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The Fruits of Rage, Part II

by Richard L. Rubenstein (April 2009)

On December 18, 2008, Hamas declared an end to the six-month old ceasefire with Israel. Six days later it Hamas ratcheted up its mortar and rocket fire against Israeli targets. To end the rocket attacks, Israel launched air strikes on December 27 at targets in Gaza. Almost immediately, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, speaking as president of the European Union, criticized Israel for a “disproportionate [1] Often repeated, Sarkozy’s complaint failed to confront a crucial issue in the conflict: What is the appropriate response of any community to an enemy on its borders that has openly and unconditionally stated that it is under a divinely-sanctioned mandate utterly to destroy that community and its people? Would any of the states condemning Israel for its alleged “disproportionate” use of force tolerate the aggression of such an entity? How indeed does one relate to a group that uses hospitals as its military headquarters and mosques, schools, refugee camps, and civilian housing to store and fire its weapons?[2] Would any other government add to the hazards facing its own people by permitting the enemy’s civilian population, deliberately placed in harm’s way by its own rulers, to dwell in safety? Just how many deaths and injuries is Israel expected to sustain before retaliating? more>>>