Friday, August 22, 2014

No Time for Hamas

As I age, I tend to see fewer issues in black-and-white terms, and instead see more shades of grey. Maybe that means I'm getting squishy, or maybe it means I'm maturing. I guess I'm not sure.

One area in which I have NOT gone soft, however, is Israel. As many of you know, I was privileged to serve as Press Secretary to Sen. Rudy Boschwitz for a number of years, and while I learned much from Rudy, probably the most important thing I took away from my time with him was the absolute moral imperative of supporting Israel.

So when a local idiot named Bill Habedank wrote a letter to the local paper a couple weeks ago calling Israel's war of self-defense a "genocide," I snapped. The result of my snapping is the letter below, which ran in the Red Wing Republican Eagle on August 13.

Red Wing Republican Eagle
Aug. 13, 2014

I have never seen as much bigotry and ignorance stuffed into one letter as that of Bill Habedank on Aug. 5.

To compare the courageous, embattled people of Israel to genocidal Nazis is not only profoundly ignorant, but it is also deeply disrespectful to the memory of the more than six million Jews killed by Nazi Germany. That Holocaust is the main reason the state of Israel was established by the United Nations in 1948.

In the current conflict, Habedank is apparently rooting for the Palestinians and their leadership in the form of Hamas. Hamas, of course, is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, and the Hamas charter calls for the “eradication” of Jews and the nation of Israel. Apparently Habedank agrees with that sentiment.

Hamas, like most bands of terrorists, is guilty of numerous war crimes, including:

-      --  Hiding rockets, armaments and its own leadership among civilian populations;

-      -- Firing rockets at civilian airports

-      -- Using women and children as human shields

-      --  Fighting without uniforms, disguising themselves as civilians who conducting terror operations

In the past few years, Hamas has taken the billions in aid given to them and, rather than build homes, schools, hospitals or mosques, they have used the money to build tunnels into Israel to be used to kill and kidnap Israeli civilians. At the same time, they’ve fired thousands of rockets into Israel – all aimed at civilian populations – firing the rockets from next to schools, hospitals and other civilian structures, thereby endangering their own people.

Habedank decries “mass murder” in the Middle East, but the only ones attempting mass murder are the Hamas terrorists, whose stated aim is to “wipe Israel off the map.” Habedank certainly has the right to speak his mind, but civilized people in a wonderful community like Red Wing should be embarrassed that his type of anti-Semitism and bigotry are on display among us.

Tim Droogsma

Red Wing, MN