Europe is not to blame. The U.S. is not to blame. The media is not to blame. Only Israel is to blame for not ending the scourge of violence emanating from Gaza.
A government is responsible first and foremost to its own people. It must protect them at all costs. Doing so is its most fundamental obligation. Indeed, according to classical liberal theory, a government that shirks this duty undermines its very legitimacy.
Netanyahu is a phenomenal speaker and a master strategist, but he has the blood of innocent Israelis on his hands. His failure to defeat the Palestinians, who daily dream of Israel’s destruction, resulted in the deaths of four Jews in the Holy Land this week.
Israel has had numerous opportunities to win this endless war – even taking international pressure into consideration. (One such opportunity came immediately after 9/11 when Israel could have gotten away with essentially anything.) But Israel never acts – for the problem is not U.S. or international pressure. If no people on earth existed other than the Israelis and Palestinians, Israel would still respond with “restraint.”
Why? Because Israel operates under a warped sense of morality, deeming every Arab “innocent” as long as he isn’t shooting at the IDF this very moment. Moshe Halbertal, who co-authored the IDF’s code of ethics, has actually publicly stated that IDF soldiers should risk their own lives rather than harm innocent civilians.
Amazing! It is especially amazing considering that Halbertal was discussing the Palestinians, probably the least innocent population in the history of the world. If an American during World War II had accidentally wandered into Tokyo or Berlin, would he have been lynched? No, because while Japan and Germany had declared war on America, the average German and Japanese citizen harbored no visceral hatred for the average American.
In contrast, the average Palestinian considers every Jew to be something akin to a devil in human form. We all know what would happen to a Jew who accidentally wandered into Ramallah. He would be torn to pieces on the spot. Lynchings, of course, are committed by mobs, not armies. Indeed, when two IDF soldiers wandered into Ramallah in 2002, the Palestinian police tried to protect them. It was average Palestinians – “innocent” civilians – who murdered them in cold blood.
Wars aren’t fought in a vacuum. Every Palestinian terrorist is fed, clothed, protected, and given moral support by his community. That’s why we speak in war about the “front line” and the “home front.” Without the home front, the front line is powerless. In other words, in war, every member of the population – directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally – provides support to the men in uniform.
In the case of the Palestinians, women and children do much more than merely provide economic and moral support. Palestinian mothers actually raise their children to kill Jews and these children take their education seriously, making them independently dangerous.
If Israel is ever to defeat her enemies, it needs to shed its immoral code of military ethics and adopt the traditional time-honored one. It must remember that the object of war is not a cease-fire but victory, as Douglas MacArthur noted so many years ago. Victory means unconditional surrender in the tradition of William Tecumseh Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant, also known as “Unconditional Surrender” Grant.
Unconditional surrender means shooting and bombing until white flags (undershirts will do) hang out of every window. It means confiscating every weapon from the enemy. It means the victor sets the terms of surrender and the vanquished obeys.
Sounds radical? It shouldn’t. Every war until a few decades ago was fought in this manner. And long-term, more lives are saved as a result since only an enemy that knows it has been utterly crushed comes to terms with reality – i.e., that further fighting will only lead to unbearable misery and death.
If Israel decides to give war a chance and fight as our biblical ancestors did, peace will reign in Israel. Otherwise, it pains me to say, more Israelis will die in the months and years ahead.