Home > Egypt, Gaza, Iran, Israel, Syria > World gangs up on Israel in row over flotilla and at nuclear conference

World gangs up on Israel in row over flotilla and at nuclear conference

By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal

Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal

SAN DIEGO –On Thursday morning I joined rabbis throughout the United States on a conference call that was arranged by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) concerning the recent attack on Israeli commandos by Muslim extremists and the subsequent firefight. The commandos were charged with enforcing the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip. The conference call also included disturbing information about the recently concluded Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (N.P.T.) Review Conference.

The short version is that Israel has no choice but to inspect any supplies that are being delivered to the Gaza strip. This is necessary to weed out any weaponry that might be smuggled in. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization pledged to the destruction of Israel.  Israel has the right to defend herself, including preventing her enemies from arming.

Israeli commandoes expected passive resistance from the “peace activists” who purportedly manned the vessel but they were unprepared for the violence that greeted them. Hidden among those who were on board truly for humanitarian purposes were Hamas-associated terrorists whose aim was confrontation with Israel. For the terrorists it was a “win-win” situation. If the boats got through to Gaza, they would be seen as heroes. Now that they were “attacked”   they proudly proclaim themselves “martyrs.”

Could Israel have handled the situation better? Yes, on many fronts. But Israel does have the right and obligation to defend herself. The world has been one sided in its condemnation of Israel while ignoring all of the rocket attacks and violence that led up to it.
The recent N.P.T. Review Conference was also one sided. The only country that was singled out by name for criticism was Israel, who is not even a signatory to the N.P.T. Which countries escaped critique? Iran and Syria. Both of these signatories of the treaty patently violated their commitments through their programs designed to build nuclear weaponry.

The Torah reading this week speaks of the twelve scouts that were sent out by Moses to tour Canaan in preparation for the Israelite invasion. All of them said it was a beautiful land. However, ten of the spies were pessimists and only saw the impediments that stood before the advancing tribes. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith and were urging that success was at hand.

The countries of the world are similar to the ten pessimistic spies. They only see one side of the Arab Israeli conflict, and it is never Israel’s side. They condemn and blame Israel while ignoring the atrocities of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Muslim extremists who want to put an end to the Jewish state and hate western civilization.

Of all the countries in the world, only the U.S. stands by Israel. Unfortunately, we have also seen that support begin to waver over the past several months. Israel is not perfect but she needs to be judged fairly and even handedly. I urge you to write the President, Senators, and members of Congress asking them to insure that America stands with Israel and will continue to support and defend her right to exist and defend herself.

Rabbi Rosenthal is spiritual leader of Tifereth Israel Synagogue in San Diego

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