ZOA Urges Pres. Obama to Personally Condemn Hamas Rocket Assault on Israel
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has urged President Barack Obama to personally condemn the rocket assaults on Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza. Since last Friday, over 200 missiles have been fired indiscriminately into Israeli cities, towns and homes in Israel, killing three civilians, injuring a further eight and compelling over one million people. Today, for the first time, a rocket struck the outskirts of Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city. Over one million Israelis – around one-eighth of the population – have been endangered and forced to repeatedly seek safety in bomb shelters. Up to this point, nearly 800 missiles have been fired into Israel from Gaza during 2012.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We praise the Obama Administration for appropriately – through State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner – ‘strongly condemn[ing] the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza’ and calling it ‘cowardly.’ This condemnation would carry far more weight if it was made personally by President Obama or even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As I said yesterday, ‘A weak or non-existent presidential response transmits a message that these attacks are insufficient to warrant presidential concern and will be tolerated. I cannot believe that that is a message President Obama would wish to convey to the terrorists groups in Gaza.’
“While the State Department has rightly condemned the Hamas rocket assaults from Gaza, it has also ‘regret[ted] the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence.’ Israelis civilians have been deliberately killed, injured or traumatized – Palestinian civilians have not. Palestinian civilian casualties are the outcrop of legitimate military action against those launching attacks on Israel, as occurs in any and every war. They should not be mentioned in the same breath.
“The State Department also called the rocket attacks from Gaza ‘counterproductive.’ Whether or not these attacks are productive or counterproductive insofar as the attainment of a particular goal is concerned, they are war crimes and should be condemned on those grounds.
“The reason that a call for restraint almost automatically accompanies statements on Israeli counter-terrorist actions is appeasement of Arab opinion, which regards the death of any Arabs in conflict with Israel as ipso facto unlawful and an act of terrorism by Israel for that reason alone. The United States should cease to play into this skewed narrative when it knows full well that Israel takes extraordinary precautions to avoid civilian casualties.”
Filed Under: Politics
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