The Israel-bashers have been crawling out of the woodwork this past week to soundly condemn the "overreaction" to the recent attack by Hezbollah. Such criticism is not only misguided and hypocritical, it also shows a clear lack of understanding of the complex relationship between the current Lebanese crisis and the longer-term balance of power in the region.
To begin with, it's important to note that Israel is not merely fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. These terrorist organizations are being armed, trained and funded by the Islamic fascist Iranian government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which seeks to destroy Israel, dominate the Middle East and spread its brand of extremist Muslim fundamentalism. And make no mistake, a Middle East dominated by Iran is a very scary proposition not just to Israel, but to its Arab neighbors and to the United States (remember "Axis of Evil?") Which is precisely why we've seen the Saudis, Jordanians and Egyptians in a rare, public condemnation of Hezbollah for starting the current spate of violence. The last thing these three Arab nations, as well as others, want to see is Iran become the dominant political and military force in the region, ultimately possessing nuclear weapons and constantly threatening to use them against the free world. That is the ultimate enemy Israel is currently battling in Lebanon. It's a critical balance of power issue.
The blame placed on Hezbollah by Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt is highly justified, as the terror group crossed into Israel, killed soldiers and kidnapped others. This was an unprovoked act of war. An action which would not have happened had the Lebanese government carried out its obligations under 2004's U.N. Resolution 1559 to take control of the Southern border region and disarm, disband and expel Hezbollah in order to assure Israel's security in exchange for ending its 22-year occupation there. Ever since Israel's withdrawal in 2000, its Northern border towns have been repeatedly struck by Hezbollah rocket attacks.
In the wake of Israel's aggressive response to the Hezbollah attack, its been vilified by many who call its military bombardment an "overreaction" and "disproportionate." But these harsh criticisms are borne out of a general ignorance of the facts and an unwillingness to accept the violent existence Israel's endured at the hands of terrorists for decades. By comparison, look what America's response was to the 9/11 attack. A single attack resulted in war. We invaded Afghanistan, dismantled its terror infrastructure, and helped install the Democratic government of Hamid Karzai. One attack. One can only imagine what the U.S.'s response would be had we been consistently attacked for 5, 10, 20, 50+ years. It's appalling and highly hypocritical to see Americans sternly criticize Israel when these same blood-thirsty Americans were rabidly calling for Osama bin Laden's and al Qaeda's heads after 9/11. The crippling fear that Americans experienced that day, and to some extent still feel, is what Israelis live with every day from birth. The double-standard that Israel is expected to abide by is deplorable.
The biggest issue facing Israel today is that both Hamas and Hezbollah are no longer mere terror organizations. They are now terrorist organizations that have become part of the political fabric of Lebanon and Palestine. These brutal killers have been given political legitimacy by a desperate populace that has entrusted its fate to them but, like Yassir Arafat before them, they've not lived up to the greater responsibility that comes with elected office. Rather, they've used these positions of power to further spread their hateful propaganda and wage even greater jihad against Israel. This is not en enemy that's interested in peaceful co-existence and a two-state solution.
The evil that Israel is battling in its two-front war is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state. What then should Israel's "proper reaction", or "proportionate response" be? What's the "acceptable" course of action with an enemy that has invaded your country, killed your soldiers, and taken them hostage? An enemy that seeks to wipe you off the face of the Earth? The future of the Middle East is at stake here. And as the Middle East goes, so goes the United States. A Middle East controlled by Islamic fascists in Iran with nuclear capabilities, arming and training terror organizations, cutting off our oil supplies and committed to Israel's and America's destruction, is a very chilling thought. Perhaps the "overreactionists" throughout the free world ought to consider the longer-term consequences here before its levels more criticism of Israel.