Eye on the Middle East May/Jun 2006

In a world overrun by head-scratching contradictions to anything resembling common sense, here’s one more. Israeli Brig. Gen. Aviv Kochavi has been forced to cancel plans to study in England. The Israel Defense Forces judge advocate-general recommended he not make the trip for fear of being arrested and charged with committing war crimes. Six months earlier, retired Maj. Gen. Doron Almog, after landing in London, decided not to deplane when warned that detectives were waiting to arrest him. It turns out that a warrant was requested by a pro-Palestinian group and issued on the basis of a claim that Almog had ordered the demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah in 2002.

Ironically, in several European countries, arrest warrants based on allegations of war crimes can be brought by virtually any citizen motivated to do so. The outrageous aspect of the phenomenon threatens the responsible allies who contribute to the protection of these nations.

The judge advocate-general warned that unless the issue was resolved at the diplomatic level, senior Israeli officers who served during the Arafat intifadas might be forced to refrain from traveling in Britain, Spain, and other Western European countries. In the present climate, U.S. and coalition service personnel could be harassed and charged, or intimidated by threats of arrest—all thanks to radical groups that have apparently found one more tool to use against the West. The troubling issue is that European governments are not rushing to stop the practice. Their delay means the destabilization of their own countries is very much a problem.

Consider the situation freedom-loving democracies face:

  1. The victory of the terrorist Hamas organization in the recent Palestinian elections imposes the threat of the establishment of an Islamic ministate openly dedicated to committing genocide against its Israeli neighbors. With no visible, decisive counteraction by the international community, these murderers will probably remain in power for years, mentored by Iranian fanatics who make no bones about their determination to achieve nuclear status, rule the region, and ultimately overtake all free nations.
  2. The riots reverberating throughout Europe and many other spots ostensibly erupted because of Muslim distress over a few cartoons caricaturing Muhammad. It took several months before radical Islamists with a mission in mind saw the cartoons as an opportunity to advance their cause by fomenting major disruptions in Western countries. But rather than uniting and treating the perpetrators to what they deserved, many politicians began apologizing, siding with the fanatics, and promising to see to it nothing of the sort ever happened again. Cartoonists were put on notice that, even though they had freedom of the press and open season on personalities throughout the democracies, Islamic themes were off limits—or else.
  3. Then there are the war–criminal accusation addicts who, at a whim, can apparently bring charges against whomever they decide to declare a war criminal. This is not the equivalent of making a citizen’s arrest after witnessing someone running a traffic light. If this practice gains traction, it will sow the seeds of chaos in the courts.

Folding these elements into the general scenario of today’s precarious drift into cultural, social, and military decline drives one to consider seriously the words of Scripture concerning the last days. Advocates of a better, brighter, “global village” have little to point to as proof of their thesis. The Scriptures, on the other hand, broad brush reality and tell us clearly where the answer lies, while giving us the assurance that there is hope!

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