I am amazed and puzzled by the hostility of so much public opinion in Britain and elsewhere towards Israel in the current conflict against Hezbollah in Lebanon. It simply doesn’t make any sense. No-one likes the idea of war, and of innocent people dying, but you have to look at the situation as it is, not in some sort of abstract ideal world where peace and love prevail. Israel has been under attack for over 50 years from its Muslim neighbours and terrorist groups; they have entered into many peace negotiations and offered to accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel itself. The result? Relentless hostility, suicide bombings, random missile attacks against civilians, and the repeated intention (renewed again yesterday by Iran) to ‘eliminate Israel’. What do you expect the Israelis to do? They are fighting for their very survival. When they negotiate with the enemy, agreements are ignored and betrayed; so they have to defend themselves militarily, which is what they are doing at the moment. They are dealing with an enemy, Hezbollah, who are completely unscrupulous and ruthless, and they have to be ruthless too. Hezbollah have fired hundreds of missiles completely indiscriminately into Israel; they deliberately base themselves amongst Lebanese civilians, knowing that if the Israelis attack them many civilians will die – but they don’t care about that – their cynicism is beyond belief – it just makes excellent anti-Israeli publicity. The Israelis are no angels, but what else can they do but try to eliminate Hezbollah? If they call off their attacks, of course Hezbollah will claim ‘victory’; if they go on, they are pilloried in the world press for ‘massacring civilians’. The only reason far fewer Israelis have died than Lebanese is that the Israelis actually value the lives of their citizens and protect them – Hezbollah actually want Lebanese to die, for publicity purposes. The Israelis have repeated warned civilians to evacuate the areas they are about to attack, but they mostly do not, presumably under the advice of Hezbollah.
We in Britain, and people in the West in general, should be supporting Israel in this fight. They are the only real democracy in the Middle East, and they are our allies, on the front line of the war with Arab and Islamic extremism. We need to start realising who our real enemies are – the brutal warriors of ‘jihad’ in the Muslim world who have ‘declared war’ on democracy and everything it stands for; firstly they plan to ‘eliminate’ Israel, then their declared aim is to impose Islam by force on us and the rest of the world.There is no ‘peaceful solution’ to the situation in the Middle East that will ever be accepted by the Arab and Muslim world. We need to stop all this self-indulgent sentimentality and understand that sometimes, if war is thrust upon us, then war has to be waged ruthlessly, if we want to win. We did it once against the horror of Nazism – if public opinion had been the same then as it is now, the swastika would be flying over Downing Street today. Now we need to re-discover the same resolve against the new, religious, fascism which is threatening the world today.