To hear some report it, the latest “cycle of violence,” featuring volleys of hundreds of rockets and airstrikes between Israel and Gaza began this past weekend when Israel killed Zuhair al-Qaissi and several other leaders of the Popular Resistance Committee, a terror group connected to Hamas.
In fact, the “weekend” began on June 25, 2006, when al-Qaissi’s group kidnapped Gilad Shalit, beginning his five years of solitary captivity, an almost incomprehensible torture that only recently ended with the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian terrorists — many, no doubt, who will seek to fight and terrorize again.
It’s been quite a “weekend.” Although some reporters described the prelude to the fighting as a period of “relative calm,” when a “truce with Israel has been largely observed by Hamas,” in fact it was hardly that, at all.
While some in our city have busied themselves with trying to get a Brooklyn food co-op to boycott Israeli products — and only Israeli products, not Syrian or Venezuelan ones — our friends in the Sderot Media Center tell us that since Israel’s self-imposed cease fire on Jan. 19, 2009, more than 1,188 rockets and aerial attacks have been launched from Gaza against Israeli communities along its southern border.
If anything was quiet since 2009 it was not the border but the response of those humanitarians who did not protest this aiming of rockets at civilians.
With all the focus on Iran’s nuclear threat, and all the difficult analogies to the Holocaust that are being made, the rockets launched by Palestinians from over the Gaza border are a reminder that the desire to terrorize and rid Israel — not just the settlements — of Jews, need not require nuclear weapons.
What is intolerable and an affront to human decency is when a thousand rockets intentionally target Jewish civilians in communities like Sderot and Ashdod. By any measure, three years of such attacks are a casus belli justifying Israel’s measured military response.