EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Israel is right to protect its citizens, country

2012-11-25T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Israel is right to protect its citizens, countryBy Michael Steinberg nwitimes.com
November 25, 2012 12:00 am  • 

On Monday, members of the Jewish community participated in a rally on the Purdue University Calumet campus to raise awareness of the countless missiles being launched by terrorists harbored by the Hamas government in Gaza.

No Israeli condones the loss of innocent lives in this recent conflict, but the question needs to be asked: What government would continually allow the shooting of missiles and mortars into its sovereign territory with the sole purpose of killing innocent civilians? No one? Wrong! Israel has had to endure these attacks for almost 12 years.

Israel's most recent response, Operation Pillar of Defense, would be the immediate reaction of almost every country in the world, yet, the Israelis have had to endure these acts of terrorism with unusual restraint.

In 2006, Hamas won the democratic elections to govern Gaza after Israel unilaterally withdrew from this area in 2005. Although it is an organization that wants to seek the complete and utter destruction of the state of Israel, the Israelis still take the moral high ground with Hamas.

As I wrote this, the residents of Gaza received utilities, cell phone service, food and other forms of aid from Israel.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has no problem calling for the destruction of Israel, but when his brother-in-law needed life-saving heart surgery, did Prime Minister Haniyeh turn to his Arab brethren for help? No! Haniyeh’s brother-in-law and sister were granted special permission to go to Israel to be treated by Jewish doctors in Tel Aviv.

Golda Meir, the fourth Israeli prime minister, summed up this conflict in this poignant quote, “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us. When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.”

If peace could ever be achieved between these two peoples, it is no telling what they could accomplish together.

Michael Steinberg is executive director of the Jewish Federation of Northwest Indiana. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.

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