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|U.S. should stand firm with Israel|
Beginning over the weekend Israel launched bombing strikes in Gaza against the militant terrorist group Hamas.
Israel's bombing of Hamas-friendly targets continued through Tuesday afternoon as the Israelis contemplated a 48-hour cease fire. The proposed cease fire was intended to give Hamas time to negotiate in earnest to put an end to the most recent military conflict in a region of the world that knows more about military conflicts than the American people most likely will ever witness.
At the heart of the recent flare-up between the Israelis and Hamas concerns Hamas' insistence on launching missile strikes into southern Israel. Having grown tired of seeing its homeland suffer because of the actions of a terrorist organization, the Israelis struck back, launching air strikes while ground forces were poised to invade Gaza late Tuesday. Some 370 Palestinians were declared dead as of Tuesday in light of the bombings, or when the French suggested a 48-hour cease fire may be in order to prevent fighting from escalating.
Meanwhile, opposition to Israel's actions continued to mount around the world. Protests ran rampant throughout Arab nations and in France, too. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lobbied Israel to shut down its military operations as well.
Rice's actions were in contrast with the Bush administration's declaration over weekend that Israel had a right to defend itself. The administration got it right in its first publicly stated position on the conflict.
While we certainly regret witnessing more instability in the Middle East, we should remind ourselves Israel is a staunch ally of the United States. Israel also is home to the only democracy in the Middle East.
We also would do well to remind ourselves Hamas a terrorist organization, which has been linked to terrorist activities aimed directly at Americans and American interests overseas.
And we would do well to remind ourselves, too, that Israel has every right to defend itself in the face of blatant military attacks against its people. If that means Israel must use military force beyond its border to defend its land and its people, so be it.
Yet, conflicts among Israel and its neighbors will continue for as long as the Arab community refuses to acknowledge Israel has a right to peacefully coexist in the Middle East. And the United States should forever stand by Israel, especially since the Arab community allows terrorist organizations like Hamas to operate in its midst.