included a former American ambassador to Mauritania and a former member of Congress, Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, a longtime supporter of Arab causes and tireless needler of George W. Bush, who she said had advance knowledge of Sept. 11. Raging against Israel is all in the day's work on the goofy American left.

The obvious question to these angry critics of the only democracy in the Middle East is how, if Israel shouldn't do it, can the free nations of the world keep arms from flowing to Hamas? Since the question is never asked, the only conclusion a reasonable man can make is that the free nations of the world don't think disarming terrorists is necessary.

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