Yes, there are two sides, and Israel is the right one
AN erroneous premise exists that says "there are two sides" to the Israeli/Islamic conflict and this is a battle of differing interests with each side having equally legitimate concerns. This is a serious mistake due to seeing the conflict as a squabble between ideological right vs. left when it is really about a morally right vs. wrong.
If both sides are desirous of peace and co-existence, then yes, the turmoil requires a cease-fire, cooling of tempers, forgiveness and the resumption of "talks" to find common ground. However, if one side has no intention of co-existence, then the possibility of any kind of truce is non-existent and someone must be blamed.
Hamas has a written charter that states their objective as seeking the total elimination of Israel. In contrast, Israel has a record of achieving peace and co-existence with former enemies such as Jordan and Egypt. This same effort of peace also was extended to Palestinians but was rejected time and time again.
Therefore, the morality here is clear. The one who has made efforts for peace is morally right. The one who proclaims death to the other is morally wrong.
On the "wrong side" you have Islamic fanatics like Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaida, the Taliban and their supporters within totalitarian governments like Syria and Iran. They have one thing in common: They have not and never will accept the legitimate existence of Israel and are committed to its destruction.
In stark contrast, you have a well-documented, 11-point Israeli "right side."
» Israel is a secular Republic with a vibrant democratic process, a prosperous free market economy, free and vocal press, and is recognized internationally as a sovereign state.
» Full Israeli citizenship, benefits and religious freedoms are available to Arab Muslims. In fact, many Arab Muslims are Israeli citizens and do live well, safe and protected in Israel.
» On May 15, 1948, Israel is born with international recognition. Within hours, Islamic nations invade in an attempt to destroy her.
» In 1951, Israel attempts peace with its Jordanian neighbor. Islamic fanatics kill Jordanian King Abdulla to prevent it from happening.
» In 1967, Israel protects herself in the six-day war. Arab Khartoum Conference says no to peace or negotiations with Israel.
» In 1970, Jordanian King Hussein attempts peace talks with Israel and is threatened with assassination. He is forced to kill more than 5,000 fellow Arab Muslims and expel Palestinians from Jordan.
» In 1973, Israel is attacked in the Yom Kippur War but gives back land won defending against the invasion.
» In 1979, Israel signs a peace treaty with Egypt. Islamic fanatics assassinate their own Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for doing this.
» In 1994, Israel signs the Oslo accords in an attempt for peace. An escalation of Hamas suicide bombings result.
» In 2005, Israel withdraws completely from Gaza to honor the "land for peace" exchange with the Palestinians. Hamas responds with rocket launches into Israel and the ultimate attack and killing of Israeli soldiers in 2006.
» In 2000, Israel withdraws completely from Lebanon. Hezbollah responds with rocket launches into Israel and an ultimate attack in 2006 triggering the current Israeli/Hezbollah/Hamas war.
This historical record must once and for all eliminate the notion that the Middle East conflict is about Israel occupying Palestinian territories. The real problem is about Hamas and Hezbollah being committed to occupying all of Israel.
Against this impossible scenario, many continue to insist that Israel negotiate.
Yes, there are two sides to this story. No, there is no moral equivalency. Here, there is only one that is right -- and one we must support.
Mike Miyashiro is vice president of Oahu Petroleum Inc. He lives in Honolulu.