Moral clarity from Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel's former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu really says all that needs to be said about the violence in Gaza in a column in today's Wall Street Journal.

The situation: Imagine a siren that gives you 30 seconds to find shelter before a Kassam rocket falls from the sky and explodes, spraying its lethal shrapnel in all directions. Now imagine this happens day after day, month after month, year after year.

Over the last three years, since Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip, Israeli civilians--civilians, mind you--have been targeted by more than 6,000 rockets and mortar shells fired from Gaza. What would you do if you were in that situation? If the survival instinct had not been entirely bred out of you by too heavy a diet of The New York Times and other purveyors of the poison of moral equivalence, you would say: This is an outrage which must stop, and since Hamas shows no sign of stopping, we must use force to make them stop.

Please do not tell me Israel's response is "disproportionate" or that, by defending themselves, the Israelis are resorting to the same tactics as Hamas. Netanyahu gets it exactly right: "There is no moral equivalence between Israel, a democracy which seeks peace and targets the terrorists, and Hamas, an Iranian-backed terror organization that seeks Israel's destruction and targets the innocent."

The response: "In launching precision strikes against Hamas rocket launchers, headquarters, weapons depots, smuggling tunnels and training camps, Israel is trying to minimize civilian casualties. But Hamas deliberately attacks Israeli civilians and deliberately hides behind Palestinian civilians -- a double war crime. Responsible governments do their utmost to minimize civilian casualties, but they do not grant immunity to terrorists who use civilians as human shields."

Exactement, mon brave! Really, what more need one say? Only this, which puts the conflict in Gaza in proper perspective, identifying it as one front in a much larger struggle that threatens us all:

We fight to defend ourselves, but in so doing we are also fighting a fanatical ideology that seeks to reverse the course of history and throw the civilized world back into a new dark age. The struggle between militant Islam and modernity -- whether fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, India or Gaza -- will decide our common future. It is a battle we cannot afford to lose.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!