Acknowledge terrorism is real

Regarding Eugene Robinson’s column, “Give Kerry a break”: Robinson asserts that Kerry was “right to push for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.” But what type of cease-fire was Kerry pushing for? A unilateral cease-fire that would allow Hamas to continue firing rockets at Israeli towns and cities or a bilateral cease-fire that would include as a term the disarming of Hamas and, as a natural consequence, the easing of the blockade (the purpose of which is to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas, a terrorist organization)?

Sadly, the answer is that Kerry was pushing for a unilateral cease-fire that did not require Hamas to abandon its war against Israeli civilians or end its exploitation of Gazan civilians from whose homes, mosques, hospitals and schools Hamas launches its explosive and shrapnel-filled rockets toward purely civilian targets. Robinson’s opinion piece is a good example of the soft anti-Semitism that we see so much of in the media today. This soft anti-Semitism couches the accusation that Israel willfully kills civilians in a seemingly balanced view of the conflict. Make no mistake, this seemingly balanced view is an expression of hatred for the Jewish state and a form of intellectual dishonesty. This view is hateful because it does not recognize that Hamas terrorism is a real, not an existential threat to the safety of Israeli civilians.

Thousands of Israelis, Arab and Jewish alike, have been killed by Hamas and its affiliates since 2000. That Hamas has spent the last decade acquiring more and better weapons from the likes of Iran is no secret. This seemingly balanced view is intellectually dishonest because it does not acknowledge Hamas’ culpability in the civilian death rate and its ability to prevent these deaths altogether. If Hamas were to end its rocket barrages and terror tunnel program, then Israel would have no reason to wage an offensive against Hamas in Gaza. I could point out the many other fallacies in Robinson’s piece, but that would require The Herald to give me a column of my own.

Garrett Rutledge