I came across an AP headline earlier today that read, “Israel air strikes spark protests worldwide�, so I decided to take a peek to see whose protesting. I already knew I’d see a laundry list of the usual suspects; Middle Eastern Islamic fanatics, and their friends in London, Paris, Ontario, Madrid, etc., but much to my surprise, the list of people calling for a halt to the air strikes and fretting over the welfare of the Palestinian people in general was a whose who of mid to high level government officials from across the globe.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Pope Benedict XVI, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (among others) have all either called for an immediate end to hostilities or expresses “grave concerns� for the Palestinian people, but as far as I can tell, none of the forementioned have made any significant statements concerning the more than 6,300 rockets Hamas has fired at Israeli civilians since 2005 that have killed 10 and wounded more than 780.

I can understand the importance of these people reacting to the situation – that’s what government hacks do – but it seems to me that their reactions are somewhat out of touch with what’s happening in Gaza at the moment. The Israelis are fighting a cowardly foe that chooses to hide itself behind the civilian population. Rocket launchers on apartment building roof tops, ammunition stores in basements of schools and hospitals, and soldiers that wear civilian clothing so they can easily blend into the general population is the norm in Gaza, so collateral damage and civilian casualties are to be expected.

The solution to the problem at hand is not to limit the ability of Israel to defend itself, – it is to snuff out Hamas terrorists, from the leaders on down to the AK-47 toting hoodlums on the street, wherever they may be. It’s just an unfortunate fact of life that these individuals will seek refuge in population centers, but since hiding amongst the civilian population is as much a militant tactic as launching mortars and rockets into Israel, and as cold hearted as it might sound, that’s probably not a problem that the IDF can realistically work around – nor should they.