The Lebanese demanded a toned down, more “balanced” denunciation that includes criticism of Israeli retaliatory strikes in Gaza. It did not matter that the IDF responded by attacking legitimate targets – leaders of the terror group that executed the attacks, weapons compounds, smuggling tunnels and rocket and mortar cells aiming to kill Jews indiscriminately. No condemnation was issued, and no one blinked an eye.
The Arab League also announced an emergency session over Israeli retaliation in the Strip. Apparently, the death of some murderers was a more pressing affair than the thousands of casualties in Syria, ongoing riots in Yemen, and the civil war in Libya.
The Egyptians, without even a shred of corroborating evidence, rushed to blame the IDF – rather than lunatic Islamic fanatics - for the death of Egyptian soldiers. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside Israel’s embassy in Cairo, demanding the abrogation of the 1979 peace treaty. It seems quite evident that many Egyptians were looking for a reason to blame us, even when such blame was bogus, but this seems to have fallen on deaf ears as well.
Meanwhile, hours after a “ceasefire” was mediated by Egypt and supposedly accepted by Hamas and other Gaza factions, Israel was hit by several rocket attacks. Again, condemnations from the international community remained elusive.
And where are the NGOs, media commentators, politicians and heads of state, social activists and proponents of human rights? The answer to that question is mostly rhetorical.
Aggressive PR campaignHow much more of this blatant hypocrisy can we possibly endure? The world expects us to act with restraint every time we face violence and odium from our enemies. Yet when Islamic fanatics are murdering Israeli civilians, global media’s silence is deafening. The time has come for us to say enough is enough. We will proudly defend our country, we will respond forcefully to the threats against us, and we will not lie down silently as the enemies sworn to our destruction attempt to turn their vision of a Jew-free Palestine into reality.
Above all, we will not apologize for our actions.
If the rocket fire doesn’t stop willingly, we will ensure its cessation by appropriate military and political action. No apologies will be necessary, as our enemies have provided us with no other feasible option. Nearly a million citizens will not be subjugated to permanent disruption of their daily lives. If we have to traverse into Gaza and root out terrorist elements by force, then that’s exactly what we will do.
If our enemies do not want to engage in dialogue or respect ceasefires, Israel will make them pay, heavily. Let the international community cry foul, but we should meet our national obligations and defend our honor: as long as foreign observers do not have civilian buses being shot up or rockets falling on their cities, their criticisms should be respectfully, yet sternly, put aside while we tend to our own national interests. We are fighting for our lives, not theirs.
The defensive PR campaign strategy must be eradicated. When Israel faces these violent confrontations, it must initiate an aggressive, pro-active approach highlighting the atrocious nature of our enemies’ actions. Remind the world that the Palestinians are not united and that a peaceful Palestinian state at this moment is nothing more than a pipedream. Hamas can’t even reign in the terror in its own 140 square mile backyard.
Show the world images of hundreds of rockets falling on our cities, buses riddled with bullet holes and Israelis running for their lives, huddled in bomb shelters trying to evade death.
Whatever action we decide to pursue in the face of repeated attacks on our civilians, one thing is clear: Even if the world demands an apology, it doesn't mean that demand is justified. We live under daily threats of terror and death, and we will tend to those dangers without apologizing.
Avi Yesawich is an independent journalist and political commentator on Middle East politics. He holds degrees from Cornell University and Tel Aviv University, is an IDF combat reservist and contributor to the IDF activism website, www.friendasoldier.com. Follow him on Twitter here .
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