Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Daily news Ed: Squeezing the good guys: U.S. needs to pressure Hamas terrorists, not Israel

(NYDailynews).As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travels to Egypt to discuss resumption of peace talks with what passes for Palestinian leadership, the Obama administration steps up pressure on Israel to make concessions.

The outlandish theory: Israel's obstinacy, not Palestinian rejectionism, is the roadblock on the way to a two-state solution.

In a shot-across-the-bow heard round the world, special envoy George Mitchell last week told Charlie Rose that Washington "can withhold support on loan guarantees to Israel," if necessary, to advance peace talks.

In other words, the U.S. is Israel's staunch ally, keenly understanding that the tiny nation is under constant terrorist assault. Only we really aren't that at all.

In the foreground of the picture: Hamas terrorists, who had taken a breather following successful Israeli counterterrorism operations, have resumed war against the very idea of a Jewish state.

Rocket and mortar attacks launched by Hamas - which prompted Israel's offensive in Gaza a year ago - are back with a vengeance. According to Netanyahu, more than 20 rockets and mortar shells were launched from Gaza in the last week, triggering an air strike in response.

Some of the Hamas rockets made it across the border into southern Israel. Others didn't. All were intended to hit schools or homes or synagogues. All were intended to instill fear, with the promise of more to come.

While Hamas rains down explosives, the group boasts of its ability to smuggle weapons into Gaza. On Friday, the terrorists published photos of shiny new toys: missiles with double warheads, designed to penetrate fortified structures, and armor-piercing rocket-propelled grenades.

Spokesman Abu Ubeida threatened that Hamas has "thousands of fighters and good weapons capable of harming Israel."

The "world community" - which boils down to a small group in Washington - must snap out of its fantasy of imposing "evenhanded" pressure to the Mideast. Wake up and smell reality: There are two sides in this conflict. One wants to live in peace with its neighbors; the other wants its neighbor to go to hell.

Unless and until we put more pressure on the terrorists than on the democratically elected leaders of Israel, the road to peace will run smack into a brick wall.