As the recent conflict in Gaza quieted down, the world finally began to shift its attention to an actual dire situation that needs to be solved: In Iraq, the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Al-Qaeda splinter group, has been ravaging Iraq, taking control of land and beheading hundreds of children, raping women, slaughtering men and, as recently seen, executing American reporters on film. The group most targeted so far has been the Yazidi Christians, an ancient ethnic group that has been living in Iraq for hundreds of years.
The world has stood rightly by the Yazidis as they face a brutal genocide. Articles describing the Yazidi fighters who are taking a stand against ISIS have been aplenty. World governments, especially that of the United States, have denounced ISIS and send aid to the Yazidis. President Obama even took military action and, in a move he probably never expected to order when he began his tenure, launched airstrikes against ISIS fighters that were keeping tens of thousands of members of Iraq’s Yazidi sect under siege on Sinjar mountain in Northern Iraq – the first airstrikes in Iraq since the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country at the end of 2011.
While the Islamic State is a sickening organization that needs to be stopped, the world’s condemnation of ISIS exhibits a double standard: ISIS, a terrorist organization killing Christians in Iraq, is denounced and governments across the globe call for force to be used against it. When Israel uses force against Hamas in Gaza, however, it is criticized to no end for attacking a genocidal terrorist organization seeking its destruction.
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated yesterday, ISIS and Hamas “are branches of the same tree.” ISIS and Hamas both want the same thing: to rid their lands of all non-Muslims. Hamas targets Jews in Israel, and ISIS Christians in Iraq. ISIS has been able to advance with relative ease due to the lack of any military infrastructure in Iraq. Hamas, if given the capability, would do to Israelis exactly what ISIS is committing, and worse. The only reason it isn’t is because Israel does not allow it to do so. The low rate of Israeli deaths in Operation Protective Edge was not for Hamas’ lack of trying; Israel’s Iron Dome system knocked hundreds of rockets out of the sky that otherwise would have hit densely populated civilian areas and Israel’s nuclear plants, offshore oil rigs, and international airport. Israel went into Gaza to destroy the terror tunnels that Hamas spends the funds and cement it receives in aid to construct in order to attack Israeli towns and kidnap soldiers, as they unsuccessfully attempted to do a few weeks ago. In fact, since the end of the ceasefire, Hamas has fired over 150 rockets into Israel, further enflaming the situation. Hamas’ charter calls for the destruction of Israel and states that Jihad is the only way to end the conflict.
Yet, when Israel responds to attacks by terrorist organizations, it is condemned. It is criticized. It is investigated for “war crimes” by rather biased United Nations committees. World governments demand that Israel show “restraint” and the same websites thats praise the Kurds’ resistance to ISIS slander Israel and attack it on a regular basis.
Why is it that when Israel acts to prevent Hamas from murdering its citizens it is demonized, and others committing the same actions are supported? Why is there this hypocrisy that Israel is denounced for using “excessive force” against Hamas (is there such a thing as using excessive force against those indiscriminately targeting your country’s civilians?) but the world meets force used against ISIS, as it should be, with acceptance?
Make no mistake: Hamas seeks the destruction of the Jewish state and, indeed, all of world Jewry. As a democracy in a region full of theocracies, autocracies, and jihadist organizations, Israel should be supported and praised for defending its citizens – all its citizens (as was seen when rockets were fired at Jerusalem, Hamas does not care which Israeli citizens of any religion they hit). The double standard that the world shows against the Jewish state empowers Hamas to launch more attacks against Israel, as they know Israel will simply be condemned when they strike back. If only the world would show the same support and unanimity against attacks on the Jews as they do for attacks on the Yazidis, perhaps the conflict would move one step further toward peace.