The reaction to this week’s violence in Gaza, funded by Iran and organized by Hamas, was pretty much as expected.
The United States came out in Israel’s defense, demonstrating the kind of moral clarity that has been its hallmark since the Trump administration came to power. The Arabs issued bald-faced lies about “massacres being perpetrated against our peaceful people.” And Europe, as usual, sat on the fence.
The only surprise came from South Africa, which condemned the Israeli army’s “act of violent aggression,” recalled its ambassador, Sisa Ngombane, and called on the IDF to “withdraw from the Gaza Strip.”
What makes the statement so surprising, of course, is that Israel has not had either a military or civilian presence in Gaza for 13 years, since 2005 when it expelled some 8,000 Jews from Gush Katif. And that’s exactly the point. It left Gaza in a gesture of peace, ending what some referred to as an occupation, and has received in return missiles and, of late, attempts to violently crash through the border and “liberate” the rest of Israel.
There is no country in the world that would allow its borders to be breached, especially by armed thugs who openly threaten the lives of its citizens a short distance away. And while no one, certainly not soldiers in the Israeli army — which has proven itself time and again to be the most moral in the world — relishes the thought of shooting at civilians, the blame here, as Washington says, belongs with Hamas.
“We believe that Hamas as an organization is engaged in cynical action that is leading to these deaths,” said White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah. “The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas.”
Hamas used bribes and threats to get tens of thousands of civilians to come to violent demonstrations at the Gaza-Israel border, with women and children used to shield armed terrorists.
The terror group offered “$100 per family that comes,” and threatened people by accusing them of being “collaborators” if they did not attend the protests, IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis revealed.
The Shin Bet discovered that money for the bribes and for transportation and the huge tents set up at the protest site and for assorted weapons came from Iran.
For many weeks, Hamas has been threatening to bring 100,000 people to the Israel-Gaza border to break through the fence. In the rioting of recent days, its men tried to carry out bombing and shooting attacks, and hurled firebombs and stones at IDF troops across the border. Hardly what you’d call peaceful demonstrations.
What is also not surprising, but infuriating nonetheless, is the support that Israeli Arab MKs give to terrorists who threaten the lives of Israeli soldiers and civilians.
MK Ahmed Tibi, formerly a close aide of PLO mass murderer Yasser Arafat, ym”sh, called on Palestinian Arabs throughout Yehudah and Shomron to join the demonstrations begun in Gaza, referring to the IDF action as a massacre and never uttering word of criticism toward Hamas. He wants to see Gaza-like “opposition” all around Israel.
(Not only does Tibi not condemn Hamas for using international aid money to build terror tunnels, he serves as its spokesman. Hamas’ plan is to use the Gaza riots to spark a third intifada in Yehudah and Shomron, say IDF officials, which is exactly what Tibi is calling for on Army Radio.)
Even more vile than Tibi is his colleague Hanin Zoabi, who was suspended from the Knesset for six months for justifying Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and the abduction of Israeli youths Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach, H”yd.
She regularly calls IDF soldiers murderers, has stated that Jews are not entitled to self-determination (only Palestinians are) and, just recently, that “millions of Palestinians” should march on Yerushalayim.
While Israel can’t do much about Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his preposterous accusations that the IDF is committing “genocide” in the Gaza Strip, or about the misinformed officials in South Africa, it can and must do something about Israeli Arab MKs who incite against the Jews of Israel.
Allowing MKs to make such statements isn’t democracy, it’s lunacy. There is no legislature in the world that would stand for such a thing. And it is an insult to the intelligence and feelings of Israeli taxpayers to make them pay overly generous salaries (NIS 44,223 a month) for “representatives” who seek to harm them.
Moreover, it isn’t just the Jews of Israel who are entitled to better, but the Israeli Arab community that doesn’t identify with the extremist views of Tibi and Zoabi, and would prefer MKs who represent their interests — education, employment, health care — and not those of the so-called “Palestinian nation.”
We can only hope and pray that the instigators, be they from Hamas or the Knesset, find that the Arab public is no longer buying what they have to sell. The residents of Gaza, and Palestinian Arabs elsewhere, will finally get a chance at better lives only when they escape the clutches of leaders who offer nothing but hatred and violence.