May 23, 2021
Setting the Record Straight on the Israel-Palestine Conflict
by: Columnist Art da Rosa
As we have witnessed countless times, Tel Aviv once again recently came under attack by the Palestinians. Some Americans stand with Israel, the only free country in the Middle East, and a staunch American ally. Others have a different view. They accuse the small nation of Israel, surrounded by real and potential enemies, of being the aggressor. I want to set the record straight.
The latest crisis started with the Palestinians firing thousands of rockets into Israel, shattering the cease-fire that has been in place for the past few years. When President Trump took office, he dropped the long-standing U.S. commitment to a two-state solution, while supporting our ally, Israel. The result was a prolonged cease-fire between Israel and Palestine. Many argued that it was the wrong diplomatic approach. But the result is undeniable. There was no open warfare, and peace treaties were made between Israel with Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
During President Trump’s presidency, there were intermittent rocket attacks by the Palestinians. However, they were rare, and Israel exercised enormous restraint by not fighting back. That changed when the Palestinians, on May 15th, Israel’s Sabbath Day, launched over 3000 rockets toward Israel.
Every country has the right to self-defense. This includes Israel. Confronted by an enormous act of aggression, Israel fought back. Even so, the Israelis still demonstrated restraint. While the Palestinians mounted their attacks from densely populated civilian areas, cowardly hiding behind women and children, Israel broadcast their targets one hour before retaliating, thus giving civilians time to flee the area. Subsequent casualties should not be blamed on the Israelis, fighting to defend themselves, but on the Palestinians and their evil strategy of hiding behind “human shields.”
Remember, Palestine is recognized as a de jure sovereign state. They have repeatedly been offered statehood by various U.S. Presidents, including Bill Clinton, the so-called Two-State Solution. The Palestinians have always refused, instead, opting for their decades-long stance seeking to annihilate Israel.
Americans are not unified in their response to this conflict. Some are reluctant to recognize Israel as an ally. They opt for a neutral position when dealing with the Middle East. Their justification is based on the notion that Israel is not truly free, citing the often-Liberal policies instituted in Israel. To them, I want to say that Israel has been the staunchest supporter of America worldwide. Their form of government, though not as free as it could be, is on par with European nations— a Parliamentary System. On the scale of governmental conservatism, Israel surpasses England, Germany, and France.
On the other hand, the Arab countries are essentially dictatorships.
Yet another objection to supporting Israel (often by the Left), is the notion that Israel is the occupying force in the native land of the Palestinian. This is, quite frankly, just plain silly. When Abraham moved to the Holy Land, the natives of the land were the Canaanites. Their king, Abimelech, made a treaty with Abraham, permitting him and his descendants to stay, establishing Israel’s legitimacy. The Philistines, ancestors of the Palestinians, sought to conquer the land by force.
Media spin is that the recent conflict is the fault of Israel. This is simply untrue. I stand with our ally in the Middle East. I stand with Israel.