WorldNetDaily, May 25, 2004


By Joseph Farah

Just about the same time the United Nations was condemning Israel for its anti-terrorism operations in the Gaza Strip, the United States found itself under international fire for bombing a wedding party and killing innocent Arabs in Iraq.

Israel is defending itself in Gaza -- the source of hundreds of terrorist attacks on Israel and on Jewish civilians who live in territory.

But the United States didn't veto the U.N. resolution, as it often does. Instead, the United States abstained on the resolution, sending the wrong signal, once again, to the anti-Israeli international community.

The resolution came on the heels of charges that Israel had killed up to 20 Arab civilians during a demonstration. The number has gone down to around 10 since then, and Israel says it is actually seven -- including five armed terrorists.

Innocent people do get hurt in these bloody conflicts between terrorists and the civilized world. No nation should know that better than the United States, victim of the worst terrorist attack in the history of the world. But when innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire, they should be seen as victims of terrorism, not victims of nations defending themselves.

The United States did the right thing going halfway around the world to challenge terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. But Israel is confronting terrorists much closer to home. The Israelis war on terrorism takes place in its own streets and in its own backyard on a daily basis.

Yet, here's what U.S. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations James Cunningham said after the vote:

While we believe that Israel has the right to act to defend itself and its citizens, we do not see that its operations in Gaza in the last few days serve the purposes of peace and security.

The U.S. doesn't see how killing terrorists a few miles from Israel's capital and major population centers "serves the purposes of peace and security"? If the United States can't justify this kind of urgent self-defense by a small country surrounded by hostile neighbors promotes peace and security, how does the United States justify actions thousands of miles from its own territory and its own population centers?

Regarding the Americans' bombing of the wedding party in Iraq, U.S. officials said that the target was a suspected safe house for terrorists, that U.S. planes had come under fire, and that the bombing was had been carried out "within the framework of our rules of engagement."

Why is it that the U.S. is free to establish rules of engagement in defending itself while not applying those same standards to its friend and ally in this war -- Israel?

The Security Council ignored the explanation provided by Israel's Ambassador Dan Gillerman:

The whole of Gaza, and Rafiach in particular, is on the verge of becoming a missile base aimed at Israel's cities and civilians ... What would the international community have Israel do? Just sit back and wait for this horrific scenario to materialize? The suffering of the Palestinian population is a direct result of Palestinian terrorism aimed at innocent Israelis, and the need for Israel to protect its citizens from these abhorrent attacks. Rather than criticizing Israel for damaging private property, those truly concerned for Palestinian welfare should instead demand that the terrorists stop using homes to shield their illegal operations.

And that's just what the United States should be doing right now as it, too, is under fire from the international community for its actions in Iraq. The United States should stand with those few nations which understand what is at stake in this global conflict with Islamo-terrorism. It should support Israel's restrained efforts at defending itself.