Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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U.S. assistance a necessity for Israel

Make no mistake about it. Israel's enemies are the enemies of the United States. That's why it is no secret the U.S. government gives Israel billions of dollars each year and supplies her with American-made military equipment.

For one, without American aid, Israel would likely be wiped off the map.

"A war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades."

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Those are the words of Abdul Razek, the former General Secretary of the Arab League,

speaking May 15, 1948, about what the combined armies of Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon were going to do to the newly created state of Israel.

Israel was so new, in fact, that the state was established just the day before. But the Arab nations would not tolerate a Jewish state and refused to recognize Israel's right to exist until Egypt, in 1979, and later Jordan, in 1992, made peace with Israel. Still, despite almost 60 years of living as neighbors, Syria and Lebanon have not recognized Israel's right to exist; Iran continues to call for Israel's destruction; and judging by recent comments at the White House, any newly formed government in Iraq will be decidedly anti-Israeli.

So, war rages on, as it has since 1948, with no end in sight.

The first ceasefire, in 1949, resulted in Israel pushing back her enemies and temporarily moving the border back across the Jordan River. Border skirmishes then become the norm until all-out war resumed in 1967, when Israel faced the combined forces of Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Like the previous war, Israel pushed her enemies back.

Border skirmishes resumed, as they probably always will, interrupted briefly by Palestinian terrorists, who took the world hostage in 1972 with the kidnapping and murder of members of the Israeli Olympic team during the Munich Olympics.

The next year, on Yom Kippur, a day devoted to prayer and fasting, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack. After some initial setbacks, the Israel Defense Forces held off the invaders.

Bordering Israel to the north, Lebanon has been a staging ground for attacks against Israel since the fighting began. The Palestine Liberation Organization controlled southern Lebanon in the 1980's and was responsible for many of the border attacks. Sick of having to deal with border warfare on a daily basis, Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 to create a buffer zone between the two countries and rid Lebanon of the PLO.

After the IDF marched all the way to Beirut and sent the PLO packing, the IDF retreated when an international coalition of peacekeepers landed in Lebanon. President Ronald Reagan made a big mistake that year. He sent U.S. Marines into Beirut, and 241 Americans lost their lives when a Hezbollah militant drove a truck filled with explosives into the barracks where the U.S. Marines were stationed. Reagan wisely cut and ran and quickly redeployed the remaining peacekeepers to offshore bases.

Recently, perhaps attempting to divert world attention from Iran's nuclear ambitions, Hezbollah terrorists kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed three others after crossing Israel's northern border. The IDF have responded to the kidnappings by vowing to get the soldiers back and disarm Hezbollah for good.

Unfortunately, war is not pretty or fair. Civilians on both sides of the border are dying while Hezbollah continues to send rockets into Israel and Israel continues to destroy Hezbollah's infrastructure. Innocent lives are lost, as they will be so long as warfare exists.

Nevertheless, like the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Israeli forces are fighting to protect the right to live in peace by eradicating terrorism. That is why, despite the horrible thought of countless civilians losing their lives, Hezbollah must be destroyed, and American forces must continue to fight terrorism wherever terrorism exists.

J.S. Ebin ([email protected]) is a third year law student.

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