By DOVID BEN-MEIR
Let it be clear: the people marching towards the Israeli border fence with Gaza are not disciples of Martin Luther King, non-violently voicing their yearning for peace. Marching on the fence – whether willingly, paid or threatened to do it by Hamas – is not an act of brotherly love. This so-called "March of Return" is no less than a staged invasion of Israel by Hamas operatives (50 of those killed were Hamas terrorists, as Hamas has proclaimed) also meant to gain international sympathy by broadcasting to the world that innocent Arabs are being killed, "executed by the forces of occupation". So let's take a closer look at it, step by step:A] In the year 2005 Israel totally withdrew every soldier and civilian from what was known as the Gaza Strip. The area was handed over unilaterally to the so-called Palestinian Authority. Israel withdrew to the 1949 Armistice Lines. If "occupation" is meant as the lands the Arabs lost in 1967, then today's fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel proper is the border to land that was in Israeli hands before 1967. If by "occupation" you mean the entire land "from the river to the sea" (which ignores the historical fact that east of the river is also part of the same land – but since that has been in Arab – not Jewish – hands from the 1920s', it is indeed ignored, because the root of the conflict is not the good of the Arabs but against the Jews) then you are calling for the annihilation of the Jewish State of Israel, which is indeed the intent of Hamas.B] "March of Return" also implies the destruction of Israel. It is indeed deplorable that there are people living in "refugee" camps 70 years after the UN decision to establish a Jewish state – but that is a situation caused and perpetuated by the Arabs. The close to one million Jews who were forced to flee the Arab lands have been resettled long ago. C] Gaza is not under siege nor is it a giant prison. All that Gaza has to do is to relinquish the ambition to destroy Israel and kill or expel its Jewish people, which is the oft-stated design of Gaza's leaders, Hamas. Israel closes its borders to those types of people just as you would close your home to those who wish to rob or kill you. Gaza also has a border with Egypt – but that isn't mentioned, because after all Egypt isn't Jewish. Gaza has a coast that is presently blockaded in order to prevent the import of weapons to be used against Israel. The Palmer Commission of the UN has already established that this is a perfectly legal blockade put up by a state against an entity threatening its existence.D] Every sovereign country has the right to control and guard its borders, especially against those that openly call for the destruction of the state and intend to kill its people. How do you stop them from cutting the fence and invading? I've been in contact with students of mine now serving opposite the fence with Gaza, asking them what they're doing. One answered that they are basically chasing kites. That sounds fun, but in reality it means they are trying to catch firebomb kites that have already caused 100 fires, burning many hundreds of acres of grain about to be harvested. I asked what the orders were in regards to firing on those trying to reach and tear down the border fence. He replied: "Very strict", making it practically impossible for almost all soldiers to use live ammunition. Another answered the same. When I asked him what they do to prevent people from getting to destroy the fence, his answer was: "Lots of tear gas and much faith!" The rules of engagement are such that only very pinpointed fire is allowed, after checking with the legal authorities.Of course every loss of life is regrettable – and in this case was preventable, but not by Israel. Israel isn't the one to call on to stop the violence as Israel hasn't initiated any violence. The farmers would prefer to harvest the grain and the soldiers would prefer to sunbath – but Hamas has once again decided to fight Israel at the expense of the lives of the people of Gaza.Do you wish to help the people of Gaza? Help them change the regime for one that would seek peace with its neighbors!