Hamas and Gaza play roles

Brian Nelson

I applaud the University of Minnesota for supporting free speech and providing a place for pro-Gazans to voice their opinion. However, let us not forget that IsraelâÄôs responsibility is to respond to external threats. Hamas, the lead government of Palestinians in Gaza, harbors and encourages terrorist and rocket attacks on Israel. Before everyone condemns Israel for their actions against the average Gazan, we should first look at our own countryâÄôs response to threats and attacks, going back to the American and world response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The United States, along with allies, entered Afghanistan and eventually Iraq in search of the persons responsible. Estimated civilian casualties in Afghanistan outnumber American casualties in that country by a ratio of about 10-to-1. The same figure for Iraq is 180-to-1 by some estimates. That was our response to a threat from a half a world away. How would America respond to daily rocket attacks from Mexico? Although I feel for the plight of the average person living in the Gaza Strip, we must remember that Israel continues to respond to an immediate threat from the terrorist organization Hamas. This is the same Hamas that leads the government of Gaza. Do not forget that Israel is a sovereign nation and, as such, has the duty to defend its citizens against enemy combatants. Remember that Hamas launched 602 rockets and mortars on Israel in 2008 and 566 in 2009. This is often ignored while Israel is continually demonized. May we all live in peace. Brian Nelson University graduate student