For a Single Double Standard by Natan Sharansky

http://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2014/08/for-a-single-double-standard/?utm_source=Mosaic+Newsletter&utm_campaign=0f53be2114-2014_8_19&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0b0517b2ab-0f53be2114-42454949

Excerpts: The pictures of destruction and mourning in Gaza that have filled media around the world for the past several weeks have been very painful and sad to view.

Few Israelis who feel we are responsible for this suffering. For us, the tragedy of Gaza is inseparable from the tragedy of the entire Middle East. Over the past three years, in countries around our tiny state, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed in the most horrific ways. This wave of terror recognizes no official borders. The only border at which the savagery stops is Israel’s.

Hamas and Hezbollah are doing their best to change this. So what protects us? The United Nations or human rights groups? No. Only the military power of the Israel Defense Forces. In response to our enemies’ relentless campaigns, the army is constantly developing new ways to defend us. One new weapon, Iron Dome, has in the past few weeks protected civilians from almost 3,000 missiles.

But while Israelis have developed missile shields to protect children, Hamas has been using children as shields to protect missiles. This perverse strategy is the brainchild of a society that hails death. For Hamas, using living shields serves the double function of increasing the number of martyrs and galvanizing a free world that values life to pressure Israel to stop fighting.......

Let me be clear. I believe that it was the free world’s obligation to fight against the Milosevic regime, which carried out ethnic cleansing in the heart of Europe. I believe it is the obligation of the United States and free countries to lead an uncompromising struggle against terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. But the obligation of the IDF to protect Israeli citizens from thousands of missiles and from underground terrorist infiltrations is just as sacred. In view of the developing global war between the free world and terror, it is time that leading military experts from Israel, the United States, Britain and other countries, along with international lawyers and politicians, compare their experiences and agree about the standards according to which the free world can defend itself.

But once these standards are accepted, they should be applied to every free country. Otherwise, stop calling it a higher standard and call it by its real name: a double standard.