The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘Gaza’

THE FARMER AND THE THIEF

In the Midwest about twenty-five years ago, just about the time that common sense began its long sabbatical from which it has yet to return, a case came to court which involved a chicken farmer and a chicken thief.  The case was brought against the farmer by the crook.

The farmer had noticed that his chickens were diminishing in number, several at a time.  As he examined the coop he saw no evidence that a fox might be getting in among them as there were no feathers or mutilated chicken parts lying around.  So he concluded correctly that the thief was a human.

In order to preserve his flock and his livelihood, he set up a deterrent – a loaded shotgun inside the barn that would be activated if a person opened the door without disabling this trap.  He also posted a large sign warning whoever the thief was that they were in danger of being shot if the door was opened.

Several nights went by and suddenly the farmer was awakened to the sound of the shotgun being discharged within the coop.  In addition to the blast, he heard the chickens shrieking and went down to find the thief had been disabled by a blast from the gun.  The farmer called the local sheriff’s office and the thief was taken away.  The chicken farmer thought that he had successfully resolved the issue.  He was incorrect.

Several weeks went by and the farmer found that the thief had hired an attorney who had, on his behalf, filed a law suit against the farmer for “reckless endangerment.”  When the case came to trial, both sides made their arguments.  The farmer explained that he was simply trying to protect his family and his living.  He further pointed out that he had posted a sign, warning of the consequences of attempting to steal his chickens.  But, as it turned out, the thief was illiterate and had no idea what the sign said.  The court ruled in the thief’s favor – awarding him a judgment that was so large that the farmer had no way to pay it other than by signing the deed to his farm over to the crook.  Justice was done.

The way in which world opinion is developing regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza reminds me of this sad miscarriage of justice.

Before the thief showed up at his farm, the chicken farmer had not deployed his shotgun.  Before Israel began bombing Hamas weapons arsenals, Hamas was regularly lobbing rockets into Israel.

Before Israel began destroying the tunnels that were intended to provide a means to carry out terrorism within Israel, Hamas had to build those tunnels – with concrete and other supplies that had been supplied by humanitarian and government agencies.  That concrete was supposed to be used to build schools.

Before a thousand or so Palestinian civilians were killed in the conflict, Israel implemented a defense system, “The Iron Dome” to defend itself against the three thousand or so rockets that were launched against it by Hamas.  Who knows if that system had proven to be ineffective, how many innocent Israeli citizens would have perished.

The “outrage” that much of Europe and now the United States has expressed towards the way in which Israel has conducted its self-defense, revolves around the children who have died.  The Israeli argument is that Hamas intentionally hides its assault weapons in places where there are children, specifically for the purpose of being able to wage a public relations campaign to supplement its inefficient military campaign.  The counter argument is that Israel is “indiscriminately” bombing schools and hospitals without regard to civilian casualties.

What is Hamas (and Islam’s) view of the sacredness of the life of children (or anyone else)?  The following Wikipedia, incomplete as it is, will give you an introduction to how children in Palestine are regularly recruited and exploited to become suicide bombers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_suicide_bombers_in_the_Israeli%E2%80%93Palestinian_conflict

The problem with relying on information from Wikipedia is that it is a compilation of anonymous sources.  It is difficult to know whether any of the authors (or editors) have a personal agenda they want to advance.  But there are countless articles about suicide child bombers available to the reader who wants to do an internet search.  This practice is not restricted to Hamas or Hezbollah in Palestine but is a tactic that the Taliban in Afghanistan also used.

But even if we were to dismiss this as fabrication, what is Islam’s view of the value of children generally?  An interesting article appeared in “The Huffington Post” recently regarding the abuse of children and forcing them to labor:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/29/child-labor-map_n_5631384.html

If you examine the map and the countries which are listed as “extreme” examples of utilizing child labor, seven out of the ten are countries in which Islam is the state religion.  Between the way in which Islam treats its children, not to mention its women, it is clear that human life holds a very low level of importance within that creed.

The current conflict, like those which preceded it, have all been instigated by militancy on the part of the Palestinians.  It is hard for me to understand the criticism of Israel by the Europeans, other than to say that they have now allowed such a large minority of Islamic residents within their countries that they are deferring the inevitable conflict which will come to pass as these people make more and greater demands to have their way of life “accommodated” by the majority within those countries.  France, Germany and the UK, among others, will have to face that conflict when it erupts – and now would be better than later.  But all of them have adopted a Clement Atlee state of mind.  At the moment, they believe they have that luxury.  Israel correctly has no such opinion – realizing that they are the lone small expression of democracy in a very ruthless neighborhood.

Through a miscarriage of justice, the chicken farmer lost his property and his livelihood.  Irrespective of world opinion, Israel must continue undeterred in its fight for survival.  And it would to the benefit of the rest of the western world to realize that the jihadi who are today threatening Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have no plan to stop there.  As one American convert to jihadist Islam recently proclaimed in a You Tube video, “I’ll see you in New York.”

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