BostonIn the torrent of rage and confusion generated by the loss of life when the Israeli Navy
on theGaza Strip this week, there has been a regrettable overlookingof certain fundamental facts. As is so frequently the case,these facts have gotten buried in the rubble of politicalrhetoric. In order to prevent this incident from having adeleterious effect on the peace process going forward, thefollowing must be understood:Mourners pray by the coffins of victims of the Israeli raid of the Gaza flotilla, as they are carried at the end of the religiousfuneral service at the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey,Thursday.Ibrahim Usta/AP
The Gaza Strip is an armed camp, ruled with an ironfist by a repressive Hamas regime that has not only repeatedly pledged itself to the annihilation of Israel and the torpedoingof any prospects for Middle East peace, but has made good onits pledges by firing approximately 10,000 missiles, rockets,and mortar bombs at Israeli civilians over the past severalyears for the express purpose of killing or wounding thosecivilians or, at a minimum, terrifying them.
The United States, the European Union, and theinternational community have recognized that Hamas is aterrorist enterprise, which surely is beyond dispute.
When faced with an armed enemy committed to itsdestruction, which has done its very best to make war againstIsraeli civilians, Israel has two choices: to try to protect itscivilians from those attacks, or to simply shrug its shouldersand hope that the attacks stop. There is, quite simply, nonation on earth that would choose the latter course, and noreasonable and fair-minded person who would expect it to.