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How Can the World Be Blind to Israel’s Existential Threats?

It is amazing to me that there is so much confusion over who the terrorists are, who wants war, and who wants peace.

by
Michael Yon

Bio

January 30, 2009 - 12:05 am

I heard Benjamin Netanyahu, the person who could soon become Israel’s new prime minister, speak this week at the Jerusalem Conference. The most pressing point that he talked about was that under no circumstances should Jerusalem be divided. Many believe that if Jerusalem were to divide, the terrorist group Hamas would set up a headquarters here, which would result in Iranian agents — who also wish to see genocide against the Israelis — setting up shop within the confines of Jerusalem.

It is amazing to me, as an American who travels the world on a near-constant basis, that there is so much confusion over who the terrorists are. Hamas is a terrorist organization that condones and facilitates suicide bombings and will kill every Jew on the planet if they have the chance. Meanwhile, Israel is an energetic democracy with a vibrant press. I could sit right here in Jerusalem and write bad things about Israel and Jews, and nothing would happen. Maybe I wouldn’t get invited somewhere or would be called an anti-Semite, but that would be it. Neither the Jews nor the Israelis would harm me, though they likely would write bad things about me. I came to Israel with no press accreditation and at the airport they knew that I was a writer. Yet they let me in and have allowed me to freely roam the country. Today I was in very close proximity to Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Netanyahu talked about how, in this very hotel, Rehavam Ze’evi had been murdered just a few floors above our heads. The security seemed incredibly lax by American standards. Bernard Lewis and other extremely smart people were there.

Israel is a free country that abides by the rule of law. By contrast, if a writer were to go to Gaza or Iran, for instance, and start writing bad words, he might wind up on the news, dead. Israel allows Christians and Arab Muslims to worship freely, while Hamas wants to see us all at the bottom of the sea. Hamas, supported by Iran, is clear about their goals: they want to wipe out Israel completely, utterly, with finality. But it’s not just Israel that Hamas wants to kill; they want to kill all Jews everywhere. Complete genocide.

And when Iran has the capacity to launch rockets over to Europe or the United States, one can count on it happening. If they can manage to hatch nuclear weapons, we could see Israeli cities annihilated, leaving Israelis with little choice other than to respond with nuclear weapons, which could leave millions dead. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, Iraq will want them, as will other nations who are threatened by Iran. I’ve lived in Europe for about six years, and it is easy to imagine Europe being engulfed in a massive religious and race war. America is relatively sedate on the racial front, but Europe could explode if a serious terrorism wave were to sweep through.

It is simply astounding that many foreign governments do not see this for what it is. Good Muslims are murdered by Muslim extremists in probably dozens of countries, yet certain European governments insist that there is some sort of moral equivalence between Hamas and the democracy called Israel. At this conference, I hear incredulous Jews who are concerned that their soldiers and political leaders might be charged with war crimes and arrested if they travel to Europe. This is just one example of the racism that vexes Europe and keeps it behind where it could be. Imagine for a moment that Cuba were launching missiles at Florida. We would sink their navy, shoot down their air force, wipe out their army, and kill Castro. Yet thousands of rockets have been raining down on Israel, while many members of the international community demand that Israel do nothing. These rockets are advertised to be small and not much of a nuisance, but each one carries about 15 times more explosives than a hand grenade. Hamas favors launching the rockets when kids are going to or coming from school. Clearly they are trying to murder the children who are growing up under attack. The Israelis have proven time and again that they will choose peace if given a chance. Hamas, when given a chance, chooses war.

I hear great concern that our new administration will turn its back on Israel, leaving Israelis to fend for themselves. But these feelings are not limited to the Israelis. Concern comes from numerous allies that the United States might go cold. I’m hearing these concerns from Iraqis, British, Lithuanians, and Israelis, to name a few.

I can safely be called anti-war. But being anti-war does not mean we can hide our heads in the sand in regard to the proximate and growing threat from Iran. If you want to see World War III unfold, just sit quietly about Iran. Iran could be the opening chapter of an apocalyptic era.

Michael Yon, author of Moment of Truth in Iraq: How a New 'Greatest Generation' of American Soldiers Is Turning Defeat and Disaster into Victory and Hope, spent more time embedded with U.S. and British combat troops in Iraq than any other correspondent. Michael Yon has changed his focus to Afghanistan.
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