Jeffrey Gedmin has published another one of his brilliant attacks against the hypocrisy of the left in Germany's daily WELT. We are glad to have obtained the right to publish the original English version of his commentary.
Responding on Two Fronts
By Jeffrey Gedmin (Tel Aviv)
Sitting in a beach front restaurant at the port here and life seems so normal, innocent really. The warm summer breeze, music, fresh fish, scores of young people walk the board walk. And on this night, every few minutes, military planes fly by, flying north. Israel is at war again.
I'm learning a lot about rockets at the moment. The Katyuscha has a range of 30-40 km. The Fajr 3 and Fajr 5 can sail some 70 km. When I arrived, I was briefed that Hezbollah may also have a number of longer range Iranian missiles with a reach of about 135 km. That would make Tel Aviv a possible target, I thought. Two days ago Israel found and destroyed an Iranian Zelzal missile with a range of 160 kilometers.
As always, I'm a little bit one-sided. A frequent narrative in much international media goes like this: Hezbollah kidnaps two Israeli soldiers. Israel seeks revenge by bombing the hell out of Lebanon. A Süddeutsche Zeitung headline read, "Israel attack on two fronts." Henryk Broder, writing in Der Spiegel, asked why the paper wouldn't have written that Israel has been "responding" on two fronts. That would be honest.
I feel pretty confident about my narrative. Start with Gaza, which is where this started. Israel withdraws. Palestinians heave 600 rockets over the border over the next six months. They elect Hamas, whose raison etre is to annihilate the Jewish state. Hamas
Source: Cox & Forkum (Cartoon is not part of Jeffrey Gedmin's commentary in WELT)
ups the ante by kidnapping an Israeli soldier. A journalists friend says to me, a liberal-minded fellow here, "If you keep poking a lion, sooner or later you're going to get swatted by a big paw." Now Lebanon. Before nabbing those Israeli soldiers, Hezbollah had started to fire their own rockets into
Israel from southern Lebanon. This began, coincidentally, on the day Iran failed to respond to the magnanimous U.S.-European proposal on Teheran's nuclear program. Dennis Ross, who served as Bill Clinton's top Middle East negotiator, suggest this is no coincidence at all. Hezbollah by the way is a wholly owned Iranian subsidiary.
So the Palestinians have proved again that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Instead of making it a success story, they've turned Gaza into a terrorist Disneyland. And Hezbollah decided at the most inopportune of times to pick a new fight with Israel. Too bad the Israeli military is forced to bring these folks to heel, in Gaza and in Lebanon where Hezbollah is a state within the state. Where was the so-called international community when these forces were setting this war up?
In all of this, one of the most amusing things I keep hearing is that Israel should release Palestinian prisoners to get its three soldiers back and end the conflict. It is especially remarkable to follow news stories, with much shock and dismay in the reporter's voice, about Israelis holding women and children. Certain details are frequently omitted. One example is the story of Achlam Tmimi. She's 20 years old and serving 16 consecutive life sentences for helping a suicide bomber who blew up a pizzeria, killing 16. She says she would do it again. Or the story of another young woman who made a date with an Israeli teenager on the internet. It was a trap. Her friends murdered the guy when he arrived.
I'll sleep in Tel Aviv tonight. A quarter of a million people an hour's drive north of here will sleep in bomb shelters. The restaurant I was to visit in Tibereas on the Sea of Galleli, was shelled yesterday. They just captured a would-be suicide bomber in Jerusalem where I'll be tomorrow. Sometimes you have to pick a side in a conflict. I've picked mine.
So did we.