Not much to correct in Peter Mullen's Telegraph piece. I notice that he is taking a leaf out of my book and correcting the name of the BBC:
I have just been reading the latest bulletin from the Hamas Propaganda Bureau – sorry, I mean of course the BBC – who inform us that Israeli forces have killed “ … eleven Palestinians, mainly militants, but also children.” The general tone of the report makes it sound as if the Israel Defence Force set out wantonly to begin a new massacre of the innocents. Regrettably, children will be killed if they have to share their schools with rockets and stashes of high explosives. The truth is that Israel’s military strikes were belated retaliation for the Hamas bombardment by 800 rockets this year and 120 during the last week.
The entire population of southern Israel lives in constant terror. And if we’re talking about the suffering of children, imagine what it’s like to be a little boy or girl in small southern towns and villages such as Sderot, where they have half a minute’s warning to sprint to the air-raid shelters, and where the schools are closed for weeks at a time. I haven’t been to southern Israel, but I have visited the north, near the border with Lebanon, on days when Hizbollah were firing Katyusha rockets at the civilian population. To have to live under such a threat is to know the meaning of terror.
The recent increase in violence was provoked by the Israelis’ killing of Ahmed Said Khalil Jabari, military leader of Hamas: a man complicit in the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier Shalit and responsible for most of the terrorist acts launched from Gaza over the last 10 years. He himself once boasted that the men under his control were responsible for the deaths of 569 Israeli civilians. Yesterday this dead terrorist was praised by the leaders of Hizbollah and declared a martyr by representatives of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
These recent eruptions of violence are of course only the latest in a long war of attrition which has been going on since the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948. The country is surrounded by its enemies. Four times since 1948 these enemies have made war on Israel.
No doubt the
Palestinians local Muslim Arabs have legitimate grievances against their own government, coupled with spurious territorial aspirations. Israel has generally understood given into these grievances demands, and time and again tried to meet its opponents halfway. For instance, I remember the talks between Yasser Arafat and the Israeli prime minister brokered by the US in which the sides came close to a two-state solution to the problem. Arafat smiled agreeably, got on the plane back to the Middle East and immediately declared a second intifada, a violent uprising against Israel.
That was his only possible course of action as a true Muslim.
To be sure, this is a labyrinthine mess, but beyond the ceaseless argy-bargy there is one real and pressing question: wouldn’t any sovereign state take strong action in response to the relentless terror meted out to its civilian population?
Of course they would, and a lot more besides. Specifically, do any pro-"Palestinian" Britons know about the bombing of Dresden?