Submitted by Charles Knighton
And so it begins anew. After months of provocation, Israel strikes back against Hamas, only to be almost universally condemned as the aggressor. As I pen this letter (Nov. 17) how this latest drama will evolve is unknown, though I am certain it will not take long for the wilfully naive to again claim all Israel needs to do is return occupied land in order for peace to reign supreme. Unfortunately, those calling the shots in the Middle East and North Africa are groups I would refer to as Islamofascists who view Israel as a whole as occupied land.
Any student of history must see that there is something horribly familiar about today’s Islamist movement. Like the fascism of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco, Islamism is based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind. Both are bitterly nostalgic for past empires and lost glories and bent on avenging various historical humiliations at the hands of inherently inferior outsiders. The Islamists, like the Nazis, have a particular loathing of Jews, homosexuals and women. And for Islamists, as for fascists, the ultimate goal is to establish a vast, unconquerable territory—a “caliphate” the Jihadists call it—where their power and ideology will reign unchallenged.
Land for peace is a fiction promulgated by Islamists and credulously swallowed by most of the world. Three times in the last few decades Israel has withdrawn from territories it occupied. Anyone contemplating another withdrawal will inevitably look to what has happened in those places when considering a fourth withdrawal.
In 2005, Israel withdrew every Jewish settler and Israeli soldier from Gaza. There are exactly zero Jewish settlers or settlements in Gaza. But any hope that the end of the settlements signified the beginning of peace disappeared long ago. The border between Israel and Gaza remains a war zone with rockets being fired into Israel by Hamas and the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad organization almost from the time of the Israeli withdrawal.
Another territory from which Israel withdrew is southern Lebanon, where the radical Hezbollah Militia, Iran’s principal ally, holds about 50,000 missiles. Hezbollah fired thousands of missiles at northern Israel in 2006, and has sporadically fired missiles into Israel since. Today, the group stands shoulder to shoulder with the murderous regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he slaughters Syrians calling for an end to his dictatorship.
Islamic apologists insist those two withdrawals did not produce peace because Israel withdrew without negotiating peace agreements. Ahem.
But consider Egypt, the country with which Israel did negotiate and sign a peace treaty. To those who insist that Israel would never exchange land for peace, it’s worth remembering that 30 years ago Israelis gave back to Egypt the Sinai Peninsula, three times the size of Israel’s entire territory, removing thousands of Israelis, and leaving behind natural gas fields, military installations and other facilities. All in exchange for a lasting peace.
In March, the newly elected Egyptian parliament, dominated by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, made a symbolic—unanimous—vote to expel the Israeli ambassador and stop natural gas sales to Israel. The vote came in response to a parliamentary committee report that described Israel as Egypt’s “number one enemy” proclaiming that Egypt “will never be a friend” of Israel. It also pledged support to “all forms” of Palestinian “resistance” against Israel, a thinly-veiled endorsement of violence against Israeli civilians. Days ago Egyptian President Morsi dispatched his prime minister to Gaza in support of Hamas Islamofascists.
In just sixty years Israel has transformed the inhospitable land granted by the United Nations into a country rich in education, technology, culture and democratic principles, producing ten Nobel Laureates along the way. The barbarian sacking of Rome, during which I picture bands of uncultured and uneducated individuals wandering about the Roman Forum while picking lice off one another, presaged the coming of the Dark Age in Europe. If the world does not wake up to the existential threat posed by Islamofascism we may well witness similarly benighted bands picking their noses in the ruins of the Israeli Knesset, while the Middle East and North Africa continue their inexorable slide toward their own Dark Age.