U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry just returned from a peacemaking mission in the Middle East, trying to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas. Forgetting that the specifics of the proposed truce would have given Hamas everything they wanted and would have left Israel in the same state that caused them to take action in the first place, I think a larger question is in place. Why are we—the United States, an ally of Israel, one of a number of nations to have declared Hamas a terrorist organization—urging Israel and Hamas to sign a truce? Lest we forget, this is not the nation of Israel at war with the nation of Gaza. This is the nation of Israel at war with terrorists. We, of all countries in the 21st century, should understand that sort of conflict. And so, I ask again, why are trying to get these two sides to settle? Why aren’t we pledging our total and absolute support to Israel in stomping out terrorism? And how can the United States of America not understand that making peace with terrorists isn’t an option?
I know there are complexities and intricacies at play that I cannot even imagine. And nothing is as simple as it seems on TV. But this is a fundamental precept. A sovereign nation, who wants only the right to life and liberty, is fighting against an organization who wants to exterminate them from the earth. An organization who sends suicide bombers to blow up city buses. An organization that places military command posts in hospitals and hides their weapons in civilian areas. An organization of hate. How can any reasonable person look at this conflict and not see a clear “good guy” and a clear “bad guy”?
The media—and so it would seem from their efforts, the current administration—would like to portray this conflict as a battle of equals. Israel is condemned for killing innocent people in their bombing campaigns, and for taking a disproportionate number of lives compared to Hamas. So not only are they being criticized for winning (and you thought it was just kids soccer where we blurred the lines between winners and losers) but for the natural results of war. Is loss of life tragic? Absolutely! Are many of the Palestinians who are being killed “innocent”? Absolutely. But here is a cold hard truth of life: Innocent people die. All of the Israelis who have been killed are innocent. All of the victims of terror around the world are innocent. And while ridding the world of Hamas is going to have some collateral damage—and that collateral damage is indeed tragic—I believe it will be far smaller than the damage (lost lives) that will occur if Hamas is allowed to continue terrorizing under the guise of a “truce.” And keep in mind, Hamas was elected to power by some of these innocent people. Hamas is ordering them to stay in the way of bombings after Israel has warned them to leave and be saved—Hamas is the one killing innocent people.
War is part of life in a fallen world. And while we would all love peace, we have to be realistic. The nature of things should teach us that peace does not occur when “good guys” and “bad guys” agree to peace, because bad guys cannot be trusted to maintain peace. (That’s why we incarcerate criminals instead of having them sign an agreement that they won’t do bad things anymore.) Peace occurs when bad guys are eliminated or forced to be peaceful. We should not be trying to get Israel and Hamas to sign a truce and return to the status quo. We should be cheering for Israel and supporting Israel, exhorting them on until Hamas has been obliterated from the face of the earth. Will innocent people die in that quest? Certainly. Will more innocent people die if that quest is not undertaken and completed? I think that is far more certain.