Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some thoughts for this day...do with as you like

GS Don Morris, Ph.D.

The Return of Israel’s Abducted Soldiers

1. Israel has a duty, as a nation and as a people, to protect those who risk their young lives to defend its citizens
Every Israeli soldier knows that their country will do its utmost to retrieve them should they fall into the hands of the enemy. This is an expression of Israel's deep reverence for human life and of its respect for the fallen. This principle stems from Israel's sense of morality as well as from Jewish ethics. It is a demonstration of Israel's moral and physical strength.
2. There is no comparison between soldiers who guard a border to protect civilians and terrorists who penetrate it in order to kill them
Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were serving as ordinary IDF reserve soldiers, checking a border fence, when they were abducted by Hizbullah on 12 July 2006. They were on Israeli sovereign territory conducting routine duties when seized by terrorists in a cross-border attack.

On the other hand, Samir Kuntar, the foremost terrorist of the five being released in the deal, is a heinous murderer, responsible for one of the most notorious terror attacks on Israel. Kuntar was part of a squad of four terrorists belonging to Abu Abbas's Palestine Liberation Front who infiltrated Israel via the sea on 22 April 1979. At midnight, after killing a police officer, they broke into the Nahariya home of the Haran family and abducted Danny and his four-year-old daughter Einat, taking them to the beach. Danny was shot at close range by Kuntar, as his terrified daughter looked on. Kuntar then slaughtered Einat in cold blood by smashing her head against a rock with the butt of his rifle. In the gunfire battle that developed on the beach, another Israeli policeman was killed. In the meantime, Danny's wife Smadar was hiding in the home's crawlspace with her two-year-old daughter Yael. Tragically, she accidently smothered her little girl while stifling her cries to prevent the terrorists from discovering them.

3. It is morally reprehensible that Samir Kuntar, a vile child-killer, is now being hailed as a hero by Hizbullah
An organization, just like a society, can be judged by whom it chooses to idolize and to hold up as an example for its youth. Hizbullah, an extremist Islamist organization, worships death and destruction, all the while clinging to its goal of destroying Israel.

4. Hizbullah report on Ron Arad is a travesty
The report delivered by Hizbullah regarding the fate of missing airman Ron Arad was merely a minimalistic effort, meant to exonerate Hizbullah and Iran from any responsibility. Consequently, the Israeli government decided to reject its findings and conclusions. Israel continues to consider Hizbullah and Iran responsible for the fate of Ron Arad. The government of Israel will continue with its efforts to obtain all information regarding Arad, and to locate and return Israel's missing and abducted soldiers.

5. Hizbullah not only poses a danger to Israel, it is also an obstacle to peace and a threat to Lebanon’s stability
Hizbullah is an Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel through violence and terrorism. Its extremist ideology rejects all peace talks and threatens the security of any pragmatic Arab party that seeks a negotiated settlement with Israel. While based in Lebanon and claiming to represent its interests, Hizbullah is oblivious to the aspirations of the Lebanese population. It should be recalled that it was Hizbullah's unprovoked abduction of the two Israeli reservists, along with its simultaneous bombardment of northern Israel, that sparked the Second War in Lebanon, to the detriment of millions of Israelis and Lebanese citizens alike.

6. Israel will react forcefully to any attempt, by any party, to abduct its citizens
It should be recalled that the Israeli response to the kidnapping of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser was unprecedented in its gravity. Israel's actions caused heavy damage to Hizbullah’s infrastructure including the loss of hundreds of its members, extensive damage to its arsenal, destruction of its headquarters, its outposts and its barracks in Beirut, as well as leaving its leadership in constant fear for their lives.

7. The deal to return IDF soldiers doesn’t legitimize Hizbullah
Israel’s decision to return its soldiers should not be interpreted as indicating any change in Israel's policy towards this Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization. The international community must continue to recognize the danger posed by Hizbullah and its extremist cohorts to the stability of the Middle East and must support the pragmatic elements in the region, who seek to make peace through dialogue and compromise.

8. Hizbullah persists in defying the international community
Hizbullah is continuing to smuggle arms and ammunition into Lebanon, and to rebuild its missile arsenal, in blatant violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701. It trains, equips and deploys its terrorists not only in areas bordering Israel, but throughout Lebanon, intimidating both Lebanese security forces and UN peace-keepers. The international community must act with determination to remove this manifest threat to the civilians of Israel and Lebanon alike.
9. The international community has now definitive evidence regarding what kind of people they are, what they value and the nature of their culture-all are contrary to our western values. To know what happened to our two soldiers, to with hold this information up to the last moment is the cruelest of behaviors. It demonstrates a lack of compassion, a lack of integrity, a lack of human decency and an intentional action to harm others. The nature of the international community's response to this behavior speaks volumes-thus far, the silence is deafening!

We either stand up for our values and our beliefs, stop "tippy toeing" around "their culture" so as not "to offend" or we should kiss goodbye our grand children's ability to grow and live in a country we were given by our parents. Time to stop being "tolerant" of the intolerant-they certainly are not caring how we feel. They are IMPOSING their values upon us, time to become erect and stop this madness!

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