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Date Published: 07/01/10

Israel's right to exist By Michael Porp-kokoh 


Like Israel’s ambassador to the United States said before and also on Sunday’s Fox News channel, the loss of lives in the fracas that ensued between its security forces and  the supposedly aid workers on the Flotilla ship on that fateful day in the Mediterranean gulf, is regretted.  Israel however continues to declare and maintain their right to defend its 7.5 million citizens.
What those who continue to condemn Israel for their actions should understand is the peculiar situation the citizens of this state are in. Geographically, they're surrounded by several nations who overtly or covertly would like to see their elimination. For example, Iran does not twist words in their desire to eliminate the state of Israel if they could. These and other facts that are rife about that region explain beyond the understanding of avowed critics what actions Israel takes when they deem it necessary.
Curiously, some may wonder or ask therefore, how Israel survives as a sovereign state in the region all this while, given the kind of hostile environment they live in. The answer is that they arm themselves with unsurpassed intelligence. They don't have to share what they know and how they know it with others, but use it to guide their every step and action in their own national and security interest. Israel does not have to wait for approval from the rest of the world before defending itself.
For all the condemnation people have poured on Israel, I don't remember the groups or individuals condemning the Palestinians when they launch missiles into Israel’s territory or when they kill Israelis through suicide squads. This lopsided posture of critics suggests growing bias and anti-Semitism against a nation that is already in the midst of foes. It further explains why Israel does not, and perhaps should not allow protests and condemnation by either overt or covert foes to tie its hands behind its back. Israel is in a precarious situation that demands they do things not merely to please detractors and double-faced friends but whatever is in their national and survival interest.  
It's politically correct and fashionable these days for biased minds to take sides with those who foment trouble, are quick to protest and raise alarm in the event of a reprisal for what they started. This allegorically depicts the situation between radical Islamists and modern democratic states. Radical Islamists ride on the wind of their perceived vulnerability and undeserved sympathy by those who don't, and perhaps do not care to understand the true situation, to provoke others.
The Ayatollah of Iran is said to have recently declared that Iran will be providing military escort to ships heading to the turbulent region. If it happens, this will be a likely precursor to some serious conflict especially now, given Iran’s declared animosity towards Israel and the fact the region is already a boiling caldron. Yet, nobody has condemned purported moves like this on the part of Iran. Nobody is protesting. This explains how tilted the media can be and the selective emphasis they place on news items.
Late president Ronald Reagan, in one of his 1986 addresses said there is no safety in appeasing evil. There is an observable and growing appeasement mentality by many people these days rolling around in favor of radical behavior. This is perhaps in the hope that appeasement may dissuade radicalism. Wrong.  Appeasement of evil is a dangerous precipice in ensuring world peace. Mutual tolerance and desire to live-and-let-live, co-exist, is the panacea to true peace.   No amount of pacification can deter a behavior whose drive is embedded and lurked in a belief system much bigger than the believer himself. A belief system that admonishes taking the believer’s or adherent’s life as well as those of others, as a necessary and glorious step leading to self accomplishment cannot be placated.  This is where and why I’m jaundiced about the dangerous precipice this growing acceptance or subtle tolerance of vile radical behavior is taking our world. Critics of Israel’s action should understand that the caprices of radicalism, be it under the auspices of religious, political or cultural creed, is the metaphor of an cyclonic  wind that blows down and destroys anything in its path.
Any critic who thinks that Israel overreacted in the Flotilla fiasco should explain why such a peaceful voyage had knives and rods that were used in attacking  Israeli forces in their efforts to inspect the ship's content. If the wit of approaching equity with cleans hands had been applied by the Flotilla crew, perhaps the fracas would have been avoided. It should also be understood that Palestinians in the disputed region are dependent on aids that come through this blockades. This invariably means that ships have been coming in and going out previously without this kind of incident occurring. It further means that something more than the ordinary may have been suspected, hence the action was prompted.
There is sufficient evidence that militants often launch propelled grenade and other weapons from mosques and open market places, using women and children as shields. Clearly, those who avoidably allow themselves to be used this way should consider themselves as party to the warfare. This is because anybody being attacked must, as a matter of spontaneity, first fire back in the direction they're attacked from. No amount of world outcry and condemnation can recover lost lives. This is why any honest protester must also be able to caution and advise those they sympathize with about the beauty of co-existence. It takes malignant conscience and efforts to   attempt to defend fighters who use themselves as single shot rifles through suicide bombing, considering how little they value their own lives in our terrestrial stratosphere.  
 It's in the light of these foregoing arguments and many more, that those who think its socially trendy to condemn Israel in their action against suspected attackers on the Flotilla ship should also consider it necessary to caution the enemies of Israel in their provocative maneuvers. Israel declares, and I support, it would do all it takes to defend itself and survive.
Michael Porp-kokoh


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