Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dear Israel, why are you so Awesome?

Ascending (descending?) into the realm of political discourse causes a myriad of concerns to arise in the mind of this studly Glud. While writing about Gary Busey and the arrangement of urinals may not bring forth laughs out of every reader, at least it won’t produce hate mail. So, while attempting to retain the joy and good humor that is Gludfest, I tread now into the ghastly world of International Affairs.

The past few weeks, labeled “The Guns of July” by a fellow at the Washington Post and perhaps more aptly “Sweet Justice in July” by myself, are by no means cause for a victory celebration. Not yet, anyway. But celebrate one must at the plight of Israel finally being recognized not only by Americans but also by the international community.

Resilience is a long-forgotten (and, thus, unrecognized) virtue that could by itself explain the unwavering respect held for Israel from Americans not hell-bent on its annihilation. The bleeding hearts always tried to pronounce the plight of Those Poor Palestinians Who Are Only Throwing Rocks throughout the limited skirmishes of the 1990s, and not without some success. By then, however, anyone who cared to look at the situation got a good summation of the history of the post-WWII Middle East: Like the Nazis, many Middle Easterners don’t play well with others, especially Jews. However strange it looked to have armed soldiers putting up with kids chucking rocks, the fact was they were lead by one Yasser Arafat who attained his position by doing things much worse. He was a terrorist whom, against all reason, many were more than willing to negotiate with.

(Killed lots of people. Winner - 1994 Nobel Peace Prize)

And so it was that while the American Left and the world as a whole tried to paint Israel as the evil nation kept afloat by the barbarous United States, to most Americans it never added up. Support never waned financially or militarily. By the time the Nobel Prize ApprovedTM Peace Accords were completely pulverized in the early 21st century (guess who was responsible for that one? Hint: Not Israel), the rocks were out of the picture, but Israel was still the bad guy.

Let’s be clear about my sympathies for everyday Palestinians, because I do have them. They have had a rough history, especially in that period before they took the name Palestinians and were simply Jordanians Not Wanted by Jordan. Add a quickly prosperous nation in the region run by (gasp!) Jews, and there was bound to be a little envy. But while this helps explain the origins of Salty Yasser and his Merry Murderers, it does not excuse their refusal to compromise. While hesitant to admit it, even the boldest democratic leaders the world over were not about to stand up and say “Heard the one about how many Jews you can fit in a Volkswagen? Just imagine how many we could fit into the Mediterranean!” One could bash Israel, but to fully support the goals of Hamas, Hezbollah, the PLO et al, one had to be a bona fide anti-Semite, which, while not as bad as being a Zionist, is pretty bad.

Amidst all the nonsense, Israel has persevered. From the Six Day War to the suicide bombings (kudos to all who said the wall wouldn’t put an end to that) to the new school of rocket attacks, despite criticism from around the world for doing what every nation does, that is, make every effort to secure its own existence, Israel has done just that unapologetically. Respectful nods all around.

And now, in July 2006, it’s clobberin’ time.

And best of all, not only does the world know it, it’s acknowledging it.

Despite the cries still resounding from The Guardian and other select publications, with one big sigh the world support has finally caved. There is nothing noble about Hamas, no justification for lobbing rockets into civilian homes, and certainly none for causing civilian casualties by instigating these attacks from civilian locations. Furthermore, there is nothing to excuse nations who fully fund and support these actions. One could appease these nations and groups to the ends of the earth, even holding to just one principle of live-and-let-live, and the terrorists will still come. Their cause is the darkest evil, impossible to shroud by even the cleverest rhetoric, and can only be shut down by brute force.

Even if there’s no joy, no pride, and no glory in killing every last member of Hezbollah, Hamas and the groups they find their support from (and I believe there is), there is certainly no shame. So hats off to Israel, on the front line for over half a century and still holding their own, finally displaying that enough is enough.