June Girard: Hamas threatens Israel and Palestinians


Published: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 4:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 4:40 p.m.

Three teenage Texas boys were walking in the hills of Carrizo Springs, Texas, when they were kidnapped. Some days later their bodies were found in a gully. A few days after that a Mexican teenager was found killed in the same area.

With that discovery, the Mexican government ostensibly retaliated for the killing by shooting missiles into the border towns of Texas. In due time the killers of the Mexican teenager were found and arrested. Meanwhile in Mexico, people danced in the streets with news of the deaths of the three American boys and no effort was made to find their killers.

No, it didn't happen. But change the locations to Gaza and Israel and the story is factual. And it the story were true I have no doubt of Gov. Rick Perry's response, let alone that of the United States, do you?

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a radio interview that Hamas was launching 50-100 rockets a day into the civilian areas of Israel. He described Hamas as an "evil menace" for using schools, hospitals and even their people as human shield, and storing rockets in UN schools.

Hamas builds tunnels to Israel under the private homes of citizens, using the roof of private homes to launch rockets at a civilian population and sacrifices their citizens, so they can cry about the horrific casualties, making the Gaza war one of propaganda as well as rockets. So what are we to do? Should we intervene, send troops, send weapons?

U.S. intervention has happened since the Declaration of Independence. America's loss in Afghanistan and Iraq led to the predictable physical and psychological withdrawal of U.S. interests. It happened after the impact of Vietnam rang through the entire body politic for decades, and then after Beirut in 1981 and Somalia in 1991. The standing policy of containment during the Cold War ended with the removal of the Berlin War was notably not engagement, not dialogue and not normalization.

President Barack Obama realizes there is only so much the U.S. can do to influence the religious conflicts in Israel, Iraq and Syria. He surely understand the history of the bloody Protestant-Catholic wars that tore Europe apart in the 16th and 17th century when both sides believed that they alone had the word of God, and that all others were heretics and blasphemers. There is not much we infidel Americans can do to affect these events. It is important at this time to have a cautious, reflective president in charge.

Even after sending 1,000 missile strikes from Hamas and other groups to Israel, the Israelis hope for the day when the Palestinian people will not support Hamas, will not allow them to build tunnels under their houses to Israel, will not be used as shields, and will be convinced that this cannot continue. After two ceasefire proposals were accepted by Israel and denied by Hamas, an agreement for a 72-hour ceasefire took effect giving both sides some respite.

Hamas doesn't have the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, they don't have the money to pay salaries or feed their people, but they have an unlimited supply of missiles; where do they come from and who pays for them? The Arab countries ignore Hamas, the only one we know that is supporting them is Iran.

Perhaps we should ask Iran to help stop the killings by encouraging Hamas to stop launching rockets at the civilian population of Israel. Would that stop the Israeli response to take out the launching sites, once and for all? The threat of Hamas is not only a threat for Israel but for all the Palestinians who live in the West Bank.

June Girard lives in Gainesville.

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