It is sad to once again see a flare-up of violence between Israel and the Palestinians. While we are deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives on both sides, it is vital to remember some essential facts in this conflict.
First, Hamas is an Islamic terrorist group whose charter specifically calls for the violent destruction of Israel. Second, as Americans, we must recall that after the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001, Hamas brigades were dancing in the street. Third, within weeks of joining Fatah to form a unified Palestinian government, Hamas kidnapped and slaughtered three Israeli teens. Fourth, Israel left the Gaza strip in 2004 for the Palestinians to have more autonomy, but Hamas took control and started a wave of suicide bombings. Fifth, the Israeli Army has photographic proof that the current rocket attacks are being launched from hospitals, mosques, apartments, and playgrounds. Sixth, under international law, Israel has the right to protect its citizens from these rocket attacks.
Before readers of The Santa Barbara Independent condemn “disproportionate use of Israeli force” or urge Israel to “show restraint,” please consider the above facts. We can only hope that in time both the Israelis and Palestinians will put forth leaders who can negotiate an enduring peace.