In Defence of Freedom

I have always been a supporter of Israel. It is a beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East. During a visit there a few years ago, I was struck by the resilience and optimism shown by the Israelis under very trying circumstances. The testing of their patience and resolve in the face of repeated attacks from terror group Hamas has since increased.

Most recently, missiles salvaged from the Libyan Islamist insurgency by the rulers of Gaza have been launched at major Israeli population centres – Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This is an alarming escalation from the hundreds of home-made and rather ineffective rockets directed at Israel annually from within the Gaza Strip.

The cowards in Hamas responsible for these attacks usually store and launch their weapons of terror from within residential areas. This is so that any retaliatory strike will likely incur civilian casualties, which can be paraded before a sympathetic and often unquestioning press in an attempt to discredit the justifiable Israeli defence response.

This is a common tactic used in the propaganda war by terrorists. They view the loss of innocent civilian lives as just collateral damage that can be used to further advance their cause. In some instances, they will even target their own people in grotesque public displays of political violence.

This morning’s media carried one such event. Hamas thugs targeted six alleged ‘collaborators’ and executed them in cold blood on a Gaza street. The gang of murderers then dragged at least one of the bodies through the streets behind their motorcycle.

There was no court, no trial, no defence case – just murder by militants acting as judge, jury and executioner. That’s justice, Hamas style. It’s the type of justice they would willingly export across the globe to further their Islamist agenda.

Hamas leaders want the destruction of Israel. They will not settle for anything less and the Western world needs to understand that. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh recently stated “We said it five years ago and we say it now … we will never, we will never, we will never recognise Israel.” It reads more like a declaration of war than a peace offering to me. But why is Hamas’ extreme agenda unreported or worse still, justified, by much of the media?

Rather than excuse, ignore or dismiss the repeated attacks on a sovereign nation by a terror group, we should be condemning them.

Similarly, we should recognise and applaud the restraint shown by the Israeli military forces and government in the face of extreme provocation. They have every right, and indeed a responsibility, to defend their citizenry from these cowardly attacks.

Only when groups like Hamas put down their weapons can there be hope of peace in the Middle East.

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