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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

06/15/10 OPED: Israel fighting for its very survival

To The Editor,

Imagine, if you will, living in a neighborhood where all of your neighbors hate you. They routinely walk through your yard and many throw rocks through your windows. You have one loyal friend in your life but he lives a couple of towns over and, though he used to visit and give you a chance to sit on your porch and enjoy the fresh air -- because there is strength in numbers -- he rarely visits anymore.

You try to live your life. You go to the coffee shop but people still scorn you. You hire a police officer to make sure that the people walking through your yard are not carrying rocks. You don't stop them.

You just want to make sure that they don't throw rocks through your windows. Occasionally you have to take action against a neighbor who bursts into your living room and smashes your TV. It's not that they want to steal it -- they just don't want you to have it.

Then, yesterday, the insult of all insults: That good friend of yours from a couple of towns over comes to your neighborhood ... but he doesn't come to see you. He stops next door and drops off a cheesecake to the guy who lives there -- the guy who throws the most rocks at your windows. It's not any cheesecake, though, it's a huge Godiva chocolate cheesecake in a beautiful gold box with a hand-tied ribbon.

How's that make you feel?

Israel has been on the front lines of a holy war, waged by her neighbors against the world since the nation's founding in 1948.

Israel has endured more relentless attacks than any other nation on earth. Her Muslim neighbors vow to never recognize her right to exist, let alone the right of her citizens to move safely through their lands.

Recently there was controversy over the Mavi Marmara incident. In short, Israel has made a decision that requires Gaza-bound ships put into a nearby Israeli port, submit to inspection, and have the cargo delivered by land, at Israel's expense, to its destination. It's not a terribly onerous blockade. It doesn't prevent any legal cargo from entering Gaza -- just the rocket launchers and bomb components that are used to kill Israel's citizens.

In February, Jim Himes signed on to a letter with 52 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives. In response to that letter, President Obama signed an Executive Order earmarking $20 million U.S. taxpayer dollars to "aid in the resettlement of Gaza refugees."

Recently he announced that an additional $400 million will go to the Palestinian Governing Authority to aid in a "humanitarian crisis" ostensibly created by the blockade. The president recently remarked to CNN's Larry King that "Israel's got a legitimate concern there. On the other hand, you've got a blockade up that's preventing people in Palestinian Gaza from having job opportunities and being able to create businesses and engage in trade and have opportunities for the future."

The president is wrong. The blockade does nothing of the sort.

In a year of record budget deficits, unemployment and foreclosure, we are abandoning Israel in order to support a "humanitarian crisis" halfway around the world. That "crisis" is "caused" by an isolated nation imposing a blockade so mild that it has them paying to deliver cargo across land to followers of Hamas who would not allow the Israelis the chance to breathe the same air? Our Congress is out of control and way off the mark.

Imagine again that the neighborhood is the Middle East and that you are Israel. The neighbors are the surrounding Muslim countries, governed by Sharia law. The rocks are bombs and that loyal friend is the United States. Your former best friend has given Hamas $420 million dollars at the urging of Jim Himes and 52 other congressmen and they are mad at you for attempting to protect yourself from being blown up. You can either fight for your life or roll over and die.

How does that make you feel?

Rick Torres, of Bridgeport, is a Republican candidate for Congress in the Fourth District.

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