If you lived next to neighbours whose sole aim was to murder you and in furtherance of that objective burnt your property on a daily basis, how long would it take before you decided to put an end to these terror acts?…writes Michael Kuttner.

The answer would seem to be clear. In the absence of any meaningful intervention by those tasked with law and order several weeks would be a long time and several years would certainly be insane.

In 2007, Hamas, a designated terror organisation, took control of Gaza and since that time has engaged in continual warfare against Israel and its citizens. The United Nations and most of its members has encouraged these activities by routinely censoring Israel for defending itself, pouring millions of dollars into Hamas coffers and sweeping violations of human rights under the carpet.

We have come to expect nothing better from an international community deliberately oblivious to reality and in many cases blinded by genetic mutations of hatred against Jews and their State. Add in the legions of those who have never faced real life in Israel because they prefer to pontificate from the comfort of their Diaspora homes and multitudes whose “liberal and progressive” values automatically exclude standing with Israel and you have a perfect recipe for appeasement of terror.

For good measure we are also witnessing politicians calling themselves socialist, embracing Hamas types as “brothers & sisters” and reinventing them as oppressed thus worthy of financial, political and moral support.

All this is unfortunately a fact of life which we are facing today.

However there remains a glaring question yet to be answered.

Whatever has happened to the much vaunted deterrence which over 70 years guaranteed Israel’s survival against all odds and against all enemies?

It seems that past determined, vigorous and usually successful measures have been replaced by political waffling, over inflated rhetoric, fear of what “others” may say and possibly other considerations not yet revealed. There seems to be no other answer considering that over ten years have elapsed since Hamas actively undertook terror warfare against us.

Following years of terror including kidnappings, rocket barrages, terror tunnels constructed, border infiltrations and arson causing projectiles we are no better off than when this all started in 2007. What about our retaliatory responses?

Israel has engaged in media spectaculars whereby buildings have been demolished, tunnels uncovered and put out of action plus border breaches thwarted. From time to time we have taken out terrorists themselves and occasionally there has been a mini war of sorts. All of these events however have ended prematurely as soon as the UN and friends flapped their arms and the media beamed scenes of Hamas orchestrated civilian rent a crowd casualties. The end result has always been the same, namely yet another “ceasefire” which inevitably provides the terrorists time to regroup, rearm and reorganize.

What about the border checks portrayed by our critics as “blockades”? During most of this period the flow of essential supplies has continued something our detractors conveniently ignore. The problem remains however that items such as cement, building materials, fuel and even medical supplies such as helium have been diverted by Hamas. Instead of being used to rehabilitate and rebuild civilian infrastructure, these goods have been used to construct terror tunnels, manufacture rockets and expand the ability to resume war once again. Closing of the border crossings usually is accompanied by inflated political posturing and is inevitably followed by a resumption of business not long afterwards. One has to wonder whether profitable commercial considerations are now paramount.

If defeating terror was indeed the prime aim it is baffling we continue to ignore that Hamas is hijacking most of the products we allow to transit into Gaza.

Since the latest flare up commenced these are the results:

  • 7,413 acres of land burned.
  • 1,364 fires started by incendiary kites and balloons.
  • 10 to 12 million shekels worth of damage from arson attacks.
  • 1,832 people treated for trauma.

 By the time you read this the numbers will have escalated. Despite all this and in the face of continuing arson we are considering resumption of “business” as though nothing has happened.

It now transpires according to local news reports that Israel has asked the USA not to cut back on funds to UNRWA in Gaza. This insane request, if true, perfectly illustrates the Mickey Mouse mentality now prevailing in the corridors of the Knesset.

An even bigger scandal is the continuing inability to have dead and live Israelis held in Gaza released to their families. If our decision makers were really serious they would condition resumption of normal life there on the immediate repatriation of those currently held hostage.

What are we waiting for? If we wait long enough we will find that the socialist Democrats in the USA and Corbyn supporting comrades in the UK will have been elected and then with an appeasing EU we will face real problems.

Critics of taking meaningful and decisive action against the terrorists ensconced in Gaza just need to look north and see how past vacillating political policies have resulted in over 100,000 missiles being aimed in our direction with Lebanon taken over by Iranian backed Hezbollah. Those responsible for this make lots of noise and claim that we have had years of quiet yet they ignore the stark fact that a lethal arsenal has been assembled on our doorstep which sooner rather than later needs to be eliminated.

So what needs to be done?

The defeat of Nazi Germany and its supporters occurred only because the Allied forces insisted on unconditional surrender. That is exactly the path we should be following. This calls for the targeting and elimination of the entire terror leadership. Every time another terrorist surfaces to take their place he or she should be likewise removed. Those plotting and leading the war against us need to know that their use by date has expired and that no matter where they hide they can find no sanctuary.

Stop the bombing of empty buildings. Cease the practice of waiting for Hamas terrorists to evacuate their posts before attacking. Make their lives so miserable that they sue for surrender. Refuse to negotiate or consider gestures unless and until Gaza is disarmed and the terror infrastructure dismantled. Be prepared to go the distance and be unafraid of international hypocritical condemnations. Turn off the money taps and dry up the dollars currently funding continued terror. Don’t threaten – act instead.

None of this is politically correct but it needs to be done if we are to have any chance of meaningful peace in the future. Continuing to waffle and bluff will only lead to a very dead end.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.