Tag Archives: human shields

THE CONTINUING IMPACT OF TERRORISM

Recently, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations made startling statements about what lies behind much of the terrorism in the Middle East. Ambassador Ron Prosor charged that the aggressive behavior of Hamas was backed and financed by the country of Qatar. Oil-rich Qatar has been spreading its influence by purchasing six American universities, Harrods department store in England, and Paris’ Saint-Germain football team. Prosor said Qatar will buy, bride, or bully its way to whatever it wants, including the 2022 World Cup. Second only to Iran, Qatar is becoming the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism.

The ambassador’s charges throw light on why terrorism continues to be so deadly in the Middle East. For example, during the war in Gaza, the Palestinians Authority confirmed that Hamas activists shot PA Arab supporters in the legs. Hamas imposed house arrest on the PA supporters (who knows for what reason) and then shot them in the legs or arms for failure to comply. In addition, it was charged Hamas had been planning a coup against the PA in the West Bank.  The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested 90 Hamas activists to stop the attempt.

The bottom line is that Hamas will use their own people as human shields, kill indiscriminately, use schools and hospitals to launch rockets while applying the millions they receive from Qatar to built rockets and tunnels for sneak attacks on Israel. Terrorism is a specter of hate, violence, and murder now being financed by the nation of Qatar.

Among the victims of this line of thinking are the Christians in Iraq. For 2,000 years Christianity has maintained a heartland in the Iraqi town of Mosul. The apostles Thomas and Thaddeus are believed to have worked and preached in Iraq that was then known as Assyria. Their ministry preceded the birth of Muhammad by 600 years. As ISIS swept in, the Sunni terrorist group expelled Christians from towns in the surrounding area. Terrorist marked their homes with the Arabic letters nun meaning Nazarene or Christian. Then, the invaders declared the residences “Property of the Islamic State.” In 2013, Baghdad’s Monsignor Pios Cacha predicted religious cleansing would affect the Christians as it had the Jewish community a half century earlier. Iraq had been the homeland of 150,000 Jews. Today, less that ten Jews are in the country.

Westerners find it difficult to grasp how religious faith could be at the heart of a Middle Eastern war. Diversity has been a cornerstone of American society from the beginning where today even bizarre sects are tolerated. Not so in the world of deadly battles between Sunnis and Shi’ites continuing daily. The West must wake up to the fact that countries like Qatar spend their billions to underwrite the conflicts. Whether we like it or not, want to avoid the conflicts like a plague, or are forced to see what we don’t want to recognize, countries like Qatar have pulled us into the struggle. Saudi Arabi and Iran each finance different sides in the conflict. The war goes on.

It’s time to pay attention.

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Filed under America, Israel, middle east, Muslims

THE NEW STATUS QUO IN ISRAEL AND GAZA

Everyone is sickened by the death of women and children in Gaza’s death toll of over 1,830 Palestinians in the military skirmish. The 64 Israeli casualties were all soldiers. Hamas fired 3,200 rockets at Israel during the battle and the rockets were destroyed or hit virtually nothing. The Iron Dome defense held. Gaza had no such defense.

Because Hamas used civilians as human shields, blame will be placed on Israel by those who already are negative. In America, 53% of citizens 65 or older blame Hamas. On the other hand, only 29% of citizens aged 18 to 29 support Israel. Growing numbers of Europeans believe that not to be angry at Israel is tantamount to not having a conscience. Of course, part of the growth of European anti-Semitism is in the expanding large Muslim communities.

So, where are we today? Probably the depressing reality is that the Gaza conflict is heading toward a familiar conclusion. People get killed; nothing changes. Some groups will probably attempt to create a U.N. condemnation of alleged war crimes committed by Israel. The Palestinian Authority (PA) may make another attempt to gain recognition as a state. Probably neither of those approaches will produce any significant result. Mahmoud Abbas will go hobbling along affecting little, but making extreme accusations. Benjamin Netanyahu will continue building settlements to put the squeeze on the PA. A weak PA and a defeated Hamas will create a void that well may attempt to be filled by jihadists like ISIS or al-Qaida. The struggle continues.

A new shift may follow as Israel demands not only recognition of their right to exist, but may demand a long-term military presence in the West Bank. Increasing numbers of Israelis already question whether a two-state solution is possible. Many Arabs have already become Israeli citizens because they believe this is the only possible alternative for a productive life. Unless some significant action is taken, Hamas will again be trying to smuggle weapons into Gaza while manufacturing there own rockets in people’s homes. Israel wants to see the international community halt arms shipments from Iran and Sudan. But will they?

Many Arabs are already opposed to Hamas. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates view Hamas as frightening extremists that pose a threat to peace and tranquility in the entire region. By its own actions, Hamas has isolated itself. Now is the time for Israel to stop their warring capacities if Isrealis are to be secure.

Thoughtful citizens in Gaza must recognize that Hamas has only made their lives worse. Will they? At the least, they won’t say so out loud, but they will be thinking. The Hamas strategy of using humans as shields with schools, hospitals, mosques as rocket launching sites has cost the average citizen dearly. At the same time, the hatred of Israel only deepens. The problem is that with over 1,800 deaths, a new generation of young people will rise up bent on revenge even at the cost of their own lives. And the war starts over again.

Sorry. That’s all I can see.

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Filed under Gaza, Israel, Palestinians, War