web analytics
July 26, 2014 / 28 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Special Features
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Lessons for the World from a New Gaza War

Can Israel sustain this situation? Of course, that is basically the framework in which it has been living and prospering for 64 years. Is it preferable? Of course not. What is the world going to do to make it better? Nothing.

F121115YS32

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Update: A few sirens went off in Tel Aviv around 6:30 PM, November 15—not the whole system or the one outside my window but those a few blocks away—and didn’t stay on very long. Then there were two loud but short booms, the sound of anti-rocket missiles being fired. Rumors followed. This being the age of social media people insisted that something must have happened because somebody in California said so. Some people said with certainty that a rocket hit in this or that place, one claimed he saw the smoke from a building that had been struck. In the end, it was announced that a rocket from the Gaza Strip had been shot down far to the south. The atmosphere was reminiscent of 1991 when three dozen Iraqi rockets did hit Israel, one of them a few blocks from my home, and anti-missile batteries could be heard nightly firing at incoming missiles from Iraq.

Of course, there’s nothing funny about a war. Less than an hour’s drive to the south people are under fire. There are casualties on both sides, including civilians. This is a serious matter, made no less so by its relative familiarity. Yet there is a difference between the horrors of war and imagining away a conflict, an inescapable situation, because one wants to do so. Only by confronting the reality can there be the best possible response to a crisis. Wishful thinking or ignoring real conflicts makes things worse.

The new war between Hamas and Israel has a lot of important lessons for international diplomacy and U.S. policy today. It once again shows that a country, especially one faced by a hostile adversary who cannot be turned away by words or compromises, has limited choices. And in that case a government must do what it must do.

A key to the problem of Western comprehension of international realities is admirably summarized by a New York Times editorial on the subject:

“No country should have to endure the rocket attacks that Israel has endured from militants in Gaza, most recently over the past four days. The question is how to stop them permanently.”

Now the answer to that question is simple to understand if not easy to implement. The attacks can only be stopped if Hamas is removed from power and replaced, given contemporary circumstances, by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA is certainly no prize but that’s a reasonable goal for what is often referred to as the international community.

Yes, Hamas won an election in 2007 but then it staged a violent coup, threw out the opposition, and has thus governed as an unelected dictatorship. It has no legal basis since Hamas never accepted the Oslo accords agreements. Hamas is also a terrorist group. And it daily voices not only its opposition to Israel’s existence but also advocates—and teaches the children of Gaza to carry out some day—the commission of genocide against all Jews.

So the answer to the Times’ question is a no-brainer, right? In fact, of course this response is not what the Times has in mind. Instead, the newspaper and like-minded people present the following list:

–Israel should negotiate with Hamas. Great idea but an impossible one because of a factor Western leaders, academics, and journalists often do not take seriously nowadays: ideology. Hamas means what it says, intends to continue the violence for years in the belief it can win total victory, and is indifferent to the sacrifice of its own people. So in this case negotiations are not an option.

–If there is a comprehensive Israel-Palestinian peace there would be no more war. Actually even if such an agreement were to be reached—which is impossible because the PA won’t make one—Hamas would step up attacks in an attempt to destroy the agreement.

The PA could not make a deal that would include the 40 percent of the Palestinians who live in Gaza. And Hamas would try to overthrow the PA in the West Bank and might even succeed. Then Hamas, perhaps with the Fatah people who allied with it, would have a fully sovereign state to use as a platform for an intended war of genocide against Israel.

Part of the problem is that the West is not psychologically prepared to deal with fanatics, people who don’t measure the balance of forces before entering a war and are indifferent to the suffering of their own civilians. Westerners tend to use a materialistic yardstick: holding elections, having to govern themselves, a higher living standard and more education will make people moderate. The problem is that this has been tried out in the Middle East—as it is being tried now—and doesn’t work.

–Israel should just shut up and let Hamas attack it whenever that group so chooses or at most respond with only minimal force. This concept is often implicit in coverage of the issue as in one prestigious newspaper whose main article explained that Israel’s killing the military chief of Hamas, whose main job was to plan terrorist attacks on Israelis, threatened to create a regional crisis.

An acquaintance of mine bragged that nobody in her European country supported Israel. That means, of course that they all supported Hamas. But what if they say that they actually just supported the people of Gaza? That would be like saying during World War Two bombing raids that one opposed them out of support for the people of Germany. The sympathy for civilians is understandable; the violence and casualties are a tragedy. Yet the root cause is a regime that both oppresses the people and sets of a war.

So given the fact that it does not want to reoccupy and govern Gaza (though one of the accusations thrown against Israel is that it still occupies Gaza!), Israel has limited choices. The best of the lot is to limit any materiel that gets into Gaza that can be used for war and to retaliate as necessary to obtain several years of relative peace. That means, in the Times’ euphemism, that Hamas often observes a ceasefire, that is, in the minutes between rocket, mortar, and cross-border attacks by itself or the small groups it uses as an excuse for aggression.

Another part of the problem is the external situation. Egypt is ruled by a Muslim Brotherhood regime. The Gaza Strip is governed by a Muslim Brotherhood regime. See any pattern here? What saves the situation for the present is that the Egyptian government doesn’t want an all-out confrontation now.

Just hours before the war began it received a pledge of $6 billion in aid from the European Union. This is, of course, a noble endeavor to help Egypt’s people though it also puts billions of dollars in the hands of anti-Western, antisemitic extremists. Maybe it will moderate them but it is certain that the money will strengthen them.

As for the United States, it supports Egypt but it also supports Israel. So it will encourage a ceasefire and probably after a few days there will be a ceasefire. Hamas will “partly” observe it until the next time it chooses to attack Israel. Perhaps by that point the Salafists in Egypt will be ready for a fight and the Brotherhood regime will need to stir up some hysteria to help it fundamentally transform the country and distract attention from its domestic dictatorship and failures.

So the lesson of this new Gaza war is that terrorist regimes must be removed from power because otherwise they will keep provoking war, terrorism, and instability. Having ruled out that option, the only alternative is periodic conflicts like the one going on now in the Gaza Strip.

Can Israel sustain this situation? Of course, that is basically the framework in which it has been living and prospering for 64 years. Is it preferable? Of course not. What is the world going to do to make it better? Nothing.

And what does Hamas’s behavior tell us about that of other Islamists in power? A great deal once one factors in patience and subtly on the part of such regimes as those in Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, and perhaps soon Syria.

I said above that the lesson of the Gaza Strip is that terrorist, radical regimes should be removed from power. It goes without saying that they should not be helped into power by the West in the first place. Unfortunately, that is a lesson that the Obama Administration still doesn’t understand.

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

4 Responses to “Lessons for the World from a New Gaza War”

  1. Mark L. Shane says:

    Barry-I think this is just another milktoast( up in a pillar of smoke ) show that will keep the gaza status quo as previously endured by Israel-compliments of that milktoast, Mr Softee- Nice guys crowd conspiracy- out of TelAviv. Keeping hamas in gaza is just plain , common sense, GOOD for business.

  2. Anonymous says:

    THIS IS A WAR?
    The Jewish way, Israel keeps Hamas supplied with everything to keep them strong and an ever growing threat and at ease while it fights restrained to please their fake peace pimps, the EU, UN, US.
    Israel supplies the electricity to their destroyers as a vain show of how nice suicidal Jews are to their executioners, how stupid is that?
    The high IDF command are pushing for a ground operation but the dithering prime minister Netanyahu and his retreat prone defense minister Barak once again restrain the IDFand prefer to wait…
    Fearful Israel targets Haniyeh's generator but not him. What kind of message is this Jewish way sending? I SAMUEL 15.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Special-features Stories
John Kerry

Bibi’s cabinet unanimously rejected Kerry’s ceasefire proposal, but still considering 12-hour break.

IDF Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, hy'd, who fell in action Sunday, July 20, 2014 with six comrades when his APC was hit by an anti-tank missile fired by terrorists in Gaza. Declared dead Friday, July 25, 2014. May God avenge his blood.

Hamas exploited the fog of war: they did not kidnap Shaul Aron, he was killed in action.

A soldier called up to talk to my 5 year old son…

05_04_51---Candle_web

1st Sgt. Yair Ashkenazi, Reserves, (36) HY”D, was killed this morning during operations in northern Gaza.

11:45am Rocket alerts, including Tel Aviv and Lod. The smell of a Cease fire is in the air. 11:47am 07-25-2014 Ramla, Lod 11:47am 07-25-2014 Tel Aviv – Yafo , Bat Yam, Bnei Brak / Givaatayim / Petach Tikva, Dan coastal plain, Kiryat Ono, Elad, Rosh Ha’yin, Ramla, Lod, Shoham, Kfar Chabad 11:47am 07-25-2014 Tel Aviv […]

Chabad has provided a list of all the soldiers injured so far in Operation Protective Edge, so you can add them to your prayers.

We’re waiting to hear back if there will be a cease fire this afternoon. The terms grant Hamas political legitimacy.

11:10am Massive number of rocket alerts: 11:10am 07-25-2014 Herzliya, Raanana, Emek Hefer, Kfar Saba, Sharon / Gaash 11:09am 07-25-2014 Herzliya, Raanana, Emek Hefer, Kfar Saba, Sharon / Gaash, Ashkelon 11:09am 07-25-2014 Herzliya, Raanana, Ashkelon, Emek Hefer, Kfar Saba, Sharon / Gaash, Ashkelon 11:09am 07-25-2014 Herzliya, Raanana, Ashkelon, Emek Hefer, Kfar Saba, Sharon / Gaash, Zikim […]

Golani 12 Platoon commander, Shai Siman-Tov, was seriously injured yesterday,

The IDF has begun to systematically tear apart the roots of the Hamas terrorist infrastructure

Amb. Ron Dermer takes on CNN’s coverage of Hamas, and wins.

These are the photos of our soldiers (and a citizen) killed in action during the current IDF ground operation in Gaza.

Hip Hop musicians create a song and video to express how they feel about the current Arab/Israel war.

Senators wrote to Obama insisting any ceasefire ensures Israel will be free from Gazan terrorism.

Hamas committed two war crimes at once – firing from the area of the school and preventing civilians to evacuate.

The number of rockets and missiles fired on Israel is decreasing, but the war is far from over.

More Articles from Barry Rubin
Youssef Ziedan

The interviewer responds, “There was also Balfour.”

peace_clowns

If the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

Let me make it plain. There will be mass murder, even genocide in Syria.

A large number of pro-Obama and radical or even anti-Israel cadre are Jews.

Does anyone think the Palestinian Authority will resist daily attacks from Hamas and Fatah radicals?

Secret Service security arrangements were overruled.

The Obama Administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly–which of course it will not.

The less you know about Islam, the better. Ignorance is strength.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/lessons-for-the-world-from-a-new-gaza-war/2012/11/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: