After a weekend of continued violence in the Middle East, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that Israel has “a special responsibility to protect civilians in the course of its self-defense.” The implication is that the Palestinians are under no such obligation.
Casualties mounted over the weekend, particularly in Gaza, as Israel continues to target terrorists who have launched more than 3,000 missiles into the Jewish state. In fact, as Mr. Blinken well knows, Israel has been meticulous in trying to minimize civilian deaths, even using “roof knocking” and other tactics that allow for evacuations prior to military action.
Meanwhile, Hamas militants indiscriminately bombard Israeli civilian neighborhoods with rockets supplied by Iran while themselves hiding behind Palestinian civilians, daring the Jewish state to react. The primary reason Israeli casualties have remained low is the nation’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which can identify and destroy incoming fire headed for populated areas.
“The lopsided casualty toll, isn’t due to a lack of Hamas trying,” The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. “Its rockets have been aimed relentlessly at Israeli population centers.” If not for the advanced anti-missile technology, a 77-year-old Israeli told the newspaper, “all those rockets would have been falling on our heads and we would be counting our deaths in the hundreds.”
The Biden administration must continue to resist mounting pressure from his party’s far left — who are now openly hostile to our longtime ally — to abandon Israel. So far so good. The president has made clear that Israel has a right to defend itself and, in recent days, the United States put the kibosh on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have emboldened enemies of the Jewish state. News reports indicate that the White House will move forward with a $735 million arms sale to the nation.
The Hamas aggression at the behest of its benefactor, Iran, is — in part — an effort to test the United States and to undermine peace pacts that former President Donald Trump brokered between Israel and several Arab nations. While any civilian death is a tragedy, the Israeli response has been proportionate and is designed to cripple the ability of Hamas to continue to carry out rocket attacks of this scale, an objective that goes to the heart of a nation’s right to self-defense.
Mr. Biden’s team is no doubt working through back channels in an effort to broker an end to the hostilities. The world wishes him well — the goal of civilized nations must be to minimize military conflict and the loss of life that comes with it. But let’s not lose perspective: Israel is again under siege by terrorists who have made no secret of the fact that their ultimate objective isn’t peace, but to wipe the Jewish state off the face of the Earth.