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The penny must drop!

Yet again I find myself sitting in the same armchair, watching the same television screen, listening to the same panelists and wondering if the periodic rounds of violence with our Gazan neighbors will ever end. The Bold and the Beautiful has passed the 9,000 chapter mark. We’re on our way.

But this isn’t simply another round of violence. This round is much more serious. Last Saturday, hundreds of young people enjoying an open-air party were brutally murdered by a frenzied brigade of the Hamas army. Kibbutzim were invaded and occupied by another group of fanatic Hamas militants. Entire families including women, octogenarians and children were either murdered, seriously wounded or taken hostage. Others were abducted and are currently imprisoned in underground tunnels in the Gaza area.

To crown it all, missiles are now raining down on towns and cities in south and central Israel. Hezbollah forces are engaged in provocations along the Lebanese border while Iran continues to pursue its dream of developing a nuclear weapon. Israel’s armed forces are now fully mobilized.

Yes folks. Israel has now joined the elite group of countries who have suffered a 9/11 experience.

Like all the previous rounds of violence, this round of violence needs to end but it needs to end very differently than the way in which the previous rounds ended. Israel will prevail. We have no choice. We have no other country. We are proud of what we’ve achieved. We’re back in our ancestral homeland and we’re here to stay.

We aren’t interested in more ceasefire agreements with meaningless “guarantees”. We are tired of trying to defend ourselves with our hands tied behind our backs. We’ve been there. We’ve done it. It simply doesn’t work. What also doesn’t work for us is what the International Community refers to as International and Humanitarian Law.

Legal systems can only work when their regulations are respected by both sides to a conflict. The provisions of International Law may be relevant to conflicts between Switzerland and her neighbors or to conflicts between the United States and Canada. They have absolutely no relevance in the Middle East. Applying the noble principles enshrined in International and Humanitarian Law to the Middle East conflict will only increase the number of civilian casualties.

Under International Law, the principle of proportionality requires that even if there is a clear military target it is not possible to attack it if the expected harm to civilians, or civilian property, is excessive in relation to the expected military advantage.

In the context of the Arab-Israel conflict, this is completely outrageous.

Hamas continues to exploit International and Humanitarian Law to its advantage by deliberately building arsenals of lethal weapons and bunkers for its military operatives under hospitals, schools and mosques. Missile launchers are positioned in the heart of civilian neighborhoods. Their “innocent” civilians serve as human shields.

So how exactly does the International Community, the out-of-touch jurists at the International Court of Justice, the pompous academics in their ivory towers and the misguided self-styled “Human Rights” activists suggest Israel deals with its animalistic neighbors.

Is it reasonable to expect that Israel deploys its foot soldiers to wander through the booby-trapped streets of Gaza to collect the stockpiles of arms and ammunition, dismantle the rocket launchers and free those taken prisoner?

Why should Israel be expected to put the lives of their soldiers at unnecessary risk? Surely these innocent lives are more important than those of the “innocent” Gazan civilians who celebrate the murder of Israelis and provide economic support and shelter for their terrorist brothers.

The time has come to destroy the entire military and civilian infrastructure in Gaza – all the symbols of sovereignty – from military to police to banks to public transport to electricity to water and sewerage. Rebuilding the infrastructure must be conditional on the release of all the prisoners including the bodies of the soldiers held hostage by the Hamas regime for the past 9 years. We’ve exhausted the options of blockades and switching the electricity on and off. They never worked.

I’m not seeking revenge. What I’m saying is anything but politically correct. But being politically correct won’t bring peace or even co-existence. I know this sounds drastic. Some of you may even consider it barbaric. Others may want to redefine their relationships with me, but can any of you suggest a more effective way to deal with a genocide of this proportion?

The penny needs to drop. The International Community must recognize that the noble principles enshrined in International and Humanitarian Law are not relevant to the Middle East conflict.

About the Author
Harris Zvi Green was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He made Aliyah 53 years ago. An accountant by profession, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for a number of Israel based hi-tech companies. He is married to Phyllis. They have 3 married children, 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Harris Zvi Green is a founder member of Truth be Told, an organization engaged in public diplomacy on behalf of Israel.
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