The Hamas regime in Gaza can boast of one significant achievement - it managed to unite leftists and rightists in Israel. Both myself and Kadima's Haim Ramon understand that we need to act decisively and firmly in order to topple Hamas.
If the past we heard calls in the center of the political map urging talks with Hamas, its brutal attacks on Sderot residents led almost everyone to adopt the same view, and I also hope that it would lead to united deeds that have two aims: Military acts against Qassam launchers and their masters, and making it clear to the Gaza civilian population that electing a terror group to represent them is the main punishment they must bear.
The State of Israel left Gaza and provided its residents with a historic opportunity to elect their leadership - and they elected a radical, belligerent terror group that is Israel's most bitter enemy. And now, as was the case with many peoples throughout history, they are paying the price of their decision. It is immoral and impossible to task us with bearing even some of the price for their mistake.
Never before in history have we seen an entity that enjoyed impunity in the face of self-defense actions of the side under attack. Hamas declared a war on its neighbor with no discrimination between military and civilian targets, and with no provocation on our part. Yet we do not punish Gaza's residents; we merely realize our right for self-defense while facing a situation that is as clear, simple, and just as it gets.
The question of whether residents of Dresden had to bear the price for electing Hitler to lead them, or whether the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to bear the results of the Japanese government's policies in World War II is controversial to this day. Yet as opposed to other nations who simply turned whole cities and hundreds of thousands of civilians into direct victims - we have utilized the right for self-defense in a phased manner that does not result in direct casualties.
Therefore, Israel has the right to cut off the electricity that it supplies to Qassam workshops, the fuel it provides, which is used
Gaza an enemy state
The price paid by the Gaza population will benefit Israel. This is a legitimate and moral price, and claims regarding a humanitarian disaster are unfounded. We are no longer in Gaza, we made sure not to leave behind anything, and we withdrew to the last inch. Now Gaza is an enemy state. As such, we must address its indiscriminate hostility when it attacks civilians in contradiction of all international conventions and basic morals.
A situation whereby Israel, which is under attack, is asked to maintain the Hamas regime firing at our citizens is unthinkable. The demands for the prevention of a humanitarian disaster should be directed to international aid organizations. We most certainly need to also call on Egypt, Gaza's good neighbor, to do something that is called for and natural for a neighbor that is not in war with Gaza like we are - allow humanitarian aid to go through.
Yet instead of this, we see growing international pressure on Israel to do something completely unreasonable and continue supporting its enemies.
Therefore, before we send our sons to fight in Gaza's alleyways, reinforced with cement that we have transferred to Gaza through crossing points, and before we expose them to the fire of weapons smuggled into the Strip from Egypt - we must try to topple the Hamas regime, and certainly to weaken it through sanctions, while hermetically sealing off the border between the two warring parties.
The impossible situation whereby the Palestinians continue to fire Qassams, while receiving electricity for their Qassam workshops and fuel used by vehicles that fire Qassams, is deluxe terrorism that fits well with the dictum: "The master of the house has gone mad."
In this case, we are the master of the house, and the price we are paying is the security of Sderot and Gaza-region residents, and the stability of the entire State of Israel.
Effie Eitam is a Knesset member on behalf of National Union-NRP