Monday, January 05, 2009

Israel responds to barbarism

Israel's Appropriate Response to Barbarism
by Peter Wehner
Jan. 5, 2009

The dominant media narrative of the Israel-Hamas conflict goes something like this: Of course Hamas should not have been launching rocket attacks against Israel. And yes, Hamas is a terrorist organization. And sure it’s regrettable that Hamas has embedded itself in civilian populations in order to cause collateral damage in the form of Palestinian deaths. We (grudgingly) grant all that. But the real offense is Israel’s response, which, we are told by countless commentators, is “disproportionate.” Israel has a right to self-defense---but in this instance, it is massively overreacting.

Yet if Israel’s response is disproportionate, then so, too, was America’s response to the attacks of September 11th. After all, the attacks by al Qaeda, while deadly, were limited to a multi-pronged strike on a single day. Thousands of Americans died in the terrorist attacks---but in response, did America have to declare war on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan---a war that merited the support of NATO and has now entered its eighth year?

To the vast majority of Americans, to most other nations, and even to the United Nations, the U.S. war in Afghanistan was a just use of force. The Taliban regime, after all, was allowing Afghanistan to be used as a safe haven for al Qaeda, a place for training and planning and launching attacks. The United States, in the eyes of most of the world, was fully justified in overthrowing the Taliban regime in an effort to uproot al Qaeda and break the back of that terrorist network. Our response was deemed as proportional in part because of the good being defended and the possible good that may result from the action (among the standards comprising the just war theory).

Israel is acting along the same ethical lines---yet when Israel does it, its actions are met with almost universal condemnation. The transparent double standard that is applied to Israel---a state that acts with extraordinary care to protect enemy noncombatants---is deeply troubling. Let’s just say if the nation we were talking about was non-Jewish, the response from many quarters would be dramatically different and far more sympathetic.

The other thing we hear from commentators is chastisement grounded in moral equivalence. The Israel-Hamas clash is the latest event in a “cycle of violence,” we are told. Both sides are responsible for the conflict, so both sides have equal responsibility to end it. A pox on both their houses.

This critique is morally dubious. It takes two to fight---but it only takes one to start it. It is as if a bully on the playground repeatedly assaults another child who is quietly playing on the swings. When the second child fights back, the teacher [read: the international community] criticizes both children for fighting. The problem is that one is fighting in self-defense while the other one is fighting out of aggression. 

To extend the analogy even further: in this instance, the bully is assaulting a child who set aside a section of the playground to give to the bully, in the hopes that he would be satisfied. Yet it turns out this only fueled his aggression. When Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, it did what no other country has ever done: set aside sovereign territory for Palestinian self-rule. In return, Israel has been on the receiving end of almost 6,500 rocket and mortar attacks over the course of three years.

There is a cast of mind among many in the West that simply cannot accept that Iran-backed Hamas---unlike Egypt or Jordan---has not made its own inner peace with the existence of Israel. It wants to kill Jews and liquidate the Jewish state. That realization has to be the starting point for everything else. Such an enemy cannot be tamed by typical state-to-state negotiations; it must therefore be dealt a crippling military blow. That is what Israel is now attempting to do. It won’t be easy, but it must be done. And in this latest battlefield in the larger conflict between civilization and barbarism, we need to unambiguously take the side of civilization. That is, after all, what Israel did with the United States in the aftermath of 9/11.

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At 11:59 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

I have read a bunch about this topic and have started to agree with people on Kos who just say that it's impossible to take a reasonable position if you are just a peon like most of us.

Israel pulled out of Gaza, then put a siege on the place, making the quality of life there miserable. So Hamas launches some rockets, giving Israel the PR position of self-defense to re-occupy Gaza and reinforce the position that they need to occupy Gaza and the West Bank because Hamas cannot be trusted. Hamas embeds inside civilian positions to make Israel's offensive morally difficult. Both sides are experts at working the PR side of war.

I think this issue is more akin to Europeans moving into North America and running over the Indians than to 9/11. Sure, the Indians were plenty barbaric taking scalps and whatever, but can you blame them? The Euros basically occupied their lands. Of course, in Israel both sides have ancestral claims to the land. What to do?

Perhaps Hamas needs to learn from the American Indians. Negotiate a truce that permanently cedes Gaza and the West Bank as sovereign Israeli territory with "Reservations" for Palestinians. Israel will bite easier if the Palestinians ask for the dumpiest crappiest land in the country. Agree to be good citizens of the country at large but be "sovereign nations" internal to the reservations.

Then open some Casinos and take the Israelis for all they are worth!

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Hamas is not interested in any kind of a truce, Murph. They are Islamic fanatics determined to destroy Israel, which is why Israel has to continue to control the Gaza borders, to prevent Hamas from continuing to smuggle in arms to carry out its attacks. It's all a matter of PR? Israel pulled out of Gaza several years ago, hoping that the Palestinians would be pacified. Instead, they evidently took the withdrawal as a sign of weakness, and they immediately began firing rockets into Israel

At 1:35 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

I spent all that time setting up an ironic punchline and you didn't get the joke. Boo.

At 8:05 PM, Anonymous USpace said...

The delusional insanity of the Left is frightening. They ignore all facts and logic. Hamas, a terrorist organization killing the so-called Palistinians' hope for peace', are evil garbage, they must be eliminated. They have sent thousands, yes thousands of missiles into Israel over the past couple of years and Israel had never exercised their right of self-defense, until recently, when Hamas broke the ceasefire and started firing rockets again.

Israel is FINALLY doing the right thing. If Hamas is destroyed, then, if the rest of the 'Palestinians' really want peace they can give up their dream of destroying Israel, if not, they will never have peace.

Israel must destroy as much of Hamas as possible before the MSM and the idiots and ignorants whine loud enough for them to stop. They must only quit when they are ready.

For EVERY missile shot into Israel at least ONE missile should be returned to the area as close as possible to the shooter. Tit for tat. Every single missile should be returned. Period. Treat them like adults, if they kill, they will be killed. If they send missiles, they will receive them. That is the only way they will learn. Screw public opinion, force them to see the truth, or let them be damned.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
hope your kids grow up

to strap bombs on babies
to kill other children

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
form a terrorist country

then wish to be destroyed
by committing acts of war

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
blame your failings on the Jews

for a few more thousand years
they are Earth's scapegoats

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
give Israel away

to appease her enemies
dishonor America

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never mock Democrats

it's just their religion
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Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
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