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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/10/09

Israel: There Has To Be A Better Way

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John Bruhns

Let me be crystal clear: Hamas is a terrorist organization that commingles themselves among the civilian population in Gaza. They fire rockets into Israel knowing that eventually Israel will provide a mammoth military response that will kill many innocent Palestinians. This exacerbates anti-Semitism in the Middle East and recruits more terrorists for Hamas' cause.

It's very intentional and the Israelis are playing into the hands of Hamas.

Israel needs to be a lot more selective and discriminatory of their military targets. The IDF is taking no prisoners and killing entirely too many women and children. And despite outcries from the world community for a cease-fire, the Israelis are pressing on blowing up homes, hospitals, Mosques, and schools said to be harboring Hamas militants.

And while the blood flows Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell joined forces yesterday pushing through a bipartisan resolution in the Senate affirming U.S. support for Israel's military actions in Gaza. However, the war between Israel and Hamas is not as two-dimensional as the United States Senate would like to believe. This is a complex and asymmetric war that will not end favorably for either side -- if it ever ends.

I've heard nonsensical dramatics from Harry Reid attempting to make the U.S. Senate's case for Israel by asking his colleagues to " imagine that happening here in the United States. Rockets and mortars coming from Toronto in Canada, into Buffalo New York. How would we as a country react?" Reid's co-sponser, Mitch McConnell said "The Israelis ... are responding exactly the same way we would."

That's fine if they want to use those platitudes, but they should also ask "how would the United States react to an occupying force?" That's just the beginning of properly analyzing the plight of both sides in the conflict.

I've always been a fan of "Give 'Em Hell Harry," but his Beavis and Butt-Head time with Mitch McConnell is too much for me.

I fully support the state of Israel, but not at the expense of hundreds of dead defenseless Palestinian children. Where is the pro-life movement in America on this one?

Once a man's wife and children are brutally murdered human nature allows him nothing to live for except revenge. When it happens in Gaza, and that man kills those who killed his family, we call him a terrorist. In this case what should we call the Israeli Defense Forces?

Our allies, the Israelis need to take the high road and devise a better military strategy in confronting Hamas -- a strategy that minimizes collateral damage.

How can we ever expect peace in the Middle East when both sides are killing the innocent?

In Steven Spielberg's 2005 film Munich there is a very moving scene involving the characters Robert and Avner -- two members of the Mossad. Robert tells Avner "We're Jews Avner, Jews don't do wrong because our enemies do wrong." Avner replies " We can't afford to be that decent anymore." Robert then says to Aver "I don't know if we ever were that decent. Suffering thousands of years of hatred doesn't make you decent. But we're supposed to be righteous. That's a beautiful thing. That's Jewish. That's what I knew, that's what I was taught and I'm losing it. I lose that and that's everything. That's my soul."

What a powerful perspective.

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John Bruhns is an Iraq war veteran. He writes on politics and Mideast conflict.
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